The State of SIE, the first social impact entertainment report created by Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT and Participant Media, was released in March. The book includes facts and figures, as well as overviews by 50 of the industry’s most well-known advocates including Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (B.A. ’96), actor/environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, playwright Eve Ensler, director Gina Prince-Bythewood (B.A. ’91), Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman and writer/director Gus Van Sant, just to name a few. The full report is available to read at
M.F.A. STUDENTS ATTEND CINEMACON IN LAS VEGAS
UCLA TFT Dean Teri Schwartz, along with UCLA TFT Executive Board member Dan Fellman, the former president of Warner Bros. Distribution, arranged for select students — Producers Program students Alexandra Abdrekhimova, Ryan Frame and Shazia Khan; production/directing students Elenie Chung, Farah Shaer and Stefan Wanigatunga; screenwriting student Taylor Berger; and costume design student Keilani Gleave — to attend CinemaCon 2019 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, April 1-4. This extraordinary opportunity was made possible by The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO). While at CinemaCon, the official convention of NATO, and the largest and most important gathering for the worldwide motion picture theater industry, students attended exclusive screenings, studio
presentations and a filmmakers roundtable moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell. Alumnus Joe Russo was one of the roundtable participants.
NEW SWAROVSKI COSTUME DESIGNER-IN-RESIDENCE NAMED
Academy Award-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky has been named the 2019 Copley Center Swarovski Costume Designer-in-Residence for the 2018-19 academic year. Makovsky's diverse career includes period films such as Seabiscuit and Alfonso Cuaron's A Little Princess to such action films as National Treasure; The Hunger Games; Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2;Captain America and TheAvengers. She is mentoring and working with UCLA TFT M.F.A. costume designers in the current Spring Quarter.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER, ALUMNI FEATURED IN THR's EMPOWERMENT ISSUE
Executive Board member Charles D. King and numerous alumni were featured in The Hollywood Reporter's first-ever Empowerment Issue, which celebrates diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry:
ANIMATION CAREER REVIEW RANKS UCLA TFT'S ANIMATION PROGRAM
In its annual lists, Animation Career Review has ranked UCLA TFT's animation program No. 1 in its “Top 40 Nationally Among Public Schools and Colleges” ranking.
THE UCLA TFT THEATER SEASON CONTINUES WITH PRODUCTIONS OF LOST CHILDHOOD, THE NEW PLAY FESTIVAL AND SCORCHED
The world premiere of Lost Childhood, an opera commissioned and developed by American Opera Projects, begins Friday, May 17 in the Freud Playhouse. Directed by Peter Kazaras, Lost Childhood follows a Jewish psychiatrist who eluded death as a boy in Poland during the war, and a German colleague born into a family with Nazi sympathies. The following week, on Thursday, May 23, The New Play Festival begins with The Answer to Your Prayers by M.F.A. playwright Jeffrey Limoncelli, and A Wolf’s Mother, by M.F.A. playwright Cary Simowitz. Scorched,
which opens Friday, May 31, tells the story of twins sisters who receive a surprising request in their late mother's will: To deliver letters to a father they thought was dead and a brother they never knew existed.
Visit the UCLA TFT Theater Season webpage for tickets to these shows and details about other upcoming productions.
JEFF BURKE MODERATES ENGINEERING PANEL
During the Bruin Engineers Reunion on Saturday, May 18, Professor in-Residence Jeff Burke will moderate the panel "Engineers in Entertainment" on the UCLA campus, speaking with alumni who currently work at Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Animation, Sony Interactive Entertainment and the UCLA Computer Graphics and Vision Laboratory.
JEWISH THREAD: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF COSTUME
DESIGN IN HOLLYWOOD
Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Ph.D., and the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design co-organized "Jewish Thread: The Hidden History of Costume Design in Hollywood," with Professor Sarah Abrevaya Stein and UCLA's Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. The event, which explored a forgotten dimension of Jewish and costume design history, took place Sunday, May 5 at the James Bridges Theater.
