If you have news for consideration in our next newsletter, please email the UCLA TFT Marketing and Communications department at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The newsletter is published four times a year.
UCLA TFT NEWS
UCLA TFT LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND STORYTELLING INSTITUTE IN CANNES
Announced on Thursday, May 18 at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival, the Storytelling Institute, created by UCLA TFT Dean
TERI SCHWARTZ in partnership with the president of the Université Côte D'Azur, the mayor of Cannes, the president and director of the Cannes International Film Festival and the heads of Vivendi/Canal+, is the latest in a series of high-level
strategic industry partnerships and alliances conceived and spearheaded by Dean Schwartz. This immersive, in-residence graduate-level feature film screenwriting program is designed to advance the artistry and skills of the next generation of outstanding, diverse
humanistic cinematic storytellers.
Throughout the six weeks in Cannes, the institute's program will be framed by UCLA TFT's unparalleled screenwriting curriculum, along with professional screenwriting instruction from UCLA and UCA faculty. UCLA TFT and French graduate screenwriting students
will complete a first draft feature film screenplay. In the final two weeks, they will have the opportunity to experience master classes with distinguished filmmakers and screenwriters, discussions, special screenings and other professionally oriented activities
at the Cannes International Film Festival. Vivendi/Canal+ will provide key sponsorship for the program and a "first look" opportunity for the students who participate in the program. Applications to apply for the institute opened
on Saturday, July 1, 2017 and will close on Sunday, October 15, 2017.
Filmmaker and UCLA alumna
AVA DUVERNAY (13th, Selma) was the keynote speaker at UCLA TFT's 70th annual Commencement ceremony on Friday, June 16 at UCLA's Royce Hall. Filmmaker
JUSTIN LIN (B.A. '95) (Star Trek Beyond, Fast and Furious franchise) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Film/Television/Digital Media and actor
MICHAEL STUHLBARG (Fargo, Boardwalk Empire) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater.
NADJA SWAROVSKI was honored with the inaugural Distinguished Service Award. This new honor recognizes an individual whose exemplary service has had an inspiring, direct impact on UCLA TFT students, faculty and staff, as well as local and/or
global communities. The UCLA TFT Distinguished Service Award honoree's life and works embrace the School's ideals of humanism, diversity and making a difference in the world. Dean
TERI SCHWARTZ presided over the event in which 176 students graduated.
DESIGN SHOWCASE WEST
Emmy Award-winning production designer Deborah Riley was the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Design Showcase West (DSW) on Saturday, June 10 at UCLA TFT's Freud Playhouse. Created by UCLA TFT, Design Showcase West is the only national entertainment
design showcase on the West Coast featuring the work of students graduating from the nation's top university design programs. Design Showcase West was underwritten by presenting design patron Peter Kaufman; and sponsored by United
Scenic Artists Local 829, International Silks and Woolens, Set Decorators Society of America, Costume Designers Guild Local 892 and Art Directors Guild Local 800.
TFT'S 26th ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL HONORS INDUSTRY ELITE
Annie Award-nominated animator ERICK OH (M.F.A. '10) (Finding Dory, Inside Out, Brave), Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival), Ryan
Murphy (American Crime Story, Glee, Nip/Tuck) and director Reed Morano (The Handmaid's Tale, I Think We're Alone Now) were honored during the 26th Annual UCLA TFT Film Festival in
June, which highlighted the work of students during the Festival of Animation, Undergraduate Showcase, Screenwriters Showcase, Producers Marketplace and Directors Spotlight.
Alumni honorees included NOGA LANDAU (M.F.A. '14), a staff writer on the Syfy series
The Magicians, who received the Screenwriting Alumni Award, and Academy Award-nominated producer GIACUN CADUFF (M.F.A. '08) (La femme et le TGV), who was honored with the inaugural Celebrated Producing
Also during the festival, writer-director-producer Don Mancini (Child's Play franchise) was announced as UCLA TFT's Hunter/Zakin Screenwriting Chair for the academic year 2017-18.
