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RJ Zabasky, 22 years old, attended film school at the University of Arizona and graduated in May 2023. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he has taken influence from the film environment around him. He has written, directed, and produced three short films and is in pre-production for his first feature film. His short film, Re-Entry, won Best Student Film at Studio City International Film Festival, Best Crime at Silicon Beach Film Festival, and was selected at Chelsea Film Festival, Chandler International Film Festival, and Riverside International Film Festival. His newest film, Luck of The Draw, is starting its festival run.

His most recent work, Luck of The Draw unfolds a heartfelt story, focusing on a son's relentless determination to support and care for his mother, regardless of the personal toll it takes. Luck of The Draw delves into life's unpredictability, highlighting how fortunes can swiftly change and the significant role chance plays in our lives.

Re-Entry was his second short film. It's about a man re-entering a society which has outgrown him in hopes of reconnecting with his lost family after serving a fifteen year prison sentence.  Furthermore, it shows the complexities of family, the bond between a father and son, the path to forgiveness, and the struggle of a man trying to reclaim his place in a society that has moved on without him. Through this film, RJ brings to the forefront the emotional turmoil and societal challenges faced by ex-prisoners, in the hope that it fosters empathy, understanding, and a collective desire for change.

His first short film, 30 Minutes Till, is about depression and suicide awareness. It is a profoundly evocative micro-budget short film that delves into the intricate tapestry of human emotions, particularly focusing on life’s darker and more challenging moments. The narrative revolves around Anthony, a college student grappling with the heavy weight of depression and struggling to find a semblance of meaning and purpose in his existence.

Studio City Award.heic
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