Volume 11, August-October 2018


2018 Telluride Film Festival

Over the Labor Day weekend, Dean Teri Schwartz and FTVDM Professor Nancy Richardson were joined by UCLA TFT's 2018 FilmLAB fellows at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. The fellows included M.F.A. screenwriters Jeffrey Robert Ainsfeld, Abigail Briley Bean, Tanha Tasnim Dil, Brian Todd Goodlett and Harrison Sim; M.F.A. directors Taylor Raye Curry and Lia Lenart; and M.F.A. producers Ryan Frame, Barbara Michele Lucas and Sasha Shulman.

With FilmStruck, UCLA TFT co-hosted a Filmmakers Party attended by Gregory Nava (B.A. ’71, M.F.A. ’76), among others. The busy weekend provided many networking opportunities for the students including a meet and greet with the filmmaking team of Universal’s First Man, including director Damien Chazelle, and the team behind Netflix’s The Other Side of the Wind, including TFT Executive Board Member, founding FilmLAB benefactor and producer Frank Marshall, to name a few.
Nava’s 1983 classic El Norte screened at the festival, as did Marielle Heller's (B.A. ’01) Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Melissa McCarthy.

Shelly Wolf Joins UCLA TFT  

Shelly Wolf has joined UCLA TFT in the new position of Senior Associate Dean, created by Dean Teri Schwartz in consultation with UCLA TFT staff and faculty leadership. Wolf has more than 15 years of higher education administrative experience and a solid track record of solutions-driven leadership skills in academic and fiscal management. She was previously the Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

UCLA Bruin Family Weekend 2018

On Friday, Oct. 26, Dean Teri Schwartz hosted "Lunch With the Dean" at UCLA TFT, as part of UCLA Bruin Family Weekend, the university's annual, three-day family event that’s jam-packed with exciting activities, important information about campus resources and fun opportunities for parents to see UCLA through their students' eyes.

The Hollywood Reporter has named UCLA TFT one of the Top 10 Hollywood Production Design Programs in the country, headed by Professor Myung Hee Cho.


Down & Dirty in Gower Gulch:
Poverty Row Films Preserved by the Archive

Oct. 27-Dec. 8, 7:00 p.m.
Raleigh Studios

UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates the rich legacy of the remarkable B-pictures of "Poverty Row" — scrappy, arguably second-tier studios of the 1930s and ’40s that were famously located on Gower Street between Sunset Boulevard and the Paramount lot. Dozens of smaller independent studios came and went, churning out genre films that often had an edge not seen in most films by the major studios of the day. The Gower Gulch film series includes six films restored by the Archive. Single tickets are $10.

​Saturday, Oct. 27: The Vampire Bat (1933)
Saturday, Nov. 3: The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)
Saturday, Nov. 10: False Faces (1932)
Saturday, Nov. 17: Damaged Lives (1933)
Saturday, Dec. 1: Mamba (1930)
Saturday, Dec. 8: Strange Illusion (1945)

The Other Side of the Wind Screening

Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.
James Bridges Theater
235 Charles E. Young Drive North

Dean Teri Schwartz invites you to an advanced screening of Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind, followed by a Q&A with Frank Marshall (B.A. ’68), producer, UCLA TFT Executive Board Member and alumnus. Brought back to life after laying unfinished for several decades, The Other Side of the Wind, a satire about classic and new Hollywood filmmakers, ended principal photography in 1976. The film stars John Huston, Bob Random, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg and Oja Kodar.
*Please arrive at least 30 minutes early, as admittance is
on a first-come, first-served basis.


2018-19 Theater Season Begins with
The Long Christmas Ride Home

Nov. 14-18, 8:00 p.m.
1340 Macgowan Hall
The 2018-19 UCLA TFT Theater Season kicks off with the first of two plays written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Paula Vogel: The Long Christmas Ride Home, directed by Professor Dominic Taylor, will be performed in November, and The Mineola Twins, directed by Adjunct Associate Professor Judith Moreland, in December. Other season highlights include Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, directed by Professor Thomas O'Connor (December); Rebel Genius, directed by Department of Theater Chair Brian Kite (March); and the opera Lost Childhood, directed by Professor Michael Hackett  (May). Visit the UCLA TFT Theater Season webpage for ticket information and a complete list of the season.


