Volume 11 | May-July 2018








UCLA TFT Feature Documentary Waterschool Available for Streaming on Netflix

The thought-provoking and inspiring new feature documentary Waterschool, created by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, in partnership with Swarovski, began streaming on Netflix on Wednesday, July 25. No other film school in the world has created a feature documentary that has major distribution of this kind and a major international social action campaign will soon launch in conjunction with the release of the film to make an impact, build awareness and inspire change. 


The film screened earlier in the year at the Sundance Film Festival, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and at UCLA TFT. It made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May during a panel hosted by The Hollywood Reporter's Tatiana Siegel with UCLA TFT Dean TERI SCHWARTZ and UCLA TFT Executive Board Member NADJA SWAROVSKI, who were producers on the film, and Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker (Waste Land, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom), who served as a distinguished mentor on the project. 


Read The Hollywood Reporter article


In the making of Waterschool, seven diverse UCLA TFT graduate filmmaking students travelled across five continents to capture the moving stories of six girls and young women whose lives have been empowered and transformed by the Swarovski Waterschool educational program focused on water, sanitation, hygiene and sustainability. Under the guidance of Dean Schwartz and Walker, the students worked collaboratively in all areas of production including a “team approach” to directing, producing, editing, cinematography and sound. 


Emmy Award-winning composer Alex Wurman (Temple GrandinMarch of the Penguins) created the film’s score. 



2018 UCLA TFT Commencement


Award-winning director Carl Franklin was the 2018 commencement keynote speaker at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s 71st annual commencement ceremony on Friday, June 15. Dean TERI SCHWARTZ presided over the event. Two-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer JUDY KAYE (Nice Work if You Can Get It, The Phantom of the Opera) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater and award-winning writer and director ALLISON ANDERS (Border Radio, Mi Vida Loca) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Film, Television and Digital Media.



UCLA TFT Summer Creative Workshop


The first UCLA TFT Summer Creative Workshop, conceived by Dean TERI SCHWARTZ, took place June 18-29 on the UCLA TFT campus. The two-week immersive storytelling workshop is a unique program designed to give voice, purpose and skills to underserved high school students with a focus on screenwriting for film, TV streaming and/or web-based platforms. During the workshop, filmmaker and alumnus JUSTIN LIN (B.A. ’95) surprised students with a visit and screening of his 2011 film Fast Five. Twenty students and their families attended a certificate ceremony at the end of the program, which was also attended by UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost SCOTT WAUGH. Hulu was the sponsor of the ceremony and lunch that followed.



Inaugural Storytelling Institute

Marks Successful Completion


In mid-May, diplomas and certificates of completion were awarded to the first group of graduate students who participated in the inaugural Storytelling Institute in Cannes, France. The six-week residency program is a partnership between UCLA TFT, Université Côte D’Azur (UCA), the Mayor and City of Cannes, the president and director of the Cannes International Film Festival, and Vivendi/Canal+. The Institute's 2018 class included four graduate screenwriting students from UCLA TFT: BISI ADEMULEGUN, BRENNA GALVIN, ERIC MALLORY MORGAN and DANIEL TINO, and four French students from UCA: Branca Cepelowicz, Sarah Lasry, Simon Perrin and Jordan Raux.



UCLA TFT Receives Additional Scholarship Funds from the Milton Stark Estate


UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is one of three recipients, along with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, to receive funding, totaling $2 million, from the Milton Stark estate. The contribution expands the existing Judith and Milton R. Stark Scholarship, increasing annual distributions up to 10 times the amount it awarded previously. The Judith and Milton R. Stark Scholarship was established in 1986.





UCLA TFT's Animation Workshop co-hosts "Breaking the Glass Frame: Women & Animation Past, Present, Future" Symposium

Hosted in partnership with UCLA TFT's Animation Workshop, CalArts Animation and Women in Animation, Breaking the Glass Frame: Women & Animation, Past, Present, Future will take place Oct. 6 and 7 on the campus of USC, featuring panels, screenings, workshops and networking opportunities. Confirmed keynote speakers include director Brenda Chapman (Brave, The Prince of Egypt) and producer/creative director Brown Johnson (Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon).





