UCLA TFT Alumni Newsletter - March 17, 2017
UCLA TFT Alumni Newsletter
March 17, 2017
Welcome to the TFT Alumni Newsletter
Questions, comments? Email alumni@tft.ucla.edu
Submit your alumni news to:  www.tft.ucla.edu/alumninewsupdate
News and TFT Alumni Events
Deidra & Laney Rob A Train
Now Available on Netflix
Deidra & Laney Rob a Train, which screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival will premiere on Netflix on March 17th. The film stars Ashleigh Murray and Rachel Crow as the title characters, SNL's Sasheer Zamata, and was produced by TFT alumni Susan Cartsonis ('78)  and  Nick Moceri (MFA '10). Quyen Tran was the film's cinematographer.

Watch a trailer for the film here.
TFT Alumna Karina Silva, Camera Operator on
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"
From the Daily Bruin

Karina Silva ('12) had no trouble remembering her cues while filming musical numbers for “Beauty and the Beast.” She’s known the songs by heart since she was 5 years old.

“When ‘Beauty and the Beast’ came out … I loved it,” Silva said. “And so to see it come to life and then to be a part of it … it’s just so magical.”

The 2012 UCLA alumna has worked as a camera operator on “Deepwater Horizon” and “Mr. Holmes,” as well as Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” which will be released Friday. During filming, she communicated constantly with the director, cinematographer and actors, and relied on her own artistic instincts as well, to ensure each shot was in tune with the cadence of every song and computer-generated character.

“It felt like a theater show, but 360,” Silva said. “You’re capturing every moment of it.”

The first feature film Silva shot as a camera operator was 2015’s “Mr. Holmes.” Cinematography professor William McDonald (MFA '86) had no idea his former student had operated the B camera when he went to see the film with his wife, but during the movie,he could tell the B-camera operator was skilled. As the credits rolled, he let out a cheer that turned the heads of the few who remained in the theater.

“One of my proudest moments was to see Karina’s credit on the film,” McDonald said.

The full article continues here: http://dailybruin.com/2017/03/15/ucla-film-alumna-works-magic-behind-camera-in-beauty-and-the-beast/

Daily Bruin Alumni Spotlight:
Jeremy White
From the Daily Bruin:

Sports rivalries aren’t just another aspect of the game for Jeremy White (MFA '13). Rivalry has been his work – and his life – for almost a year.

The film director and alumnus is the series producer of Viceland’s “Vice World of Sports,” a documentary series that covers both local and professional sports stories around the world. The nine-episode series premiered its second season Feb. 22. This season’s theme, rivals, allowed White to reinterpret rivalry in sports culture and explore angles of stories that other sports documentary shows may not be covering, he said.

“When you think of rivals, you think … ‘We are gonna see two teams or two people and they are going to go head to head,’” White said. “What we wanted to do is take the word ‘rivals’ and reinterpret it every week.”

White graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television in 2013 with a master’s degree in film. He had only made one sports documentary – on UCLA’s quidditch team – before beginning work for Vice in 2015. White was drawn to the medium because of how sports can be a trojan horse for deeper issues, as well as how sports convey universal feelings for people watching all around the world.

Read the full article here.
Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre Presents: Disgraced
By Ayad Akhtar
March 8-April 2, 2017
Disgraced is directed by  Joanne Gordon  (PHD '84).

Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. Emily, his wife, is white; she’s an artist, and her work is influenced by Islamic imagery. When the couple hosts a dinner party, what starts out as a friendly conversation escalates into something far more damaging.
“…Blistering social drama about the racial prejudices that secretly persist in progressive cultural circles.” – Variety

Winner! 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Preview Performance: Wednesday, March 8th – 7:30 p.m.
Preview Tickets are $43

TFT Alumni Nights with The Archive Presents:
River of Grass / The Watermelon Woman
March 22, 7:30PM
Kelly Reichardt's "River of Grassand Cheryl Dunye's " The Watermelon Woman",  are part of the ongoing program, “ TFT Alumni Nights with The Archive”.

We offer FREE admission for TFT Alumni who say, “TFT ALUMNI” at the box office at the Billy Wilder Theater.

March 22, 2017 - 7:30 pm at the Billy Wilder Theater.

In-person: film preservationist Jillian Borders (MA '05).

Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sundance Institute and TIFF

River of Grass  (1994)

“A road movie without the road, a love story without love, and a crime story without the crime”—thus is writer-director Reichardt's own description of her sublime, semi-autobiographical feature film debut.  Taking a page from Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), River of Grass employs the ennui-ridden housewife Cozy (Lisa Bowman) as its increasingly unreliable narrator as she and degenerate barfly Lee Ray (Larry Fessenden, who also produced and cut the film) embrace the misadventures that could only befall amateur, wanderlust criminals as they bumble and fumble back and forth across the sticky inertia of the Florida Everglades.

Sprinkled with a casual ‘90s nostalgia for the cool mid-‘50s, and with an indie spirit that barely survived to the next decade, the resulting kinetic energy of Grass was matched with enthusiastic praise.  Alas, this did not lead to immediate opportunities for Reichardt, but instead a brick wall of funding difficulties and the reality of rampant, industry-wide sexism.  Frustrated, she resorted to teaching film production, sidelining her feature filmmaking career for nearly 12 years in the interim.

Reichardt's uniqueness of vision and voice has only seen substantial appreciation in the last decade, as she has firmly cemented herself as an artist concerned with the poetry of place—a theme that would continue with Old Joy (2006), Meek's Cutoff (2010) and her recent minimalist masterpiece, Certain Women (2016).

For a time commercially unavailable, River of Grass was given new life thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign by distributor Oscilloscope, in tandem with a preservation partnership between the Sundance Collection at UCLA and the Toronto International Film Festival, which oversaw the digital restoration and 2K scan of timeworn film elements.  Following the new restoration's brief repertory run in Los Angeles and New York City in early 2016, the Archive is proud to present this under-seen gem for audiences hungry to connect with the filmmaking roots of this fiercely American visionary.  —KJ Relth

DCP, color, 76 min.  Director: Kelly Reichardt.  Production: Good Machine.  Distribution: Oscilloscope.  Producer: Larry Fessenden, Jesse Hartman, Susan A. Stover.  Writer: Kelly Reichardt, Jesse Hartman.  Cinematography: Jim Denault.  Production Design: David Doernberg.  Editor: Larry Fessenden.  Music: John Hill.  Cast: Lisa Bowman, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Michael Buscemi.

Preserved from the 16mm original A/B negatives and 16mm original track negative. Laboratory services by Modern Videofilm, Fotokem. Sound services by Deluxe Media Audio Services.


Digitally preserved and remastered by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by 13th Gen, Outfest, The Andrew J. Kuehn Foundation, TIFF, First Run Features and Yves Averous

The Watermelon Woman  (1996)

Writer-director Cheryl Dunye’s debut feature centers on video store clerk-cum-documentarian Cheryl and her obsessive quest to unearth the forgotten contributions of African American women throughout cinematic history.  Concentrating on 1930s actress Fae Richards (listed in film credits only as “The Watermelon Woman”), Cheryl conducts interviews with Black film historian Lee Edwards, consults cultural critic Camille Paglia, and sifts through materials at the CLIT Archive in the hopes of unearthing more evidence of Richards' career, long buried by the whitewashing of time.

What could very well read as a synopsis for a personal documentary project is, in fact, a work of fiction, inspired by Jim McBride's parodic David Holzman's Diary (1967) and the actual careers of early Black film stars such as Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers and Josephine Baker.  Dunye's documentarian is an inquisitive, vulnerable version of herself cast in a romantic comedy by way of the essay film, à la Chris Marker, to create a self-portrait of one woman's investigation into her own identity.

Emerging from Cheryl's research is not only a clearer picture of Fae Richards' film career but also another, less expected discovery: Richards was known to spend most of her time in the company of filmmaker Martha Page, a white woman nearly analogous to real-life filmmaking pioneer Dorothy Arzner.  Running parallel to this revelation is Cheryl's own burgeoning, intimate relationship with Diana (Guinevere Turner), a white, well-off patron of Cheryl's video store, with whom she engages in perhaps the steamiest on-screen sapphic encounter since Rose Troche's Go Fish (1994).