Sponsorship of the festival was provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Kanbar Entertainment and SAG-Indie. Final Draft, Roadmap Writers and International Screenwriters Association sponsored prizes for Screenwriters
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Filmmaker, alumna and UCLA TFT Executive Board member DONNA DEITCH (M.F.A. '76) was the keynote speaker at the annual Student Scholarship Awards
ceremony on Friday, June 9 at the UCLA Faculty Center where 318 awards were handed out to 241 UCLA TFT students. JAMES
MALOOF (M.F.A. '17) and graduate directing student HANADI ELYAN spoke at the packed luncheon, representing the Department of Theater and the Department of
Film, Television and Digital Media, respectively. UCLA TFT awards more than $3 million annually in donor-funded student support.
AWARDS AND FESTIVAL NEWS
LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL
On Saturday, June 17, Dean TERI SCHWARTZ was a panelist on the #SheToldMe: Women Storytellers Changing the Narrative - Globally panel at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Others included in the event were panelists Vashti
Anderson (director, Moko Jumbie), Film Independent's Global Media Makers Fellow Lara Saba; filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour (Wadjda); moderator Danielle Perissi of Image Nation Abu Dhabi and panelist
VALERIE RED-HORSE MOHL(B.A. '81) (Mankiller).
The film had its world premiere at the festival on Monday, June 19. (Pictured: Vashti Anderson, Teri Schwartz, Lara Saba, Haifaa al-Mansour, Danielle Perissi and Valerie Red-Horse Mohl)
GRACE LEE's (M.F.A. '02) latest documentary project, K-Town
'92, which looks at the effect of the 1992 L.A. Riots on the Korean-American community, screened at LAFF on Sunday, June 18. It screened at the Indies for a More Perfect Union event in Hollywood on Friday, June 23, where Lee
was a speaker.
MADRID INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Tropical Iron, from writer-director MARK C. BALDWIN (M.F.A. '91), was nominated in three documentary categories - feature, director and editing - at the Madrid International Film Festival, which took place July 8-15.
BAFTA INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AWARDS,
TEL AVIV INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND PRINCESS GRACE AWARDS
THANOS PAPASTERGIOU's (M.F.A. '16) film Sandy Beach and graduate student
REED VAN DYK's DeKalb Elementary were shortlisted as part of the BAFTA International Student Film Awards, which took place Thursday, June 22. Van Dyk's film was later named a finalist in the competition. Both films
were also accepted into the International Competition of the Tel Aviv International Film Festival, which took place June 18-24. Additionally, It was announced on Tuesday, July 25 that Van Dykwas
the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation's Graduate Film Scholarship and Cary Grant Award. The award ceremony will take place at the event's annual Gala at the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
STEVE FICKINGER (B.A. '82) received a Tony Award on Sunday, June 11 as a producer of Dear Evan Hansen, which was named Best Musical.
DANCES WITH FILMS FESTIVAL
M.F.A. directing student MATT KNUDSEN wrote and directed Cassidy Red, a Western ballad of love and hate, which had its world premiere during the Dances With Films festival on Friday, June 2, 2017 in Hollywood.
COLLEGE TELEVISION AWARDS
M.F.A. directing student MARTA SAVINA received the Bricker Humanitarian Award (a Special Juried Award) and the Drama prize for her film Viola, Franca, at the Television Academy Foundation's 2017 College Television Awards on Wednesday,
EMERGING FILMMAKER SHOWCASE AT CANNES
M.F.A. directing student KELLY PIKE won the Best Student Film at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival in May for her film Owen. Other Bruins involved in the project included JASON
KNUTZEN (cinematography), ALISYN GHIVIZHANNI (assistant director) and DANA TURKEN (editor).
IN RESIDENCE: RUTH E. CARTER
On Monday, May 15, the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design and the UCLA Department of African American Studies hosted
Design for the Decades. The evening included a reception with
the 2017 UCLA TFT Swarovski Designer-in-Residence, costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Malcolm X, Amistad, Black Panther). Film
clips highlighting Carter's work were shown and a discussion of her career followed.