UCLA TFT ACTOR SHOWCASES
In April, the talents of UCLA TFT actors were on display for industry agents and managers in Los Angeles. The 2019 M.F.A. Actor Showcase, directed by Professor J.Ed Araiza, took place on Tuesday, April 16 at UCLA TFT’s Little Theater, while the Undergraduate Actor Showcase, directed by Michael Donovan, CSA, was held on Wednesday, April 10 at The Garry Marshall Theater in Burbank. On Tuesday, March 26, faculty members Dan Belzer and Linda Kerns directed the school's Ray Bolger Musical Theater students in the 2019 Musical Theater Showcase in New York at the Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Café. The following day, the students visited the offices of Disney Theatrical Group, located in the New Amsterdam Theatre. They met with
theatrical producer Tom Schumacher, the president of DTG and a UCLA TFT alumnus, who led a discussion and a Q&A session about "Mapping Out Your Career Path."
CARY SIMOWITZ RECEIVES KENNEDY CENTER ACCOLADE
For his play Djarum Vanilla, M.F.A. playwriting student Cary Simowitz has received the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Distinguished Achievement, at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The award recognizes work written on the subject of social justice and/or civil rights.
DUSTIN LANCE BLACK WRITES MEMOIR
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s (B.A. ’96) new memoir, Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas, debuted on Tuesday, April 30 to stellar reviews. Entertainment Weekly provided an excerpt prior to the book’s publication.
BARNETT BRETTLER TO WRITE FILM ADAPTATION
Barnett Brettler (M.F.A. ’13) is set to write the film adaptation of Josh Malerman’s psychological horror novel Black Mad Wheel. He recently adapted the graphic novel Monolith for Lionsgate and his screenplay Waking Hours is being produced by Mark Gordon (Grey's Anatomy, The Rookie).
CAROL BURNETT PERSONAL PRODUCES BIOPIC
Alumna Carol Burnett is producing, along with Tina Fey and Eric Gurian, a screen adaptation of her New York Times bestselling memoir Carrie and Me. The memoir chronicles Burnett’s life with her late daughter Carrie Hamilton, who passed away from cancer at the age of 38 in 2002.
JOSIAH DAVIS DIRECTS HOW WE GOT ON
As part of The Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. Programs’ 2018-19 season, Josiah Davis (B.A. ’18) directs How We Got On, a coming-of-age story about three young hip hop artists in the suburbs, May 3-19 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center in Providence, RI.
ALUMNI SELECTED FOR SUNDANCE SCREENWRITERS INTENSIVE
Adamma Ebo (M.F.A. ’18), Skye Emerson (M.F.A. ’18) and Tiffanie Hsu (M.F.A. ’17) were among the 11 screenwriters selected for the Sundance Institute's annual Screenwriters Intensive program in Los Angeles. Emerson also won the grand prize at the recent Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition for her historical drama Challenger.
CHRISTINA HAM'S NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN IN SEATTLE
Nina Simone: Four Women, written by Christina Ham (M.F.A. ’96), is having its West Coast premiere at Seattle Rep, April 26-June 2. Ham uses Four Women as the framework to explore Simone's shift from iconic artist to artist-activist through storytelling, debate and music, immersing audiences in the complex harmony of protest.
NETFLIX NABS GODWIN JABANGWE'S TUNGA
Tunga, an original animated family adventure musical written by Zimbabwean alumnus Godwin Jabangwe (M.F.A. '17) has been picked up by Netflix. Tunga was developed in Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Impact program, which helps emerging voices in the industry develop film and TV projects.
SEAN MICHAEL MCCORD WINS KENNEDY CENTER AWARD
Sean Michael McCord (B.A. ’82), has been awarded the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award by the Kennedy Center for his play Moving, which follows the lives of several couples occupying a Silver Lake apartment over the course of 30 years.
IDA NOWAKOWSKA JUDGES WORLD'SBEST
Ida Nowakowska (B.A. ’14), a native of Poland, is one of the judges on the new CBS James Corden-hosted series The World's Best, which features talent and judges from around the world. The competition series premiered after the Super Bowl in February.
NASIM PEDRAD'S CHAD PICKED UP BY TBS
TBS has picked up the Middle-Eastern family comedy Chad, created, written and executive produced by alumna Nasim Pedrad. She also portrays the show's 14-year old title character. Production on the pilot begins this spring.
