UCLA TFT WELCOMES NEW FACULTY AND DEPARTMENT OF THEATER CHAIR
BRIAN KITE, former producing artistic director of the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, has been named chair of the Department of Theater. Kite has taught at UCLA TFT for the past 10 years and was at La Mirada from 2008-2015. While at La Mirada, Kite directed numerous acclaimed productions including Billy Elliot, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, among many others. Kite has directed live theater across the United States and abroad. His upcoming projects include a new production of American Buffalo and an intimate staging of Green Day's American Idiot. Kite is the chair of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance's Board of Governors and is the artistic director of the award-winning Buffalo Nights Theatre Company. He is the recipient of the 2013 Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his production of Spring Awakening. Kite received his B.A. and M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
DOMINIC ANTHONY TAYLOR is a professor in the Department of Theater. Previously an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Taylor is a scholar of African American theater and a writer-director whose work has been seen around the country in such venues as The Kennedy Center and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, among others. Taylor received his B.A. and M.F.A. from Brown University.
Documentarian KRISTY GUEVARA-FLANAGAN has joined the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media as an assistant professor. Guevara-Flanagan comes to UCLA TFT from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif. Her most recent feature, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, traces the evolution and legacy of the comic book hero Wonder Woman as a way to reflect on society's anxieties about women's liberation. Guevara-Flanagan received her M.F.A. in cinema from San Francisco State University.
ELLEN C. SCOTT has also joined the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media as an assistant professor. She specializes in media history; African American cultural history; film and media theory; American film history; sound theory; the history of censorship and cultural studies. She was previously assistant professor of media history at CUNY-Queens College in Flushing, New York. Scott received her M.A. in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 2001 and her Ph.D. from the same program in 2007. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communications in 2000.
AWARD ESTABLISHED IN HONOR OF BOYLE
An award has been established at UCLA TFT in the name of BARBARA BOYLE, professor and associate dean, Entrepreneurship and Special Initiatives. The Barbara Boyle Promising Producers Prize will carry on Boyle's legacy in educating future filmmakers. The award will be given to a UCLA TFT Producers Program student who is presenting in the annual Producers Marketplace during UCLA TFT's Student Film Festival. To contribute to the Barbara Boyle Promising Producers Prize, visit the Give to UCLA page.
SUBER CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AT UCLA
Professor Emeritus HOWARD SUBER was recently honored for his 50 years of teaching at UCLA TFT. Alumni SACHA GERVASI (Hitchcock) and FELICIA D. HENDERSON (Soul Food) hosted the special evening and established The UCLA Suber Structure and Strategy Scholarship in Suber's honor. One UCLA TFT student per academic year from the Producer's Program, the Screenwriting Program or Cinema and Media Studies will be awarded funds from the scholarship. Those interested in making a donation to the scholarship can do so on the Give to UCLA page.
Heading to the Sundance Film Festival in January? Be sure to visit UCLA TFT at the School's annual reception taking place at Zoom, 660 Main St., Park City, Utah, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 from 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. RSVP at http://www.tft.ucla.edu/sundancereception.
UCLA TFT 2015-16 THEATER SEASON
The Department of Theater's theatrical season for the academic year 2015-16 has been announced. The productions include:
• Cloud 9, a hilarious and raunchy two-act play from preeminent British playwright Caryl Churchill • Life on the Praça Roosevelt (Das Leben auf der Praça Roosevelt), a captivating and intriguing drama from one of Germany's leading contemporary playwrights, Dea Loher • Lainie's Cabaret: A Celebration of Frank Sinatra…100 Years, a compilation of beloved Frank Sinatra songs performed by the Ray Bolger Musical Theater program students, directed by award-winning singer, movie, television and Broadway actress Lainie Kazan and featuring the UCLA Jazz Orchestra, directed by Charley Harrison • Eurydice, a contemporary retelling of the Orpheus myth created by playwright Sarah Ruhl • Cosi Fan Tutte, the story of two young soldiers who wager 100 gold coins that their lovers will not betray them in their absence, and a collaboration between UCLA TFT, Opera UCLA and UCLA Philharmonia • A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare's most popular and beloved comedy • Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, a Ray Bolger Musical Theater production of the timeless, classic musical • The Tragedy of Carmen, in which a gypsy, a soldier and a toreador form a fiery love triangle
A record 22 UCLA TFT animation students have been named the recipients of the 2015 Matt Groening Production Fellowship in Animation. Their work was shown during an official screening on Friday, Nov. 13 at the James Bridges Theater. The students include ZIA ADSIT-METTS, TENAYA ANUE, GREG CHEN, ANDRE GERNER, SAM GRINBERG, BEN HAIST, DANIELA HOYOS, KATE ISENBERG, YOOMI KIM, LOGAN KNIGHT, LAUREN KREIGER, HEATHER LANGLEY, FAN LIANG, KIM NGUYEN THU VU, DANIEL OLIVAS, HEATHER PAUL, KARA REDDY, MIA RESELLA, TYLER RICE, GRACIELA SARABIA, JULIAN TRUITT and ZEHAO XUE.
