The first ever Desi Arnaz Memorial Scholarship Award of $5,000 was presented Sunday night to Elia Esparza and Felipe Marino during the Los Angeles Latino Intl. Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
Esparza, representing the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, won for her work on “The Ladies of Doheny,” while Marino, from the USC Peter Stark Graduate Program in Producing, won for “Floriana of Potosi.” They shared the prize money; Oscar-nominated actor-director Edward James Olmos and Marlene Dermer, the festival’s director, presented the awards.
Twenty-four students were selected to compete from film and television schools across the country, including UCLA, USC, the American Film Institute and Columbia U.
The Desi Arnaz Memorial Scholarship Award is presented to the students who have crafted the best story for a motion picture or movie made for television.
In addition, Dalia Tapia, representing Columbia College of Chicago, received the Marlene Dermer Award for the advancement of Latino women and youth at risk. Miguel Becerra, representing Chapman U., won the Edward James Olmos Award for community service and volunteerism for his work on behalf of the film festival.
The fest hopes to make the presentation an annual event.