Chaminade Student Wins at Calabasas Film Festival


Jareth Kirkham is the Best Screenwriting Award winner in the Student Film Program at the Calabasas Film Festival.

Jareth Kirkham ’18 took home the prize for Best Screenwriting in the Student Film Program at the 3rd annual Calabasas Film Festival. His narrative short film Incognito, a class assignment produced for Film II last spring, tells the story of a boy who believes he has witnessed an alien spaceship land in his neighborhood. The award was one of only five prizes given for exceptional achievement in student filmmaking.

The 20 films selected for the Student Film Program on Sunday, September 25 came from more than 100 submissions from area students. To be considered for the Student Program in the festival, students must be currently enrolled in one of these schools: Chaminade College Preparatory, Viewpoint School, Calabasas High School, Agoura High School, Louisville High School, Oaks Christian School, or El Camino Real Charter High School.

Ten of the 20 films selected for the Student Program were created by current Chaminade students: Cole Hanson ’17, Natalie Rowland ’17, Isabelle Bryan ’17, Dylan Lusetich ’17, Andy Dyer ’18, Cooper North ’18, Jareth Kirkham ’18, Louis Gerny ’18, Brendan Barlow ’18, Asa Nam ’18, Claire Rider ’18, Rebecca Steinberg ’18, Luke Macias ’18, Nick Polydoros ’18, Stephanie Ciceri ’18, Kyle Chapman ’18, Thomas Kurganov ’18, Hayden Smart ’18, Carter Williams ’18, Mike Mariano ’18, and Nick Sarullo ’17.

In addition to writing the script for Incognito, Kirkham also directed it. The film was produced by Andy Dyer, who accepted the award on Jareth’s behalf at the festival. Thomas Kurganov was the cinematographer, and Stephanie Ciceri edited the film, which can be screened on the Chaminade Film Program YouTube Channel.

The Calabasas Film Festival ran for five days, beginning on Wednesday evening, September 21 and continuing through the weekend. More information on the festival can be found at

Chaminade Film Festival

By Karen Thumm

Young filmmakers deserve to have an audience, and the annual Chaminade Film Festival provided just this opportunity. Twenty-two exceptional films were screened in the Tutor Center on Saturday, February 9and many were selected for achievement awards in the ceremony that followed.

Most of these films were produced by film students enrolled in film classes and students from grades 9 through 12 were recognized for their outstanding achievements in everything from original concept and screenwriting to cinematography and editing. All of the films demonstrated a great love for storytelling and a growing understanding of cinematic language.

This festival provided a showcase for the finished works of art. As the film teacher and club moderator, I am blessed to see the creative process that leads to these finished pieces. Our classroom workshop environment fosters a sense of freedom and encourages risk taking, both of which are necessary to create great works of art.

The students who participated in the festival share a tremendous passion for film – for seeing films, talking about films, and making films.  It is common for the film students – both in class and through the club – to offer to help each other with their films, to step in and hold a boom pole for an hour for two, to agree to act even though they don’t really want to be on screen. It’s common because they love filmmaking, and because the joy of making films has fostered this sense of community.

I would like to thank all of my students for sharing this enthusiasm for the creative process and for sharing so much of themselves – with me, with each other, and ultimately with their audience. This festival was a testament to their diligence and talent, and also evidence of their passion and sense of true Chaminade family spirit.

Best Documentary
Desiree Terani and Breeana Kovelman for “Chaminade Fine Arts: The Experience of Expression”

Best Narrative
Aaron Jacob for “Mental Intervention”

Best Experimental
Conner DeMita for “Solitaire”

Best Narrative without Dialogue
Chase Fury for “Because”

Outstanding Achievement: Original Concept
Griffin Davies for “Realities” and Liz Holland for “No Evil”

Outstanding Achievement: Screenplay
Austin Ferreira for “Starboy”

Outstanding Achievement: Writing and Directing
Liz Holland and Austin Ferreira for “Monologue Man”

Outstanding Achievement: Cinematography
Shivan Lala for “Chaminade Music: Discovering a Culture”and James Hribal for “Just Go For It”

Outstanding Cinematography: Best Use of Natural Light
Conner DeMita for “Exposure”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Trevor James Berger for “Conroy” in “Mental Intervention”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Yolanda Holland for “Mrs. Albright” in “Starboy”

Best Actor in a Lead Role
Richy Storrs for “Monologue Man”

Best Actress in a Lead Role
Ariel Lopez for “Five”

Outstanding Achievement:  Production Design
Liz Holland for “All That I Can Think About” and Griffin Davies for “Realities”

Outstanding Achievement:  Original Score
Aaron Jacob for “Mental Intervention”

Outstanding Achievement:  Adapted Score
Austin Ferreira, director for “You’re So Cool”

Outstanding Achievement:  Editing
Amir Zolfaghari for “Paris”

Official Audience Selection
Cole Zetz, Peter Manfredonia, and Vincent Bredice for “Hurt”