Spring 2015 Quarterly Newsletter

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A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, Jan. 14, to commemorate the opening of the Darren Star Screening Room, made possible by a generous donation by television series creator, executive producer, writer and UCLA alumnus Darren Star (Sex and the City, TV Land's Younger). This new, state-of-the-art venue (which includes DCP/HD projection with Dolby 3D and Dolby Surround 7.1) was designed for film and television critical studies education and will serve as a catalyst for special screenings of our students' projects, classic and new films, industry panels and lectures by distinguished visiting artists. 


The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT was prominently featured in a recent UCLA Magazine article "The Compassion Effect: How Social Activism is Changing Everything." The Skoll Center for SIE at UCLA TFT is organized around three pillars: research on a global scale that provides a structure to measure the influence of social impact storytelling; education and special initiatives that will not only enhance and complement the educational experience by exploring innovative approaches to curricular development for the emerging field of social impact entertainment, but also provide students and faculty with workshops, lectures, distinguished visiting artists programs and unique opportunities to focus their scholarly and creative work in this arena; and public programming and exhibition to ignite and engage the public in meaningful debate around society's most pressing problems and the important role entertainment and performing arts plays in this conversation.

Additional News


UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, African American Studies Department, Institute of American Cultures, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and Luskin School of Public Affairs are pleased to invite you to a screening and discussion of writer-director Justin Simien's Dear White People, with cinematography by TOPHER OSBORN (M.F.A. '08), on Wednesday, April 29 at UCLA TFT's James Bridges Theater. The evening begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by the screening at 7:00 p.m. At 8:45 p.m., a Q&A will begin with the filmmakers, including Simien, executive producer and Bruin Stephanie Allain, and producers Effie Brown and Julia Lebedev. Casting director Tracy "Twinkie" Byrd (Fruitvale Station) will be the moderator. Tickets can be reserved on the screening's Eventbrite page


Transforming Hollywood 6 — Alternative Realities: World-Building and Immersive Entertainment will take place on Friday, May 8 at UCLA TFT's James Bridges Theater. Created by UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Professor DENISE MANN, head of the UCLA TFT Producers Program, and Henry Jenkins, USC Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education, the sixth installment of the annual conference focuses on ways in which artists, advertisers, entertainers, journalists, scientists and others are making use of new technologies such as Oculus Rift and Morpheus goggles to create immersive storytelling worlds. (A number of these new technologies will be showcased at this year's conference.) Admission is $40 for a full-day pass. For more information on TH6, please visit the Transforming Hollywood website. Tickets can be purchased on the conference's Eventbrite page.


The 2014-15 Theater Season continues with An Evening of Devised Work (May 21-23), The Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program production of Bat Boy: The Musical (May 7-9, 12-16); The Two Cities Project (Friday, May 29 and Friday, June 5), in which undergraduate actors from UCLA TFT and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) will perform new work in real time via broadband Internet connection; the 13th Annual Design Showcase West (Saturday, June 6); and the Francis Ford Coppola One Act Marathon (May 7-9). Details about the season can be found on the UCLA TFT Theater Season website.

Recent Events


Monthly meetings of the new UCLA TFT Alumni Council began in January. Headed by co-chairs MIA SABLE (B.A. '07) and KAT ROGERS (B.A. '04), the Council, which creates alumni programs for those who graduated more than five years ago, held its first event in mid-April. A screening of producer DAVID HARRIS' (M.F.A. '07) Sundance Film Festival animated short Myrna the Monster was shown at The Jim Henson Company Lot in Hollywood. A tour of the historic Henson lot (formerly the Charlie Chaplin Studios) followed.


The New Alumni Network, conceived by Dean TERI SCHWARTZ as an opportunity to keep young alumni connected and engaged, continues to meet monthly. In late February, the Network hosted "Taco Schmooze Night" at Busby's East in Los Angeles' mid-Wilshire District. The evening was led by co-chair DALLAS KING (M.F.A. '14) and staffed by New Alumni Network committee members. Guests enjoyed complimentary tacos and a drink while networking with fellow alumni; a raffle was held at the end of the evening, with two winners receiving UCLA TFT goody-filled tote bags and passes to attend the UCLA Film & Television Archive's Festival of Preservation. The next event will take place in the near future to welcome the new graduates to the alumni community.


UCLA TFT East, headed by JACKSON THOMPSON (M.F.A. '11) and JOE BETTLES (B.A. '09), produced their second alumni event in late March, pre-show cocktails and an evening on Broadway with An American In Paris, produced by SARAHBETH GROSSMAN (B.A. '83). Grossman also facilitated a post-show talk and backstage tour for the 16 alumni in attendance.


