A 21-minute comedic film on Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) most well-known alumnus captured two awards for senior film and electronic-arts major Joshua Hoh at this year’s CSU Media Arts Festival, which recently took place at Cal State Fullerton’s Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.
Titled Steven Spielberg and the Return to Film School, Hoh’s film took first-place honors in the narrative-film category, winning a Rosebud Award and $500, plus $250 for CSULB’s Film and Electronic Arts Department. Then, the film was announced as the winner of the “Audience Choice Award” at the competition, collecting Hoh another $500 for him and another $250 for the department.
Now in its 23rd year, the Media Arts Festival gives film, video and interactive-media students from the 23-campus CSU system an opportunity to present their work for critical review and recognition. Students compete in nine categories: animation, documentary, experimental, interactive, music video, narrative, television, feature screenplay and short screenplay.
A panel of CSU faculty and industry professionals reviewed 154 entries representing 16 CSU campuses, from which 37 finalists from 10 different campuses were selected. The student finalists were chosen by panels of CSU faculty members, and the Rosebud Award-winning works (first-place finishers) were selected by a panel of media-industry judges.
“I was very excited when they announced our film as the winner of both the Best Narrative Film and the Audience Favorite,” said Hoh, who will complete his bachelor’s degree with a minor in music in December. “Since we were the last two awards to be announced, it was a relief when they finally called us. It was a great feeling to accept my first awards ever for a film and to represent CSULB.”
According to Hoh, Steven Spielberg and the Return to Film School is based on the true story of the legendary director’s return to CSULB in 2001. It follows Spielberg as he ventures back to the film school he once dropped out of and finally earns the degree that he began some 33 years earlier.
“I have pursued the creation of this film over the past three years because I believed that there was an important story to tell,” Hoh pointed out. “Our five-day production shoot in January was a very intense and difficult miracle to pull off. We worked with hundreds of CSULB faculty, student filmmakers and professional actors to prepare for the 20 locations, very tight shooting schedule, and dozens of cast and crew necessary for the project.
“Following production, I raced to complete the film with the help of my composer. And to top it all off, we had the pleasure of recording the final three-minute piece of the film with the CSULB Symphony Orchestra, made up of 80 of CSULB’s finest musicians. As a music minor myself, it was truly a dream come true to bring the film and music departments together for this project.
“I will forever be changed and grateful for the gifts that my peers gave to bring this little dream of mine to life, and I hope that the Long Beach community will take pride in what our school and students have to offer.”
Hoh, however, wasn’t the only CSULB entry to win an award. Senior film major Viki Lopez won the Rosebud Award and $500 for her first-place finish in the short screenplay category for her submission titled Emotional Coup. Lopez called her winning entry an “eight-page screenplay about not letting your emotions get the best of you.”
“I only won one award, but I was not expecting it at all. I went in with an expectation of getting fourth place, and each time they announced a script that wasn’t mine my shock and excitement grew,” said Lopez, who will finish her bachelor’s degree in May. “I was so happy that I won and so flattered. My face hurt from smiling so much, but I couldn’t stop.”
Finally, CSULB student Mark Ashmore took second place in the short screenplay category for his script titled Bar Again.