News • May 02, 2022

Student filmmakers showcase work at CBU film festival

Student filmmakers showcase work at CBU film festival

Riverside, Calif. (April 29, 2022) – California Baptist University’s film department hosted its annual Student Film Festival at The Box theatre in downtown Riverside on April 24. The event, which is part of the Riverside International Film Festival, featured the screening of a series of films, created and submitted by CBU film students, as well as an awards ceremony.

Dr. Melissa Croteau, professor of film studies, has been involved in the planning process for the annual event for years. The film festival is open to all CBU students.

“The students have an opportunity to share what they have been doing in classes and out of classes in the last year creatively,” Croteau said. “There are people from all over campus who come to the festival, but also the friends, the church communities, the co-workers and the families of these filmmakers come and cheer on the work. There is no substitute to seeing one’s work with a group of people and having your work appreciated. I really think that is invaluable.”

The festival offered a vast array of short films from multiple genres, including narrative, horror and a music video. Croteau views the variety as a strength of the festival.

“We didn’t put a particular topic only because we didn’t want to limit anyone,” Croteau said.

Michael Metzler Jr., junior film major, submitted two films for the festival, including “What Is Real” and the film that won best picture, “Simon Says.”

“What I enjoyed about sharing my films was being able to see them on a real big screen and being able to experience the audience's reactions to the stories,” Metzler said. “I learned that spontaneity often gives rise to the best ideas, and you can't get better at something unless you actually take initiative and dive straight in.”

Josiah Murphy, film senior, worked on several films—“One Night Only” and “Saudade,” which won best actress, and “What Is Real.” Murphy enjoyed collaborating with other film students throughout the filmmaking process and then attending the festival.

“It’s always fun to come together as students and watch others’ work in support,” Murphy said. “It also makes it even better when there’s a big turnout so others can see the varied work that the film program is doing.”

This film festival is the first one to take place indoors and in-person since the start of the pandemic. The 2020 festival was cancelled and the 2021 event took place on the Mission Hall Lawn.

Croteau said that the film festival offers students valuable experience and opportunities as they can go on to submit their films to other festivals. She also said the film festival allows others to see the potential of future filmmakers on campus.

“These are people who are going to go on and impact the world,” Croteau said. “You can see a piece of their future and certainly the promise in the creative minds and careers of these filmmakers.”

Student Film Festival Awards

Best film:Simon Says

Best Actress: Jolene Automo, “Saudade

Best actor: Michael Metzler Jr., “Simon Says”

Best cinematography: Viviana Delgado, “Whiplash Reprised

Best music and soundtrack: “broken promises”

Best screenplay: Michael Metzler Jr., “Simon Says”

Best special visual effects: Benjamin Morey, “Shoot … to Kill!

Best editing: Michael Metzler Jr., “Simon Says”

Best production design: “Simon Says”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504