The Annual Parents' Weekend "Lunch With the Dean" took place on Friday, Oct. 30 at UCLA's Coral Tree Walk. Joining Dean TERI SCHWARTZ was filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel), who offered his impressions about being a UCLA TFT parent.
SHANE BLACK AND FRED DEKKER SCREEN EDGE
On Thursday, Nov. 5, UCLA TFT premiered AmazonStudios' new Western TV pilot Edge, created by SHANE BLACK (B.A. '83) (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) and UCLA alumnus Fred Dekker(Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: Enterprise). The series is based on the George G. Gilman best-selling book series of the same name. A Q&A session moderated by Professor RICHARD WALTER followed the screening.
BRADFORD YOUNG, ASC, NAMED
2015 KODAK CINEMATOGRAPHER-IN-RESIDENCE
Award-winning cinematographer Bradford Young, ASC (Pawn Sacrifice, A Most Violent Year, Selma), has been named the 2015 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. As part of his residency, Young spoke during a Q&A that followed a Monday, Oct. 5 screening of Ain't Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, at the James Bridges Theater.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL BEST DIRECTOR
HOU HSIAO-HSIEN VISITS UCLA TFT
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who won the best director prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for his latest film, The Assassin, visited UCLA TFT in mid-October to screen the movie at the James Bridges Theater, and to participate in a post-screening Q&A. Also after the screening, UCLA TFT recognized him for his outstanding artistry and master filmmaking during a special presentation by Professor MYUNG HEE CHO.
Two UCLA TFT alumni and a Department of Theater faculty member were named winners during the 2015 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards ceremony that took place on Monday, Nov. 9 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles.
KATIE BOECK (B.A. ’10) earned an Ovation Award in the category of Acting Ensemble of a Musical as part of the cast of Spring Awakening. Lecturer DREW DALZELL received a Sound Design (Large Theater) Ovation Award, shared with Noelle Hoffman, for his work on Wicked Lit 2014. Additionally, MAT SWEENEY (B.A. ’05) received a 2015 Ovation Honor: Composition for a Play, for The Temptation of St. Antony, shared with Ellen Warkentine.
