The SoCal Student Film Festival was founded by Chris Perdue, the architect of the Academy of Media Arts, a nationally-recognized, award-winning media arts education model.  Conceived in Los Angeles and now in its 8th year, the Festival has recognized, screened and awarded hundreds of student film projects.  Each year, the Festival screens the top 3 submissions from 9 categories in a 2-hour, feature-length presentation.  This year, expectations are high that industry professionals, sponsors, and student filmmakers will join us for another amazing event!  To better understand the genesis of the Festival, it helps to understand the nature of the Academy, its host.

The Academy of Media Arts (AMA) is a small, learning community within Arnold O. Beckman and Lawndale High Schools, both California Distinguished Schools.  The purpose of the AMA is to prepare student for both college admission and entry-level careers in the Arts, A/V Technology & Communications "career cluster."  Presently in the United States, there is a strong push for Career Technical Education (C.T.E.).  Considered the new vocational education, C.T.E. provides opportunities for interested students to train toward both college admission and entry-level industry positions in one of sixteen industry sectors or "career clusters," while still in high school.  Students in the Academy of Media Arts study theater, film and video, animation, and commercial music production as pathway programs of study in the "Arts, A/V Technology & Communications" career cluster.

The federal government suggests C.T.E. students join a career and technical student organization (C.T.S.O.) as part of the suggested program framework, helping qualify their C.T.E. program for grant funding.  C.T.S.O.s are organizations that give students opportunities to train in entry-level, industry skills and to network by participating in workshops and competitions.  The SoCal Student Film Festival serves as a type of C.T.S.O. for students involved in C.T.E. filmmaking and video production pathway programs.  C.T.E. Programs would do well to follow the government's suggestions as closely as possible, because the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act provides approximately $1.1 billion in state grants annually, nationwide, and schools and districts that follow the suggested framework can access this funding. 

By participating in the operations and/or competition of the Festival, C.T.E. students are exposed to marketing and advertising, promotions, operations, ticket/box office management, programming, filmmaking, and distribution in a real-world setting.

The AMA can and will provide curriculum and grant models for implementing new C.T.E. programs.  Interested educators and school and district officials should contact us via phone or email.  We look forward to bringing the Academy and Festival experience to your students and communities.

Thank you for your interest in our mission!