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KCET’s Fine Cut Festival of Films Announces 2023 Student Finalists and Episode Schedule (EXCLUSIVE)

Los Angeles-based pubcaster KCET has revealed its student finalists and episode line up for the 24th season of Fine Cut Festival of Films, an annual showcase and celebration of Southern California’s young filmmakers. The series of six, one-hour blocks on KCET will broadcast collections of short films from the student finalists beginning at 10 p.m. PT on Sept. 22 through Oct. 27.

This year’s finalists were narrowed down from over 350 short films submissions from more than 40 SoCal schools, including the University of Southern California, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, the American Film Institute and the California Institute of the Arts. Selected films included animated shorts about cowboys to documentaries about Latino and Latina representation in Hollywood.

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Of these finalists, three winners will be awarded prizes in the animation, narrative and documentary categories, along with one winner of the Jack Larson Southern California Student Filmmaker Award. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Sept. 13 hosted by Variety’s Michael Schneider and Angelique Jackson.

The panel of nine judges who helped select the 2023 Fine Cut finalists and winners includes industry professionals James Lee Hernandez, Kelly Younger, Elizabeth Ito, Michael Herrera, Alison Kelly, Yemisi Brookes, Karissa Valencia, Everett Downing and Tina Mabry.

See below for a trailer of this season of Fine Cut Festival of Films and the program’s 2023 episode schedule.

“Where Do I Fit?” — Sept. 22

Films: “Under Refurbishment” by Griffin Douglass of Biola; “A Piece of Myself” directed by Vivienne Ayres, Audrey Shuppert, Nidhi Kumar of Chapman; “Lift” directed by Abraham Amkpa of NYFA; and “Sports Day” directed by Jessica Wu of USC.

“Distance Between Us” — Sept. 29

Films: “A Roadside Banquet” directed by Peiqi Peng of AFI; “Kilig!” directed by Kacey Layson of USC; “Uncle” directed by Jun Hee Han of UCLA; “The Bowl” directed by Si Yi Lee of CalArts; and “A Train to Nowhere” directed by Zoé Lacau of CalArts.

“Claim My Place” — Oct. 6

Films: “Bad Hombrewood” directed by Guillermo Casarin of USC: “Un Día Mas Un Día Menos” directed by Audrey Saca of CSUN; “Shred” directed by Giovanna Trujillo of CSUN; “Nido de mi Vida” directed by Ivy Gonzalez of CSULB; and “Cactus and the Kid” directed by Effren Villanueva of Woodbury.

“Finding Good in the Bad” — Oct. 13

Films: “The Basics of Love” directed by Joshua Nathan of AFI; “Rigs to Reefs” directed by Callie Mejia of LMU; “Pipe Dreams” directed by Christina Woo of CalArts; “Form N-400” directed by Martha Rodriguez of USC; “My Mothers’ Daughter” directed by Samantha Iniguez of CSULB; and “Resilience” directed by Yoonhyung Choi of CalArts.

“Creative Expression” — Fri., Oct. 20
Films: “Danceable” directed by Kelsey McGee of USC; “Don’t Blink” by Kathleen Ngo of CSUN, “Adam’s Song” directed by Nathan Xia of LMU; and “Lunch Hour” directed by Mina Chacko of CalArts.

“Down a Dark Road” — Oct. 27

Films: “Stalled” directed by Michael Lazovsky of AFI; “Seraphim” directed by Oscar Ramos of USC; “The Borrower’s Hypnotist” directed by Michelle Tang of CalArts; “A Dire Strait” directed by Liang-Chun Lin of Chapman; “Occupied” directed by Liam Fink of Cal State Fullerton; and “Solar Body” directed by Baxter Wallace of LCAD.

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