A full list of UCLA TFT nominees follows:
JONATHAN BURKE (Administrative Coordinator, Lecturer)
Sound Design (Large Theatre) — The Last Five Years
KATIE BOECK (B.A. '10)
Acting Ensemble of a Musical — Spring Awakening
MARY JO DUPREY (Lecturer)
Best Direction of a Play — August: Osage County
ANTHONY FANNING (Lecturer)
Scenic Design (Large Theatre) — Switzerland
ELLEN GEER (Visiting Associate Professor)
Lead Actress in a play — August: Osage County
CRISTINA GERLA (B.A. '11)
Acting Ensemble of a Play — Failure: A Love Story
MICHELLE HOLMES (M.F.A. '83)
Featured Actress in a Musical — The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein
JEAN KAUFFMAN (B.A. '06)
Acting Ensemble of a Musical — Ragtime
BRIAN KITE (B.A. '91, M.F.A. '04) (Chair, Department of Theater; former artistic director, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Best Season — BillyElliot The Musical, Carrie: The Musical, Good People, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, A Musical and Mary Poppins (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre) — Carrie: The Musical (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
JESSICA KUBZANSKY (Visiting Assistant Professor, co-artistic director, The Theater @ Boston Court)
Best Season — My Barking Dog, Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, Shiv and The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll (The Theatre @ Boston Court)
TRACIE LOCKWOOD (B.A. '00)
Acting Ensemble of a Play — A Permanent Image
JULIE MORGENTALER (B.A. '09)
Acting Ensemble of a Musical — Ragtime
NICK SANTIAGO (M.F.A. '10)
Video/Production Design — A Permanent Image
TONI SMITH (M.F.A. '09)
Featured Actress in a Musical — The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein
JARED STEIN (M.F.A. '01)
Best Musical Direction — Spring Awakening
MAT SWEENEY (B.A. '05)
Best Direction of a Play — The Temptation of St. Antony (nominated with Sebastian Peters-Lazaro)
Choreography — The Temptation of St. Antony (nominated with Sebastian Peters-Lazaro)
JOSE LUIS VALENZUELA (Professor, Head of Directing; Artistic Director, Los Angeles Theatre Center)
Best Presented Production — Andre & Dorine (Los Angeles Theatre Center)
PAIGE WHITE (M.F.A. '06)
Lead Actress in a Play — Trying
AGUSTIN EARNS EMERGING LEADER AWARD
On Sunday, Oct. 11, RAFAEL AGUSTIN (B.A. '03, M.A. '04) received the Emerging Leader Award during the Los Angeles Times and Hoy's 2015 Latinos de Hoy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
BEHRS STARS IN NEW FILM AND WRITES BOOK
BETH BEHRS (B.A. '08), star of CBS' 2 Broke Girls (which began its fifth season on Thursday. Nov. 12), appears opposite Sally Field and Max Greenfield in the upcoming Roadside Attractions comedy Hello, My Name Is Doris. It was also recently announced that she is writing a lifestyle guide/memoir for Weinstein Books.
BLACK GOES COUNTRY
Alumnus JACK BLACK is teaming with Fox Network and country singer Dwight Yoakam to produce Belles and Whistles, a family comedy set in the world of country music.
HELLER RECEIVES INDIE SPIRIT AND GOTHAM AWARDS NOMINATIONS
MARIELLE HELLER (B.A. '01) has received two Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations in the categories of Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature for her film The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Additionally, the film's star, Bel Powley, is nominated as Best Female Lead. The Film Independent Spirit Awards takes place on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. The Diary of a Teenage Girl also leads the Gotham Independent Film Awards with four nominations in the best actress, screenplay, feature and breakthrough director categories. The ceremony takes place on Monday, Nov. 30.
AFI FEST NOMINEES
Two alumnae were nominated for AFI Fest awards in the Short Selections category: ANNA KHAJA (B.A. '97), for her performance in Pyromance, and NORA KIRKPATRICK (B.A. '06) for her role in Pink Grapefruit. AFI Fest took place Nov. 5-12 in Hollywood. Khaja also recently appeared in three episodes of ABC's Quantico.
MAGGIO NAMED DISTINGUISHED ADJUDICATOR
ALEXANDER MAGGIO (M.F.A. '10), a 2010 alumnus of Theater Masters' National MFA Playwrights Festival, is the first former participant to be named a Distinguished Adjudicator for the organization. As an adjudicator, he will help select winning plays in Theater Masters' annual Take Ten play competition, meet the student playwrights and give them insight into the business. Maggio is a writer on the CBS drama series Madam Secretary.
OTHER THEATER ALUMNI NEWS
Mistress America, featuring actor SETH BARRISH (B.A. '95), was an official selection at the Rome International Film Festival in October…RYAN BORCHERDING (B.A. '07) has been hired as a training officer by Theater for a Change, a London-based international theater company…KATIE BOECK (B.A. '10) is a cast member of the Spring Awakening revival that opened on Broadway in September…Special performances of Annie Get Your Gun, directed by JOHN RANDO (M.F.A. '88) with actress and alumna JUDY KAYE, ran for two days in late October at New York City Center…KEVIN WEISMAN (B.A. '93) is currently appearing on the CBS drama Scorpion.
