“Becoming Santa,” a film short written by Shawn Romias and Brian S. Black, was the top winner in the 22nd annual “A Place Called Sacramento” (PCS) Film Festival, as Access Sacramento presented the world premiere of 10 original short films Oct. 14 at the Crest Theatre before a packed house of more than 750 audience members.

“Becoming Santa” won six specialty awards including Audience Favorite, Best Director for Dawn Spinella, Best Editor for Avery Peck, Best Supporting Actor for Bob Andriola and Best Supporting Actress for Emery Gilbert, plus a shared win for the Producers’ Choice Award with the films “The Ghost Hunt” and “The Not So Real Housewives of Sacramento.”

“A Place Called Sacramento” annually showcases 10 films in a Festival that begins by choosing 10 winning script writers, who then get to make their films with guaranteed red-carpet world premiere and cable TV presentation on Access Sacramento. The competition begins each January with a call for scripts  and a series of workshops to help writers be successful.

“Back Home” writer and director Spencer Halverson

The film “Back Home” by Spencer Halverson won two specialty awards: Best Actress by Shelah Larson who portrays a woman struggling with her newfound sobriety, plus a Best Cinematographer award for Joshua Ladd.

The Best Actor award was won by Joshua Whitehorn for “Earbuddy,” written by Rylie Decocq, which the story of a grieving man who must say a long overdue goodbye.

The film “Amma’s Ashes” written by Giya Thirchy, was presented a special “Community Spotlight” Award for the story of how a family recovers after the death of their matriarch.

“A Place Called Sacramento” Half of Fame Inductee Brian Jagger

Access Sacramento also inducted Filmmaker Brian Jagger in the “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival Hall of Fame. Jagger was recognized for his history of making PCS films including the award-winning children’s film “Returning Andrew,” and for his support of the acting community with his website “Casting Calls America.”

The other films making their world premiere in the “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival were:

“As Is” by Lorene White about some first time homebuyers in Sacramento;

“Bethonie’s Interview” by Jeremiah Shabazz about a woman trying to get her dream job despite a lack of support from her mother;

“Hidden in Plain Sight” by Micha Decell about a reality TV star on a break in Sacramento who rethinks her politics;

“The Not So Real Housewives of Sacramento” by Melissa Hojman, a parody of similar reality TV shows;

“Regrets and Second Chances” by Matthew Johnson, the story of a young man who helps a Sacramento homeless woman; and

“The Ghost Hunt” by Chris Wallace, a film about a internet TV show that investigates a Sacramento haunted house.

For information about the launch of the 23rd annual “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival, visit AccessSacramento.org.