The winners of the Central Coast Film Society's inaugural "Never Stop Creating" competition, which was open to high school students across Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Monterey counties, were announced at the end of May.
Morro Bay High School student Ella Stoneman won Best in Show for her film, Life is Beautiful, and was awarded with a scholarship from The Good People Association.
Additional scholarships were awarded to the top applicants from each category (film, screenwriting/storytelling, film editing/reel, photography, and podcasting), including Central Coast New Tech High School student Keira Prazanowski (for her photograph, Forks, pictured) and San Luis Obispo High School students Ian Hammons, Ian McKay, Zarian Schick, and Douglas Troy.
According to the Central Coast Film Society, the competition was proposed and initiated in order to celebrate local student artists who found safe ways to continue creating media during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The past year, these student creators have endured the unthinkable with lockdowns, remote classes, and canceled events from school to sports and recreation. We wanted to give them an opportunity to do something positive," Raiza Giorgi, president of the Central Coast Film Society, said in a statement.
The judges who chose the winners of this competition were Skye McLennan, the festival director for the SLO Film Festival; Chris Lambert, the creator and producer of Your Own Backyard podcast; Sheryl Franciskovich, the publisher and creative director for SLO Life Magazine; Randi Barros, an instructor at Cal Poly; Ken Napzok, an author and podcaster; Chris Burkard, a photographer and filmmaker; and Josh Ernstrom, a digital media producer for PG&E.
For the full list of contest winners and more info on the competition, visit centralcoastfilmsociety.org. Δ