Students Filming the Fantastic

Stephanie Thara



2015 Media Arts Festival Winners

The Rosebud Award winners and finalists of the 24th Annual CSU Media Arts Festival.

Lights, camera, action! CSU Summer Arts welcomed students from across the system to enhance and showcase their media talents at the 24th annual CSU Media Arts Festival on November 8. The festival is one of the CSU’s many leading-edge activities that prepare future media moguls for workforce success by offering access to the biggest names in Hollywood and helping students enhance their talents.

Hosted for the first time at Cal State L.A., CSU media students had an opportunity to participate in a professional competition where they received peer and critical review. The festival also featured a networking event where student artists were able to meet one-on-one with seasoned professionals in the media and entertainment industries, as well connect with other students who may become colleagues in the future.

This year, 30 finalists were chosen from 170 entries received from 14 CSU campuses. First place winners—who were chosen by CSU faculty and industry professionals—were honored for their accomplishments with $500-$1,000 in cash prizes. The finalists’ films were screened at Cal State L.A., where the festival offered the audience a special opportunity to cast their votes for who they thought had the best film.

The Ballerina - Audience Choice“Winning audience’s choice is a huge honor,” said Morgan Sandler, a Cal State L.A. student and winner of the Audience Choice Award. “The fact that we could captivate an audience using solely the power of music is a great achievement.”

Since its inception in 1991, the Media Arts Festival has provided more than 4,000 CSU students with a unique learning opportunity to present their work for critical review by industry professionals. Students studying film, video and new media are able to gain first-hand feedback and foster relationships with industry professionals, which, in many cases, lead to job opportunities.

In addition to receiving input and making connections that prepare students to succeed in entertainment and other media industries, students are able to tap the expertise of faculty, staff and fellow students.  The campus department who sponsors the films works closely with each aspiring filmmaker to help them enhance their existing talents and develop new skills to produce the stunning works of art.

“Putting this film together was such a team effort,” said Sandler. “From our faculty who believed in us, nurtured us and pushed us until there were no more boundaries, to our family members—including my wife—who helped cast the talent for the film, the support that we received was incredible. “

The 2014 CSU Media Arts Festival Rosebud Award winners include:

  • Best in Show, Documentary: Ya Gao, of Cal State L.A., for her documentary, “Thai Elephant Home.”
  • Audience Choice: Erik Boccio and Morgan Sandler, of Cal State L.A., for their music video, “The Ballerina.”
  • Animation: Megan Hart and Megan Lawton, of San José State, for “End of Vine.”
  • Experimental: Nicholas Morelli, of Cal State Long Beach, for “Story of Your Life.”
  • Interactive: Adam Webber, of CSU Channel Islands, for
  • Music Video: Yadi Zhao, of Cal State L.A., for “Horse Tears.”
  • Narrative: Viki Lopez, of Cal State Long Beach, for “Emotional Coup.”
  • Television: Santiago Calogero, of Cal State Long Beach, for “Powerpack 11200 – Powermax.”
  • Feature Screenplay: Michael Quintana, of San José State, for “White Rabbit.”
  • Short Screenplay: Sandra Held, of CSU Northridge, for “Carl’s Day Off.”