California Film Awards Set To Kick-Off in San Diego This Weekend

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Annual award ceremony honors best in industry

More than 200 of California’s and the world’s best filmmakers are set to be on hand to receive recognition and honor their peers on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the annual California Film Awards.

The event, which celebrates independent filmmakers and screenwriters, will bestow awards to American and foreign independent films in numerous categories.

“The California Film Awards provides a setting to celebrate some of the industry’s most talented filmmakers and acknowledge their work, creativity and achievements,” said James Nicholas, festival director, of the California Film Awards.

The evening begins with a red carpet, and is followed by the Filmmakers Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the beautiful Bahia Resort Hotel.

Filmmakers expected to be in attendance include:

Brandon James Miller, Director, “Homeless in Los Angeles;” Special Jury Prize. When a 25-year-old filmmaker graduates college with a Bachelor degree and enters the most difficult industry on the planet, he soon realizes that accomplishing his purpose in life is not as easy as he thought. A recession, an over-saturated market and a cold, hard world have forced this young producer to be homeless in the streets of Los Angeles. He must survive, day by day, and pursue his dream of helping the world with his gift of story telling.

Tom Jennings, Director, “The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination;” Best Documentary Film. We thought we had seen every frame of footage available from the fateful weekend that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. We were wrong. For nearly 45 years, more than 100 hours of news footage and radio reports have quietly languished in Dallas - first kept under wraps by the local news stations that owned them, then in the vault of a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the day Kennedy was cut down. Now, for the first time, this remarkable record is assembled in an unprecedented two-hour documentary. The film details the events of those four days in a way not seen in more than four decades, letting the images unfold in real time. The film features this footage in its original form - for the first time since it was broadcast in 1963.

Devin Scott, Director, “She Wore Silver Wings;” Orson Welles Award. This is the true story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) told by WASP, Jean Landis. One of many brave women pilots who, for the first time in the history of the United States, were recruited to volunteer their services in WWII by ferrying fighter planes, test flying new and repaired planes, and towing targets in the air for artillery practice. Of 25,000 applicants, only slightly more than 1,000 made it through training; these women were wives and mothers, but no exceptions were made; they trained like the men yet had to meet higher standards. They were paid less, had no military benefits, no medical insurance and no burial benefits. While serving their country, 38 women, yet the WASPs had to take up collections to send their sister’s bodies and clothes home. No flags on the coffins, no gold stars in their windows. After flying more than 60 million miles for the Army and less than two years in the program the WASPs were unceremoniously disbanded. “She Wore Silver Wings” portrays how the WASPs were formed, the incredible challenges they faced and the cause of their early demise.

Ivonne Contreras and Sophie Olson, Directors, “The Other Cheek;” Best Comedy. Two elementary school teachers from Wisconsin move to Southern California in hopes of becoming the next “it” teachers. Upon arrival they soon realize life, as an adult on an elementary school campus is no different than the struggles of their high school days.

The California Film Awards ceremony and dinner begin at 8 p.m. inside the Mission Bay Ballroom at the Bahia Resort Hotel, located at 998 W. Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, 92109.


Based in one of America's most picturesque beach communities, the California Film Awards recognizes and celebrates important world cinema that represents the forefront of aesthetic, critical and entertainment standards in contemporary independent filmmaking and screenwriting. The California Film Awards honors new and cutting-edge American and foreign independent films in several competition categories. Partnering with notable film industry companies, film educators, directors, producers, and writers, each year the prestigious California Film Awards recognizes excellence in filmmaking in several different categories. The Official Jury honors deserving films, filmmakers, and writers in the following categories: Best Feature Narratives, Documentaries, Screenplay, Directing, Actor, Actress, Animation, Short Films, Foreign Films, Music Videos, Experimental Films, First-Time Directors, California Films, Student Films, and more. In addition, Special Jury Prizes and cash awards will be awarded to several standout films and filmmakers. For more information, please visit


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