Two UOG student films win awards among 1,700 entrants

PNC spoke with Keanno Fausto who had a hand in both screenplays.

Two University of Guam students have brought home wins for Guam as their class film assignments stood out in the Festival of Media Arts.

Among 1750 entries in the Festival of Media Arts by the Broadcast Education Association, two films written and directed by the University of Guam students won Awards of Excellence as narrative works.

The two original screenplays are “The Passenger,” directed by Stephanie Smith and co-written by Keanno Fausto and Bradley Bartonico, and “Left on Read,” directed by Fausto and co-written by Kiana Brown and Brandon Cruz.

“The Passenger” is about a rideshare driver giving a ride to a distraught and mysterious passenger while “Left on Read” follows 17-year-old Sirena Perez as she deals with “offline drama while trying to maintain her life online.”

PNC spoke with Keanno Fausto who had a hand in both screenplays.

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“It was surreal when it won locally at the Guam International Film Festival and the UOG Film Festival. Cause like on Guam, there are already so many talented people and I didn’t even think it would win best film in the Marianas, like when you watch it and you have so many doubts about your work, all the flaws that the general audience wouldn’t know … but winning the award at a national level is very validating,” Fausto said.

He added: “Especially since both films won and like I had a hand in creating two of the films. It really just reminds me that even if you are from Guam, that you can reach the national level and hopefully a lot of people are inspired as well.”

The festival is an internationally judged exhibition of faculty and student work with entrants this year from more than 300 universities nationwide.