Student Filmmakers Finalists Announced for 19th Annual MMPA Oscar Week Student Filmmaker’s Scholarship Luncheon and Awards

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The Multicultural Motion Picture Association announced the 7 student filmmaker’s finalists have been selected from The Los Angeles Film School for the upcoming 19th Annual MMPA Oscar Week Student Filmmaker’s Scholarship Luncheon and Civic Awards.

The 19th Annual MMPA Oscars Week Student Filmmaker's Scholarship Luncheon

The 19th Annual Multicultural Motion Picture Association (MMPA) Oscar Week Student Filmmaker’s Scholarship Luncheon and Civic Awards will be held at the prestigious and luxurious Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles located at 8555 Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA 90048 on Friday, February 24, 2012, from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. The event will feature live entertainment performance by Recording Artist Izzy Chait and Band, a red carpet, scholarship and civic awards presentation, lunch and official gift bags.

As a part of the annual afternoon affair, awards are presented annually, to filmmakers selected for their creative achievements, vision and technical talent, and in addition to financial awards toward their tuition, film companies traditionally arrange gifts of technical support for scholarship recipients.

A dual purpose in recognizing these outstanding individuals is the ability to benefit the Multicultural Motion Picture Association’s Educational and Development Scholarship Fund. This fund was established by our Executive Committee as a means of helping underprivileged students seeking entry into the film and television professions develop and foster quality education, leadership, and talent.

The scholarship committee funds and matches students with mentors at production companies, trade guilds, and with directors, as they gain further knowledge and entry into their chosen disciplines in the motion picture industry. The MMPA utilizes committed individuals who bring their skills and commitment to schools, as well as youth and civic organizations, where teens and young adults need career mentoring, coupled with equipment and technical support.

Some of the invited guests for the afternoon are 2012 Oscar Nominees Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer, Academy Award Winner Louis Gossett Jr., Academy Award Nominee Sally Kirkland, Actress Bai Ling, Producer Elaina Archer, Actress/Acting coach Bobbie Chance, Photographer/Filmmaker Kami Zargham McAdam and many 2012 Oscar Nominees and various celebrities will be on hand to support the young upcoming student filmmakers.

The following are thoughts that students submitted in their applications:

“When people ask me “why I chose a career in filmmaking,” I can only smile. Because one day, like Picasso or Shakespeare, I know they’ll be able to look at me and see the real answer; this is simply just what I do.”

  • Anthony Mitchell

“I want my films to be just as empowering if not more. I express myself visually, and I want to be able to benefit people through experiencing films I create. I want to be mentioned with the great filmmakers of my generation. I want to be able to impact the world in a positive way through my expressions on screen. I want my work to speak for itself.”

  • William Rouse

“Even now, as a film student, there is one thing I regret. I regret not knowing what I wanted to do sooner and regret not pursuing film after graduating from High School. Wasted 4 years in a Business College, when I could’ve been done with film school and started on my first feature film. However, even though I’m late from realizing my passion, I am rather late in knowing that I want to be a Director than not knowing at all.”

  • Long “Yoshi” Tran

“There is a story to be told, a way to go about doing it, and the proper time and place for it to be heard. I wholeheartedly believe that it is my job as a filmmaker and human being to tell that story in the richest and most provocative form imaginable.”

-Daemon Stashko

“Coming from a town of 300 people, and a high school in a town of 5000, it should be fairly apparent that I did not get much diversity. It is safe to say that making such a drastic change in setting was a little nerve-racking at first, but after learning how this city works I can say with confidence that diversity is my favorite thing about Los Angeles. I may not be the typical Hollywood film student, but I think my background gives me an advantage since I know how to work harder than most people. I believe that I add a lot of diversity to the melting pot that is Hollywood.”

  • Joey Schmitz

“As a kid, films caught my attention and have always felt connected with them. It was and still is an art that I am very eager to perfect. Great filmmakers are the ones who put the full amount of effort to perfect their craft and that is what we, as a team, plan on doing to become some of the world’s best Filmmakers.”

