Lights, Cameras, ACTION: Filmmakers in the Making

Senior Ashley Cavecche and Senior Nidhi Kumar were nominated in the Orange County Film Festival and as Orange County Artists of the Year for their talents in filmmaking.

February 19, 2020


Ashley Cavecche and Nidhi Kumar poses with friends from the Beckman Independent Film class during the Red Carpet Social before the Orange County Film Festival (OCFF) award show. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Cavecche)

CORONA DEL MAR and NEWPORT BEACH – On Feb. 14th, 2020, the Orange County Film Festival (OCFF) held a screening for the nominated student films at The New Port Theater in Corona del Mar. Then, on Feb. 15th, 2020, the OCFF held a Red Carpet Social and its signature award show at Regal Edwards Big Newport Theater in Newport Beach at 5 p.m.


The OCFF is a film festival sponsored by FilmEd Academy of the Arts. The film competition is between 15 high schools, with Beckman High School being the only high school from the Tustin Unified School District. This year, senior Ashley Cavecche and senior Nidhi Kumar were the only two nominated Beckman Independent Film students.


Cavecche and Kumar were nominated for several categories. Kumar’s and Cavecche’s commercial Paradise Falls was nominated for the Commercial, Producer and Production Design Category, and their spot feature Captain’s Anchorage was nominated for the Spot Feature Category. Kumar’s film For Them was nominated for the Independent and Director Category, and her show open for Beckman Television (BTV) was nominated for the Show Open Category. Cavecche’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) Point of No Return was nominated for the PSA Category. Last year, Cavecche and Kumar were also nominated for several categories at OCFF.


Kumar’s nominated film For Them was a film inspired by a documentary she had watched about the hardships of dealing with addiction. She enjoys making darker films where a character is forced to make a tough decision, and she wanted to tell the story of drug addiction. Cavecche’s nominated film Point of No Return was a PSA inspired by her passion for environmental protection. She is an advocate for reducing the world’s carbon footprints and raising awareness on the crisis of climate change.


“My main motivation is being able to show people that I can make things that only exist in our imaginations a reality,” said Cavecche. “I would say the hardest part of being a filmmaker is making your vision a reality. The sky is the limit when it comes to writing, but taking what you’ve written and figuring out how to make it come to life – especially with little-to-no budget – is extremely challenging. The most satisfying part of being a filmmaker is when you can make that happen; when you can take what you once could only imagine and make it a reality.”


Cavecche and Kumar are no ordinary filmmakers. Not only have they been nominated for OCFF multiple times, but this year, for the Orange County Artist of the Year, Kumar was nominated for her specialty in cinematography, and Cavecche was nominated for her specialty in directing. Additionally, they are both the Associated Student Body Video Commissioners, and Kumar is also the BTV Producer.


“[Cavecche and Kumar] consistently put out work that is very high quality,” said Mr. Nathan Boice, the Beckman film teacher who nominated Cavecche and Kumar for the OC Artist of the Year. “The thing I like the most about both of them is that they’re not afraid to get criticism and ask for help. [Kumar] hates it when I tell her something is good because she’s like, ‘that’s not helpful and it doesn’t help me improve.’ And [Cavecche] is very upfront with what she is trying to accomplish, and, when she has a question, she’ll ask and go for it to try to figure out the best way of accomplishing it.”


Ashley Cavecche (left) and Nidhi Kumar (right) stands in front of the Regal Edwards Big New Port Theater’s marquee at the Orange County Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Cavecche)

Cavecche and Kumar’s filming careers started together in middle school when they both decided to take film at Orchard Hills Middle School. Ever since then, they have been working on film projects alongside each other. 


“Working with Ashley has been a crazy ride,” said Kumar. “We’ve been working together for so long that we don’t even have to say anything and we understand exactly what we want from a film. I’m so glad she’s been my film partner for so many years [be]cause I could not have produced most of the films without her. On set, it’s so fun to work with her because we’re always laughing or getting stressed out together, but, in the end, we always create something we’re both proud of. Ashley’s a super hard worker, and her films and ideas are amazing so she really pushes me to create more and improve my skills. Also, since she loves directing and I love cinematography, we’ve really found a great partnership that keeps us working smoothly and efficiently which always helps the process.”


Now, Kumar is awaiting life after highschool at Chapman University where she will be studying film production. While Cavecche has not decided where she will be going, she hopes to major in English to pursue a career in screenwriting.


Before Cavecche and Kumar leaves Beckman for college, Mr. Boice hopes they remember to “keep it up and never think that what they want to accomplish is impossible because if they put their minds to it, they can create anything.”


And for the next filmmakers about to make their mark, Cavecche and Kumar hope they “never give up on filmmaking or yourself because you will constantly improve by making more films. You should push yourself to be better because you’re your toughest critic when it comes to filmmaking, and if you don’t push yourself first, then no one else will. Finally, if you have an idea and no one else understands why you could possibly want to make something like that, just do it anyways because it’s your idea and you like it so you should make what you want to make, not what others want you to make.”



4 Responses to “Lights, Cameras, ACTION: Filmmakers in the Making”

  1. Bhagya Girish on February 19th, 2020 5:52 pm

    Very good Nidhi, we are proud of you!! All the best for your future endeavors!!

  2. Subodh Kotian on February 20th, 2020 5:32 am

    Excellent documentary Nidhi
    God bless
    Wish you luck for future film making

  3. Murali BL on February 20th, 2020 10:45 am

    Nidhi , Congratulations!! You not only selected a difficult and touching subject -hardships of dealing addictions but thoughtfully explained complicated subject in simple terms !! 👏👍 Good job and Good luck !!

  4. Girish on February 21st, 2020 8:30 am

    Congratulations Nidhi. Wish you very best for future.

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