THEATER ALUMNI NEWS
CLASSICAL THEATER COMPANY FOUNDED BY UCLA TFT THEATER GRADUATES
Department of Theater graduates WILL BLOCK(B.A. '17), MARGARET STARBUCK (B.A. '17) and RENEE TORCHIO MACDONALD (B.A. '17) have founded Muse
of Fire, a burgeoning classical theater company based in Los Angeles where Richard II and Henry IV have been performed in July and August. Both productions feature UCLA TFT alumni actors and designers from the classes of 2016
and 2017. Remaining performances take place at Monk
Space in Koreatown on August 18-19 at 7 p.m.
KATE BERGSTROM (B.A. '10), directed At the Table, and JOSIAH DAVIS (B.A. '12), directed Outcry,
two plays featured in Santa Barbara's the On the Verge Summer Repertory Theatre Festival, August 3-13.
HUNTER BIRD (B.A. '12) directed
The Laodamiad, a new play by Chas LiBretto with dramaturgy by Oskar Eustis for the Villa Play Reading series at the Getty Villa.
WILL BLOCK (B.A. '17) performed in a production of Pericles presented by The Porters of Hellsgate Theater Company
in Los Angeles.
MICHAEL DENI (B.A. '17) and RODD FARHADI
(B.A. '17) are appearing in the July Hollywood Bowl production of Mamma Mia! opposite actor Corbin Bleu. Alumna CATRIONA FRAY is
part of the ensemble.
MARGUERITE FRENCH (M.F.A. '16) performed the role of Mother God in the Not Man Apart production of Paradise Lost,
and starred in the short film Dream of Treasure Island.
NAOMI GONZALEZ (M.F.A. '17) has been accepted into the Art Directors Guild's 2017 Production Apprentice
Trainee Program. She is the third M.F.A. designer from the Department of Theater to be a part of the prestigious annual program.
ISRAEL LOPEZ (M.FA. '16) performed in the world premiere of
Corazon Eterno, a bilingual play inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez's
Love in the Time of Cholera. The play toured the state of Minnesota and later had a main-stage run in Minneapolis.
LEA MADDA (M.F.A. '17) is performing in the Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum production of
NNEKA OKAFOR (B.A. '08) will appear in the
world-premiere Roundabout Theatre Company production of Too Heavy For Your Pocket, directed by Margot Bordelon. The play begins Friday, Sept. 15 in New York City.
NASIM PEDRAD has been cast in the live-action adaptation of Disney's
Aladdin, starring Will Smith. The film, which is currently in preproduction, does not yet have a release date.
JORMA TACCONE (B.A. '02) stars in
L.A. Times and
REN HANAMI (B.A. '84) stars in
Bitch + Sleigh Bells, two films that premiered at Sundance NEXT FEST in August.
SARAH YARKIN (B.A. '15) has been cast as a series regular opposite Emily Rudd in USA Network's
Olive Forever, a comedic crime drama pilot from AwesomenessTV.
THEATER STUDENT NEWS
SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED TO HONOR KENDRA PÉREZ
Second-year M.F.A. Theater student KENDRA PÉREZ passed away on Sunday, June, 18. UCLA TFT is honored to establish The Kendra Pérez Memorial Scholarship, which will provide financial support to retain a M.F.A. acting student who gives voice
to the unique perspective of Latina/o actors. Selection will be based on academic and artistic merit.
For those who would like to support the scholarship with a tax-deductible donation, contributions can be made payable to the UCLA Foundation, with the memo Line
Kendra Pérez Memorial Scholarship and mailed or delivered to:
Associate Director of Development
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
102 East Melnitz Hall - Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
Eight final-year M.F.A. students from UCLA TFT were given a remarkable opportunity to attend CinemaCon 2017 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, arranged by Dean
TERI SCHWARTZ and UCLA TFT Executive Board Member
DAN FELLMAN, the former president of Warner Bros. Distribution. This extraordinary circumstance was made possible by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), which covered the costs of the students' CinemaCon
registration fees, accommodations and meals. The students chosen to participate in this exceptional event were directors
ANN MARIE PACE (M.F.A. '17), JERELL ROSALES (M.F.A. '17) and
RONAK SHAW; screenwriters CHRIS GRILLOT (M.F.A. '17), NATALIE MEJIA (M.F.A. '17) and
JOEY SIARA (M.F.A. '17); and producers HELGA BRYNDIS (M.F.A. '17) and
JUSTIN OLSON (M.F.A. '17).
