Students studying at fountain.

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De Anza College News Release

Feb. 21, 2007

Marisa Spatafore

De Anza is Only Community College Represented in Student Short Films Category

CUPERTINO--Two student films produced in the De Anza College Film/TV program have been selected for Cinequest Film Festival 17: "The Reason" by Michael Chance and "The Truth of the Matter" by Car Nazzal. Both Chance and Nazzal are from San Jose.

The De Anza student productions will compete among the 15 films in Cinequest's Shorts Program 7: Student Short Film Competition, scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, and 5:45 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at the Camera 12 Cinemas (201 South Second Street, San Jose). De Anza is the only community college represented in the Student Shorts competition, which features the work of emerging talents worldwide, including those enrolled in programs at New York University, Columbia University and the Munich Film School.

Two former De Anza College students have films vying in the Maverick Competition. Shelly Prevost's "Trained in the Ways of Men" documents the events surrounding the 2002 murder of transgender teenager Gwen Araujo in Newark, Calif. The 92-minute feature will play at 7:45 p.m. on March 10 and 4:45 p.m. on March 11 at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Kurt Kuenne's "Validation" is slated to be part of "Shorts Program 1: Mirror, Mirror" at 9:30 p.m. on March 1, 11:15 p.m. on March 3 and 1:30 p.m. on March 7.

"Our students' proud achievements at Cinequest reflect the deep commitment that our faculty has in helping them realize their vision and dreams," said Zaki Lisha, coordinator of the Film/TV Department. "The supportive environment at De Anza provides hands-on experience in order for students to develop their skills and talents."

Lisha and Film/TV Department faculty member Susan Tavernetti will serve on the Cinequest shorts and narrative juries, respectively. Cinequest is ranked among one of the world's top 10 film festivals, according to the "Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide." This year's event will take place Feb. 28 through March 11. For Cinequest information and tickets, visit

De Anza College, one of the largest single-campus community colleges in the nation, has served the students of Silicon Valley for almost 40 years. De Anza consistently ranks as one of the top two institutions in California in transferring students to the UC and CSU systems. The college provides an average of 25,000 students each quarter with outstanding general education and vocational courses as well as interdisciplinary studies, community service opportunities, on-the-job-training, internships, collaborative programs with businesses and industries, and online and television classes.

Man with a gun jumping over a fence.

Jacob Rangel as the suspect draws to take aim in "The Reason." Directed by Michael Chance. Image courtesy of Burning Ideas.

Image of woman and silver teapot.

"The Truth of the Matter." Director/photo credit: Car Nazzal

Photo of protesters carrying a banner asking for justice.

"Trained in the Ways of Men." (Center, attorney Gloria Allred; right, Imelda Guerrero, aunt of murdered teenager Gwen Araujo.) Director/photo credit: Shelly Prevost

Black and white photo of four men talking.

"Validation." Director/photo credit: Kurt Robert Kuenne