Intent on creating a perennial work that would surpass the magical, democratized moment of mid-'90s prosumer video-making, Dunye imbues The Watermelon Woman, the first feature-length film directed by a Black lesbian, with a crystal clear mission: to tell those stories that have never been told.  Borrowing from the buoyant spirit of early Spike Lee and themes explored earlier by Troche, Dunye carves out a unique space for her own distinctive storytelling and fervently independent vision while reclaiming ownership of once-co-opted symbols of h(er) story.  —KJ Relth

DCP, color, 90 min.  Director: Cheryl Dunye.  Production: Dancing Girl.  Distribution: First Run Features.  Producer: Alexandra Juhasz, Barry Swimar, Cate Wilson.  Screenwriter: Cheryl Dunye.  Cinematography: Michelle Crenshaw.  Editor: Cheryl Dunye.  Music: Paul Shapiro.  Cast: Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker, Emmy Collins.

Preserved as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project from a 16mm interpositive and ½” digital magnetic tape.

Part of: 2017 UCLA Festival of Preservation

March 17, 2017 - 7:30 pm

In-person: television archivist
Dan Einstein (MA '87).

March 26, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Archive Research & Study Center manager
Mark Quigley (MFA '00)
Amazon to Distribute Sparks Musical Directed by Leos Carax

From Deadline: 

Amazon Studios has picked up U.S. and Canadian rights to Annette, the first English-language title from French cult director Leos Carax, starring Adam Driver.

The music-filled drama focuses on a widowed stand-up comedian and his two-year-old daughter who has a surprising gift. It’s been one of the hottest French projects to emerge from the last few film markets. Rihanna is rumoured to have a small part in the film. The feature will contain original songs by art-rock band the Sparks and will shoot across a raft of international locations. 

Read more here.

Of the band Sparks, Russell Mael is a TFT alumnus, who graduated in 1971. His brother Ron Mael graduated UCLA's School of Arts and Architecture in 1967.

The Southland Company Presents:
The Gita & The Gun
March 31 - April 1
The Gita & The Gun follows sixteen-year-old Abhiti living as the target of bullies and with a single mother stuck in the past. Encouraged by nightly visits from a mysterious trumpet-playing elephant, Abhiti learns to face her darkest fears.

Written by Roshni Shukla (MFA '16)
Directed by Darcie Crager (MFA '16)
Lighting Design- Ning Ji (MFA '16)
Musical Direction- Lea Madda (MFA in progress)
Dramaturge- Israel López Reyes (MFA '16)
Artwork by Carl Edward Mongan

Performance Dates/Times:
Friday, March 31st at 8pm
Saturday, April 1st at 3pm
Saturday, April 1st at 8pm
Pre-show reception with live jazz and cocktail reception at the evening performances from 8pm - 8:30pm with show promptly beginning at 8:30pm. 

General Admission - $20
Under 30/Military/Student Discount: $15, Use Online Code ELEPHANT at checkout (ID for verification to be presented at show). 
Tickets can also be purchased at the door. All major credit cards accepted. 

Length of Show is 1 hour and 30 minutes 
Recommended for ages 13+ for mature language, sexuality and adult themes

The Gita and The Gun was developed as part of our annual Launch Los Angeles company event and supported with funds from our generous donors. 

Special thanks to the Asia Society of Los Angeles, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Art Share L.A., and our generous friends and supporters.

Visit:  http://www.thesouthlandcompany.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesouthlandcompany/
Twitter: @thesouthlandco
Instagram: @thesouthlandcompany
Writers on the Verge
Submissions Open May 1, 2017

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. We particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply.

The program will consist of two night classes, which will typically be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-10pm), weekly at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA. Once accepted, students must attend all classes and turn in all written assignments.

Classes concentrate on creating exceptional material to enhance their portfolio, and understanding the dynamics of pitching oneself in the television industry. Writers are given the chance to interact with industry players ranging from network executives to show runners to agents and receive valuable feedback on their work and pitch style. Writing assignments on a NBCUniversal television show may be available after successful completion of the program but are not a guarantee. Past participants have gone on to series including “The Blacklist,” “Marlon,” “Community”, “Burn Notice”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “White Collar”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Chicago Fire” and “Parenthood.” 

How to Submit

The submission window is open MAY 1st, 2017 – MAY 31st, 2017 at 11:59pm PT.

