SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The red carpet rolls out Saturday evening for the 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
The event brings some of the biggest names in Hollywood to the Hostess City every year, but it's an even bigger deal for the students trying to get their big break.
Mitchell Smalenski has had quite the senior year at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
“The biggest project I just finished is called “Time.” SCAD sponsored film involved 150 students. I got to direct, that film just made it into the Savannah Film Fest which is an awesome experience,” Smalenski said.
The film and television major from Alabama is an aspiring director and looks forward to this week in October every year.
“I've been coming to this festival since I was a freshman. It’s like Christmas for me, seeing all of the amazing Oscar nominees and industry professionals,” he said.
Next week is his time to shine when his film debuts at the film festival.
“I worked concessions as a freshman, now to be senior and have a film in it, it grounds my career in reality. This is something I want to achieve,” Smalenski said.
He said he's poured his everything into this film.
“It took basically a full school year. One quarter pre-production, one quarter production, one quarter post and distribution,” Smalenski said.
And he says all that work, was a team effort.
“I wanted the best camera team, the best editorial team, the best producers, all my friends I’ve collaborated with in the past and hopefully in the e future. I brought them all on board,” he said.
Working with the best team, on a project he hopes will launch his career in an industry he knows he's prepared for.
“You’re starstruck obviously, but this grounds this world in reality. This is a profession I want to be a part of. These are people I want to work with one day. I want to come back here and have people asking me for a job one day,” Smalenski said.