San Bernardino Valley College alumnus Trevor Stevens was honored with two impressive awards at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival. His first feature film, “Rock Steady Row,” won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature, as well as the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Slamdance is a festival of independent filmmakers that takes place each year in Park City, Utah, at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival. 

Born and raised in Redlands, Stevens attended San Bernardino Valley College before transferring to Chapman University. There, he joined the crews for several films, including “Glazed and Confused,” which garnered his first festival success at the Palm Springs International Shortfest, part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

“The short film got me in the room with executives and producers as well as representation to push forward towards the bigger goal of making my first feature film, which was ‘Rock Steady Row,’” Stevens said to the Press Enterprise.  With “Rock Steady Row,” he intended to bring a whole different look and genre to university life, focusing in on an incoming freshman who gets his bike stolen on day one and comes face to face with its two warring fraternities.

“Ultimately, we wanted to bring a metaphorical view to issues on a college campus, and have some fun while doing it,” he said.

After its success at Slamdance, the film will play at festivals in Chicago, Chattanooga, Brazil, Spain and elsewhere before Stevens and his team sees distribution. Stevens said his proudest achievements have not been accomplished by himself alone. 

“I’m very lucky to have worked with such amazing people, both cast and crew, who have made the impossible possible,” he said. “For me, directing means igniting the fire inside each of these individuals and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same vision.”  

Now a North Hollywood resident, Stevens stresses that he is never far from his hometown of Redlands.  “I’m very humbled and appreciative to my hometown and for all the good people who have offered their resources and time to help me from project to project,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without the amazing support of my family, friends, mentors and community, that’s the truth.”