UCLA TFT Film Festival Honors screenwriter Jordan Peele, producer Megan Ellison, director Randal Kleiser and animator Floyd Norman

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Jordan Peele (Get Out), Academy Award-nominated producer Megan Ellison (Phantom Thread, American Hustle), Emmy Award-nominated director Randal Kleiser (Grease, The Blue Lagoon) and veteran animator Floyd Norman were honored at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s 27th Annual Film Festival. On the first night of the festival, theater director SHIRLEY JO FINNEY was in conversation with Los Angeles Times reporter Tre’vell Anderson and theater director JAYONGELA WILDER (M.F.A. ’18), discussing creative stories and scholarly works authored and performed by women and persons of color. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was the presenting sponsor of the festival, which took place June 7-14 at UCLA TFT and the Directors Guild of America, and which spotlighted student work in all disciplines.



Fourth Annual Dorothy Richards Costume Educators' Luncheon

On Sunday, June 3, the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA TFT hosted the fourth annual Dorothy Richards Costume Educators' Luncheon, underwritten by Karen Richards Sachs and David Sachs. Forty-five costume educators from around the U.S. met to discuss innovations in costume design curriculum for film and television. UCLA Art & Architecture Assitant Adjunct Professor Julia Koerner discussed her work in 3D printing for fashion and costume (including her collaboration with costume designer Ruth Carter on Black Panther); CADFab Digital founder/owner Maya Roth discussed digital fabric printing; and UCLA TFT Lecturer GINA DeDOMENICO FLANAGAN discussed her work and transition from costume illustrator to costume concept artist.



Hamilton costume designer Paul Tazewell speaks at the 16th Annual Design Showcase West

On Saturday, June 2, Tony Award- and Emmy Award-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell was the keynote speaker at the 16th annual Design Showcase West, the only national entertainment design showcase on the West Coast featuring the work of graduate students from the nation's top university design programs. Tazewell has been designing costumes for Broadway and regional theater, film, television, dance and opera productions for more than 25 years. In 2016, he received a Tony Award for his costume designs for the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton and an Emmy Award for his work on NBC’s The Wiz! Live.



Half the Picture Screening


On Monday, May 21, UCLA TFT hosted a screening of Half the Picture at the James Bridges Theater. Produced by AMY ADRION (M.F.A. ’09) and DAVID HARRIS (M.F.A. 07), the documentary puts a spotlight on the dearth of women directors working in Hollywood. AVA DuVERNAY, GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD (B.A. ’91) and PENELOPE SPHEERIS (B.A. ’69, M.A. ’73) are among the successful women directors who talk about their career paths, struggles, inspiration and hopes for the future.



Howard Suber chats with Bad Samaritan director Dean Devlin

On Monday, April 23, audience members were treated to a screening of the edge-of-your-seat thriller Bad Samaritan in advance of its May 4 opening. After the screening, brought to the school by DAVID HARRIS (M.F.A. ’07), Professor Emeritus HOWARD SUBER conducted a Q&A with director Dean Devlin, in the James Bridges Theater.



2018 M.F.A. Actor Showcase

The 2018 M.F.A. Actor Showcase took place on Tuesday, April 17 at the Geffen Playhouse. BRETT CALO, ASHLEY CLEVELAND, TAYLOR DEAN, JOHN DELLAPORTA, OSCAR EMMANUEL FABELA, KATIA KAPUSTIN and BETH LANE performed scenes from scripts written by alumnus ALEXANDER PAYNE, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Nolan and Sam Shepard, among others, for industy professionals. 





Amanda Peet Chats With UCLA TFT's J.Ed Araiza and M.F.A. Actors

On Friday May 11, actress, writer and artist Amanda Peet visited with M.F.A. students at UCLA TFT and participated in a Q&A with Department of Theater Professor J.ED ARAIZA, sharing stories about acting in film and on stage, what led her to writing and her experiences having her play, Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, produced at the Geffen Playhouse.



