Opening Night

UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television Film Festival 2012 Re-Cap

Alexander Payne, Harvey Weinstein, Julie Dash MFA ’85, John Logan, Dustin Lance Black, Gale Anne Hurd were among those honored at this year's UCLA/TFT Film Festival, the annual weeklong festival that showcases and screens the works of the School's emerging artists, and honors the work of the entertainment industry's brightest and most respected. Students voting within their particular discipline choose honorees.

Bill McDonald, incoming Chair of the School’s Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, hosted the festival’s Opening Night, where writer-director Dash (“Daughters of the e Dust”) received the Distinguished Alumna Award.

Three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan (“Hugo,” “The Aviator,” “Gladiator”) was received the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award at the Festival's Screenwriters Showcase event. The award was presented by the director of “Gladiator,” Ridley Scott.

At the Producers Marketplace event, hosted by production executive Channing Dungey, producer Gale Anne Hurd “The Terminator,” “The Walking Dead”) received this year's UCLA TFT/Producer’s Guild of America Vision Award from PGA co-president Hawk Koch.

The climax of the year-end Festival was, as always, the closing night Director’s Showcase event. Ten Spotlight Awards, drawn from a shortlist of 30 nominations voted by students, from which a Blur Ribbon panel of industry judges made the final selection. Hosted by TFT alumnus and writer/director Todd Holland “The Larry Sanders Shows,” “Malcolm in the Middle”), the event conferred the Champion Spirit Award on prolific producer and distributor Harvey Weinstein (“Pulp Fiction,” “The Artist”). The coveted Filmmaker of the Year trophy went to Oscar-winning screenwriter and admired director Alexander Payne, whose acting discovery from “The Descendants,” Shailene Woodley.


The UCLA Film Festival kicks off with an event featuring selected student films, both graduate and undergraduate, animation and live-action.


All films completed by workshop students are proudly shown at this event and consist of works in all mediums, be it pencils, clay, or Maya.


A feature and teleplay competition for the MFA Screenwriting candidates, celebrating the work of entertainment's newest crop of screenwriting talent.


Four graduate students in the UCLA Producers Program present their feature film projects to a panel of top-tier industry judges in front of a live audience.


A premier event showcasing ten films chosen by student and industry representatives to receive Spotlight awards.