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The Central Coast Film Society Student Film & Media Arts Competition is an opportunity to celebrate Central Coast students by showcasing their talents and helping them build the necessary skills for submitting to other festivals.  

“We are thrilled to be able to bring this fun student showcase and to give local creators a platform to show their creative works and reward them for their talents,” said Sarah Risley, board president of the film society. 

Submissions opened March 1 and close April 21. Those who make the finalist round will be notified by email on May 15, and the in-person event will take place May 21 at Allan Hancock College’s Film Screening Room.  

Student submissions are accepted in all categories, through the competition’s FilmFreeway festival page:

“Everything is free for the students and the audience. We want to make sure that their outstanding work is recognized and rewarded, and we want that opportunity to be given to everyone regardless of where on the Central Coast they are from,” added Daniel Lahr, executive director for the film society. 

The challenge covers all aspects of film and media arts, including: 

  • Filmmaking 
  • Screenwriting/Creative Writing
  • Photography/Cinematography
  • Technical Achievements (Editing, Animation, Special FX)

All students who submit their films or creative works will receive constructive feedback from the Central Coast Film Society board members. Finalists selected will have their work reviewed by a panel of judges from the industry and academia to earn Awards for Excellence and available $250 scholarships for each category. The CCFS Board will grant an additional $100 scholarship to the creative work that best captures the spirit of the Central Coast. *Additional scholarships may be available, pending sponsors and individual donations:

“Above all, we know that the students who participate will receive invaluable insights, constructive feedback, and encouragement from this exceptional panel of judges,” Risley said. 

Rules for the competition are that all the creative submissions must be from high school students residing in the Central Coast, specifically Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. Creative submissions must fall within G, PG or PG-13 ratings (films outside of those ranges will be disqualified); and all submissions must be available for public display (on-line or future in-person event). Each student may submit only one creative work in a particular category.For more information and to submit visit or


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