  • Justin Benson

“As a younger growing up, I was always interpreted in television and motion picture and how it was been produced. I am happy to be in film school fulfilling my dreams. I hope one day to become a successful filmmaker and give back to other up and coming young filmmaker students.”

  • Jamel Benson

The prestigious organization of actors, cinematographers, editors, writers, and directors has, in the past, played host to an array of celebrities and nominees ranging from Salma Hayek, Robert DeNiro, Kate Winslet, Djimon Hounsou to Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio among others. The luncheon is always anticipated and remembered for its spontaneous surprises of high-profile guests and the goodwill shared among colleagues, coming out in support of talented emerging artists.

Previous year honorees were Oscar Winner Sandra Bullock, Academy Award Winner Louis Gossett Jr., Oscar Nominee Ruby Dee, Academy Nominee Sally Kirkland, Kate Linder (Actress, Philanthropist), Renee’ Valente (Producer, Valente Productions), Michelle Phillips (Actress, Singer) and A.C. Lyles (Paramount Pictures).

The MMPA is encouraging 2012 Academy Award nominees, past and present, to come out in full force to support the 19th Annual MMPA Oscar Week Student Filmmaker’s Scholarship Luncheon and Awards.

The Student Filmmaker’s Finalists Are:

William Rouse

Justin Benson

Jamel Benson

Anthony Mitchell

Daemon Stashko

Yoshi Tran

Joseph Schmitz

WHERE: Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles

8555 Beverly Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90048

WHEN: Friday, February 24, 2012

11:00 am - Media Check-In

11:30 am - Red Carpet Arrivals

12:00 pm – Luncheon & Awards

GENERAL TICKETS: Limited amount of tickets are available for sale starting at $150 and may be purchased online at

PRESS/MEDIA: For Red Carpet Access Only, Contact: Alex Leon at World Wide Vital Marketing Public Relations email: worldwidevitalpr(at)gmail(dot)com and For Red Carpet Access & Seated Lunch Contact: Steven Escobar at diversitynews(at)hotmail(dot)com

The Annual MMPA Oscar Week Student Filmmaker’s Scholarship Luncheon and Civic Awards is a production of The Multicultural Motion Picture Association. Jarvee Hutcherson is the President of The Multicultural Motion Picture Association.

Event sponsors include American Society of Young Musicians, Sofitel LA Luxury Hotels, WTV Networks, World Wide Vital Marketing and Public Relations, Diversity News Magazine, A&G Entertainment Productions, Hot Talk LA, Rose Breast Cancer Society, Sherwood Florist and Lamborghini Gold Champagne and many more.

About The Multicultural Motion Picture Association:

The MMPA is a 501 © 3 non-profit arts organization that provides scholarships annually to a certain number of qualified film students and trade guild apprentices who have shown dedication and talent for furthering their studies in the cinematic arts. The MMPA’s annual Oscar Week Luncheon is always a highly anticipated afternoon event amid sumptuous mid-day dining where talented young filmmakers intermingle with Academy Award® nominees and studio executives. The MMPA utilizes committed individuals who bring their skills and commitment to schools, as well as youth and civic organizations, where teens and young adults need career mentoring, coupled with equipment and technical support. The Multicultural Motion Picture Association is also the producer of the Diversity Awards. For more information visit

Brad Daly, Media Relations Director    

Multicultural Motion Picture Association

TEL: (310) 358-8300


"The H.O.M.E. Foundation Supports Multicultural Motion Picture Association"

About The H.O.M.E. Foundation:

The Helping Others Means Everything, or The H.O.M.E. Foundation, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping our Family of Charities. Frank Verdugo, President of The HOME Foundation, wants to help as many worthy charities as possible as they struggle during these tough economic times. Frank Verdugo helps raise funds through luxury dream home raffles, prizes, and high profile celebrity events in Hollywood... "Our mission is to help charities reach their fundraising goals and to bring awareness to their praiseworthy causes." Please visit our Dream Home Raffle at: and

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