BALDWIN PARK – Four Baldwin Park Unified high school students won honors for their creativity in the fifth annual Baldwin Park Youth Film Festival, taking home $4,000 in prizes for works that ranged from a film noir comedy and a look at the impact of a parent’s loss in war to a PSA about making the world a better place.

The Feb. 19 event, organized by the Baldwin Park High School Film Festival Club and Committee, is the only youth film festival in the San Gabriel Valley. Held at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center, it was sponsored by Columbia College Hollywood, Red Giant Software, New York Film Academy and Woodbury University.

“Our students demonstrated a subtle sense of film technique, an appreciation for community issues and bravery for tackling challenging topics with their films,” Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “The competition provides a fantastic real-world forum that showcases our students’ skills in language arts and technical production as well as their passion for civic engagement.”

Sierra Vista High senior Santiago Sanchez snagged the top prize with a psychological thriller called “The Most Dangerous Game.” Sanchez’ film addressed human treachery, the thrill of the hunt and our basic instinct to survive. His film was also honored as the audience favorite.

Baldwin Park High senior Kelvin Parra claimed second prize with his film “Change,” which tackled how children cope with the loss of parents to war.

Third place went to Baldwin Park High junior Bryan Moran for his film noir comedy, “A Murder Mystery,” the tale of a bumbling private detective whose prime suspect in a murder is a girl scout.

Baldwin Park High freshman Karen Parr claimed the prize for best PSA with “Be the Change,” an inspirational commercial showing how young people have the power to better each other’s lives.

Other films included one from the perspective of a dog adopted by a loving family, the story of a boy contacted by aliens who are considering destroying the earth and finally, a documentary about teenagers’ passion for skateboarding

SLIDE SHOW: View clips and event details at: