News • April 28, 2017

Up-and-coming filmmakers honored at CBU film festival

Sean Lewis California Baptist University student Sean Lewis (right) wins Best Actor for “The Student” at the 6th annual Student Film Festival.

Riverside, Calif. (April 28, 2017) – The 6th annual Student Film Festival featured 15 short films that were shown at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium on April 22 in conjunction with the Riverside International Film Festival.

The CBU festival draws new student filmmakers and motivates returning students to try new ideas, said Dr. Melissa Croteau, professor of film studies.

“It’s a forum for students to show how far they’ve come, but also to give them some motivation to start making films,” Croteau said.  “Students are really excited to see their work on a large screen and appreciated by a group of people.”

Mario Adurias, a junior double majoring in film and theatre, won seven awards for two films. “The Student,” his tribute to silent films, earned Adurias the Best Narrative Film award. The comical short flick follows a college student who is determined to do the right thing.

Adding to his creative work, Adurias used a stop-motion process for “Strung Together,” a story based on a Chinese proverb about a red string that ties two fated lovers. The film won Best Editing at the festival.

“We learned the stop-motion process is both grueling and rewarding,” said Adurias, who spent nearly 20 hours editing “Strung Together.” “It is wonderful to see imagination come alive.”

Jordan Riley, a film studies senior, was inspired by the book of Exodus and films such as “Lord of the Rings,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Avatar” for her film “Existence: Age of Discovery,” which won Best Production Design.

“The entire film is filled with metaphors, symbols and religious ideas, because I truly love stories that have a much deeper meaning and purpose,” Riley said. “I want to change lives through making films and connecting to the audience’s emotions.”

One of the entries, “Lifeline,” a public service announcement (PSA) won Best Non-Narrative film. It is also nominated for the Directing Change Student Film Contest, a statewide competition that is part of the California Mental Health initiative.

“The students are making great films,” Croteau said. “I think it’s very important to have a film major on campus, something that trains young Christian filmmakers to really be a force, to be the salt and light in the film industry.”

Student Film Festival Awards

Best Actress:
Tess Braden, in Shortness of Breath

Best Actor:
Sean Lewis, The Student

Best Supporting Actress:
Summer Betancourt, in The Student and Strung Together

Best Supporting
Caleb Leal in The Student   

Best Cinematography:
Robert Kojo Mensah for Existence: Age of Discovery 

Best Music:
Traivon Williams for Existence: Age of Discovery

Best Screenplay:
Kenedie Gayle & Austin Campbell, Shortness of Breath

Best Special/Visual Effects:
Strung Together

Best Editing:
Strung Together

Best Production Design:
Existence: Age of Discovery

Best Film
Non-narrative: Lifeline, directed by Rebecca Lam
Narrative: The Student, directed by Mario Adurias and Danny Burger


Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504