Past Film Festival Winner Return to Cal Lutheran

Alex Steinhauer, Reporter

The Preus-Brandt Forum at California Lutheran University was transformed into a movie theatre for previous winners of the Cal Lutheran Student Film Festival on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

This is the first time Cal Lutheran had alumni visit to present their winning short films to other students.

“I thought it would be really cool to get people really interested in the films that students are making by bringing the alumni back, who have won awards in the last 25 years, and have them show their films and then sort of talk about a career path in film,” Director of the Film and Television Program David Grannis said.

Each film shown at the event was a maximum of 20 minutes long, and completely created by alumni.

Alum Fernando Raigoza Jr. directed the short film “Forget Me Not” from 2012. Raigoza said being able to tell a story is one of his favorite parts about filmmaking. 

“It is funny for me because it feels like I never left, but at the same time I don’t remember any of these people,” Raigoza said. 

Alum Avid Eghbali directed and edited the short film “Aggressive Species.”

Eghbali shared some of his ideas with students, emphasizing that actors are more important than the camera. Eghbali also said he had great resources while attending Cal Lutheran. 

“We didn’t really have a film program, but I made friends out of the people that were into film, and that kind of became the film program,” Eghbali said.

Alum Frankie Manes acted, directed, produced and wrote the short film “Carma.”

“At the time I did it, it was such a first for me. I had never taken on that much responsibility and put myself in such a leadership role on a set,” Manes said. 

Manes said he loves coming back to Cal Lutheran, and giving people information about the industry.

After the short films were presented, students were able to ask past winners about their films and the film industry. 

“[What] I enjoyed the most was seeing what the Cal Lutheran alumni did when they were here, and then hearing about [how] this has helped them develop into who they are now,” junior Bodhi Schulz said.

According to his twin brother, junior Kai Schulz, both write, direct and act in their own films. The twins said they have a lot of fun making them. 

“It is really great to also be actors, because we can either wait for an audition or you write the role you want to be in, which is really what we do,” Kai Schulz said. 

Grannis said he hopes students spread the word about the event to other students.

“I think the momentum will eventually pick up on this fall series. Since the school is recruiting for students interested in film, there will be a steady increase in film students attending Cal Lutheran,” Grannis said.