Chaminade Film Festival 2019

By Karen Ann Thumm, Film Program Director

Our annual Chaminade Film Festival celebrated some of the best work of Chaminade’s talented filmmakers on Saturday, February 23. Twenty-nine finalists were selected to be showcased on the big screen in The Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts. Most of these films were produced by film students while enrolled in film classes. Each year, nearly a thousand short film projects are created by students in all seven levels of film here at Chaminade. The festival is only a sampling of the best work the students have created during the previous twelve months, and all of them have been posted to the Chaminade Film YouTube Channel.

These films are so beautiful, personal, and artistic that it was undoubtedly challenging for our panel of expert judges to make their decisions about the best film in each category. The awards this year were decided by Producer Chris Cheramie, Actress/Singer/Dancer Maria Louisa Figura, Cinematographer Artur Gubin, and Marketing Executive at Panavision Camera Systems Sean Jenkins. The awards are an important part of the festival and they would not have been possible without the participation of these four people, some of whom are members of our own Chaminade family.

The evening concluded with an award ceremony celebrating the best film in a variety of categories and also recognizing outstanding achievements in filmmaking. One very special award, Chaminade Filmmaker, is awarded each year to a Junior who excels in many ways as a filmmaker and artist. The recipient receives a one-week scholarship to the New York Film Academy summer program and will have the opportunity to film on the Universal backlot this summer. This year’s Chaminade Filmmaker was presented to Luca Beninati, who is an exceptionally talented writer and cinematographer. Luca is currently a student in Film V, and he is also the president of Chaminade Studios, the extracurricular club for filmmakers and photographers.


Next of Kin created by Co-Writer/Director Aidan Hall
and Co-Writer Editor Harry Bebejian

Spags created by Bella Spagnoli

Quest created by Writer/Director Cameron Han,
Producer/Cinematographer Matthew Stewart, and Editor Sarah Tang

Ingenuity created by Lexie Pang

Atlas created by Director Matthew Stewart, Writer/Editor Carter Skyers
Cinematographer Alexander Kagan and Producer Dylan Turbow

Outstanding Achievement: Original Concept
Pushing Up Daisies Created by Director/Co-Editor Montse Irwin-Azpiazu and Cinematographer/Co-Editor Luca Beninati

Outstanding Achievement Production Design
Underwater by Writer/Director Montse Irwin-Azpiazu
and Cinematographer Ali Watson

Outstanding Achievement Screenwriting
David Torres for Challenge Accepted
(from a story by the 2018 NFFTY team: David Torres, Aidan Hall,
Ali Watson, Matthew Stewart, and Carter Skyers)

Outstanding Achievement Cinematography
Anna O’Rourke for Bare
created with Jacob Cassar and Bella Katab

Outstanding Achievement Cinematography
Ali Watson for Underwater
created with Montse Irwin-Azpiazu

Outstanding Achievement: Editing
Pauline Manlucu for My Life

Outstanding Achievement: Editing
Carter Skyers for Challenge Accepted

Official Audience Selection
Quest created by Writer/Director Cameron Han,
Producer/Cinematographer Matthew Stewart, and Editor Sarah Tang