Michael Goi: 2018 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence

Emmy Award-nominated cinematographer Michael Goi, ASC, ISC (American Horror Story) was named the 2018 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence at UCLA TFT in mid-April. Hands-on student workshops with Goi continued for the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year.


Mark Bridges in Conversation

On Monday, May 7, two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread, The Artist, 8 Mile, Boogie Nights, Inherent Vice, Silver Linings Playbook) discussed his career with Professor DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS, Ph.D., in front of a live audience at UCLA TFT's Darren Star Theater.


John Canemaker Conducts Master Class at UCLA TFT

Animation Professor CELIA MERCER welcomed veteran animator John Canemaker to UCLA TFT in March. He presented three lectures, reviewed M.F.A. student work and brought animators Glen Keane, Andreas Deja and Aidan Terry to the school, all made possible by the Matt Groening Endowed Chair in Animation, which provides support for visiting artists and lecturers for the UCLA Animation Workshop at UCLA TFT.




CECILIA ALBERTINI's (M.F.A. ’18) short film Allegra's Body Shop — in which two small-time crooks break into a car shop at night only to discover that the shop owner is throwing a very special party in the garage — has won Best Comedy at the Austin Comedy Short Fest.

CANDICE NACHMAN's (M.F.A. ’16) film In Love premiered in Cannes, France, as part of Straight 8 2018, which invites "anyone, anywhere to make a short film on one three-minute, 20 second cartridge of Super 8mm cine film with no re-takes, no editing and no post-production, and only analogue technology."




FTVDM Professor BECKY SMITH's feature film August in Berlin received the Gold Remi for Low Budget (independent) Feature and was nominated in Best Actor and Best Actress categories at the Houston Film Festival.

Call Me By Your Name, which co-starred alumnus MICHAEL STUHLBARG, was named Outstanding Film — Wide Release at the April GLAAD Awards.




Undergraduate senior KITTY HU was the co-creator of About Home, a multimedia exploration of Holocaust memories through the concept of home, which was screened during a celebration of life that took place with survivors at UCLA Hillel in mid-May.

M.F.A. filmmaker HANADI ELYAN's film Nadia's Visit was part of the Cannes Short Film Corner during the May Cannes Film Festival. She and Dean TERI SCHWARTZ were recently quoted in Marie Claire.



JOHN CERRITO is one of six student filmmakers to receive a $4,500 grant from The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors Foundation, which will assist him in completing his student thesis film, The Way You Look Tonight.




UCLA TFT Alumni perform in SITI Company's theater is a blank page

When the West Coast premiere of theater is a blank page took place at UCLA's Royce Hall, April 28-May 12, a number of UCLA TFT students and alumni were found in the chorus, including students SU CASTILLO, SHAOFEI CHEN, ULATO SAM and SHENLI ZHAO; and alumni OSCAR FABELA (M.F.A. 18), KATIA KAPUSTIN (M.F.A. ’18), MAIA RYCHLIK (M.F.A. ’17), DANIEL STEVENS (M.F.A. ’17) and ZURI ADELE (M.F.A. ’16). Third-year M.F.A. director CHARLES KIN served as assistant director. The production was presented by UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and New York-based SITI Company. Dept. of Theater Professor J.ED ARAIZA, a founding member of SITI Company, served as choral consultant for the production, which was directed by Ann Hamilton and Anne Bogart.



Zuri Adele Lands Freeform Series

ZURI ADELE (M.F.A. ’16) has been cast as a series regular in the new Freeform series Good Trouble, a spinoff of another Freeform series, The Fosters. Adele will play Malikia, a former foster child who feels strongly about social justice.



Ana Lily Amirpour's TV Debut

ANA LILY AMIRPOUR (M.F.A. ’10) made her narrative television debut in April, helming an episode of the FX series Legion. Her next feature film is the mind-bending adventure Blood Moon, which was unveiled at the Cannes Film Market in May.