Please note:

  1. We do not accept email or mail submissions.  You must complete the online application before the deadline.
  2. We will accept submissions from individual writers and from writing teams of two.  We will not accept writing teams of more than two.
  3. Submitted specs must be written for a show on our Accepted Shows List. We do not accept all shows. Please ensure that your spec is included on our list.
  4. Finalists may be asked for a second writing sample.
  5. Applicants must be able to provide their own housing and transportation in the Los Angeles area for the duration of the program.

The submission form will be available here on MAY 1st. 

To watch for updates, please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and the Writers On The Verge Facebook Page.

Check out our FAQ for more information.

Additional questions (NOT APPLICATIONS) should be submitted to writersontheverge@nbcuni.com.

Screencraft Horror 2017 Screenplay Contest
Open for Entries
Open for entries!
“The industry’s #1 horror screenplay contest.”  –  Indiewire

Our Hollywood judges have produced some of the most iconic horror and dark-genre films of the last decade. Get your screenplay to these killer producers and launch your screenwriting career. Horror is one of the proven genres for newcomers to the craft – and we are looking for talented new writers.

Early Deadline: April 15
Final Deadline: July 1

The Writers Lab
Submissions Open Through March 30th


Regular – Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Late – Thursday, March 30, 2017. 

The Writers Lab is supported by Meryl Streep and produced by IRIS and New York Women in Film & Television, in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East and the Black List. An intensive four-day incubator and screenwriting retreat, we seek outstanding, diverse feature narrative film scripts by established and emerging female screenwriters over 40. The Lab takes place Sept. 14-17, 2017, outside New York City, and offers one-on-one meetings, panel discussions and other workshop elements. 


Deadline for #TheWritersLab supported by #MerylStreep is 3/23 - Women over 40, SUBMIT your scripts today!


UCLA Alumni Affinity Programs and Professional Schools Presents
2nd Act: An Evening with Lewis Teague
Wednesday, March 29th at 6:30PM
Job Listings and Available Services
UCLAOne Jobs

Visit UCLAOne for UCLA Alumni job listings.
Assistant Level Positions

Based in Beverly Hills, UTA is seeking a Corporate Communications Assistant to provide administrative support to the Global Head of Corporate Communications. This position’s primary role is to support the day-to-day functions of the Global Head of Corporate Communications, including: heavy scheduling, travel, internal event planning and monitoring coverage for the agency and its clients. In this project heavy role, the candidate will also be responsible for a variety of day-to-day programmatic and administrative tasks and will be expected to produce high-quality communications materials, help to organize press events, contribute to online communications, and act as a media liaison. One year of prior experience in entertainment publicity at a public relations agency, studio or network is required. Please send cover letter and resume to FrancoK@unitedtalent.com with the subject line “Corporate Communications Assistant.” 3/14

Sony Pictures Worldwide Creative Content Team is seeking an Executive Assistant to the head of the department with at least 3 years of experience in an agency or studio setting. Job duties include phone coverage, scheduling, coordinating travel, finance and contract duties, and overall support to the team. Ability to multitask and pay attention to detail in a high pressure, high volume environment is a must. Excellent research, problem-solving, and organizational skills is a plus and must be proficient in Microsoft Office and able to work on a MAC. Flexible hours are expected and must be willing to commit to the role for a minimum of two years. Please send all resumes to sonypicsasst@gmail.com. 3/14

Open Road Films – Manager of Distribution. This position would be an assistant to our EVP of Theatrical Distribution. Position requires a strong work ethic, being detail oriented, organizational skills, ability to work well with others and a positive attitude. A high level of proficiency in Excel is required with prior assistant experience preferred. Also, work will include a high degree of analytics and research, and a candidate with strong analytical skills is encouraged to apply. If interested, please email your resume to hr@openroadfilms.com and use reference code OR01 in the subject line of your email. 3/14

Full service Talent, Music and Literary Management / Production Company seeks a highly motivated assistant to a manager in the talent department. Must be detail oriented with excellent communication skills and the desire to learn and grow in the entertainment business. Job responsibilities include but are not limited to: heavy emails & phones, scheduling, reading scripts, client submissions (Breakdown & InEntertainment) and liaising with clients. Candidate MUST have at least one year of prior agency / management experience. Office vibe is laidback and fun, but also dynamic and busy. Please e-mail resume to pwetalentassistant@gmail.com – looking to interview and hire ASAP. 3/14