FTVDM ALUMNI NEWS
(M.F.A. '85) is joining Spellman University in Fall 2017 as a distinguished professor in the arts.
KILEY DONOVAN (M.F.A. '15) is a staff writer on ABC's Grey's
SACHA GERVASI's new project, My Dinner With Hervé, has been greenlit by HBO Films. The story focuses on
the friendship that evolves between a struggling journalist (Jamie Dornan) and actor Hervé Villechaize (Peter Dinklage).
DAVID GOLDBLUM (M.F.A. '12) has acquired the film rights to A Child Called "It", a compelling
story of a child whose courage and unyielding determination enabled him to survive extreme life-threatening odds. Humanitas Prize winner TAMLIN HALL(M.F.A. '13) is attached to direct the film.
MARSHALL KNIGHT(B.A. '09) recently co-wrote an episode of the USA Network series Suits.
WEIKO LIN (M.F.A. '02) wrote and directed
Miki, a short film adaptation of his play 100 Days, which is based on his personal experiences following his mother's death. The film screened at L.A.'s Laemmle Playhouse 7 from May 12-18.
FELISCHA MARYE (M.F.A. '14) has been hired as a staff writer on the second season of the hit Netflix series
13 Reasons Why.
GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD (B.A. '91) will
direct Sony Pictures' Silver & Black, based on Silver Sable & Black Cat characters from Sony's Marvel Spider-Man
universe. She just directed the pilot for Marvel's upcoming Cloak & Dagger series on Freeform.
DAVID QUANTIC (M.F.A. '04) developed the
ShoutOut video series to help promote the year-round programming and fundraising efforts for Seattle's queer film non-profit organization Three Dollar Bill Cinema (3DBC).
BILLY RAY (B.A. '85) is the creator of
The Last Tycoon, a drama series based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel. The nine-episode series is now streaming on Amazon.
MARK TAMAR (B.A. '84) has been named the Los Angeles Chargers' first-ever vice president of fan experience.
Tamar, who joins the Chargers with more than 25 years of expertise in the field, is a veteran of big-event entertainment, from the Super Bowl to venue production at the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens.
KEVIN TSAI (B.A. '90), a popular TV host in his native Taiwan, recently made his directorial debut with the film Didi's
Dream, which premiered in China in May.
FTVDM STUDENT NEWS
RECEIVE GRANT AT NATO MEMBERSHIP MEETING
On Wednesday, June 14, during the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) of California/ Nevada's annual membership meeting, five UCLA TFT graduate students received NATO's Fellowship in Film Award, a $50,000 grant that will be divided among
REINA HIGASITANI (production/directing); DANIELA HOYOS (animation); KEVIN KARCH (screenwriting); LINDA RIEDMANN (Producers Program); and ZOE WARD (production/directing). (Pictured:
Karch, Higasitani, Riedmann and Ward with Professor Barbara Boyle and NATO president and CEO Milt Moritz)
FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS
DAN MCLAUGHLIN'S BOOK PUBLISHED POSTHUMOUSLY
Animation Rules!, the final book written by former Animation Area Head and Professor
been published with the help of the author's son. Dan McLaughlin, Jr. completed his father's manuscript, which takes a wide-ranging look at the animation industry and was unfinished at the time of his passing in March 2016.
GYULA GAZDAG was the artistic director of the Sundance Institute's Directors Lab, which took place in June.
GINA KIM's latest film, Bloodless, screened in June at the Seoul International Woman's Film Festival. Through
the lens of VR, the film takes a look at the last living moments of a real-life sex worker who was murdered in 1992 by a U.S. soldier in South Korea.
JUDITH MORELAND directs the slavery-focused play Octoroon, which will open Capital Stage Company's 13th season
in Sacramento on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Dean TERI SCHWARTZ discussed social change for the empowerment of women during the Swarovski panel "Old Books, New
Covers - The Redefined 21st Century Woman" at the Austrian Salzburg Festival on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Sixty-five UCLA TFT alumni and 2017 graduates attended the annual TFT Alumni Welcome Party on Monday, June 5 at Wolfgang Puck Express. The event provides an opportunity for alumni to welcome new graduates into the alumni network
and to celebrate the current graduating class.