Freshman BEN ELLERBROCK has won the National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for his role in Lord of the Flies at New Village Arts in Carlsbad…M.F.A. acting student SACHANDRA GRANDOIT has written a children's book, Max and the Magic Lamp, that will be published early next year…Sophomore MAEVE RILEY has been recruited by BroadwayWorld.com to run their Vine department and expanding social media circuit…Ph.D. candidate GWYNETH SHANKS was awarded the Chinoy Dissertation Research Fellowship Grant, which is funded through the American Society for Theatre Research. She was a part of the November ASTR/TLA Conference in Portland, Ore.
DEAUVILLE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
In September, four alumni and an executive board member screened films at the 41st Deauville American Film Festival. They include:
Competition Day Out of Days — KATE ROUGHAN (M.F.A. '06), producer
Deauville Season 6 Bosch — DIANE FROLOV (M.F.A. '77), screenwriter
The Premieres Pawn Sacrifice — MICHAEL STUHLBARG, actor
Uncle Sam's Docs By Sidney Lumet — Executive Board Member MARTIN SCORSESE, producer Janis — ALEX GIBNEY, producer
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Six alumni and executive board member films were screened at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in September. They include:
TIFF Docs Janis: Little Girl Blue — ALEX GIBNEY, producer The Reflektor Tapes — KAHLIL JOSEPH (M.F.A. '06), director Hitchcock/Truffaut — PAUL SCHRADER (M.A. '70) and executive board member MARTIN SCORSESE make appearances
Midnight Madness The Girl in the Photograph — DEAN CUNDEY (B.A. '68), cinematographer
Special Presentations Trumbo — MICHAEL STUHLBARG, actor
Additionally, Professor and Associate Dean of Diversity and Equity KATHLEEN MCINNIS was a co-programmer for the festival's Short Cuts section.
BBC CULTURE'S 100 GREATEST AMERICAN FILMS
After polling 62 international film critics from the United Kingdom, continental Europe, South America, Australia, India, the Middle East and the United States, BBC Culture recently published their list of the 100 greatest American films. Included were such classics as Citizen Kane (1941, #1), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, #4) and Psycho (1960, #8) along with the masterworks of eight UCLA TFT alumni and board members, totaling 11 of the 100 films. They include:
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (M.F.A. '67, executive board member),
writer, director, producer
#2: The Godfather (1972)
#10: The Godfather Part II (1974)
#33: The Conversation (1974)
#90: Apocalypse Now (1979)
MARTIN SCORSESE (executive board member), writer, director
#19: Taxi Driver (1976)
#20: Goodfellas (1990)
#29: Raging Bull (1980)
#93: Mean Streets (1973)
ERIC ROTH, screenwriter and DOUG CHIANG, visual effects
#74: Forrest Gump (1994)
DEAN CUNDEY (B.A. '68), cinematographer and MIKE FENTON (B.A. '56),
#56: Back to the Future (1985)
CHARLES BURNETT (B.A. '69, M.F.A. ’77), writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor #26: Killer of Sheep (1978)
BURNETT RECEIVES CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
CHARLES BURNETT (B.A. '69, M.F.A. ’77) received the Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 25. His 1990 film To Sleep With Anger, edited by Professor NANCY RICHARDSON, was screened prior to the presentation.
DARA JU IS PRESTIGIOUS GRANT FINALIST
Dara Ju, from filmmakers JUSTIN BEGNAUD (M.F.A. '10) and ANTHONY ONAH (M.F.A. '13) is one of 14 San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Ranin Foundation Filmmaking Grant finalists. Up to $300,000 will be awarded in November to one or more films to help with their completion. Past grantees have included Beasts of the Southern Wild, Short Term 12, FruitvaleStation and Love Is Strange.
Sound editor MICHAEL J. BENAVENTE earned a Creative Arts Emmy Award for his work on History Channel's Houdini, and ALEX GIBNEY earned three awards for his HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
MELNIK AT SUNDANCE'S EPISODIC STORY LAB
MARIA MELNIK's (M.F.A. '11) Hell or High Water was one of 10 projects selected (out of 2,500 submissions) as part of Sundance Institute's second Episodic Story Lab for creators of TV and Online series. She is currently a staff writer on Starz's upcoming series American Gods.
PAYNE'S LATEST PROJECT
ALEXANDER PAYNE (M.F.A. '90) has written the science-fiction comedy Downsizing, which he will direct for Paramount. Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon will star in the film, which is slated for a 2017 release.
PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD FILM SCREENS AT UCLA TFT
GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD’s film Beyond the Lights screened on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the James Bridges Theater as part of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor’s screening series. Presented by UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the UCLA African American Studies Department, the UCLA Institute of American Cultures and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, the screening was followed by a Q&A with Prince-Bythewood. In other news, Fox TV is developing Prince-Bythewood’s untitled police drama, which will star Sanaa Lathan.
Three UCLA TFT alumni wrote and directed episodes for the ABC Family drama The Fosters, which has received a 2015 TCA Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming for the 2014-15 season. Alumni include: TAMARA P. CARTER (M.F.A. '13), KELLY FULLERTON (M.F.A. '10) and ELODIE KEENE (B.A. '73). Additionally, DANIEL ATTIAS (M.F.A. '83) directed two episodes of FX's The Americans, which received the TCA Awards' Outstanding Achievement in Drama prize. The TCA Awards took place on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
OTHER FTVDM ALUMNI NEWS
MIKE B. ANDERSON (M.F.A. '90) recently directed his 25th episode of Fox's The Simpsons, "Halloween of Horror," which aired on Sunday, Oct. 18. The episode was the series' first-ever Halloween show…SHONALI BOSE's (M.F.A. '97) Margarita, with a Straw screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne in August…CRAIG CALMAN (B.A. '75) has published his book 100 Years of Brodies with Hal Roach: The Jaunty Journeys of a Hollywood Motion Picture and Television Pioneer…KRISTIN CATALANO's (M.F.A. '04) documentary Clarence, about 85 year-old World War II veteran Clarence Garrett and his quest to obtain his bachelors degree, was an official selection at the Austin Film Festival…Former Saved by the Bell actress LEANNA CREEL (M.F.A. '96) was recently profiled by Cosmopolitan. She is the founder of Creel Studio, a full-service photography and video production company that specializes in food, travel and lifestyle content…COLIN DAVIS (B.A. '12) has been named the manager of original programming at TBS…GRANT DERKAC (M.F.A. '09) was promoted to agent, international and independent film at ICM Partners…TOM JACOBSEN (M.F.A. '94) has been named partner and creative director at VOLT Studios in Minneapolis…In a recent India West article, filmmaker LENA KHAN (B.A. '07) spoke about her new film, The Tiger Hunter, which centers on a young man who comes to the U.S. from India in the 1970s. The film, which stars Danny Pudi (Community), opened on Friday, Oct. 30...CHRISTEL MILLER (M.F.A. '07) has been named director of current programming at NBC Entertainment…ERICK OH (M.F.A. '10) is one of the animators on Disney Pixar's latest blockbuster Inside Out, which has earned $851.5 million worldwide since its release on Friday, June 19…ANTHONY ONAH (M.F.A. '13) was named one of Filmmaker magazine's "25 New Faces of Film." He recently started production on his debut feature film, Dara Ju, which is filming in Los Angeles, New York City and Lagos, Nigeria…Hands to the Sky, written and produced by Department of Theater graduate THEO PERKINS (M.F.A. '07) and directed by KIMBERLY TOWNES (M.F.A. '12), was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Diaspora Short…The comedy Wombat Man: The Cereal Murders, written and directed by CHRISI TALYN SAJE (M.F.A. '11), and described as a "kid's show for adults," ended its run in mid-October at the Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood…JULIE ANN SIPOS (M.F.A. '04), who heads up transmedia storytelling at American Girl, has written Love from Morning to Night, an illustrated storybook for AG's Bitty Baby line that is paired with the company's first album of all-original music, for which she wrote the lyrics…Hulu's vp of originals, BEATRICE SPRINGBORN (M.F.A. '05), was named to Variety's prestigious Power of Women 2015 list…MIKE STEIN (M.F.A. '12) has been named director of TV development at Davis Films…MICHAEL STUHLBARG co-stars in Steve Jobs, which has earned $17 million since its opening weekend on Oct. 9, and ALEXANDRA CRESWICK (M.F.A. '09) is the associate producer of Miles Ahead. Both films were part of the Main Slate at the 53rd New York Film Festival...The feature film A Lesson of Love, produced by BRAD WAISBREN (B.A. '78) was chosen to screen at the WorldFest Houston International Film & Video Festival, where it won a best first feature prize for director Michael McAlexander.