Oscar nominated producer with over 30 feature film credits and a very active development slate is seeking an Executive Assistant. Job requires someone who is self motivated and extremely organized in what can be a stressful, busy environment. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: heavy phones, heavy scheduling, reading and script coverage, taking notes, tracking projects, and most importantly maintaining the focus and tasks of the company. The ideal candidate will have a keen knowledge of the industry, it’s major players and will be able to track projects efficiently. This is a great, hands-on position for a tenacious self-starter. Sense of humor a must. 1 year of industry experience required, (agency preferred) this is not a first desk. Medical/dental benefits provided. Please send cover letter and resume with the subject New Assistant Position to: producerassist2017@gmail.com 3/14

Top commercial and voice-over agency seeks a self-motivated individual with a strong work ethic for the position of Executive Assistant to the President. Ideal candidate will act as the liaison and gate-keeper for Executive while keeping a calm and professional demeanor. This is a high volume desk which needs an organized, self-starter with an eye for detail. Must have at least one year experience at an agency or studio. Responsibilities include heavy phones, rolling calls, scheduling, and standard day-to-day assistant duties. Competitive pay with room for growth. Please send resume and cover letter to ea.agency.position@gmail.com 3/14

A-list production company seeks a new assistant. The position includes reading & covering scripts and books, some personal tasks (helping an exec with house/car-related duties), handling phones, research, and administrative tasks. This is a great opportunity for a young professional or recent graduate looking to work at a top production company. The company regularly releases films that play at some of the world’s premiere film festivals – including the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival. Interested parties, please submit cover letter & resume to: productionasst01@gmail.com. 3/14

Starworks Artists, a talent management agency representing makeup, hair and wardrobe stylists, seeks an Assistant Agent to develop and maintain artist relations. Must be knowledgeable of beauty & fashion landscape. Assistant will support Agency Director in maintaining artist relationships by managing daily calendars, coordinating deal memos, call sheets and other memoranda pertaining to jobs, coordinate travel, managing expense reports, helping with new business for existing talent, and identifying new talent. Candidate must be extremely detail oriented, organized, and able to shift priorities and work under short deadlines with grace and humor. Superior communication skills and a positive customer service attitude is required. College graduate required. One year talent agency experience preferred. This position located in Los Angeles. Medical, dental, and vision health benefits included. Reply with a PDF resume to losangeles@starworksgroup.com 3/14

Script Coverage Tool for Bruins
TFT alumnus Curtis Baxter (MFA '15) has developed, with a team of UCLA alumni, a new, Bruins-only script coverage tool called nerative.

He describes it as " Hollywood's newest, cheapest, and best way to receive professional caliber story coverage on scripts or treatments. Where do alumni come in? Bruins only team. Welcome to nerative."

Please send all inquiries to info@nerative.com.

View the website at nerative.com.
The crème de la crème of parody movies, Airplane!, comes to you LIVE on stage in a show that both satirizes and lovingly embraces the comedy classic you already know by heart.

Follow the tormented former fighter pilot, Ted Striker, as he tries to win back the affections of stewardess Elaine Dickenson on the doomed flight 209.

Full of the moments you love, and some new takes you might not expect, this ain't no passive theater event. Shout out lines, dance, sing and more when you join us aboard the Trans-American Flight traveling from LAX to Chicago O'Hare. Just don't eat the fish!

Alumna Chrisi Talyn Saje (MFA '11) wrote the adaptation, will produce the show, and plays Elaine. 

February 10th - March 18th. Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 8PM & 11PM

The Flight Theatre at The Complex
6472 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tickets $20.00.  UCLA TFT alumni: $12.50 with discount code: UCLATFT when ordering online only
Complimentary Tickets
to Laugh Factory
Supply and Demand continues to be the most popular show at the Laugh Factory, and the run has been extended through April for Hollywood and Long Beach! And we have a limited number of complimentary tickets for you and your friends.

Supply and Demand has been featured by everything from Time Out Los Angeles to ESPN. The show is packed with talent, and surprise guests at some of the venues have included Whitney Cummings, Joe Rogan, Jerrod Carmichael, Pete Holmes, Darrell Hammond, and more.

To get the complimentary tickets, visit http://www.ComedySupply.com

TFT Alumni Affairs | UCLA | Email TFT Alumni AffairsUCLA TFT

Noah Green 
Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs, School of Theater, Film and Television
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