The Price of Free Screening

The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT hosted a screening of The Price of Free, winner of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, on Monday, Oct. 29 in the Darren Star Screening Room. The documentary focuses on Kailash Satyarthi and how he built a global movement to rescue children from slavery. A Q&A with director Derek Doneen followed the screening.

The Bureau: Season Four Premiere Screening

Dean Teri Schwartz, along with Eric Rochant, creator and executive producer, and Alex Berger, executive producer, hosted a Season Four premiere screening of the French TV series The Bureau (Le Bureau des Légendes), at the James Bridges Theater on Monday, Oct. 22. The screening was followed by a Q&A and reception. In The Bureau, a French intelligence officer adjusts to life back home after being undercover in Syria for six years.

Ed Asner Conducts Master Class at UCLA TFT

On Friday, Oct. 19, veteran actor Ed Asner conducted a salon-style master class at UCLA TFT for M.F.A. actors, directors and playwrights. Dept. of Theater Professor J.Ed Araiza moderated a Q&A with Asner and they discussed his work in the New York theater scene, his move to Los Angeles to perform in television series, and how he has had a thriving career since then.

J.Ed Araiza and Kathleen McHugh Participate in
University-Wide "10 Questions" Event

Professor J.Ed Araiza and Department of Film, Television and Digital Media Chair Kathleen McHugh participated in the Tuesday, Oct. 16 edition of “10 Questions,” an interdisciplinary course/free public event series featuring conversations with leading scholars from across the university. Presented by the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture in Fall Quarter 2018, the series is intended to drive innovation at the university. Araiza and McHugh discussed What is Beauty? along with Paul Barber, evolutionary and conservation geneticist; and Marla Berns, scholar and curator of African Arts and Director of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. 

Blue Moon Over Memphis:
An English-Language Noh Play

Blue Moon Over Memphis, an English-language Noh play by award-winning playwright Deborah Brevoort and scored for the Noh theater by Richard Emmert, was showcased at UCLA’s Glorya Kaufman Dance Theatre on Monday, Oct. 15. Associate Professor Tom O’Connor, who was instrumental in bringing the performance to UCLA, was one of the performers. Blue Moon tells the story of Elvis Presley, one of the first global celebrities — and one of the first casualties of global celebrity. 

"Breaking the Glass Frame" co-hosted by
UCLA TFT's Animation Workshop 

Hosted in partnership with UCLA TFT's Animation Workshop, CalArts Animation and Women in Animation, Breaking the Glass Frame: Women & Animation, Past, Present, Future took place on Oct. 5-7 at USC School of Cinematic Arts, featuring panels, screenings, workshops and networking opportunities. Among the keynote speakers were UCLA TFT Lecturer Amy Winfrey (Netflix’s BoJack HorsemanTuca and Bertie), director Brenda Chapman (BraveThe Prince of Egypt) and producer/creative director Brown Johnson (Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon).

Steven Canals Speaks at UCLA TFT's Orientation

Steven Canals (M.F.A. ’15), co-creator and co-executive producer of FX’s Pose, was the guest speaker at UCLA TFT's 2018-19 Orientation on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Canals spoke with Professor Neil Landau on the Freud Playhouse stage and addressed questions from the student audience. "Just create...don’t follow trends...just do you," he advised. "Everyone has a story to tell." Pose features the largest-ever cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest-ever recurring cast of LGBTQ actors for a scripted series and on Saturday, Oct. 13, Canals received the Horizon Award from the Point Foundation, the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. 