DEAD OR ALIVE ON HISTORY CHANNEL
UCLA TFT alumnus BEN ARFMANN (M.F.A. '13) and graduate student JUSTIN PERKINSON, along with UCLA alumnus JP Castelare behind the History Channel original scripted pilot Dead or Alive: Stranded in the Alaskan Wilderness, which premiered on Sunday, Sept. 27.
DGA STUDENT FILM AWARDS WINNERS
DEHANZA ROGERS (M.F.A. ’15) and M.F.A. directing student MEJA SHOBA were winners in the African-American category at the DGA Student Film Awards on Thursday, Nov. 12. Shoba was an Award Winner for her film Dear Pearl. Rogers received the Jury Award for her film The Youth.
WGAW FEATURE WRITER ACCESS PROJECT
CYNTHIA RIDDLE (B.A. '80, M.F.A. '85), NATALIJA VEKIC (M.F.A. '13) and graduate student BO YEON KIM are among the 10 screenwriters named 2015 Feature Writer Access Project honorees by the WGAW. The project seeks to identify outstanding minority, female and age 60+ writers and make their scripts available to entertainment industry decision-makers, including producers, studio executives, agents and managers, in order to help raise their profile and generate potential employment opportunities.
TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL
The Telluride Film Festival announced its lineup on Thursday, Sept. 3. Two alumni had ties to films at the festival this year: JENNIFER NEWFIELD (B.A. '07) was the production manager for director Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson's Anomalisa, and actor alumnus MICHAEL STUHLBARG stars in director Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs opposite Michael Fassbender. Additionally, ALEXANDER PAYNE (M.F.A. '90) was on the Telluride Film Festival Board of Governors and GREGORY NAVA (B.A. '71, M.F.A. '76) served as the fest's Student Prints Curator. Executive Board member FRANK MARSHALL (B.A. '68) sits on the Esteemed Council of Advisors.
UCLA TFT FILMLAB FELLOWS AT TELLURIDE
Ten UCLA TFT FilmLab fellows and Professor NANCY RICHARDSON, serving as faculty advisor, joined Dean TERI SCHWARTZ at the Telluride Film Festival for the fifth annual FilmLab symposium, which is sponsored by FRANK MARSHALL (B.A. ’68). They included ARKESH AJAY, JEREMY CHRISTENSEN, LAWRENCE DONOVAN,ZACHARY HAMBY,CANDICE KNUTSON, ONDINE LANGFORD, JUANITA LONDONO, STEPHANIE SANDOVAL LEAN, BRIANA MCKOY and ERIC VENNEMEYER.
SAMUEL GOLDWYN WRITING AWARDS
UCLA TFT graduate student EMILY BENSINGER (Harridans) was named the winner of the60th annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards on Monday, Nov. 2. Bensinger recently signed with Creative Artists Agency and is managed by Three Arts Entertainment. NOEL SCOTT CHALMERS (B.A. '15) (Stinker) and Bruin alumna Chloe Keenan (What I Did This Summer, By Sophie Crumb) received second place awards in a tie; graduate student MELISSA FINELL (Sensitivity Training) received the third place prize.
ASC GORDON WILLIS STUDENT HERITAGE AWARDS
M.F.A. filmmaking students PAUL CANNON and JUSTIN PERKINSON were nominated for 2015 ASC Gordon Willis Student Heritage Awards. The ceremony took place on Saturday, Sept. 26.
FILM SCHOOL FEST MUNICH
M.F.A. directing student SHADAE SMITH's film The Resort was chosen as an official selection at Film School Fest Munich 2015, which took place Nov. 15-21.
COMING HOME GETS DISTRIBUTION DEAL
Fourth-year documentary grad student STEVEN LIANG has signed a distribution deal with French distributor Outplay Films for his film Coming Home, which will be available on DVD/VOD in France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium in 2016.
DEAN TERI SCHWARTZ MODERATES VARIETY AND
SUMMIT AT SEA PANELS
Dean TERI SCHWARTZ was the moderator at Variety's "The Future of the Film Industry" panel, which kicked off their bi-annual Entertainment & Technology Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 16. She was joined by BuzzFeed Motion Pictures President Ze Frank, Awesomeness Films President Matt Kaplan, Imagine Entertainment President Erica Huggins, Fullscreen CEO and founder George Strompolos, and CAA's Co-Head of Digital Talent and Packaging, Frank Jung.
