Finals week for the Santa Barbara teen usually means clearing your schedule and committing every free minute to studying. Not so, though, for the 20 high school and college students selected to compete in this year’s SBIFF 10-10-10 competition. Instead, those students have been spending afternoons, weekends, and long nights prepping for SBIFF’s annual 10-10-10 competition, in which 10 teams (each a filmmaker-screenwriter pair) will each make a 10-minute film during the 10 days of the fest.

I plan to follow the marathon day-by-day as each team fights the clock to finish their film, starting the moment the filmmakers are randomly matched with a scriptwriter on January 25. I’ll be spending a day with each team trekking around town to find the perfect scene, set, and crew, and posting daily reports on progress.

Expect subtlety and talent—these aren’t Twilight types with wobbly cameras. Some have experience on shows like San Marcos’s Royal Report, or are even pursuing a degree. Some, though, are genuine greenhorns who wowed the judges with raw talent. That’s probably what makes these films so great—they’re pure, fresh, and unadulterated in a way no “real” movie could ever be. Follow my reports at


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