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‘Spin’ thesis revolves into award-winning short film

Screenplay by CSULA student garners Rosebud Award at CSU Media Arts Festival

Additional honors

The following CSULA student artists were also honored for their work at the CSU Media Arts Festival:

* Kaitlin Vracin-Harrell (Art major): fourth place for Fedora
* Thomas Salonga (Art major): fifth place for Chiarosquirrel

Feature Screenplays
* Jose Guerrero (Master of Fine Arts): third place for Retribution
* Charles Degelman (Master of Fine Arts): fourth place for No Deposit, No Return

Music Video
* Ari Linn (Television, Film & Media Studies major): third place for Sweet Anniversary

CSU Media Arts Festival

The annual festival showcases exceptional student film and video projects throughout the California State University system’s 23 campuses. Cash awards were given for the first-place Rosebud Awards in each category, and also to the CSU campus department of each winning entrant.

To choose the finalists, a panel of distinguished CSU faculty and industry professionals reviewed 162 entries before selecting 39 outstanding pieces from the 10 CSU campuses that participated. The categories the students are competing in are: animation; documentary; experimental; interactive; music video; narrative; television; feature screenplay; and short screenplay.

For a list of the 2011 festival winners, go to

still image from film.
‘Spin’ production still: (l-r) Cameron Kawanana-Koa DelaCerna and Skyler Aiden.

Written for a graduate thesis project, Spin—a short screenplay by CSULA student Sharon Williams—rounded up the coveted Rosebud Award and a $500 cash prize at the 2011 CSU Media Arts Festival awards competition.

Williams, who is working toward her Master of Fine Arts in Television, Film and Theatre, described her award-winning work as “…a youth of color coming of age film.”

The story is about the whirlwind path of friendship. It follows a 28-year-old, successful sports agent who returns to his high school reunion and sees his former friend and track teammate Robert Bell. He flashes back to his freshman year in high school when the two boys were playing a game of spin the bottle with three female classmates.

In response to receiving the award, Williams said, “It feels great to receive such a high honor in my last year of graduate school. It tops off three challenging years of honing my craft, and celebrates the mentoring I received from my classmates and professors.”

still image from film.
‘Spin’ production still: (l-r) Kieran H. Roberts, Brandon Massey and Jermaine Alexander.

She continued, “…to receive this recognition makes me proud because I know that I am telling a story that needs to be told. This award is for all those involved in making the film possible.”

“Not only is this a terrific script, it is also a script for Williams’ thesis film, which is currently in production,” said graduate adviser Alan Bloom, professor of television and film at CSULA. “I am pleased that Williams was recognized by the CSU with this systemwide award.”

Bloom added, “She also demonstrates a real talent in pedagogy, having served as a teaching assistant at CSULA.”

The Media Arts Festival—which took place Nov. 12 at Cal State Fullerton—gives talented film, video and interactive media students from the 23-campus California State University system an opportunity to present their work for critical review and recognition.

“The Media Arts Festival is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talent that is cultivated at Cal State Los Angeles,” said Williams. “We [the University] are located in the heart of the entertainment capital, so raising visibility for the Television, Film and Media Studies Department is critical to the success of CSULA students and alumni.”

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Last Update: 01/12/2016