The film follows the life of a teenage girl Calliope, who is out of place in the traditional high school environment, and her journey to find acceptance in a different culture at the local skate park.
"College Essay Number One" was inspired by the college essay of his friend, Ana Markdasilva, which highlighted the diversity of the Bay Area, and by his difficulties with his own essays.
Mr. Clarence became interested in film in high school. "I had a huge passion for film ... (was) obsessed," he remembers. "I watched way too many movies a week."
He heard of the Frozen Film Festival (named after a Goethe quote) for the first time in high school, when he submitted a movie made by the M-A drama club, which Mr. Clarence founded. It was a rendition of Romeo and Juliet, and was "so much fun" but also "pretty awful." It did not win.
Mr. Clarence is a junior at Boston University, having graduated from M-A in 2009. He said he plans to continue making movies, as well as pursuing an acting career, and is already at work on his third film, to be titled "Can you hear me?"
"College Essay" was previously on a one-month tour to high schools across the country and into Canada, he said. It also won the Teen Truth Film Festival's "Truth Award."
The film will be shown as part of the Frozen Film Festival at the Roxie Theatre, at 3117 16th St. in San Francisco, at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14. The "Best Youth Films" section of the festival, including "College Essay," is 85 minutes long.
Visit FrozenFilmFestival.com for more information about the festival.