Biola Film “Mallory, Los Angeles” Wins Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence

The film focuses on society’s unhealthy reliance on technology versus face-to-face interactions

Mar. 1, 2019 By Bella Burchett

A student produced film, “Mallory, Los Angeles,” won an award of excellence from the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts in February. Biola University junior John Rizkallah, a Cinema and Media Arts major, directed the film with Cinema and Media Arts senior Emilio Mazariegos as producer. With more than 1,500 entries, 295 entries were selected from 300 participating schools by BEA to receive an award. “Mallory, Los Angeles” was one of 16 films to receive an award of excellence in the narrative category in the Student Film and Video Competition.


“Mallory, Los Angeles,” was selected as the 2018 Biola Film after Rizkallah pitched it to a class in April 2018. Students were then selected to fill positions on the crew who produced the film in Fall 2018 through a class led by Dean Yamada, professor of cinema and media arts.


“I loved working with this crew because I've known them since their first years in our program, and they are a particularly tight knit, and talented group,” said Yamada. “It was so much fun to see them in action.”


The short film focuses on the life of a lonely surveillance man who becomes obsessed with a woman he sees on screen.


“The characters in ‘Mallory, Los Angeles’ are reminiscent of what our world is and could become if we continue to rely on media to forge our human relationships,” said Rizkallah. “Society is continuing to accept disconnection as a norm, and therefore makes it increasingly difficult for us to break out of our comfort zones.”


The story encapsulates how technology can create unhealthy relationships in society by portraying the comfort of being behind a screen. In the film, a man begins to feel an eerie connection to a woman he sees through a surveillance camera.


“My hope for the viewers of ‘Mallory, Los Angeles’ is that they would gain a realization of what social media is doing to our world, and would try to change that by remembering to be with people and to be present without a screen to separate them,” said Rizkallah.


The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international display of award-winning faculty and college student projects picked in the following categories: audio, documentary, interactive media and emerging technologies, film & video, news, scriptwriting, sports, and two-year/small colleges.


Biola produces one Biola Film each year. Visit the website to apply to the School of Cinema and Media Arts and learn more about the new concentration Game Design and Interactive Media.


Written by Bella Burchett, media relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or

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