University of Southern California

Student Film Festival Showcases Emerging Hollywood Talent
Young Filmmakers Gain Critical Exposure, Funding and Experience
February 26, 2009 • by News at Marshall

A fresh generation of filmmaking talent makes its debut with the Feb. 27 launch of the second annual Southern California Business Film Festival. The three-day event also includes a screening of "I.O.U.S.A.," the latest offering from acclaimed director Patrick Creadon, and a panel on "The Future of Film."

The student-run festival, established last year and sponsored by USC's Marshall School of Business, Center for Investment Studies and School of Cinematic Arts, offers student filmmakers an audience for their work and a chance to connect with executives in entertainment and business. “It’s an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience, have fun and earn some money, too,” said Jonathan Willbanks, the festival's founder and director.

Festival judges include award-winning screenwriter Ken Cosby and other industry heavyweights. Students will compete for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. The festival is open to the public, and will take place at USC's Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre.

The festival kicks off with a screening of Creadon’s "I.O.U.S.A.," which examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. Following the screening, Creadon, whose documentary “Wordplay” received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, will join David Crane, special economic advisor to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a panel discussion.

In addition to nurturing young creative talent, the festival supports International Greenshield, a non-profit group that uses green technologies to protect people from natural disasters.

The Southern California Business Film Festival bridges the gap between two powerful and universal disciplines by encouraging the production of, and appreciation for, films about business and entrepreneurship.

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About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.