Alumni Affairs has partnered with UCLA TFT Professional Programs Director JOE ROSENBERG to launch a sold-out Alumni Speakers Series featuring Bruins who work in the entertainment and performing arts industries. Next in the series is a conversation with producer and UCLA alumnus Dan Halsted (Stockholm, Pennsylvania), who will speak about "Breaking In & Staying In" on Monday, May 4. For ticket information, visit UCLA TFT Alumni Affairs on Facebook. The first workshop, "Multiplatform Storytelling" was held in late February and featured writer and multimedia designer EVETTE VARGAS (M.F.A. '12).  In early March, more than 150 alumni heard film producer and honorary Bruin Lindsay Doran (Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and Sensibility) present her TEDX Talk: "The Psychology of Storytelling" in the UCLA TFT James Bridges Theater. A reception followed, sponsored by Professional Programs. In early April, producer CAREY MELCHER (M.F.A. '73) discussed "Producing Commercials & Short Form Content" in front of 70 alumni at the James West Alumni Center.


Eleven UCLA TFT alumni opened their homes as hosts of UCLA's annual Dinner for 12 Strangers event, in locations as far away as Germany and Pennsylvania, and as close as San Francisco and Santa Monica. Hosts included ERIN BLOOM (B.A. '85), KAREN BLUMLING (B.A. '79), NINA HERZOG (M.F.A. '13), ALICE JACOBS (B.A. '75, M.A. '77), JULIE KLEIN (M.F.A. '77), Aly Yarris & NOVEEN MOINPOUR (B.A. '10), URI NIV (B.A. '15), PAMELA PRATHER (M.F.A. '97), STEPHANIE SAUTER (M.F.A. '93), FRANK SUFFERT (M.F.A. '99) and GEORGE WADE (B.A. '79).


Alumni Affairs is teaming with Melnitz Movies, NewFilmmakers LA and Fox Searchlight to bring an advance screening of the upcoming film Far From the Madding Crowd to the Bruin community. Starring Juno Temple, Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen, the film will be screened at the UCLA TFT James Bridges Theater on Thursday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. Complimentary tickets are available on the New Filmmakers LA website.

Recent Events


On Monday, April 20, the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego hosted the 8th annual Art of Fashion fundraiser gala. Eight graduate costume design students, KUMIE ASAI, CHARLOTTE BALLARD, CHANELE CASAUBON, LAUREN CUCARLOA, JENNY DAVIS, NAOMI GONZALEZ, MOLLY IRELAN and RUOXUAN LI, and two undergraduate students, LEARON INBAR and DARYA SHKIPINA, created costumes, in competition, that were inspired by Claude-Joseph Vernet's A Seaport at Sunset (1749), on display at the Timken, which depicts an idealized Mediterranean seaport. Charlotte Ballard was named the winner. Her design, which was inspired by an astrolabe, a navigational tool used by sailors, earned her a $5,000 scholarship. 


Academy Award nominees Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice), Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner) and Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent), as well as Ruth E. Carter (Selma), Kari Perkins (Boyhood) and Albert Wolsky (Birdman) — representing three of the eight films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar — were the panelists at the fifth annual Sketch to Screen Costume Design Panel and Celebration moderated by DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS, chair and founding director of UCLA TFT's David C. Copley Center for Costume Design. Presented by Swarovski, the event took place on Saturday, Feb. 21, at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall. The event raised nearly $10,000 for the Copley Center.


In February, the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour screened as part of the Participant Film Series sponsored by the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT. A Q&A with director Laura Poitras and producers Mathilde Bonnefoy & Dirk Wilutzky followed.

Theater News


Distinguished film and television hairstylist Sylvia Baker has been named the inaugural MAC Designer in Residence in Make-up and Hair Design. As the Designer in Residence, Baker, whose credits include Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Silkwood, has begun an innovative 10-week class this Spring Quarter that examines the centrality of make-up and hair design in film. She will explore a short history of hair and make-up throughout fashion and motion pictures; the close creative collaboration between a costume designer, actor and director; and the skills that are needed to design make-up and hair in current film and television production.


The Swarovski Designer in Residence is a three-month residency for a highly acclaimed industry professional to mentor UCLA TFT graduate design students at the very early stages of their careers. This year's mentor, James Acheson, has designed costumes for award-winning films such as The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons and Restoration. During his tenure, Acheson focused on research and critiques to challenge UCLA TFT graduate design students and pushed them to explore the limits of their creativity by bringing a fresh and innovative perspective to the design process.


Ellen Lauren, founding member and associate artistic director of New York's contemporary theater company SITI Company, taught a UCLA TFT Department of Theater acting workshop for undergraduate students in mid-February. Lauren teaches the Suzuki method of acting at the Julliard School of Drama, where she has been an ongoing faculty member since 1995.


In mid-January, actress, professor, screenwriter and director Ellen Geer, artistic director of Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, was a speaker during the UCLA TFT Department of Theater's Los Angeles Philanthropic Committee for the Arts' Master Class Series.

Additional News

HANA S. KIM (M.F.A. '12), PABLO SANTIAGO (M.F.A. '13) and Visiting Assistant Professor JESSICA KUBZANSKY were winners at the inaugural Stage Raw Los Angeles Theater Awards, which took place in mid-April. UCLA TFT alumni who were nominated for awards included SHEILA CALLAGHAN (M.F.A. '97), CORWIN EVANS (M.F.A. '09), SHIRLEY JO FINNEY (M.F.A. '73), MICHELLE HOLMES (M.F.A. '83), SHANNON HOLT (B.A. '84), ANNA KHAJA (B.A. '97), ROBIN LARSEN (M.F.A. '01), THEODORE PERKINS (M.F.A. '07), LONNI SILVERMAN (B.A. '05) and KEVIN WEISMAN (B.A. '93). Lecturer LEE MARTINO was also a nominee.

Assistant director MALLIN ALTER (B.A. '13) and actress SARAH LYDDAN (B.A. '14), came together in the Mine Is Yours Theater Company production of Bachelorette, which ran March 20-April 12 at The Actor's Company in West Hollywood.

In late March, Latino Theater Company and The Savage Players, founded by UCLA TFT alumni, presented Axe of Love: An Evening of Short Plays About Love's Opening and Closing Acts at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Among the directors of the four featured plays — including A Minnesota Thing, written by JEFFREY BAKER (M.F.A. '13) — were KRISTEN OSBORN (B.A. '14) and ANGIE SCOTT (M.F.A. '12). Actors included ANNE BUTLER (M.F.A. '12), DEREK CHARITON (B.A. '13), JAMES GALLO (M.F.A. '10), GARRETT MICHAEL LANGSTON (B.A. '14), SARAH LYDDAN (B.A. '14) and COLIN SIMON (M.F.A. '12).

ALLISON BIBICOFF (B.A. '90) directed readings of new musicals City of Lights and A Knight at the Museum during the ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop, which took place in mid-February. Late last year, she also directed the new musical short Pellets, Cherries and Lies: The Pacman Story during the musical theater festival Sound Bites, at the 47th Street Theater in New York City.

SARABETH GROSSMAN (B.A. '83) is co-producing An American in Paris, the new musical adaptation of the 1951 Gene Kelly film, which opened at Broadway's Palace Theater in April following a world premiere limited engagement at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

MICHELLE HENSLEY (M.F.A. '86) has written All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things, a history of the Twin Cities' theater company Ten Thousand Things, which brings intelligent, lively theater to nontraditional audiences — prisons and homeless shelters, adult education centers and rural areas.

GEORGE WADE (B.A. '79) has made a career of developing themed attractions and location-based entertainment venues. His latest is the hands-on, interactive Crayola Experience Orlando, the second project he has done for the company; the first, in Easton, Penn., opened to great success in 2013.


JONATHAN BOURNE (B.A. '94) was the executive producer of YouTube's Ad Blitz Halftime Show on Super Bowl Sunday…JESSE DRAPER's (B.A. '06) The Valley Girl Show is now being shown on Fox affiliate KTVU and independent sister station KICU…CHELSEA FRYER (B.A. '14) made her New York debut with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's production of Everything You Touch, directed by Visiting Assistant Professor JESSICA KUBZANSKY. Previews began in late January at the Cherry Lane Theatre…ILYANNE MORDEN KICHAVEN (B.A. '81), the executive director of SAG-AFTRA's Los Angeles union, has been named to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Los Angeles board… In early April, Sesame Street actor ALAN MURAOKA (B.A. '85) participated in the White House's 2015 Easter Egg Roll.  This year's theme, #GimmieFive, challenged Americans to make five healthy lifestyle changes…University of Oregon Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts MICHAEL NAJJAR (Ph.D. '11) is the author of Arab American Drama, Film and Performance, A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present, and was also the editor of Four Arab American Plays: Works by Leila Buck, Jamil Khoury, Yussef El Guindi and Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader…KRISTEN O'CONNOR (B.A. '03) has been promoted to director of client services at RIPE, a Los Angeles-based, full service creative agency specializing in digital, interactive and web-based communications.

Additional News

Playwright PAULA VESALA, a first-year Finnish graduate exchange student, will see her play, English Lesson, performed during Theater Masters' 9th Annual MFA Playwrights Festival, Take Ten 2015, at the C.O.W. Theatre in New York City, April 28-May 2. The festival features eight 10-minute plays by young M.F.A. playwrights from the top graduate playwriting programs in the country including the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; Columbia; Fordham/Primary Stages; Northwestern; UCSD; University of Iowa; University of Texas-Austin and Yale School of Drama.

In late March and early April, 15 first- and second-year graduate students, including ZURI ADELE, ANASTASIA BONACCORSA, FRANK CERMAK, MARGUERITE FRENCH, SAMUEL KAY, ISRAEL LOPEZ, LEA MADDA, RYAN MILLER, VIVIAN RUBIO, MAIA RYCHLIK, ROSHNI SHUKLA, DANIEL STEVENS, TARA TURNBULL, MIEBAKA YOHANNES and YIJI ZHAO, participated in a table reading of the TV pilot script Golden Gate, written by Michael G. Wilson (producer and screenwriter, James Bond franchise) and Jillian Palethorpe. This table read was made possible by Dean TERI SCHWARTZ, Michael and Jane Wilson, and Jillian Palethorpe. Special thanks goes to director Jake Greene and stage director Kimberly Ford of Yellowcake Pictures; J. ED ARAIZA, professor and area head, M.F.A. acting program; Visiting Assistant Professor ROD HOLCOMB and Executive Director, Marketing and Communications SANDY HALL.

