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Academy Film Student Daniel Lahr Wins Impressive Film Festival Award

Since he was a kid, Daniel Lahr always wanted to make movies. From running his own production studio to pursuing his BFA in Motion Pictures and Television, Daniel has always been extremely motivated to create quality films. He recently won an award at the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film, Metal Detector Man, was created within Daniel’s first week of classes at Academy of Art University.

After receiving an AA degree in Film Productions at Santa Barbara City College and completing University of Southern California’s Summer Production Workshop, Daniel decided to continue his education in directing at Academy of Art University.

Before coming to the Academy, Daniel already had a number of films under his belt. The majority of his films were shot at Country Studios, located in North Santa Barbara County about two hours north of Los Angeles. Over the years, Daniel has built up a solid team of crew and cast members for his films.

“We’re a family of oddball filmmaker types,” he said about his cast and crew. “We all know each other and flow together.”

Daniel entered the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 10-10-10 filmmaking competition. Ten contestants must put together a 10-minute film in 10 days using a screenplay drawn at random. Daniel felt lucky to have pulled such a captivating screenplay.


Metal Detector Man is about a journalist who is assigned to write an article on an old man who is constantly seen at the beach with a metal detector.  The journalist forms a deeper connection with him once he learns the man's story, which causes him to evaluate his own life and relationships.

"It totally blew me away," Daniel recalled when he won the award.  "It was an absolute thrill."

Daniel is excited about the many possibilities the Academy's School of Motion Pictures and Television as well as the city of San Francisco will open up for him.

This city is really inspiring to walk around," he said.  "I'm really excited to shoot here because it will look different from my other films."

Though moving to San Francisco from rural Santa Barbara county has taken some getting used to, Daniel is incredibly pleased to be studying at the Academy.  Even with the demands of schoolwork, he wants to continue to expand the movie studio he built from the ground up.

"I want Country Studios to keep growing," he said.  "Every movie I make, I want to up the next one."

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