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SCAD student filmmakers have won the top prize for the second-consecutive year


The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is proud to announce a team of SCAD students from its School of Entertainment Arts has won the grand prize in the 2020 Coca-Cola Refreshing Films program, a student filmmaking competition. SCAD students also won the competition in 2019.

The film, “Let Loose,” was created by writer/director Elina Itugot (B.F.A., film and television, Houston, TX) and her co-director/animation supervisor Henry Zhinin (B.F.A., film and television, Poughkeepsie, NY). Zhinin and Itugot will receive a Battle-Tested RED DRAGON X camera package, ZEISS Milvus Superspeed lens kit and an additional $15,000 in prize money to launch their careers. “Let Loose” is available to view at

“The idea for the film came from my personal struggles of letting myself relax and let loose,” said Itugot. “Sharing my story has given me a voice. I loved collaborating with this amazing team of fellow SCAD students. I learned so much from them and about myself as a filmmaker. It was an overwhelming and magical experience.”

“Working on this film and winning the competition is a dream come true,” said Zhinin. “It makes me feel like I’m part of something great. The number of students who worked on this project and believed in this project was amazing.”

A crew of nearly 100 SCAD students worked on “Let Loose”, which was the only film entered in the competition to feature both live-action filmmaking and animation. Ian Arnoldy (B.F.A., immersive reality, Melbourne Beach, FL), Olivia Schneider (B.F.A., film and television, Gainesville, FL), and Sharlene Richards (B.F.A., film and television, Syracuse, NY) led the production team for the 35-second film which was shot at a cinema in Gainesville, Florida and on a student-built set at SCAD Savannah Film Studios.

“SCAD provides us the incredible opportunity to work with fellow students who are specialized in their field,” said Schneider. “We worked with an entire visual effects team, animators, sound designers, costume designers, and a furniture design student was the production designer for the film. Students from all different concentrations came together to make the perfect film.”

Richards said, “At SCAD we are used to that kind of collaboration. That’s one of SCAD’s greatest strengths. The students we worked with are at the top of their craft and we all learn the valuable interdisciplinary skills that will help us succeed in our future careers.”

Richards was hired by Coca-Cola Refreshing Films to manage the 2020 Filmmaker Yearbook, which allows past participants to provide career updates and helps foster filmmaker connections.

Consistently ranked on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of top film and TV programs in the nation, SCAD’s School of Entertainment Arts is the preeminent program in the country for film and television as illustrated by winning the Coca-Cola Refreshing Films program grand prize two years in a row. SCAD’s degree program in film and television gives students a distinct advantage before they graduate through project collaborations across disciplines that mirror how major film and TV productions work.


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