FTVDM Alumni News


SHERRY BILSING (M.F.A. '84) and her writing partner Ellen Plummer currently have two pilots in development: an untitled Monica Potter comedy at NBC and 46 Percenters at ABC.


The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television had a strong presence at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival this past January in Park City, Utah. The D Train, starring alumnus JACK BLACK, The Diary of a Teenage Girl from MARIELLE HELLER (B.A. '01) and Kris Swanberg's Unexpected, with cinematography by DAGMAR WEAVER-MADSEN (M.F.A., '12), were three of the 16 films in contention in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, with Diary of a Teenage Girl winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography. City of Gold, from filmmaker LAURA GABBERT (M.F.A. '04), was part of the U.S. Documentary Competition. Among the films that had their world premieres at Sundance were I Am Michael, starring UCLA TFT Visiting Professor JAMES FRANCO; The End of the Tour, from director and Professional Programs alumnus JAMES PONSOLDT; and the documentaries Tig, from screenwriter JENNIFER ARNOLD (M.F.A., '99); Prophet's Prey, executive produced by DUSTIN LANCE BLACK (B.A. '96); and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, from alumnus filmmaker ALEX GIBNEY, which subsequently debuted on HBO in late March, becoming the cable net's most-watched documentary premiere since 2006. The documentary-horror film The Nightmare screened in the Park City at Midnight portion of the festival. JASON TUTTLE (M.F.A. '06) was the film's re-recording mixer and dialog and ADR editor; JONATHAN SNIPES (B.A. '05), also a re-recording mixer, wrote the film's original score and was its sound designer. Producer DAVID HARRIS (M.F.A. '07) had Myrna the Monster showing in the Shorts Programs Presented by YouTube section. Alumnus QUYEN TRAN was the cinematographer of Frankie Shaw's SMILF, which won the Short Film Jury Award.

Both The D Train and The End of the Tour were picked up for distribution (by IFC and A24, respectively) before their Sundance premieres. Additionally, Sundance Selects picked up City of Gold.

From the Sundance Collection at UCLA, the festival screened the digitally preserved 1990 film Paris Is Burning, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1991. The Sundance Collection at UCLA represents the collaborative efforts of the Sundance Institute and UCLA Film & Television Archive to preserve independent film productions.


At the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival, which took place in Park City from Jan. 23-29, Clinger, a horror film co-starring LISA WILCOX (B.A. '94), was part of the Narrative Features Program lineup. Role Play, a short film written and directed by BRYNACH DAY (M.F.A. '14), was part of the fest's Narrative Shorts Program. EVE COHEN (M.F.A. '08) participated at Slamdance as a narrative and animation shorts jury member.


ALEX GIBNEY's new, four-hour documentary on Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: All or Nothing At All, premiered on HBO Sunday, April 5 and Monday, April 6. Executive Board Member FRANK MARSHALL (B.A. '68) was one of the doc's executive producers. Gibney is also developing an untitled investigative food series with Pivot, Participant Media's cable network, which begins Wednesday, May 6.


LAUREN HOEKSTRA (M.F.A. '13) is a finalist in a female-centric competition spearheaded by Lionsgate, Tongal, Facebook, Vovo Cars, Women in Film and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer to direct one of five short films set in the Twilight universe. The films will premiere exclusively on Facebook next year.


When the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards nominations were revealed in late March, the names of seven UCLA TFT alumni were announced: ALBERTO BARBOZA (M.F.A. '04), consulting producer, Hulu's East Los High; ALAN BLACHER (B.A. '69, M.A. '71), lighting designer, Rachel Ray; MARISA DAVIS (M.F.A. '86), lighting director, The Ellen DeGeneres Show; BETH MILSTEIN (B.A. '79), writer, CBS' The Young and the Restless; HERBERT STEIN (B.A. '70), director, NBC's Days of Our Lives; and MITCH WATSON (B.A. '89), executive producer, Netflix's All Hail King Julien. Additionally, ROBYN YANNOUKOS (M.F.A. '08), lead painter, Amazon Instant Video's Tumble Leaf, was named one of six honorees that will be given the outstanding individual achievement in animation award during the Friday, April 24 ceremony.


In January, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, produced by MITCHELL CANNOLD (B.A. '71), received the Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television award at the Producers Guild of America Awards. The production also received the Best Animated Special Production award at the 42nd Annie Awards.

Dr. JON LEWIS (Ph.D. '83) recently earned Oregon State University's highest honor that can be bestowed, the 2015 Distinguished Professor Award. Lewis is a professor in OSU's College of Liberal Arts and the editor of a groundbreaking 10-volume series of academic books on the history of the U.S. film craft that was underwritten by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In early February, CARLOS MARQUES-MARCET (M.F.A. '12) received the Goya Awards' New Director prize for his film 10,000 km.

