Alumnus Nicholas Ozeki (’08) is getting some fantastic mileage from the short thesis film he produced during his final year at Dodge College, “Mamitas,” and his success is turning heads throughout the industry.

The film is a coming of age story, set in East Los Angeles, revolving around a pair of friends and their misadventures courting girls. From the original short’s release on our First Cut showcase:

A self-appointed Casanova mentors his friend in the art of picking up hot “Mami chulas”

The short was financed on a typical Graduate level thesis prouction’s budget, and the feature was made for a similarly frugal amount — “under $500,000” Ozeki says.  While the exact budget is being kept private, the director’s comments in an interview with the local Orange County Register places the film squarely in the “shoestring” financing model.

Ozeki was recently nominated in the “Someone to Watch” category of LA’s fantastic Film IndependentSpirit Awards.”

Mamitas One-Sheet PosterThis is promising news to film students everywhere, especially those located in Orange County and Hollywood;  as we’ve known for years, a great idea, an eye for human nature, a driving sense of passion, and the tools of production – which we place in students’ hands from day one – are the only barriers to the current film industry.

With Nick’s success, you can see the proof for yourself on the big screen!  Mamitas will screen at several theaters throughout the LA area, and if critics and audiences receive it well, indie film distributor Screen Media, based in NYC, will expand the market to match.

You can catch the feature’s premiere locally as well – join us tomorrow, Friday 4/26, at The Block’s AMC 30 for a special screening at 7:30.  Ozeki and select crew members will attend the screening, followed by a short Q&A.

We’ve taken the short film off our short film showcase, as it will be included as a special feature within the DVD that’s being produced, once the theatrical run comes to an end.  However, the distributor has a trailer for the feature length version of the film, which can be viewed here:


  • Director/Writer: Nicholas Ozeki
  • Producer: Adam Renehan
  • Cinematographer: Andrew M. Davis (III)
  • Editor: Melissa Brown
  • Production Designer: Jenna Obelsky
  • Sound Design: Marissa Mueller
  • First A.D.: Ray McCoy
  • Composers: Josh Foy & Selsodagama


Join us tomorrow night in celebrating the team’s success!