Creative Arts and Primetime Emmy Awards

UCLA TFT Alumnus Alex Gibney, the executive producer of City of Ghosts, and UCLA TFT Executive Board Member Frank Marshall, the executive producer of What Haunts Us, each received an honorary Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards celebration on Monday, Sept. 17. Other winners and nominees included:
Sara Bareilles (B.A. ’02), actress, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Steffany Bernstein-Pratt (B.A. ’93), costume supervisor, Empire
Costumes, Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie
David Crawford (B.A. ’11), sound mixer, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special (Creative Arts Emmys, Sept. 8-9) (winner)
Margaret M. Dean (M.F.A. ’92), supervising producer, Robot Chicken
Outstanding Short Format Animated Program (winner)
Andrea Fenton (B.A. ’86), set decorator, Grace and Frankie
Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less)
Amanda Glaze (B.A. ’08), producer, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
Documentary or Nonfiction Special (winner)                 
Rebecca Guzzi (M.F.A. ’13), assistant costume designer, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, "The Man Who Would Be Vogue"
Costumes, Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie (winner)
Eric Hoehn (B.A. ’13), co-supervising sound editor, Godless
Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special
Omega Hsu (B.A. ’85, M.F.A. ’92), editor, The Voice
Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program
John Matter (M.F.A. ’04), foley editor, Game of Thrones
Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour)
Doug Pray (M.F.A. ’91), executive producer, editor, co-writer, The Defiant Ones
Documentary or Nonfiction Series
Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program
Writing for a Nonfiction Program
Michael Stuhlbarg, actor, The Looming Tower
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Stage Scene LA Scenie Awards

On Monday, Aug. 20, the Stage Raw Los Angeles Theater Awards were handed out. Eight UCLA TFT alumni and a lecturer were nominated for awards with one win, including:
Video/Projection Design
Omolara Abode (B.A. ’09), Lyrics from Lockdown
Corwin Evans (M.F.A. ’09), The Art Couple
Hana Kim (M.F.A. ’12), With Love and a Major Organ
Yee Eun Nam (M.F.A. ’14), Br’er Cotton
Allesandro Camon (M.A. ’94), Time Alone (winner)
Comedy Direction
Jessica Kubzansky (Lecturer), With Love and a Major Organ
Lighting Design
Pablo Santiago-Brandwein (M.F.A. ’14), Time Alone
Female Comedy Performance
Paige Lindsey White (M.F.A. ’06), With Love and a Major Organ
Supporting Female Performance
Cheryl Umama (B.A. ’03), This Land
The UCLA TFT student production of Steel Pier won 13 StageSceneLA Scenie Awards, including:

Direction of a Musical (Student-Cast Production) — Jeremy Mann
Choreography (Student-Cast Production) — Christine Kellogg
Musical Direction (Larger Theater) — Dan Belzer
Production Design (Larger Theater)
Lead Actress in a Musical (Student-Cast Production) — Shelby Talley
Featured Actor in a Musical (Student-Cast Production) — Jake Levy
Featured Actress in a Musical (Student-Cast Production) — Claudia Baffo, Molly Livingston
Lead Ensemble Performance in a Musical (Student Cast)
Featured Ensemble in a Musical (Student Cast)
Best Student-Cast Production
Student Performer of the Year — Calvin Brady, James Olivas

Kyle LaBrache (B.A. ’94) received a Streamy Award nomination for his cinematography work on Paper Tigers, the first original series produced for Facebook's video platform Watch. The Streamys honor the best in online videos and the creators behind them.

Natalija Vekic (M.F.A. ’13) has received a Princess Grace 2018 Special Project Award in support of her short film Jane, based on her feature film script of the same name. The grant will provide initial funding for the project.


KCET Spotlights Mini-Doc Created by
UCLA TFT Students

M.F.A. filmmaking student Tiger Wang directed the third UCLA LENS (Laboratory Environmental Narrative Strategies) mini doc Edible Insects: Chili-Lime Crickets and Mexican Culinary Traditions, which is currently posted on KCET.org. M.F.A. filmmaking student Stefan Wanigatunga served as the project’s audio re-recorder, mixer online editor while M.F.A. cinematography student Jonni Teci served as the colorist.

