FINE CUT Festival of Films

FINE CUT kicks off 20th annual Festival of Films with call for entries

KCET, a producer of award-winning and diverse original content for public media, announced a call for filmmaking’s most original entries for the 20th Annual FINE CUT Festival of Films, a collection of short films from Southern California student filmmakers that range from cutting-edge animation to the best in documentary cinema. Interested filmmakers currently enrolled in Southern California film schools can submit short films (25 minutes or under) in the categories of Documentary, Animation and Narrative up until June 7, 2019 for consideration at All short films selected as part of the FINE CUT Festival of Films will be included in a series of half-hour broadcast episodes airing and streaming on KCET and this fall.

Each of the three winning filmmakers will receive a prize package, while one of the three honorees will be selected as The Jack Larson Southern California Student Filmmaker Award, which exemplifies FINE CUT founder Jack Larson’s commitment to fostering new generations of filmmakers in Southern California. Winners in each of the three categories will be notified during a scheduled September screening event hosted by select members from a panel of judges. The awards ceremony will also reveal the winner of the Jack Larson Southern California Student Filmmaker Award, with a prize to be announced at a later date.

Top films will be evaluated by a carefully selected panel of judges which last year consisted of ten esteemed experts that included Pixar’s Animation Studios director and Academy Award® Winner Domee Shi (Bao, Inside Out, Incredibles 2, The Good Dinosaur), film/TV producer Effie T. Brown (Dear White People, Star, Project Greenlight), Indiewire film reporter Jenna Marotta, actress/writer/composer Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Blindspot, Without a Trace, Broadchurch, Training Day), story artist Michael Herrera (Angry Birds the Movie, Wreck It Ralph 2), Chief Film Critic/KCET Must See Movies Host Pete Hammond, producer/director Phillip Rodriguez (Los Angeles Now, The Rise and Fall of Brown Buffalo, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle), Executive Director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Simon Kilmurry (PBS’ POV), Head of Logo Documentary Films Taj Paxton (Hungry, Out of Iraq, The IT Project) and animator/writer/producer Van Partible (Pete the Cat, Johnny Bravo, The Cartoon Cartoon Show). 2019 judges will be announced at a later date.

The festival is a tribute to FINE CUT founder Jack Larson who was an American actor, librettist, screenwriter and producer who may be best known for his portrayal of photographer/reporter Jimmy Olsen in the 1952-1958 television series “Adventures of Superman.” In the late 1990’s Larson approached Southern California’s KCET with the idea of creating a student film series that would provide talented students with the much needed opportunity to have their short films selected for television broadcast. Larson understood how difficult it was for young filmmakers to get broad exposure for their work because, typically, student work is only seen at special screenings and film festivals. Larson thought that public television was an excellent platform for providing critical visibility to emerging filmmakers. KCET shared Larson’s enthusiasm and together they created FINE CUT, which continues to be a flagship program for KCET today.

RULES: Student filmmakers must be at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled or have been enrolled in a Southern California School January 2017 to present. Films completed prior to January 1, 2017, are not eligible for consideration for FINE CUT. Films that have been submitted for FINE CUT consideration in previous years are not eligible for submission for 2019 Fine Cut consideration. All short films selected by the expert judging panel will be part of one of the six half-hour broadcast episodes, and all accepted shorts are eligible for awards in the Competition. Short Films must have a total running time of 25 minutes or under, including credits. Shorts may not have been released on DVD, broadcast on television or the Internet to still remain eligible for our Shorts Competition. Read the full rules and regulations at

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Funding for Fine Cut is generously provided by The Bridges/Larson Foundation


On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 54-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit Select original programming from KCET is also available for streaming on Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon and Roku platforms. For more information please visit KCET is a content channel of the Public Media Group of Southern California.

This article was released by KCET.