At the Summit at Sea conference in November, Dean Schwartz moderated an in-depth conversation with filmmakers and founders of Truth Aid, Dr. Mehret Mandefro and Lacey Schwartz, who produced the Ethiopian drama Dif’ret (Berlin Film Festival Audience award winner) and the acclaimed Little White Lie. They explored the topic of making films that change the world and how to create social action campaigns that drive public awareness and participation.
SUE-ELLEN CASE SPEAKS AT ASTR CONFERENCE
Professor SUE-ELLEN CASE gave a keynote speech at the American Society for Theatre Research's annual conference during the event's "State of the Profession Plenary" session. The conference took place Nov. 5-8, in Portland, Ore.
NAMED DATA NETWORKING COMMUNITY MEETING
In early September, UCLA TFT Assistant Dean of Technology and Innovation JEFF BURKE gave the opening keynote speech, "The Future of the Internet is the Future of Everything," at the second annual Named Data Networking Community Meeting hosted by UCLA. Burke noted how researchers in the arts and beyond are interested in where the Internet is going as a means for communicating stories. The four-day event included 99 participants from 60 institutions and 13 countries engaging in a hackathon, demos, panels and presentations.
OTHER FACULTY NEWS
Lecturer BETH BABYAK has been promoted to chief of staff at Hershey Cause Communications, where she previously held the title of vice president of operations. Hershey Cause connects philanthropy, business, government and non-profits to work collaboratively for the greater good…Award-winning theater actor and TFT Visiting Assistant Professor MARILYN FOX starred in the revival of Awake and Sing!, which opened Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Odyssey Theatre…Lecturer DAVE JOHNSON is set to write the Fox 2000 remake of Oh! Heavenly Dog with Tim Hill, one of the creators of SpongeBob Square Pants…Professor RICH ROSE was the scenic designer of The Actor's Co-Op production of The Baker's Wife, which ran through Sunday, Oct. 25 in Hollywood…Professor DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS was a contributor to the recently published book Swarovski: Celebrating a History of Collaborations in Fashion, Jewelry, Performance, and Design (Rizzoli, 2015)…In mid-October, Professor JUDY MORELAND appeared on CBS' CSI: Cyber, opposite series star Patricia Arquette.
NEW STAFF MEMBERS
AMANDA KIBILOSKI and HEIDI JACOBY-ACKLAND have joined the Office of the Dean. Kibiloski has been hired as Director of Special Projects for UCLA TFT and Jacoby-Ackland is executive assistant to Dean TERI SCHWARTZ.
LYDIA OH and KENDRA FRANK have joined the Office of Development & Alumni Affairs. Oh is the new assistant to Executive Director of Development FRED BUSH, replacing NOAH GREEN, who was promoted during the summer to Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. Frank has joined the team as development coordinator for UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Actor-writer JACK LARSON, 87, who donated funds for the restoration of the theater now known as UCLA TFT's James Bridges Theater, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 20. Writer-director Bridges, who passed away in 1993, was the life partner of Larson, who was best known for his portrayal of Jimmy Olson in the 1952-57 series The Adventures of Superman. Larson was also an accomplished playwright whose works included The Candied House, which opened at the Bing Center Theater in 1966.
Longtime Hollywood Foreign Press Association member AHMED LATEEF, 85, (B.A. '54) has died after suffering a stroke. Ahmed, a member since 1973, was regarded as a pioneer who paved the way for other Indian filmmakers who followed in his footsteps. His long and varied career culminated in his receiving the Indian Film Festival's lifetime achievement award.
MARK RUCKER, 56, (B.A. '82), associate artistic director at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater (ACT) passed away in August. Before joining ACT, Rucker worked with companies such as Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe, South Coast Repertory Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre.
The End of the Tour, directed by Professional Programs alumnus JAMES PONSOLDT, was an official selection at the Rome International Film Festival in October…ELLIOT KOTEK, founder and CEO of The Nation of Artists, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Australia's Monash University…MEGAN RIAKOS wrote Crushed during her time in the Professional Program in Screenwriting workshop. The script has been turned into a feature film, which had its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival in September.