In late January, Executive Board Member FRANK MARSHALL (B.A. '68) was named the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year during the 65th ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

CHIH-YEN YEE's (M.F.A. '88) Meeting Dr. Sun won the Grand Prix and the Audience Award at the 10th Annual Osaka Asian Film Festival in March.


The films of MERRIN DUNGEY (B.A. '93) (The Diabolical) and PATRICK KENNELLY (M.F.A. '09) (Excess Flesh) screened in the Midnighters section of SXSW in March. JUSTIN LERNER's (M.F.A. '07) The Automatic Hate had its world premiere in the fest's Narrative Spotlight and was later named to IndieWire's Best 10 SXSW films list...GILLIAN WALLACE HORVAT's (M.A. '11) Kiss Kiss Fingerbang screened in the Midnight Shorts section and won the Jury Award. DAVID HARRIS' (M.F.A. '07) Myrna the Monster screened during the Narrative Shorts portion. GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD (B.A. '91) spoke at the fest as a member of its film conference lineup.


ERICA STEVENS ABBITT (Ph. D. '03) was recently appointed director, Humanities Research Group for the University of Windsor, Ontario (Canada) where she is associate professor in the School of Dramatic Art. Palgrave Macmillan published her most recent book, The Theatre of Naomi Wallace: Embodied Dialogues (co-edited with Scott T. Cummings), in 2014…ANA LILY AMIRPOUR's (M.F.A. '10) sophomore feature film, The Bad Batch, will be jointly produced by VICE and Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures…Quarter-Life Crisis, from writer-directors DOUG ARCHIBALD (B.A. '10) & Kristin Archibald, was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Park City Table Read My Screenplay contest. Grand-prize winners of the contest received a trip to Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival…The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild, written by Emerson College assistant film professor MIRANDA BANKS (M.A. '98, Ph.D. '06), was published in December…GARRETT BRADLEY's (M.F.A. '12) film Below Dreams, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, will be seen in select theaters in April and is now available on VOD. She was recently profiled in the Daily Bruin…In an NPR interview, NANCY CARTWRIGHT (B.A. '81) explained how she ended up voicing the character of Bart on The Simpsons instead of his sister Lisa, and how it became her big break...MIGDIA CHINEA (M.F.A. '12) spoke at the Stanford University Getting Played Symposium and Awards in mid-February regarding insufficient behind-the-scenes employment opportunities for minorities and women in the entertainment industry. Separately, she has recently finished shooting the short film Red on Red and has begun filming When it RainsSARAH DILEO (M.F.A. '09), who was formerly the executive in charge of production at media company Wondros, is now the head of client services at Wondros…STEPHEN FARBER (M.A. '69), KIRK HONEYCUTT (B.A. '71), LAEL LOEWENSTEIN (M.A. '92) and UCLA TFT Lecturer CHARLES SOLOMON (M.F.A. '83) were presenters at the L.A. Critics Awards in mid-January…Disney's Big Hero 6 earned the Academy Award for best animated feature and the Best Sound and Music Editing: Feature Animation prize at the Golden Reel Awards. EARL GHAFFARI (B.A. '84) was the film's music editor and JOAQUIN BALDWIN (M.F.A. '10) was an associate layout supervisor. Baldwin was also the DP on the Oscar-winning animated short Feast…The North American rights to Lila and Eve, written by PAT GILFILLAN (M.F.A. '03), have been picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films. The film stars Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez and will be released later this year…In this Underground Book Review Q&A, JAMIE JO HOANG (B.A. '06) author of Blue Sun, Yellow Sky, discusses how she went from writing scripts to self-publishing her work…BRIAN HU (M.A. '06, Ph.D. '11) is the artistic director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival…Director GIL KENAN (M.F.A. '02) is directing the remake of '80s horror film Poltergeist, due in theaters this summer…American Revolutionary, produced and directed by GRACE LEE (M.F.A. '02) and CAROLINE LIBRESCO (M.F.A. '01), with DP work by alumni JERRY HENRY (M.F.A. '02) and QUYEN TRAN, was recently released on VOD…CHRISTOPHER LOCKE (B.A. '01) recently published his debut novel, Persimmon Takes On Humanity, the first book in the The Enlightenment Adventures YA series, which has a message of compassion toward all animals…GLENN LUND (M.F.A. '12) will co-executive produce the U.S. adaptation of the Swedish drama series Brothers in Crime…The award-winning film Uncertain Terms, produced by Industry Standard's JOSH MANDEL (M.F.A. '06), has been picked up for North American distribution by Philadelphia-based Breaking Glass Pictures. A Spring 2015 release is planned…MARY MARTIN (M.F.A. '12) is one of the executive producers on Disney's McFarland, U.S.A., Since it opened in theaters in mid-February, it has earned $43 million in domestic boxoffice receipts (as of Monday, April 20)…ANTHONY ONAH (M.F.A. '11) has been selected as one of six Director Lab Fellows at Film Independent for his debut feature, Dara Ju, which begins filming in April in Los Angeles and New York. The film is produced by JUSTIN BEGNAUD (M.F.A. '10)…LUCIENNE PAPON (M.F.A. '05) is now heading ITV Studios' development and production division…Transfatty Live, which was produced by DOUG PRAY (M.F.A. '91) and centers on the theme of identity, will have its world premiere during the Tribeca Film Festival's Viewpoint section in April…IVAN RODRIGUES (M.F.A. '14) tells IndieWire how he created an inventive camera rig (for about $100) that helped shoot a crucial scene in the upcoming indie feature Singapore SlingKATE ROUGHAN (M.F.A. '06) was one of the producers of Zoe Cassavetes' upcoming film Day Out of Days, starring Eddie Izzard and Melanie Griffith…BEATRICE SPRINGBORN (M.F.A. '05), head of original programming at Hulu, was recently profiled in a Los Angeles Times "How I Made It" featureAISHA SUMMERS (M.F.A. '11) has been named the director of drama programming and development at Fox Broadcasting…In mid-February, KATIE TORPEY (M.F.A. '98) hosted an Introduction to Screenwriting Class at Ridgefield, Conn.'s Ridgefield Playhouse…The feature film A Lesson of Love, produced by BRAD WAISBREN (B.A. '78) was chosen to screen at the 2014 Temecula Film Festival…IndieWire has named DAGMAR WEAVER-MADSEN (M.F.A. '12) one of eight female cinematographers to know…HILARY ZAITZ (M.F.A. '13) is now an executive at Your Face Goes Here Entertainment.

