As part of the COLCOA Educational program presented in association with E.L.M.A, Ten American Students (five from high schools and five from Colleges and Universities) will vote for the 2018 COLCOA American Students Award. In 2017, the prize went to POLINA, written by Valérie Müller-Preljocaj and directed by Angelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller-Preljocaj, now released in the U.S. by Oscilloscope Laboratories. The 2018 COLCOA Students Jury has been established with the support of the American Association of French Teachers (A.A.T.F.)

Marie Bland

Marie Bland is a junior in Level 4 AP French at Mayfield Senior School. She has always loved French and loves listening to French music, reading French literature, and, of course, French films. French is an important part of her life, and to gain a grasp of the colloquial aspect of the language, she has enjoyed watching French films since she was a little girl, one of the first being Muzzy. Marie is incredibly honored to have the opportunity to take part in the society of French cinema as a member of the COLCOA student jury.

Candler Cusato

Candler Cusato is a senior at Los Alamitos High School, a student in AP French, and a senior director of her school’s chapter of French Honor Society. Through her French classes, she has been exposed to the wonders of French cinema, and she appreciates its ability to authentically showcase French culture, language, and values. She particularly appreciates the willingness of French filmmakers to bring to life to a wide variety of themes and unconventional stories that may not be the focus  of other cinematic creators around the world. She recognizes that these stories must be told, and she appreciates the courage and tact French filmmakers use when translating these tales to the big screen.

Gisella Cruz Gisella Cruz graduated from Glendale Community College with an AA in Foreign Languages. She has been studying French language at Calstate University for a few years, and aspires to be an interpreter. Gisella understands that language is more than words – it is about understanding what another person is really saying from his/her viewpoint. Gisella enjoys watching French films in order to see things better from the francophone world viewpoints and will use what she learns as she fulfills her traveling dreams. She is excited to join the COLCOA jury this semester.

Maya Al Sabeh

Maya Al Sabeh is a senior in Level IV French at Dos Pueblos High School. This will be her first year serving on the student jury of the COLCOA film festival and she is excited to share her love for French film thanks to this opportunity. Maya enjoys watching French films to better improve her knowledge of the French language and gain a better understanding of the differences and similarities between the cultures. She is inspired by how film naturally captures the human condition and transcends boundaries through its powerful messages.

Bradley Goedde

Bradley Goedde is a senior at Polytechnic School and takes French at Pasadena City College in the concurrent enrollment program. Brad has been to the COLCOA Film Festival before and enjoyed the atmosphere surrounding the French films. This inspired him to learn more about the French language, culture, and filmmaking. Brad views the festival as a great way to expose American audiences to the creativity that exemplifies French films. He is very excited and honored to be a part of the COLCOA student jury.

Arron Haro

Arron Haro is a junior at California State University Long Beach. He is currently studying production design for film and television. Arron has always had an inimitable appreciation and interest in French films. He is enamored with the history and cultural importance that French cinema has projected into his life. Arron watches a wide variety of French films in order to appreciate and understand the cultural impact each film had according to its time period. He shares a strong passion for the cinematic arts and is honored to serve as a member of the COLCOA student jury.

Turner Johnson

Turner Johnson is a senior in Level V AP French at Polytechnic School. Every year of high school, she has gone to the COLCOA Film Festival with his classmates. She recalls one short film that she loved so much and that she showed it to anyone who would listen to her. Turner enjoys using French films to get a better grasp on more colloquial aspects of the language, and she is incredibly honored to take a more involved role in the French cinematic society as a member of the COLCOA student jury.

Sara Mon

Sara Mon is a senior at UCLA pursuing a B.A. in Design | Media Arts with a minor in French. She is originally from San Francisco where she attended a French K – 8 bilingual school and has since continued her studies of the language. During her college education, she has taken several classes on French cinema. A conceptual artist and video maker, herself, she is excited to apply her discerning eye and appreciation of film as a member of the COLCOA student jury.

Jubilee Park

As a Los Angelino, the film industry is an integral part of Jubilee Park’s cultural experience, and as a French student, watching French films is an excellent way for her to understand colloquial French. To take an active role in such a distinguished film festival is an honor, as COLCOA is an event which promotes cross-cultural understanding; the opportunity spoke to her as soon as it presented itself. Although she is no seasoned film student or critic, she does have a great appreciation for cinema and the process behind and in front of the camera, and hope to critique the COLCOA films to the best of her abilities.

Cassady Smith

Cassady Smith is a sophomore at Whittier College, completing a double major in Physics and French. She enjoys reading French literature and watching French cinema to gain a historical and cultural perspective of France. Cassady is ecstatic to be a member of the COLCOA student jury, as it will allow her to contribute to a part of French culture and expand her language skills through modern works.

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