CHS Film Academy featured at international film festival

CHS graduate Cameron Penn had his film “A Stacked Deck” shown at the Sunshine Brooks Theater in Oceanside.

Haley Spanier, Andie Naugler, and Emma Veidt

For the first time ever, a film created through the Carlsbad High Film Academy was chosen to be shown at the Oceanside International Film Festival on Aug. 11. “A Stacked Deck” is a 22-minute coming-of-age film directed by 2015 graduate Cameron Penn, with a cast and crew of CHS students and graduates. It was originally made as a part of Mr. Brandmeyer’s film class.

Penn’s film was chosen from a number of submissions, and was one of the three films featured in the “Coming of Age” category Tuesday night. Based on the Netflix series House of Cards, “A Stacked Deck” tells the story of a high school student who will stop at nothing to gain power, and uses elaborate schemes to rise through the ranks of the school’s ASB.

“The challenge was that we wanted to give kind of a wink to the show while still making it our own,” Penn said. “So, we created a plot that was original while still being an adaptation from House of Cards.”

This film festival took place at the Sunshine Brooks Theater in Oceanside. The student film included scenes filmed at CHS and cameos from CHS teachers.

“My favorite part of the film-making process was just working with everyone at CHS because we would see people and have them be actors, so it was kind of made by the whole school,” Penn said.

Being featured at the Oceanside International Film Festival is just the beginning of a successful career for Penn, as he is going to study film-making at New York University in the fall and hopes to direct independent films.

Penn also has some advice for students going into the CHS film academy this upcoming 2015-16 school year:

“Be as much of a perfectionist as you can,” Penn said.