SBIFF’s Rosebud Program: Meet the Students!

SBIFF's Rosebud Program: Meet the Students! (Courtesy)

SBIFF’s Rosebud Program provides twelve local college students selected through a competitive application process extraordinary insider access to the film industry.

Rosebud participants are invited to attend more than 30 sneak preview screenings through SBIFF’s Cinema Society, followed by Q&As and intimate discussions with the filmmakers and talent. Participants also enjoy group discussions centered around filmmaking and film analysis.

Below you will get to know a bit about this year’s participants!

Alberto Rojas

I hail from Mid-City Los Angeles, and am majoring in Pre-Film and Media Studies at UCSB. I am excited to be a part of the Rosebud Program and to learn from the techniques and unique perspectives of directors and editors. However, what excites me the most are the screenings and the chance of engaging with fellow enthusiasts who share my passion for film. This program promises to expand my knowledge and shape my journey in the world of cinema.

Alexa Alberto

I’m from Santa Maria, California. I am a junior at UC Santa Barbara, majoring in Film and Media studies. I’m interested in the production of films as well as screenwriting. When I heard that Rosebud students have the opportunity to engage with people involved in filmmaking like directors, actors, etc. I knew I wanted to be a part of the program. As a film student, it will help me improve my analytical skills of film as well as applying what I learn in my lectures to the films.

Alexa Alberto (Courtesy)

Andrea Weaver

I’m a first-year film student at Santa Barbara City College. My passion for film sprouted in high school, where I had the opportunity to work on film sets, direct and edit my own shorts, and start a film club. I am so excited for the Rosebud Program and the opportunity to meet these incredibly inspiring individuals in the film industry, all while getting the chance to bond with the amazing film students in the program. I could not be more thankful for the chance to apply what I learn to my film career!

Andrea Weaver (Courtesy)

Brooke Westphal

I’m a Bay Area native and a fourth year studying Film and Media Studies at UCSB. I’ve worked in many aspects of production, both on commercial and student sets, and recently stepped into the roles of writer and director for my first silent short film titled Young People, which premiered at UCSB’s Reel Loud festival and won the Scott Wells Golden Reel Award this past spring. I’m currently working as a production manager for a student project and am in pre-production for my upcoming second short film.

Brooke Westphal (Courtesy)

Charlotte Berry

I’m a sophomore at UCSB studying English and Political Science, and I have a passion for screenwriting. I am so excited to be joining the Rosebud program for the incredible opportunity to learn through discussions with industry masters and my community of talented peers. As a writer, the chance Rosebud offers to enhance my craft through conversations with professional screenwriters is a dream come true.

Charlotte Berry (Courtesy)

Emily Pineda

I’m from Santa Barbara, a first year at SBCC and I’m a Film Production major. What attracted me to the Rosebud Program was knowing that I could be around other college students who have the same amount of love for films as I do. It’s quite an honor to have Q and A’s and receptions with directors, producers, screenwriters and actors. I love learning about how the camera works, how a director decides what should be included in their film and their intentions with the story they are creating.

Emily Pineda (Courtesy)

Gabriella De Rugeriis

I am a first-year film production major at SBCC and moved to Santa Barbara from New Jersey this year. I love movie musicals and horror films and am planning a career as a DP. I’m very thankful to be part of the Rosebud program and to learn from such respected professionals.

Gabriella De Rugeriis (Courtesy)

Grace Redford

I’m from Nairobi, Kenya and Sequoia National Park and I’m an English major and Film Studies minor at Westmont College. Screenwriting is my main passion, and I’m also exploring acting, but I’m interested in every aspect of the filmmaking process. I’ll try out any film, but I love comedies and antihero narratives. I’m excited for Rosebud’s opportunities to connect with fellow film students, speak to incredibly accomplished filmmakers, and see some of the best films of the year.

Grace Redford (Courtesy)

Najee Werners

I transferred last year from Curaçao and am in my 4th year as a film and media major at UCSB. I originally wanted to become a 3D animator and slowly gained an interest in almost every aspect of film. Most of my experience is with camera and editing, however for the last couple of years I’ve been focusing on writing and directing. I’ve made music videos and shorts, and even have won some awards. I’m excited for Rosebud because I will be with a group of people around the same age, interested in film, and we get to learn from the filmmakers.

Najee Werners (Courtesy)

Rytasha Kumardeen

I’m a sophomore at UC-Santa Barbara, and grew up in Dubai, U.A.E. My fascination with film blossomed from a childhood love of animated movies and crafting claymation shorts. While I enjoy both on-screen and on-stage acting, college has allowed me to delve into scriptwriting and directing. I’m super excited to be joining the Rosebud program because it is a thrilling opportunity to connect with the cast and crew behind the cinematic magic.

Rytasha Kumardeen (Courtesy)


Tyra Jernberg

I’m an international student from Sweden studying at SBCC. I studied 3D animation in high school, but now that I’m studying film production I feel like I’m on the right track. I’m interested in learning as much as possible about all aspects of film. I’m always impressed by all the different moving parts behind the camera, and that’s where I want to be someday. I’m excited to join Rosebud because it is a great opportunity to hear directly from the people making the films.

Tyra Jernberg (Courtesy)

Wesley Yowell

I’m from Dallas, TX and attend Westmont College. I am a English Major and Film Minor. I’m most interested in writing screenplays and directing films with themes of the Southern Gothic genre. What excites me the most about the Rosebud program is the opportunity to take unfiltered advice from some of the best filmmakers in the world, which will allow me to apply their unique insights to my work, making it more engaging and feasible to produce. Rosebud is one of the few programs in the world that enables students to access such a robust community of talent.

Wesley Yowell (Courtesy)

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Written by SBIFF

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization. Over the past 35 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States.

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