Former Villanova student (96) wins filmmaker award

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Press Release

Laguna Beach filmmaker wins Best Short Film award at Thunderbird International Film Festival

Laguna Beach, CA. (April 19, 2002) — SeaCave Productions ( this week announced that it’s first production, a short film titled “It Happened In A Bungalow” won the prize for best short film-open genre at the Thunderbird International Film Festival in Cedar City, Utah this past weekend.

“I thought I’d seen it all, but that Dream Supplier sequence was a new one; very creative,” said Chris Conkling, screenwriter/author and festival judge.

This is Laguna Beach resident Michael Lugenbuehl’s first film. “I’m happy that the folks at Thunderbird recognized the talented actors involved in the film and that the judges were geared toward storytelling. This definitely helps move my current feature project along,” said filmmaker Michael Lugenbuehl. The majority of “It Happened In A Bungalow” was shot inside a residence in South Laguna, with some scenes shot outside The Bungalow restaurant in Newport Beach, and inside The Split Rock Tavern in Laguna Hills.

SeaCave Productions plans to enter the film into several more festivals to gain exposure and further promote the actors and crew who worked on the film.

About “It Happened In A Bungalow”The film was a SAG experimental contract allowing SeaCave Productions to use experienced Screen Actors Guild members on a deferred payment plan. The actors include Christy Taylor (O’ Brother Where Art Thou?), Patrick Belton, Sonya Joy Sims, Natalia Schroeder (The Incubus), Todd Royal and Michael Lugenbuehl.

Synopsis: A writer drinking coffee in a restaurant in Newport Beach uses all the elements around him to create a satire on romance novels. Using the sexy waitresses, some customers, beer bottles, restaurant music, cell phones, books, a fish tank, and a hostess who reminds him of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, the writer dreams up a story about a woman who lives in a book, waiting for people to read. But in the world of books, when two men start to read at the same time, the lead female of the novel must decide which man’s mind she will occupy.

The film was shot on mini DV using a Canon XL1, edited on a Mac G4 using Premiere editing software, and completed with After Effects for special effects.

About SeaCave Productions.

In addition to commercials, infomercials, and music videos, SeaCave Productions, formed in 2001, is in the business of making high quality films for sell to distributors for public entertainment. This includes creating the story, producing it as a film, and marketing the final product. SeaCave Productions’ dedication to well-structured stories and high production values mixed with careful study of current marketplace and target audience benefit distributors by providing them with a marketable product as well as initial target-audience research. SeaCave Productions strives for uniqueness and quality of the story (a must), quality of production, and the pre marketing study conducted by seasoned to set them apart from many independent film companies. Michael Lugenbuehl and Sheila Lugenbuehl are the principal partners.

Michael has a degree in Liberal Arts from Villanova University with an emphasis in marketing. He’s a member of IFP/West and the Beverly Hills chapter of Film Artists Network. Additional education includes courses in film and editing. He continues a self-based training curriculum to include film-studies experience in writing, scripting, filming, acting, visualization, and editing. Michael’s previous experience includes working on movie sets, as well as being a photographer and travel writer for the Auto Club of Southern California. He has directed and produced several personal films and is just won an award for his first professional short film, “It Happened in a Bungalow”.

Sheila has an MBA in Marketing and has over 20 years experience in new business development in the Information Technology market. Her skills include market analysis, collaborating in the development and sales of new services and managing large teams of people, both sales and technical. Sheila currently is a Business Development Manager for Hewlett-Packard Company and is responsible for creating a web-based selling process.

About thunderbird International Film FestivalThis year’s key note speaker was actor Clint Howard (Ron’s brother). The Thunderbird International Film Festival ( was originally developed by Mariam Arthur, while attending Southern Utah University. As a screenwriting major, Arthur was involved with several independent films and television projects. She was authorized to begin the festival by the Theatre Arts and Dance Department in the Fall of 2000.

An advisory board was assembled and things came together quickly. The first festival exceeded all expectations and an expanded executive board was formed.

While researching other festivals, it was discovered that very few focused on family values. Guidelines were established to create a morally friendly atmosphere while allowing for variances in cultural values.

It was also decided to capitalize on the unique Southern Utah landscape and rich film history to encourage tourism and festival attendance.


SeaCave Productions:Michael Lugenbuehl Tel: 949-499-4079 Email: [email protected]

Thunderbird International Film FestivalMariam Arthur Email: [email protected]