Thu Vu Kim Nguyen's animated General Dupont in General Dupont Doing Laundry and Cecilia Albertini's narrative Labor were finalists the 19th annual Fine Cut Festival of Films contest, a collection of short films from Southern California student filmmakers. The two films were among 13 others airing over the course of six episodes on KCET in September. M.F.A. screenwriting student Catherine Wignall and M.F.A. filmmaking student Hena Ashraf each received scholarships from The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to support their studies at UCLA TFT. BAFTA supports British students studying in the U.S. as well as American and international students on select courses.
Native American undergraduate student Maya Dittloff is directing the Indiegogo-funded limited TV series Perma Red, based on Debra Magpie Earling’s novel. Currently in pre-production, the series is expected to begin filming in 2019. M.F.A. filmmaking student Kelly Pike’s Advanced Project film, Owen, was recently named a Vimeo Staff Pick. The film focuses on a homeless woman who is forced to decide what she’ll sacrifice in the name of survival for herself and her beloved dog. 
M.F.A. film directing student Kristopher D. Wilson was a finalist in the 2018 Student Academy Awards competition for his film, Mid City Blue, in the category of Narrative (Domestic Film Schools). Xinzhong "Golden" Zhao (M.F.A. ’18) was a nominee in the ASC Student Heritage Awards competition for his work on the documentary Francis Ford Coppola’s Live Cinema
Ana Lily Amirpour’s (M.F.A. ’10) next film begins production in Spring 2019. The fantasy feature Blue Moon, which takes place in New Orleans, is set to star star Kate Hudson, Craig Robinson and Zac Efron. In August, M.F.A. actor Ulato Sam starred in a performative reading of Birdy, based on William Wharton’s debut novel, during Tete-a-Tete: The Opera Festival, in Warsaw, Poland. See his performance on the Tete-a-Tete website.


Nasim Pedrad Cast in Disney's Alladin

Alumna Nasim Pedrad has been cast in a new role as Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden in Disney’s new live-action version of the animated hit Aladdin, which arrives in theaters on May 24, 2019. Will Smith stars as the Genie.

Beth Behrs (B.A. ’08) co-stars in the new CBS sitcom The Neighborhood, starring Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield. It was the most-watched series on CBS when it premiered on Monday, Oct. 1. Sacha Gervasi wrote and directed My Dinner With Hervé, based on his real-life experience with Fantasy Island actor Hervé Villechaize. The film, which stars Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan, premiered Saturday, Oct. 20 on HBO. 
Ren Hanami's (B.A. ’84) short film Like Last Night recently screened at film festivals in Long Beach, Glendale and Las Vegas. Her first children’s book, Ninja Mom and the Tengonis in the Tiki, inspired by the folklore of Hanami’s Japanese/ Hawaiian heritage, was published In September. The dark comedy Zim High, written, directed, produced and starring Tatenda Mbudzi (M.F.A. ’13), won the grand prize at the 2018 Lonely Seal International Film Festival in Boston. The story is loosely based on Mbudzi's life growing up in Zimbabwe.
The thriller Absentia, created by Gaia Violo (M.F.A. ’16), has been picked up for a second season by Amazon for a 2019 premiere. Currently filming in Bulgaria, the series stars actress Stania Katic (Castle) and Patrick Heusinger (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back). Theater graduates Quinn Francis (B.A. ’17) and Brandon Root (B.A. ’18) are tackling the hot-button issue of immigration onstage in Alan Lester Brooks'  A Splintered Soul, a story about Holocaust survivors in America, at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. 
Filmmaker Laura Gabbert's (M.F.A. ’04) documentary, City of Gold, about the recently deceased L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold, has been named to Vogue magazine’s list of "66 Best Documentaries of All Time." The People’s Choice Awards are moving to E! Entertainment and Emmy Award-winning director Louis J. Horvitz (B.A. ’68) will direct the network’s first-ever telecast of the show on Sunday, Nov. 11. 
Charles Platt (B.A. ’18) has founded the LGBTQ-focused My Big Fat Queer Theatre Company. Its first production, The Pride, debuted in July at the McCadden Place Theatre in Hollywood. Nicolette Robinson (B.A. ’09) has made her Broadway debut, taking over the lead role in the hit musical Waitress, for a limited run, Sept. 4-Oct. 28. Sarah Bareilles (B.A. ’02) wrote the Waitress score. 
Roxie Perkins (B.A. ’13) wrote the libretto for p r i s m, about a young girl and her mother who lock themselves away from the world. p r i s m will have its world premiere at LA Opera and REDCAT Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Photo: Gregory Crewdson. Sarah White (M.F.A. ’16) and Margot Ye (M.F.A. ’12) have been named to NBC's 2018-19 Writers on the Verge class, which aims to develop diverse writers. At the end of the program they will be considered for NBC writing assignments.

