22nd Annual KCET Fine Cut Festival Reveals Short Film Finalists


Los Angeles public broadcaster KCET has announced the student finalists for its 22nd annual Fine Cut Film Festival, which will air in four one-hour episodes starting Wednesday, September 29 at 10 p.m.

A collection of shorts by student filmmakers from Southern California, the Fine Cut finalists are up for prizes in the Documentary, Animated and Narrative Shorts categories, as well as the Jack Larson Southern California Student Filmmaker Award, which rewards a student’s strength as a storyteller.

In addition to being shown on KCET, the Fine Cut Festival will also air nationwide on Link TV starting Thursday, September 30 at 11 p.m., and other films will air on kcet.org/finecut.

The jury for this year’s competition included Michael Schneider, associate editor of Variety TV, director Varda Bar-Kar (“Fandango at the Wall”, “Big Voice”), director Emily Cohen Ibañez (PBS “Fruits of Labor “,), screenwriter and producer Weiko Lin (” 100 Days “,” Miki “), producer and editor Tanya Meillier (” Gather “,” Capitalism: A Love Story “), screenwriter Kelly Younger (” Muppets Now “,” Ralph Breaks the Internet “), actress Karimah Westbrook (The CW’s” All American “), artistic director of Outfest Fusion and Outfest Now Faridah Gbadamosi and Kimberly Dennison of Gaumont Television, senipr VP / creative executive, animation and family.

Short films had to be 25 minutes or less. The winners will be announced at a private awards ceremony at the end of September.

Over 350 films were submitted in April and May by filmmakers enrolled in more than 30 schools in Southern California. The latest films selected included themes of climate change, mental health and LGBTQ relationships. Almost 70% of the finalist filmmakers were people of color and almost 70% of the finalists’ films were directed or produced by a woman.

Here is the calendar of the 2021 Fine Cut finalists:

“Life Disrupted” – Wednesday September 29 on KCET at 10 pm and Thursday September 30 at 11 pm on Link TV

A 94-year-old Glacier National Park ranger looks back on his life in “Your Friend, Ranger Doug,” a Chapman Univ documentary. “Well, it wasn’t meant to be like that,” Occidental College documents young couples during the pandemic. UCLA’s documentary “The Beautiful Colors of Jeremy Sicily-Kira” follows along with CalArts animated shorts “Wolf and Cub” and “JUMBO”, as well as CSULB’s “Lamppost”.

Filmmakers: “Your Friend, Ranger Doug”, -co-directed by Claire Jantzen / Sara Rose Nell – Chapman University / “Well, it wasn’t meant to be that way” – directed by Naomi Miyamoto – Occidental College / ” The Beautiful Colors of Jeremy Sicile-Kira ”- directed by Aaron Lemle– UCLA /“ Wolf and Cub ”- directed by Marvin Bynoe– CalArts /“ JUMBO ”- directed by Jennifer Nie– CalArts /“ Lamppost ”- directed by Chinh Mai– Cal State Long Beach

“Games, competition, rivalry” – Wednesday October 6 on KCET at 10 pm and Thursday October 7 at 11 pm on Link TV

An overzealous man obsessed with a competitive game show risks it all in “American Champion,” a Chapman University dark comedy. A former Olympian examines the mysterious “Target Panic” phenomenon in a CSULB documentary. CalArts animations “FRANKIE THE HOT DOG: Gymnastics Star” and “Hopper’s Day” follow with the CSULB drama “I Didn’t Mean It” and the Chapman University documentary “Abuelita’s Puzzle”.

Filmmakers: “American Champion”, – directed by Jimmy Alcorn – Chapman University / “Target Panic” – directed by Madeleine Braun – Cal State Long Beach / “FRANKIE THE HOT DOG: Gymnastics Star” – directed by Lee Witz – CalArts / “Hopper’s Day ”- directed by Jingqi Zhang– CalArts /“ I Didn’t Mean It ”- directed by Adriana Morales – Cal State Long Beach /“ Abuelita’s Puzzle ”- directed by Christian Hurley – Chapman University

“What Went Wrong” – Wednesday October 13 on KCET at 10 p.m. and Thursday October 14 at 11 p.m. on Link TV

When a freshman inadvertently witnesses an intoxicated encounter, she is forced to investigate whether it was consensual in UCLA’s “Cassandra.” After adopting a girl from the orphanage, a Chinese lesbian couple are forced to search for the meaning of family in USC drama “When the Tide Rises”. Followed by “Parallel Barking”, “Stolen” and “Beyond the Drama”, animations by CalArts.

Filmmakers: “Cassandra”, – directed by Lia Lenart – UCLA / “When the Tide Rises” – directed by Alex Jiang – USC / “Parallel Barking” – directed by Christina Woo – CalArts / “Stolen”. –Directed by Christina Giordano– CalArts / “Beyond the Drama” –Directed by Siti Lu– CalArts

“It Shaped Me” – Wednesday October 20 on KCET at 10 p.m. and Thursday October 21 at 11 p.m. on Link TV

USC’s documentary “Not Just a Name” explores the racial stigma and prejudice experienced by African Americans with unique sounding names. A high school student must choose to leave a physically abusive father or stay to protect her siblings in “Paz,” a Chapman University drama. The CSULB documentary “The Home I Never Had” and “Il Bello Di Nonna”, an animated short from the University of Woodbury, will follow.

Filmmakers: “Not Just a Name”, – directed by De’Onna “Tree” Young-Stephens – USC / “Paz” – directed by Andrew Gutierrez – Chapman University / “The Home I Never Had” – co-directed by Jourdan Amen / Yuliana Franco – Cal State Long Beach / “Il Bello Di Nonna” – directed by Lauren Gregorio – Woodbury University

Here’s a promo for this year’s showcase:

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