FTVDM Alumni News

[in]Transition, the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies, has won an Award of Distinction in the Society of Cinema and Media Studies Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award competition. Co-founded and co-edited by DREW MORTON, (Ph.D. '12), assistant professor of mass communication at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, [in]Transition's editorial board includes UCLA TFT Professor JANET BERGSTROM, students DAVID O'GRADY, BENJAMIN SAMPSON and MATTHIAS STORK, and alumni JAIMIE BARON (Ph.D. '10) and JENNIFER PORST (M.F.A. '08).

Graduate filmmakers BENJAMIN ARFMANN (Random Stop), MERLIN CAMOZZI (Coeur d'Alene), MELISSA FINELL (Disaster Preparedness), LUCRETIA STINNETTE (Quyen) and JOSH YUNIS (The Schwartz Test), along with recent alumnus BRYNACH DAY (M.F.A. '14) (Role Play), have been chosen to participate in the Newport Beach Film Festival Collegiate Showcase, taking place April 23-30.

In late January, graduate animation student BEN HAIST (How to See New York in One Day), graduate film student JERRELL ROSALES (Born to Dance this Way), and alumni SIMON SAVELYEV (M.F.A. '14) (Marginal Superheroes) and MARGOT YE (M.F.A. '12) (Out of the Blue) had their short films screened during downtown Los Angeles' 7th annual Night on Broadway event, celebrating Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar's 10-year plan to revitalize the historic Broadway corridor in downtown Los Angeles.

FTVDM Alumni News


Graduate student and emerging cinematographer EMMA KRAGEN returned last month from a 13-day voyage through the Antarctic Peninsula after being chosen as a member of the International Antarctic Expedition 2015, spearheaded by renowned polar explorer and environmental leader Robert Swan. During the trip, Kragen, who served as an ambassador for UCLA TFT, filmed a documentary intended to help showcase firsthand the effects of global climate change, and to engage people who are interested in creating a world of peace and sustainability.


In UCLA TFT Lecturer ERIC MARTIN's "Health Advocacy Narratives" class, graduate students ARKESH AJAY (Being Bryan), M.J. WATZ (Micro-Aggressor) and ERIC VENNEMEYER (Saving Jane) directed three short films for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative, created to help students deal with challenging social issues such as body image, micro-aggression, binge drinking and sexual consent.


Grad student and UCLA TFT teaching assistant DAHLIA SCHWEITZER was recently profiled by the Daily Bruin about her solo performances in Europe, her strong interest in visual communication, and her arrival at UCLA TFT to pursue a doctorate in Cinema Studies.


In early March, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA presented a collaboration between Professor J. ED ARAIZA's theater group, SITI Company, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: the Los Angeles premiere of A Rite, a reflection on Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, at Royce Hall.


In February, Salam Slaman's Gift of My Father screened in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and in April, Yasir Kareem's Kingdom of Garbage screened in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival. Slaman and Kareem were part of a five-person workshop spearheaded by UCLA TFT and the Humpty Dumpty Institute to instruct budding Iraqi filmmakers. BARBARA BOYLE, Professor and Associate Dean, Entrepreneurship and Special Initiatives, helmed "Workshops by Design" with film producers David Linde and Tom Sternberg, directors Linda Voorhees and Randal Kleiser, and cinematographer John Simmons.


In early January, Professor Boyle was a moderator at the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival's Book to Screen Symposium, "The Power of Words: Book to Screen." She moderated the "Turning Real Life into Fiction" panel.


In a story about the research that is being done at UCLA to automate objects that will, one day, change our lives, UCLA Magazine featured the interactive productions that Assistant Dean for Technology and Innovation JEFF BURKE and his students are creating with Google Glass.