Steven Canal's Pose Gets Second Season order

The critically-acclaimed FX drama series Pose, co-created by STEVEN CANALS (M.F.A. ’15), Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, will have a second season, set to debut in 2019. The show features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles ever, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series.



Steven S. DeKnight Signs Multi-Year Deal with Netflix

Marvel’s Daredevil executive producer STEVEN S. DeKNIGHT (M.F.A. ’92) has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix for a variety of upcoming projects. Earlier this year, he made his feature film directorial debut with Universal Pictures' Pacific Rim Uprising, which he also wrote.





Felicia D. Henderson Inks Deal with 20th TV, Joins Empire

FELICIA D. HENDERSON (M.F.A. ’04) has signed a multiple-year, multimillion-dollar overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television in which she will develop new projects for the studio as well as join as a consulting producer on the company's hit series Empire.





For the first time, four female design professionals, including scenic designer RACHEL HAUCK (B.A. ’90), are working on a Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park production at the same time.


Actress-musician-writer NORA KIRKPATRICK (B.A. ’06) is experimenting with virtual reality with Door No. 1, a choose-your-own-adventure style film, now available on the Hulu VR app.




Screenwriter DAVID KOEPP (B.A. ’90) is writing the live-action screenplay for Blackhawk, director Steven Spielberg’s first superhero movie, for Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros., based on the comic.

BENJAMIN NATKIN (B.A. 1990), was a featured soloist at Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, June 16, singing "New York, New York" from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town.



Costume designer ALEX PLETCHER (B.A. ’11) designed the costumes for the drama I and You, written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by JoAnn Johnson, at the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Ore., May 20-June 17.

RACHEL RAIMIST (B.A. ’95, M.F.A. ’99) directed episode 311 of the OWN Network's Queen Sugar, produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. The third season of the award-winning series is being helmed entirely by women.



ROYA VAKILI has been promoted to Senior Vice President Marketing at Fox Searchlight Pictures International. She joined the company in 2006 and has managed international marketing functions for Searchlight films since that time.

ELIZABETH WHITNEY (B.A. ’80) produced the short film American, starring George Takei, about the Japanese relocation camps and the 442nd Army Division, which was comprised of all Japanese-American soldiers during WWII.




Marilyn Fox co-directs

The Dorothy Parker Project

With Michael Cooper, UCLA TFT Adjunct Associate Professor MARILYN FOX recently directed The Dorothy Parker Project, an evening of dramatized short stories, poems and musings by Dorothy Parker, at the Pacific Resident Theatre, where Fox is the artistic director.



Brian Kite Directs Play in China

Department of Theater Chair BRIAN KITE recently directed the Southern China debut of David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole, in Mandarin. The play took place at the Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Center in Guangzhou, China. Professor RICH ROSE was the scenic designer for the play, which opened Friday, May 25. In April, Kite directed Disgraced in the James Bridges Theater.



Marike Splint's interactive Among Us

In a new performance piece by UCLA TFT Assistant Professor MARIKE SPLINT, “Among Us” invites audiences to become participants in pubic spaces. It recently took place at the Santa Monica Pier.




Jeff Burke Melds Mediums

JEFF BURKE, Associate Dean, Technology and Innovation, is melding technology with storytelling, artificial intelligence with live theater. Read about the advancements he's making with the help of a Google Focused Award on the "future of storytelling."




Gina Kim Named to THR AND Variety Watch Lists

Professor GINA KIM has been named one of Variety’s Top Teachers in Film, TV and More in the publication’s 2018 Entertainment Education report. She was also named to The Hollywood Reporter's 5 South Korean Talents to Watch list.




Enamorada Restored

A new 4K restoration of Enamorada (1946) screened during Cannes Classics at the recent Cannes Film Festival, and was introduced by UCLA TFT Executive Board member MARTIN SCORSESE. The film was restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with Fundación Televisa AC and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Directed by Emilio Fernández and starring María Félix, Enamorada is a romantic comedy and considered a major classic from the golden age of Mexican cinema.


UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television | (310) 206-0426 | www.tft.ucla.edu