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FINE CUT Festival of Films News from KCET

kcet fine cut film festival

Southern California’s home for award-winning public media programming, announced today that the annual FINE CUT Festival of Films is now accepting submissions from local film school students. The festival encourages promising filmmakers who are currently enrolled in Southern California film schools to submit short films (25 minutes or less) in the categories of Documentary, Animation and Narrative for consideration for prizes as well as to be included in a series of one-hour broadcast episodes airing and streaming on KCET and this fall. The deadline to submit is June 5, 2020 at

The FINE CUT Festival of Films is KCET’s flagship program showcasing local student filmmaking, with

funding made possible by The Bridges / Larson Foundation. In 2019, a variety of prize packages valued between $2,500 and $10,000 were awarded to the winners with one honoree selected as The Jack Larson Southern California Student Filmmaker Award commemorating FINE CUT founder Jack Larson’s commitment to fostering new generations of filmmakers in Southern California. The recipient of this award will receive the opportunity to be a part of the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker showcase at the Cannes International Film Festival in May of 2021 thanks to a partnership with The American Pavilion, the epicenter of American hospitality and communication at the world’s largest film market.


kcet fine cut film festival


Top films will be evaluated by a select, to-be-announced panel of judges which last year consisted of eight esteemed experts that included film/TV producer Effie T. Brown (Dear White People, Project Greenlight), actress/writer/composer Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Homecoming, Without a Trace, Broadchurch), story artist Michael Herrera (The Angry Birds the Movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet), Chief Film Critic/KCET Must See Movies Host Pete Hammond, Variety Senior Editor/KCRW “Screengrab” Host Mike Schneider, International Documentary Association’s (IDA) Director of Programming and Policy Claire Aguilar, documentary filmmaker Kimmie Kim (Live from New York!, Songwriter)  and animator/writer/producer Van Partible (Pete the Cat, Johnny Bravo). Honorees in each of the three categories and The Jack Larson Award recipient will be awarded during a scheduled September awards ceremony/screening event hosted by select members from the panel of judges. The event will be followed by a day-long workshop where the student filmmakers will get to work with entertainment industry professionals/potential mentors with the hopes of advancing their careers.


The festival is a tribute to FINE CUT founder Jack Larson who was an American actor, librettist, screenwriter and producer who may be best known for his portrayal of photographer/reporter Jimmy Olsen in the 1952-1958 television series “Adventures of Superman.” In the late 1990s Larson approached Southern California’s KCET with the idea of creating a student film series that would provide talented students with the opportunity to have their short films selected for television broadcast. Larson understood how difficult it was for young filmmakers to get broad exposure for their work because, typically, student work is only seen at special screenings and film festivals. Larson thought that public television was an excellent platform for providing critical visibility to emerging filmmakers.


Last year, the online submission process garnered over 400 shorts submitted from over 40 Southern California schools. 57% of the 2019 finalists were female directors while 57% had a director that was a person of color.


RULES: Student filmmakers must be at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled or have been enrolled in a Southern California School January 2018 to present. Films completed prior to January 1, 2018, are not eligible for consideration for FINE CUT. Films that have been submitted for FINE CUT consideration in previous years are not eligible for submission for 2020 FINE CUT consideration. All short films selected by the expert judging panel will be part of one of the four one-hour broadcast episodes and all accepted shorts are eligible for awards in the Competition. Short Films must have a total running time of 25 minutes or less, including credits. Shorts may not have been released on DVD, broadcast on television or the Internet to still remain eligible for our Shorts Competition. Read the full rules and regulations at


Join the conversation on social media using #FineCut and #KCET

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