Student Festival Showcases Talented Filmmakers


Tomik Ghoukasian

AWARD WINNERS: The winners at the 2nd Annual Glendale Student Film Festival gather on the red carpet with their trophies.

Shaira Arias, Staff Writer

It was more than just an evening filled with aspiring actors, actresses and filmmakers. The second annual Glendale Student Film Festival is an award ceremony dedicated to honor those, whom after months of preparation and hard work, brought their passion for film to life on the big screen.

After a year of preparing for Saturday evening, Film Collective President Julio Espino exceeded the public’s expectations once more. He brought us a diverse show that had everything from comedy to dance and heartfelt farewells to distinguished GCC staff. Before heading into the auditorium, guests were provided with complimentary snacks.

“I’m very happy, it has grown a little from last year and I just look forward for it to keep on growing,” Espino said.

The audience filled with laughs as the masters of ceremony, comedians Kevin Alderman and Joe Dunn, kicked off the show with jokes and comical banters.
For the second act, dancer Tatevik Sahakyan performed a modern dance routine to british singer Adele’s hit “Set Fire To The Rain.”

“Love Life With Friends,” directed by Teja Swaroop, was one of the leading power films of the evening, taking home best production, costume design, soundtrack and the coveted award of best film. In Swaroops absence, leading actor Haig Mardirossian accepted them on his behalf.

“The whole project in itself was a fun project to be a part of. I really couldn’t have done this without someone believing in me and that is Teja Swaroop, so big thanks to Teja,” Mardirossian said.

“Chainsaw Man” took home four awards, while “Time to Heal” and “INDOMINABLE” earned two . Among the other winners were “Neighbors,” “Set Me Free,” “Couch Spliff,” and “The GEM Sisters.”

Director and actress Tracey Aivaz won last year’s best female director and this year she came back and dominated once more by not only taking home the title, but also winning best 10-minute film.

Tracey Aivaz plans to pursue a career in film and is currently applying to all major film schools in Southern California.

“It feels so amazing to be here. I feel so accomplished and it’s a huge honor to win the award twice in a row,”Aivaz said.

Film major, Ericka S. Cabrera, maybe a novice in the industry but after winning best foreign film and best editing, she has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with.

“When I did the film it was difficult because my mom had skin cancer problems. So it was very inspiring for me to talk about parents in the film,” Cabrera said.

For over 25 years Chair of Media Arts, Mike Petros, pioneered and shaped what is today’s GCC media arts department. He created a space for students to be creative and explore their passion for filmmaking. As a thank you, Media Arts professor Ryun Hovind had the honor of awarding him with the lifetime achievement award before he retires this year.

“He is not just a teacher he is a collaborator and a mentor. He always drops what he is doing if a student needs his help and that is a testament to his character,” Hovind said.

A short documentary about his journey and contribution to the college was created as an extra farewell gift. It featured interviews with friends and colleagues giving their thoughts on how he paved their future touched their lives.

“I’ve been so lucky to make a living doing something I love. I couldn’t have asked for a better career and better friends,” Petros said.
Following the ceremony, a red carpet awaited the winners for press photos and interviews. Espino encourages all aspiring filmmakers to submit as early as possible for next year’s student film festival. For more information visit the Film Collective in San Gabriel 328.