Visiting Assistant Professor CHANNING DUNGEY, senior vice president, drama development, ABC Entertainment Group, was interviewed in this Huffington Post Q&A about her inspirations, lessons she's learned and who has had the most impact on her life.


Professors ALLYSON FIELD and JAN-CHRISTOPHER HORAK are editors of and contributors to the new book L.A. Rebellion: Creating New Black Cinema, which will be published in July. It is the first book dedicated to the films and filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion, a group of African and African American independent film and video artists that formed at UCLA TFT in the 1970s and 1980s.

Professor Field also wrote an article reflecting on the legacy of Birth of a Nation and the lasting impact on race relations in the United States. Her book Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity comes out in June and will be published by Duke University Press.


The Adderall Diaries, which stars Visiting Professor JAMES FRANCO, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival during the fest's World Narrative Competition in April. Franco will also star alongside Chris Cooper and Cherry Jones in Hulu's J.J. Abrams-Stephen King nine-hour miniseries 11/22/63. Based on King's best-selling book, the series will focus on a high school English teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A premiere date has not yet been set. Separately, Franco has assembled an all-star cast that includes Selena Gomez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride for his adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel In Dubious Battle. Franco is directing and starring in the project. Matt Rager (As I Lay Dying) adapted the feature screenplay based on the novel. Principal photography on the film began in March.


Assistant Professor and Vice Chair, Undergraduate Studies RORY KELLY's 1994 film Sleep With Me was selected by Quentin Tarantino to screen in a '90s retrospective, Weds., April 22 and Thurs., April 23 at the New Beverly Cinema.


Director of Production DAN IONAZZI has been working on a number of projects including: Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, starring Kathleen Turner at the Berkeley Rep (Nov. 21, 2014-Jan. 11, 2015); the recent national tour of L.A. Theatre Works' production of In the Heat of the Night (Feb. 5-March 7); and the Geffen Playhouse production of The Night Alive (Feb. 3-March 15).


Visiting Associate Professor JONATHAN KUNTZ was one of the experts featured on ABC's Countdown to the Oscars special, which aired Tuesday, Feb. 17.


Professor DEBORAH LANDIS has created a fabric print in collaboration with high-end retailer and fabric manufacturer Liberty London. Read about it on the Liberty London website.


In mid-February, Lecturer DAVID MACMILLAN received The Cinema Audio Society's highest accolade, the CAS Career Achievement Award.


Professor PURNIMA MANKEKAR's book, Unsettling India: Affect, Temporality, Transnationality was recently published by Duke University Press. The book provides a new understanding of the affective and temporal dimensions of how India and "Indianness," as objects of knowledge, production and mediation, circulate through transnational public cultures.


Department of Film, Television and Digital Media Chair WILLIAM MCDONALD and his wife Pamela Beere Briggs have created a documentary, Something Like a Sabbatical, about a Riverside businesswoman's surprising 52-week sabbatical, which she embarks upon to pursue her love of creating art, something she set aside for 40 years. A year after she began, the work she produced was shown in the Riverside Art Museum. On Thursday, April 2, Professor McDonald screened the 25-minute film, which looks at the subject's process of deep internal and external exploration, for his Freshman Symposium and a small number of invited guests.


Professor and Associate Dean of Diversity and Equity KATHLEEN MCHUGH recently wrote an article in Film Quarterly about paratexts and parafeminism in the credits of Sundance Channel's Top of the Lake and Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.


In late February, Associate Professor SEAN METZGER presented his book Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race at UCLA's Young Research Library.


In January, the Producers Program kicked off a TV Master Class series of lectures with cable giant HBO. Producers Program Lecturer TOM NUNAN hosted the class as part of his "Overview of Network TV Management" course.  Guests included Lisa Kudrow and Michael Patrick King (The Comeback); Mark and Jay Duplass (Togetherness); Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner (Girls); producer Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones); co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers, Lost, the upcoming Tomorrowland) and Michael Lombardo, president of HBO.


In early March, Polish actor and Visiting Assistant Professor MAREK PROBOSZ portrayed World War II Secret Polish Army resistance group leader Witold Pilecki in The Auschwitz Volunteer at Hillel at UCLA. Probosz, who has portrayed Pilecki numerous times, including in the 2006 film The Death of Captain Pilecki, went to Chicago with the film later in the month, for screenings at the Holocaust Museum, the Polish Museum of America and various universities.


In early January screenwriter and TFT Lecturer DANIEL PYNE, who penned the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, Pacific Heights, Any Given Sunday, Fracture and Doc Hollywood, among other screenplays, hosted his first Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). He answered questions about his work as a screenwriter and offered advice to those who were considering it as a career. The conversation can be found on the Reddit website.


The romantic comedy A Wish Come True, written and directed by Lecturer MARK ROSMAN, premiered on the Hallmark Channel in late January and aired again in February and March.