VARIETY ADDS ALUMNA QUYEN TRAN TO ITS WATCH LIST
Cinematographer alumna Quyen Tran has been named to Variety's 10 Cinematographers to Watch 2019 list. She is currently in pre-production on the Adam Samberg comedy Palm Springs.
FILM FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
POSE, FROM ALUM STEVEN CANAL, RECEIVES HONORS FROM GLAAD, TV ACADEMY
FX's Pose, which was created by Steven Canals (M.F.A. ’15) and features actor and Professional Programs alumnus Billy Porter, received the Outstanding Drama Series Award at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday, May 4, in New York City. The show is also among the TV programming that will be recognized at the 12th Television Academy Honors on Thursday, May 30.
JOSH COVITT'S FILM PREMIERES AT THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
Josh Covitt (B.A. ’00) and Michael Feld’s 40 Minutes Over Mauihad its New York premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in early May. The comedy short takes a look at Larry and Penny's Hawaiian vacation on January 13, 2018, when, for 40 minutes, the fate of the world hung in the balance.
LYNN HAMRICK'S HIRO'S TABLE RECOGNIZED
Hiro’s Table, a feature-length documentary from Lynn Hamrick (B.A. ’72, M.F.A. ’75), has won the Best Feature Documentary Award at The Taste Awards. The film also won Best New Mexico Documentary Award at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and was an Official Selection at the Golden State, Thin Line, Napa Valley, Portland, DisOrient Asian American and Asian American Food film festivals.
FILM, TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA
DAN MINDEL NAMED KODAK CINEMATOGRAPHER-IN- RESIDENCE AT UCLA TFT
Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC, SASC, the cinematographer behind such films as Star Trek (2009) and Mission:Impossible III, has been named the 2018-19 Kodak Cinematographer in Residence at UCLA TFT. His recent film Star Wars: The Force Awakens screened on Monday, April 29 and his first student workshop took place the following day. This is the program's 19th year, generously sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company, which allows a distinguished cinematographer to conduct a series of workshops and screenings with students focusing on the aesthetic role that cinematographers play in the collaborative process of filmmaking.
INDUSTRY PROS TEACH HUNTER ZAKIN MASTER CLASS SERIES
The Department of Film, Television and Digital Media will host a number of distinguished screenwriters and directors in April and May at the Darren Star Theater as part of the 2019 Hunter Zakin Master Class Series for M.F.A. screenwriting students. The guests include Nancy Oliver (Lars and the RealGirl), Jane Anderson (The Wife), Angela Robinson (ProfessorMarston & the Wonder Women), Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven), Josh Singer (Spotlight, First Man), Melissa Rosenberg (Marvel'sJessica Jones) and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith (Legally Blonde, EllaEnchanted).
APPLY NOW FOR THE UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION SUMMER INSTITUTE: SPACES ARE LIMITED!
The UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute offers students an unparalleled opportunity to study filmmaking at one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. All tracks in this intensive program are taught by UCLA TFT faculty who are active and accomplished in their field. Students will earn course credit, meet high-profile guest speakers, tour a Hollywood studio and take part in an exciting closing ceremony. Classes start in June and August! Click the links below for more details.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR UCLA THEATER
PRE-COLLEGE SUMMER INSTITUTES!
Attention high school students! Develop your acting, singing and dancing ability by participating in UCLA TFT's Acting and Performance, Musical Theater or the brand new Camera Acting Summer Institute.
Train with resident UCLA TFT faculty and leading professionals by attending a two- or three-week intensive and receive the preparation required for successful participation in a university theater program or a career in the performing arts.
GINA KIM FILM RETROSPECTIVE TAKES PLACE IN GERMANY
In March, Professor Gina Kim's retrospective “GINA KIM: Desire & Diaspora" was showcased in Munich, Germany, as part of New Asian Cinema series at the cinematheque Werkstattkino München. The event included Kim’s films Gina Kim’s Video Diary, Invisible Light and Never Forever.
BRIAN KITE DIRECTS OSLO
For L.A. Theatre Works, Department of Theater Chair Brian Kite (B.A. ’91, M.F.A. ’04) recently directed a recording of Oslo, J.T. Rogers' 2017 Tony Award-winning play, in front of a live audience for public radio, podcast and online streaming.
