SMC Film Program Receives Grant from Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charitable Trust

$30,000 Grant Will Fund Production of Two Short Films by Students in Award-Winning Program

Graphic of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Logo The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)—best known for producing the star-studded Golden Globe Awards—has awarded the Santa Monica College Foundation (SMCF) a $30,000 fellowship grant for the award-winning Santa Monica College Film Production Program. The largest first-time grant awarded to a college by the HFPA, it will fund production expenses for two student films for SMC’s Film 33, “Making the Short Film,” one of the culminating classes for both the Associate of Science Degree in Film Production and Associate of Arts Degree in Film Studies.

August 11, 2017

SANTA MONICA, CA—The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)—best known for producing the star-studded Golden Globe Awards—has awarded the Santa Monica College Foundation (SMCF) a $30,000 fellowship grant for the Santa Monica College Film Production Program. Proceeds from the Golden Globe Awards help fund the HFPA Charitable Trust (HFPA Trust), which has contributed nearly $30 million for more than 25 years to entertainment-related charities and educational opportunities.

A first-time applicant, SMC was one of only five new grant recipients at HFPA’s Annual Grants Banquet on August 2, where $2.8 million in grants went to more than 55 nonprofit organizations and scholarship programs that emphasize diversity and inclusiveness.

“Santa Monica College is very pleased and honored to have our film program be a first-time HFPA recipient,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President. “At the award event, SMC's film program was recognized along with other exceptional programs that work in earnest to prepare up-and-coming filmmakers. Many community college students must overcome overwhelming obstacles to pursue their career goals and dreams, and SMC’s very mission of providing accessible, affordable, top-notch higher education aligns beautifully with the HFPA Charitable Trust’s laudable undertaking.”

The HFPA grant will fund production expenses for two films to be made by students during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters for SMC’s Film 33, “Making the Short Film,” one of the culminating classes for both the Associate of Science Degree in Film Production and Associate of Arts Degree in Film Studies.

“This donation from the HFPA marks our largest first-time grant awarded to a college,” said HFPA President Meher Tatna. “Santa Monica College directly serves the underrepresented students the HFPA aims to provide with equal opportunities to pursue their passion. With the gift of this grant which will go toward the school’s Film Production Program, we look forward to the great accomplishments these aspiring filmmakers will achieve in their bright future.”

Students collaborate on one short film every semester, shooting on location to emulate the professional environment as closely as possible. Three of those short films were accepted into competition in the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase during the Cannes Film Festival ("Solidarity," "Cora," "Spaghetti Romance"), and several others have won awards at international and regional film festivals.

“Unquestionably the biggest challenge for our students has been to raise the money to make these films,” says Salvador Carrasco, Head of SMC’s Film Production Program. “The HFPA grant will allow us to focus on creative issues and devote time to pre-production rather than to arduous crowd-funding campaigns. Our students make films that genuinely have something to say, and this grant is a validation of their talent, hard work, and great attitude. We are incredibly grateful for this invaluable support.”

SMC’s Film Studies Program has been an academic discipline within the Department of Communication/Media Studies for 15 years, and prepares students for transfer to four-year programs. To serve the growing number of students who want to pursue a career track and meet the industry’s rising employment demand, the program was expanded in 2013 to include Film Production.

Students receive hands-on experience, with specialized classes in production, cinematography, screenwriting, editing, and sound design, offering a professional environment with state-of-the-art equipment. They study the art and craft of filmmaking and digital video production for narrative and documentary films, commercials, music videos and various forms of Internet content.

Many SMC students are first-generation—the first in their families to attend college—and the college attracts a diverse student population. In addition to preparation for transfer, the program also provides students with the skills and professional training to apply for entry level employment, at both above-the-line and below-the-line levels.

Experienced and committed faculty and strong partnerships with industry make SMC’s Film Production Program uniquely positioned to address an unmet need for students with talent and promise by offering a high-quality education at a fraction of the cost of most four-year film schools.

The mission of the HFPA's Charitable Trust is to foster education, diversity, and creative expression in art and film through a variety of programs and special grants. Through the annual Grants Banquet, the HFPA continues to provide funds and resources to institutions and people that need it most.

For more information on the HFPA Annual Grants Banquet, visit the HFPA Golden Globes website or read this article on Variety magazine’s website. To learn more about SMC’s Film program, visit the Film program website or email Carrasco_Salvador@smc.edu. Student films are on YouTube under the “Santa Monica College Film Program” channel.

About The Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Founded in the 1940s during World War II, the HFPA was originally comprised of a handful of L.A.-based overseas journalists who sought to bridge the international community with Hollywood, and to provide distraction from the hardships of war through film. Seventy years later, members of the HFPA represent 56 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe® Awards, which has enabled the organization to donate nearly $30 million to entertainment-related charities, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts. For more information, please visit the Golden Globes website and follow on Twitter (@GoldenGlobes) and Facebook.

About Santa Monica College

Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a two-year community college accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). SMC is the leader among California's 114 community colleges in transfers to the University of California, serving nearly 33,000 students and offering over 90 fields of study; SMC also provides career training, with over 110 degrees and certificates—including a Bachelor of Science degree in Interaction Design—that train students for direct entry into the job market; news and cultural enrichment through its radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center; and lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults. Follow SMC on Twitter (@SMC_edu), Facebook and Instagram.

# # # #