TWO GENEROUS DONATIONS TO BE MET BY THE UCLA CHANCELLOR'S CENTENNIAL SCHOLARS MATCH PROGRAM
The Rosemary Kraemer Raitt Foundation and supporter Marianne Murphy have dedicated $400,000
and $75,000, respectively, to UCLA TFT. Both gifts were part of the recent UCLA Chancellor's Centennial Scholars Match program, which met any donation between $75,000 and $1 million with an additional 50% contribution. Upon the last payment
of the commitments to UCLA TFT, the Raitt and Murphy gifts will be matched with $200,000 and $37,500, respectively.
PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE
2017 FEATURE SCREENPLAY COMPETITION
The winners and honorable mentions of the 2017 Professional Programs Feature Screenplay Competition, as well as the winner of the 2017 Nate Wilson Joie de Vivre Award were recently announced.
ABIGAIL GREEN won the Feature Screenplay Award, which includes a monetary prize of $2,000, for the romantic-comedy script
Tongzhi. AARON MOBLEY received the Screenplay Honorable Mention and a prize of $500 for his action-comedy
Twinfluence. The 14th annual Nate Wilson Joie de Vivre Award, which includes a monetary prize of $2,500, was given to writer-director
MELISSA TURKINGTON for her drama-magical realism screenplay
Little Pieces of Everything. MIKE MILLER received the Nate Wilson Joie de Vivre Award Honorable Mention and a prize of $500 for his sci-fi/romantic-comedy script
Tap Out. The Spring Quarter Certificate Presentation Ceremony acknowledged the achievements of
98 students who completed the yearlong Professional Program in Screenwriting. The awards were determined by industry professionals and UCLA alumni.
ESTHER HORNSTEIN (PP '14) is
an executive producer on the Netflix spy thriller
The Angel, which is shooting in the U.K., Bulgaria and Morocco. The film, based on Uri Bar-Joseph's bestselling novel
The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel, is expected to air in 2018.
UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE
GOLDEN AGE TELEVISION WRITERS ON THE BIG SCREEN
Reviewed by the Los
Angeles Times, this series highlights such acclaimed TV auteurs as Paddy Chayefsky, Horton Foote and Reginald Rose, who translated their uniquely character-centered, humanist dramas into feature films. Supported by the Writers Guild Foundation,
the program screens through Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood Village.
GROUNDBREAKING JEWISH SITCOM NOW ONLINE
Guided by creator, producer, writer, star and frequent director Gertrude Berg,
The Goldbergs (1929-1946), was one of the most beloved radio programs of its era, and among the first to authentically explore Jewish life in America. With funding from the
Grammy Foundation, the Archive has preserved 130 episodes from original transcription discs and
made them available for free listening online.
THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'IN THE LIFE'
On Tuesday, June 13, Archive director Jan-Christopher Horak was among the panelists at the LGBT Community Center in New York celebrating the 25th anniversary of the debut of the landmark series,
In the Life. The series was broadcast on public television from 1992 to 2012 and all 21 seasons are now available
on the Archive's website.
ARCHIVE CO-HOSTS 73RD FIAF CONGRESS
From April 28-May 3, UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy Film Archive co-hosted the
2017 International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Congress in Los Angeles, attended by more than 300 people from 52 countries. The Congress included a multi-day symposium,
Hollywood Goes Latin: Spanish-language Cinema in Los Angeles, conceived as a prequel to the Archive's upcoming series,
Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960, which will spotlight the Spanish-language film culture of downtown Los Angeles.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER NEWS
NEW EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
SCOTT DELMAN, ROB FRIEDMAN and SCOTT SANDERShave recently joined the UCLA TFT
Executive Board. Delman (1984, Hello Dolly!, Fun Home)and Sanders (The Color Purple, Elaine Stritch at Liberty) have extensive theater
backgrounds as Broadway producers. Friedman is the chairman and CEO of TMP Entertainment and has previously held top-level posts at several major studios, including Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
has been appointed as a UC Regent by Governor Jerry Brown...CHARLES KING and UCLA alumna
AVA DU VERNAY
are producingDawn, a TV adaptation of the Octavia E. Butler science-fiction book of the same name.