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The first ReelStories Film Festival was held on January 22, 2010 at Pepperdine University. This unique festival was organized in its entirety by a group of students in order to celebrate the transformative power of storytelling. The goal of the founding committee was not simply to entertain, but to use the art of film to spark conversations, change perspectives, and inspire action. The idea for the festival took root in May 2009, when a former professor and feature film director, Tom Shadyac, invited several Pepperdine undergraduates to Mountainfilm in Telluride. They were deeply moved by the documentary films they watched and wanted to recreate that same energy and inspiration on their own school campus.


Upon return, the students formed a dedicated team of festival directors, comprised of both senior and junior class members. The inaugural festival attracted over 1,200 guests and showcased both student films and carefully selected feature-length documentaries. Judges for the student films included Hollywood’s own Tom Shadyac, Chris Nolan, Jonah Nolan, Ron Howard, Randall Wallace, and Roko Belic. The hope of the founding committee was that the festival would evolve into a tradition, and that each year, audiences would assemble in Malibu to watch films that bring about conversation and change. Today, the ReelStories Film Festival continues to thrive, thanks to the dedication of its organizers, the creativity of its filmmakers, and the support of all who attend.



Paige Dunn (Class of 2010)

Omid Heidari (Class of 2010)

Tanner Joyce (Class of 2010)

Harry Lengfeld (Class of 2010)

JJ Starr (Class of 2010)

Katie Stjernholm (Class of 2010)

Kristen Voetmann (Class of 2010)

Bri Baxter (Class of 2011)

Alec Eagon (Class of 2011)

Susie Lee (Class of 2011)

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