UCLA Film & Television Archive has begun touring an abridged version of its acclaimed 2015 UCLA Festival of Preservation, which screened in Los Angeles during March. The fest is scheduled to visit venues throughout North America until the end of 2016 and is currently unspooling in Chicago with titles including the Edgar G. Ulmer–helmed Her Sister's Secret (1946), the gripping drama Men in War (1957), directed by Anthony Mann, and a recent re-discovery, Spring Night, Summer Night (1967).
JEAN GRÉMILLON FILM SERIES
Co-presented by the Cultural Services of French Embassy in the U.S., and made possible by the support of the Institut Français, UCLA Film & Television Archive showed the rarely screened works of French auteur Jean Grémillon at the Billy Wilder Theater in November.
ARCHIVE RECEIVES HFPA GRANTS
The unofficial start of awards season kicked off in mid-August with the HFPA announcing several grants to support entertainment-related organizations and scholarship programs. UCLA and UCLA Film & Television Archive have received designated support totaling $510,000.
THIS IS THE CITY: PRESERVING MOVING IMAGES OF LOS ANGELES
The Archive joined UCLA TFT, the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media and Moving Image Archive Studies to present This Is the City: Preserving Moving Images of Los Angeles, which took place Nov. 13 and 14 at the Billy Wilder Theater. The symposium illuminated the lost history and landscapes of Los Angeles through the presentation and discussion of rare films, newsreels, home movies and television programs that document the City as well as its diverse communities.
A complementary film series runs through Monday, Dec. 14. Screenings include M (1951), Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971), the TV debut of Dragnet (1951), footage of the Chicano Moratorium and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Symposium tickets can be purchased on the Archive website.
THE ARCHIVE'S PRESERVATION WORK SCREENS AT MAJOR FESTIVALS
UCLA Film & Television Archive's preservation work recently screened at two major festivals. The New York Film Festival presented the converged talents of director John Ford, playwright Eugene O'Neill and cinematographer Gregg Toland in The Long Voyage Home (1940), starring John Wayne. The film was restored by the Archive, with funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. The Archive's digital preservation of River of Grass (1994) debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The first feature from indie auteur Keily Reichardt, River of Grass was preserved with funding from Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sundance Institute, TIFF and a number of generous Kickstarter backers.
DEAN TERI SCHWARTZ ANNOUNCES
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Dean TERI SCHWARTZ recently announced new members to the UCLA TFT Executive Board. They include Latham & Watkins Global Chair JOE CALABRESE, Warner Bros. Distribution President DANIEL FELLMAN, former Microsoft CMO and SVP MICH-MATHEWS-SPRADLIN, Parents' Alliance and UCLA Alumni Association member ELIZABETH WHITNEY (B.A. ’80) and DreamWorks Studios CEO MICHAEL WRIGHT (B.A. ’87).
Dr. ERIC ESRAILIAN was named to The Hollywood Reporter's annual Top Doctors list as one of the highest-rated practitioners in his specialty and community… PETER GUBER’s Golden State Warriors are the 2015 World Champions and his Dodgers advanced to the post-season...REGINALD HUDLIN will co-produce the 88th Oscar telecast set for Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016…FRANK MARSHALL is in production on the Clint Eastwood film Sully, about Captain Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, and on the next installment of the Bourne franchise starring Matt Damon…STEVE MOSKO was named Chairman of Sony Pictures Television in September...MARTIN SCORSESE is re-teaming with Leonardo DiCaprio to adapt Erik Larson's book The Devil in the White City for the big screen…Scorsese was also the recent recipient of the honorary Lumiere Award during October's Lumiere Film Festival…and it was announced in late October that Scorsese's Sikelia Productions has extended its overall feature deal with Paramount Pictures through 2019…BRAD SILBERLING is in production on An Ordinary Man, starring Ben Kingsley...DARREN STAR is in production on the second season of TV Land's Younger...RITA WILSON will exhibit her vocal and songwriting talents in Liner Notes: Songwriters, Stories and Music with Rita Wilson and Friends at the Geffen Playhouse beginning Thursday, Dec. 10 for eight performances. Tickets can be purchased on the Geffen Playhouse website.