Rodd Farhadi (B.A. ’16) portrays Clopin Trouillefou in The Argyle Theatre’s musical production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the Victor Hugo novel and featuring songs from the 1996 Disney film, Nov. 8-Dec. 30, in Long Island, NY.
Sarabeth Grossman (B.A. ’83) has become the artistic producer of the Dallas Theater Center after working in New York City for many years. Her many theater credits include productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in national tours and in the West End.
Audrey Wells 1960-2018

Audrey Wells (M.F.A. ’89), a screenwriter, producer and director, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 4, after a five-year battle with cancer. Her last film, The Hate U Give, was released on Friday, Oct. 5. Her other credits include A Dog's PurposeShall We Dance?Under the Tuscan Sun and The Truth About Cats & Dogs, among others. She is survived by her husband and daughter.

Follow UCLA TFT Alumni Affairs on Facebook for more!

UCLA TFT Alumni Affairs on Facebook


J.Ed Araiza Performs, Directs Alumni

In September, UCLA TFT Theater Professor and SITI Company member J.Ed Araiza and Roshni Shukla (M.F.A. ’16) performed in the SITI Company production of Euripides’ The Bacchae, directed by Anne Bogart, at the Getty Villa. In August, Araiza directed Queen of Califas, written by Israel Lopez Reyes (M.F.A. ’16), which was showcased at DTLA’s Los Angeles Theatre Center as part of their Summer on a Spring reading series. Alumni Shukla, Lea Madda (M.F.A. ’17) and Frank Cernak (M.F.A. ’17) were also cast members. Yuki Izumihara (M.F.A. ’16) provided technical assistance.

On Weds., Oct. 10, Professor José Luis Valenzuela and the Los Angeles Theater Center, along with the National Hispanic Media Coalition, co-hosted the sixth annual Latino Scene Showcase at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, where industry executives convened to see the work of emerging Latino writers, directors and performers. Professor Deborah Landis recently contributed chapters to two museum exhibition catalogs: "Hollywood Begins 1908-1929: Clothes, Costume & Couture” (Italy in Hollywood, the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Milan); and “Panavision Pink: Deceptively Demure" (Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, The Museum at FIT, New York City).
UCLA TFT Professor Chon Noriega, director of UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center, was one of four local media professionals honored at the National Hispanic Media Coalition's 16th annual Los Angeles Impact Awards Luncheon in early September. He was honored for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the region's Latino community.   Adjunct Associate Professor Marek Probosz will star and direct the New York premiere of The Auschwitz Volunteer: Captain Witold Pilecki, as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row on Sunday, Nov. 11. Additionally, he was one of 12 jury members selected for the 14th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, which took place Sept. 4-10 in Kazan, Russia.


Andy Kaplan, former president of Worldwide Networks at Sony Pictures Entertainment, has become chairman of Indian digital TV firm QYOU Media in Mumbai, which delivers local video content to more than 185 million mobile and TV subscribers in India. The company has also launched a number of YouTube channels as well as Q India on Tata Sky. Executive Board member Frank Marshall and producer Kathleen Kennedy will be honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards on Sunday, Nov. 19. Publicist Martin Levy, composer Lalo Schifrin and actress Cicely Tyson will also be honored.