It was announced in March that Dean TERI SCHWARTZ will be honored by the inaugural CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival with the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film Producing. The festival takes place June 18-21 on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. The award presentation will be held on June 20 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman during the festival's Closing Gala and Awards Ceremony.


In mid-January, Dean TERI SCHWARTZ moderated a session with Academy Award-nominated producer Albert Berger (Nebraska) at the Palm Springs Art Museum as part of its "The Art of Conversation" speaker series. In mid-March, Dean Schwartz was a moderator at the UCLA Anderson Forecast conference "Gone with the Wind – Entertainment in the Digital Age," which highlighted the major trends creating change in the local industry and how those changes are impacting the economy. Executive Board Member PETER GUBER was the keynote speaker.


Animation Lecturer CHARLES SOLOMON was awarded the June Foray Award at the 42nd Annie Awards in January "for his significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation."


After 35 years, BILLY WOODBERRY retired from his lighting/grip position in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.

In Memoriam

HARVE BENNETT (A.B. '52), producer of four Star Trek films in the 1980s, and the seminal TV series Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, passed away on Wednesday, March 4. He was 84.

UCLA TFT Professor RICHARD C. HAWKINS, who began teaching in the Arts and Motion Picture Department (now the School of Theater, Film and Television) in 1953, and spent 39 years at the university specializing in ethnographic film, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 29. He was 92.

Visiting Assistant Professor H. WESLEY KENNEY, who taught undergraduate students in the UCLA TFT Department of Film, Television and Digital Media from 1993 to 2009, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Professor Kenney was a producer and director who directed more than 20 episodes of All in the Family and won seven Daytime Emmys over the course of his 35-year career. He was 89.

Professor Emerita DELIA SALVI, an accomplished actress, artist and author, passed away on Monday, March 1. Salvi, a lifelong member of the Actor's Studio who taught at UCLA for 42 years, was known for her instruction on acting and the direction of actors. She introduced many filmmaking students, including JUSTIN LIN (B.A. '95) and ALEXANDER PAYNE (M.F.A. '90), to the art of directing actors. She also directed several plays at UCLA TFT and conducted master acting classes in Oregon and Washington as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, Israel, Germany, Italy and Spain. She was 87.

Professional Program News


The Professional Program in Acting for the Camera, a new academic course of study, was recently announced by Professional Programs. Conceived and co-created by actress and Adjunct Associate Professor JUDITH MORELAND (Dark Skies, Eagle Eye), the immersive yearlong course, which starts January 4, 2016, will cover the fundamentals of acting and audition techniques for commercials, single and multi-camera television comedy, the one-hour television drama and film. Emphasis will also be placed on career development, financial planning, self-promotion and marketing. In addition, prominent industry professionals will guest lecture. The course is the first of its kind to offered through a professional non-degree certificate program. UCLA TFT faculty, along with distinguished entertainment industry professionals will teach the classes. For more information or to enroll, please visit the Professional Programs webpage.


Odessa, produced by Professional Program in Producing alumna GRACE SANTOS, screened in late March at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Fla.


The feature film Love in the Time of Monsters, produced by Professional Program alumnus ANDY GUNN, was recently released on VOD and DVD.


Professional Program in Screenwriting alumna BARBARA CURRY wrote the script for the $4 million feature The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez, which opened in January and earned $48 million in worldwide boxoffice receipts.


Broadvision Entertainment's Grey Lady, starring Eric Dane, Natalie Zea (Justified) and Academy Award nominee Amy Madigan, has completed postproduction and will be released later this year. The team behind the film includes Professional Programs alumni A.W. TONY SCOTT and executive producer JEAN SU.

Professional Program News


UCLA Film & Television Archive Director JAN-CHRISTOPHER HORAK's recently published book, Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design, was included in Leonard Maltin's New and Notable Film Books for 2014.


On Thursday, Mar. 5, UCLA Film & Television Archive launched its biennial UCLA Festival of Preservation movie fest, which showcases the work it has preserved during the previous two years. The festival ran through Monday, March 30.


Mr. Luciano Castillo, head of Cinemateca de Cuba, visited UCLA TFT in early March to cement his collaboration with UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of its ongoing project, Classic Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1932-1960. The Los Angeles Times and Variety covered his visit.


UCLA Film & Television Archive's major retrospective of Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien's work was featured in the Los Angeles Times. The series, which opened on Friday, April 3, screens at the Billy Wilder Theater through Saturday, June 20. Ticket information can be found on the Archive website.


UCLA Film & Television Archive's ongoing commitment to preserving and exhibiting the films of UCLA TFT alumni from the L.A. Rebellion film movement continues as London's Tate Modern art gallery screens more than 20 films from filmmakers BILLY WOODBERRY (M.F.A. '82), HAILE GERIMA (B.A. '72, M.F.A. '76), LARRY CLARK (M.F.A. '77), JULIE DASH (M.F.A. '85) and others, through Saturday, April 25.


UCLA Film & Television's Archive's long-running annual survey highlighting recent films from Iran and the Iranian diaspora will screen April 25-May 16.  The series will bring several filmmakers to UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater to discuss their work, including renowned filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad.