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'Moviemaker' Ranks SMC Among Top Film Schools

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By Lookout Staff

July 28, 2022 -- If your parents aren't millionaires and you want to break into film, Santa Monica College might just be the way to go, according to MovieMaker, which named the school one of the 40 best in North America.

The magazine's annual list -- which recognizes schools that prepare students for every aspect of moviemaking -- placed SMC alongside Stanford University, UCLA, USC, AFI Conservatory, Columbia University and Emerson College.

The school -- which was recognized for “outstanding film production training” -- has had seven student films selected for the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival, including 2021’s Best Student Film winner “Broken Layers.”

"Santa Monica College is a fantastic bet for someone who wants to live in the heart of the film industry without going into debt for years,” said Tim Molloy, MovieMaker editor in chief.

“If you believe the film and TV industry should be open to people who aren't the children of millionaires -- and we certainly do -- we need more institutions with the affordability and drive of SMC.

"In addition to its professionalism and openness to all, it happens to be a beautiful campus in a gorgeous part of the world."

Since its launch in fall 2010, SMC's award-winning film program has made 30 short films linked to the capstone class, Film 33, said Salvador Carrasco, the college’s film production faculty lead.

“All of these films have won awards at domestic and international film festivals,” Carrasco said. “This stems not from any sort of black magic, but from the staunch belief in our SMC academic model.

The program produces one or two films each semester, "and there is a collective sense of belonging about the films in question," he said.

The program's instructors -- all of whom are active professionals in the film industry -- are always present on set supervising and actively teaching the students.

"This allows us to help them achieve what they set out to do, and they can also take creative risks because we are there to make sure they won’t fail,” Carrasco said.

Said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, “The film production program is a terrific example of Santa Monica College’s mission at work: the most accessible, equitable education provided to diverse students, helping them fulfill their highest potential.

“This is made possible by the guidance and tutelage of world-class instructors, representing the best in their fields. We are so proud of this latest accomplishment!," Jeffery said.

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