DEBORAH LANDIS LEADS EMPOWERMENT FORUM
Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis (M.F.A. ’75) and producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) were invited by the U.S. Embassy to speak to women in the film industry in Lima, Peru on the topic of "Empowerment and Entrepreneurship," March 25-29.
DAN MCDERMOTT HIRED BY LIONSGATE AND BBC STUDIOS
Lecturer Dan McDermott (B.A. ’85) has been hired by Lionsgate Television and BBC Studios to lead the companies’ scripted TV partnership in Los Angeles. The companies intend to identify and co-develop scripted formats and original intellectual property for the U.S. market.
SYLVAN OSWALD AWARDED A GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP
Professor Sylvan Oswald is one of four UCLA professors awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The Fellowships are given to a broad range of scholars, writers and artists based on prior achievement and exceptional promise. As a Fellow, Oswald will write a text responding to Virginia Woolf's Orlando from a trans perspective.
CHUCK SHEETZ NOMINATED FOR DAYTIME EMMY
Emmy Award-winning professor Chuck Sheetz has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Directing for an Animated Program for his work on DreamWorks Animation Television’s The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The ceremony takes place Sunday, May 5 in Pasadena.
Producer, Executive Board Member and Maya Cinemas CEO Moctesuma Esparza (B.A. ’71, M.F.A. ’73) has opened his sixth Maya Cinemas location, and his first outside California, in North Las Vegas. The Hollywood Reporterrecently reported on the opening and Esparza’s dedication to opening theaters in Latino communities that are “underserved by other theater companies.”
JOE CALABRESE LANDS ON THR'S POWER LAWYERS LIST
Executive Board member Joe Calabrese has been named to The Hollywood Reporter's 2019 Power Lawyers list. According to THR, Calabrese "is a go-to lawyer when it comes to live-TV rights, having negotiated an eight-year pact on behalf of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with Dick Clark Productions and NBC to broadcast the Golden Globes through 2026. He also repped Warner Bros. on its overall pact with Greg Berlanti through 2024."
DEADLINE APPROACHING: SUMMER PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS IN PRODUCING
The deadline to apply for the Summer Professional Program in Producing is Friday, May 31. Earn your certificate from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Learn how to finance, develop, pitch, market and distribute your feature films, TV series and platforms, and career strategies from leading experts. Visit the Professional Programs website for more details.
UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE
The Archive, in conjunction with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will present "Nina Menkes, Cinematic Sorceress" on Saturday, June 15 at the Billy Wilder Theater, where her films Queen of Diamonds and The Bloody Child will be screened. Menkes (M.F.A. ’89), is an award-winning independent filmmaker who has controlled all aspects of production, including camera operation and picture and sound editing, on her seven feature films. Menkes will be present for a Q&A between the films.
SPECIAL FREE SCREENING: THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD
In partnership with Hollywood Post 43 of the American Legion, the Archive presents a special screening of director Peter Jackson’s new documentary on the First World War, They Shall Not Grow Old (2018), on Saturday, May 11. The film transforms grainy, silent, black and white newsreel footage into a color sound film. It is an aesthetic reimagining of the human experience, taking the viewer into the real world as it existed from 1914 to 1918. Watch the trailer on YouTube and visit the
Archive website for tickets.
30th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING OF HEATHERS IN DTLA
UCLA Film & Television Archive and VIDIOTS Foundation co-presented a special 30th anniversary screening of Heathers (1989), the “wickedest high school comedy of all time,” on Thursday, April 18, at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, with more than 500 in attendance. Director Michael Lehmann, screenwriter Daniel Waters, co-star Lisanne Falk and cinematographer Francis Kenny were on stage for the post-screening Q&A helmed by writer and film critic April Wolfe. Watch the recap video here.
JAN-CHRISTOPHER HORAK PARTICIPATES IN HFPA
On March 9, Archive Director Jan-Christopher Horak participated in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's first Film Restoration Summit panel discussion, held at the historic Theater at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, alongside filmmaker Alexander Payne, actress Jane Fonda and others. The summit, presented in association with The Film Foundation and Institut Lumière, focused on the cultural importance of preserving the art of cinema.