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  • Writer's pictureSTORIES WE TELL

Santa Maria Music & Film Festival Celebrates Q4 2023 Winners

As the sun set on December 2, 2023, the Santa Maria Open Air Cinema transformed into a magical haven, bringing to light outstanding talent and creativity at the Santa Maria Music & Film Festival. From the mystique of the night emerged narratives that captivated, inspired, and left an indelible mark on the audience.

Best International Short Film: "Bitter Brownies" by James Carman (USA)

Under the moonlit sky, James Carman's dark comedy, "Bitter Brownies," unraveled a tale of a devious thief pilfering lunches from the company refrigerator. As the night deepened, suspense heightened, leaving staff employees out for blood. The question lingered: Where would the food bandit strike next?!!!

Best Short Documentary: "Searching for Chunk" by Samuel Haft (USA)

Amidst the celestial canvas, Samuel Haft's "Searching for Chunk" took viewers on an increasingly surreal investigation. Two friends discovered an old novelty record on YouTube, launching them into a captivating and surreal journey of self-discovery.

Best Inspirational: "Dream On" by Dale Metz, Sarah-Lee Dobbs (USA)

Under the twinkling stars, "Dream On" illuminated the night with its inspirational tale. Kylie's dreams of a career in the performing arts unfolded as she received her audition letter. Yet, beneath the starry sky, she grappled with finding the confidence to make her dreams come true.

Best Student Short: "The Vibe Operator (part 1)" by Michael Moore (USA)

In the cosmic glow, Michael Moore's student film, "The Vibe Operator," explored a modern sci-fi rock opera. A disillusioned rockstar's journey to deep space played out against a backdrop of rebellion against oppressive ways in a collective hive society.

Best Director: "Till the Music Stops" by Emilie De Monsabert (France)

As constellations adorned the night sky, Emilie De Monsabert's "Till the Music Stops" unfolded a tale of love and challenges. A witness at her best friend’s wedding, Pauline, navigated the complexities of the night, hoping to enjoy the extraordinary day and get closer to the handsome Raphael.

The Grand Announcement: The festival's grand announcement took place on December 2, 2023, at the Santa Maria Open Air Cinema. To give you a glimpse into the magical evening, we've prepared a video recap of the Santa Maria Music & Film Festival. Watch the video and sense its heart—to discover the unseen, champion every voice, and celebrate every story.

📽️ Watch the Video Recap Here:

The Santa Maria Music & Film Festival warmly congratulates all the winners and filmmakers for their extraordinary contributions. These films, with their ability to 'See What Others Can't,' have not only entertained but also left an indelible mark on the hearts of the audience. As we cherish and celebrate these cinematic achievements, we eagerly anticipate the unfolding of more outstanding stories in the years to come. Here's to the enchanting and transformative magic of cinema


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