SBIFF’s 10-10-10 Films Earn a 10 for Creativity

Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Educational Mentorship Program Takes on a Climate Crisis Theme

Student filmmakers stand onstage at the 10-10-10 presentation | Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

A refreshing look at filmmaking from a young point-of-view, Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 10-10-10 initiative is also one of the highlights of the festival’s educational mission. The program provides filmmaking mentors for ten high school and ten college students for a five-month program which then results in ten films to be screened during the Film Festival. 

This year’s crop of shorts — themed around the climate crisis — showcased the work of 20 high school and college students (in addition to their many friends and family members who were enlisted into the process), with winners from a competitive application process paired into writer-director teams since October. 

The overall quality of all of the films was impressive, especially when SBIFF Education Manager Claire Waterhouse shared at the end of the screening that all of the work had been done on iPhones. Students worked with teams of professional mentors, including program directors Guy Smith and Mimi Armstrong deGruy; screenwriting mentors Russ Brown, Josh Conviser, Prudence Fraser, Kate Juergens, Jeff King, Paul Kurta, Perry Lang, Glenn Leopold, Joe Medjuck, and Robert Sternin; visual effects mentor Leslie Ekker; casting mentor Olivia Harris; directing mentors James Read, Tracy Trotter, Judy Trotter, and Leslie Zemeckis; sound mentor; David Schneiderman, and producing mentor Sascha Schneider.

Claire Waterhouse and Adam Thomas (C) presents the 10-10-10 awards to Olivia Miller, Malcolm Tur Kwee Lauren Bartling and Shane Rockenstein | Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

In addition, this year the program added an alumni mentor group of past students from the 10-10-10 program, including Quinnolyn Benson-Yates, Josh Bevan, Leah Bleich, Will Hahn, and Julia Kupiec.

A jury selected winners of the competition: Olivia Miller, screenwriter in the high school category; Shane Rockenstein Carlson, screenwriter in the college category; Malcolm Tircuit, director in the high school category; and Lauren Bartling, director in the college category. Each of the four winners were given a year’s pass to attend films with a plus one, at the Riviera Theatre, which SBIFF operates.

 The 10-10-10 films were:

High School Films

Turning The Tide
Director: Sheena Rock  (Santa Barbara High School)

Some familiar sites like the Courthouse flavored this flashy film with the logline: “Vampires now reign supreme over the day as smoke envelops the sky and blots out the sun. A young vampire must now make a decision: leave his best friend, a human, to die, or face the wrath of the Vampire King.”

The Green Machine
Director: Malcolm Tircuit (Santa Barbara High School)
Screenwriter: Sofia Parisotto (Bishop Garcia Diego High School)

My favorite line of this witty submarine story, as three sailors are about to crash onto the coast of Santa Barbara was, “if the crash doesn’t kill us, the cost of living will” in this film that tells the story of three friends living in a submarine and roaming the sea years after the collapse of civilization.

Malcolm Tircuit receives the 10-10-10 award | Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

God’s Green Thumb
Director: Maddox Henry (Oak Park Independent School)
Screenwriter: Olivia Miller (San Marcos High School)

An optimistic, feel good movie about a high school student’s meeting with God, who she ultimately convinces that the planet is worth saving.

My Hero
Director and Screenwriter: Siena Kelly (Santa Barbara High School)

An adventure story about a teenage girl who is mysteriously transported to a post-apocalyptic future ravaged by climate change where she meets a lonely boy, Caleb, who offers to help her get home.

College Films

Attack of the Macro-Plastic Monster
Director: Alejandro Flores (UCSB)
Screenwriter: Shane Rockenstein Carlson (UCSB)

A humorous look at consumerism and consumption, starting with college roommates who live in a disgusting mess of an apartment full of plastic trash. One of them is studying biochemistry, and develops a bacterial enzyme that can help digest plastics, but before she has a chance to test it, chaos ensues.

Lauren Bartling receives the 10-10-10 award | Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

Until Morning
Director: Lauren Bartling (Santa Barbara City College)
Screenwriter: Caleb Cavazos (UCSB)

Luna and Leo navigate young adulthood while living in a dystopian future where the sun’s radiation is lethal.

One Last Breath
Director and Screenwriter: Joseph Buzzella (UCSB)

A lonesome man has seemingly lost all hope until one day, a mysterious figure in a gas mask begins to stalk him, prompting him to partake on a journey of self reflection and change. 

Director: Asiana Weddington (Santa Barbara City College)
Screenwriter: Alexander ‘Zane’ Stull (Santa Barbara City College)

In a world ravaged by climate change, a mother and daughter seek asylum at a far away shelter. But on their way, they befriend an old man who offers his guidance, only to discover he needs their guidance too. 

Make A Change
Director: Nicholas Vinan (Santa Barbara City College)
Screenwriter: Zhen Smalls (Santa Barbara City College)

An examination of how radical activism brings out both the best and worst in people, as we follow the journey of a man who joins an environmentalist group with questionable methods. 

Leyla Bultan (Dos Pueblos High School), Sarah Conviser (San Marcos High School), and Bodhi Etz (Santa Barbara High School) were also part of the program this year.

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