Ilyana offers a last souvenir to Erica on the final day of their year junior year abroad, sparking a discussion of values and identity with their futures on the line.
Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival is committed to presenting nationally and internationally acclaimed narrative fiction, documentary, animated and experimental films and filmmakers with truly original voices.
1/25/20 3:15pm at Cité des Arts on Lafayette, Louisiana.
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I attended the screening Sunday May 19th of the UT-Austin RTF Undergraduate thesis production class. For the first time in the decades long history of RTF, there were more women than men directors in the thesis class. Congratulations to all the directors, crew and cast members of all the films. According to the printed program distributed at the screening, there were a total of 14 films created by 15 directors (one film had co-directors). 9 of the directors are women. 6 of the directors are men. Compare that to 2016, when 12 of the thesis films had men directors and 1 was directed by a woman. In 2017, it was 8 men and 3 women. In 2018, it was five and five. I started raising money for production grants a few years ago to support women and diverse directors in RTF. The grants given out since 2017 by Women In Cinema plus all the outreach and other activities they do have really had an impact! Thank you to major donors Kat Candler and the non-profit run by Michelle Voss, Moving Image Arts and Education!
Some good news related to the production grants given out by Women in Cinema in RTF at The University of Texas at Austin.
Here is a list of the 2019 Undergraduate Thesis Production Films. There are a total of 17 films created by 18 directors (One film had co-directors). Ten of the directors are women. 8 of the directors are men.
Compare that to 2016, when 12 of the thesis films had men directors and 1 was directed by a woman. In 2017, it was 8 men and 3 women. In 2018, it was five and five.
The grants given out starting in 2017 by Women In Cinema plus all the outreach and other activities they do have really had an impact! Special thanks to major donors Kat Candler and Moving Image Arts & Education .
2019 Undergraduate Thesis Films
RTF seniors enrolled in the Production Thesis class, taught by Associate Professor Richard Lewis, will screen their films for the public on Sunday afternoon, May 19th. Beginning at noon at UT’s Hogg Memorial Auditorium, the event is free and open to the community.
Director: Eboni Ellinger
Producer: Jordan M. Auzenne
Director: Emma Rappold
Producer: Annika Horne
Director: Alicja Zapalska
Producer: Annika Horne
Director: Rikki Bleiweiss
Producer: Claire Norris
Director: Ilana Mittleman
Producer: Kat Quinn
Director: Marisela Campos
Producer: Yannira Herrera
Director: Nicholas Castorina
Producer: Wesley Herbst
Director: Rajinee Buquing
Producer: Lucky Nguyen
Director: Veronica Alvarez Ferreira
Producer: Melissa Metyko
WELCOME TO THE MACHINE
Directors/Producers: Aish Noubad, Eric Johnsen
DP: Noble Walker
RAIN IN THE DESERT
Director: Benjamin Root
Producer: Luisa Gonzalez
DP: Noble Walker
Director: Elias Hinojosa
Producer: Brittany Braun
Director: Rene Castro
Producer: Emily Reyna Ortega
Director: Ethan Yun
Producer: Trevor Nitschke
AND THE RIDER WAS DEAD
Director: Tiger Hill
Producer: Hannah Goulden
SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH PETER
Director: Nick Bonesteel
Producer: Skyler Frost
DP: Tiger Hill
Director: Sidi Wang
Producer: Zhixuan “Sonia” Li
I was contacted by a reporter from The Daily Texan regarding SXSW. The Texan included some of my replies in the article: Are SXSW discounted student badges still too expensive?.
Scott Cobb, a 2014 alumnus of the radio-television-film program at UT, said he could never afford a SXSW badge as a student, instead buying $15 entry tickets to see some of the films.
“My most memorable experience with SXSW when I was in college was walking through the crowded convention center wishing I could afford to get into a panel,” Cobb said. “They have so many great panelists each year on film-related topics, and I would have learned a lot, but I never got to attend, so all I learned was how exclusionary for-profit cultural festivals are.”
Students who want to purchase the discounted tickets have to apply through the SXSW website with proof of current school enrollment. This year, student ticket prices are $425 lower than the $800 price of the past.
According to the SXSW 2018 demographics, 6 percent of SXSW attendees came from households that make less than $25,000 a year, while 37 percent came from households making more than $150,000. One percent of attendees were younger than 21, and 6 percent were between the ages of 21 and 24.
A cultural festival such as SXSW that charges $1,650 for a platinum badge, $1,325 for a regular badge and currently almost $400 for a student badge has failed as an organization. The exorbitant SXSW prices are signs of a civilization in decline. They are emblems of a city where culture is reserved for the privileged, where low-income people are unwanted and purposefully excluded by prices only the affluent can afford.
SXSW is known as an “Austin Event”, yet students and low income non-students are not able to afford to attend. That says a lot about Austin and it makes me alternatively sad and angry. Only 6 percent of SXSW attendees come from households making less than $25,000, while 37 percent come from households making more than $150,000. The solution to increase diversity is to lower the badge price for anyone earning less than $25,000 to somewhere between free and $50. As a former film student, I can also add that SXSW should also waive all submission fees for short films and all application fees for bands. Get the corporations who are so visible at SXSW advertising this and that new product to cover the lost income from waiving the submission fees. The Cannes Film Festival does not charge filmmakers to submit short films. Austin needs to make affordable access to culture something that Austin is famous for.
Women in Cinema, a student organization at UT-Austin, has posted the grants application for this year’s Women in Cinema Spring 2019 Female-Directed Thesis Grant! If you are a woman in Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin, you can apply for one of the grants if you’ll directing a film in the undergraduate thesis class in spring 2019.
From the application: “Thank you for your interest in this year’s grant application! We are seeking to support women directors through this grant program by providing funds for those in the undergraduate thesis class in spring 2018. We have $5000 to award. All female directors in the thesis class will receive some of these funds. This application can be completed by the director OR producer of the project. In order to be eligible for this grant, your project must be directed by a currently registered female student enrolled in the spring 2019 undergraduate production thesis class.
As applicants for the thesis class, you are to request the grant amount you want (any amount from $0-$1000). Awards will be contingent on the amount of applications and the availability of funds. This application is due (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) by 11:59PM CENTRAL TIME ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15. The grant winners will be contacted by the beginning of December. Please reach out to us if you have any questions!”
Last year Women in Cinema gave out more than $5,000. In 2016, WIC gave out more than $1,600 with funds raised through the Grants Initiative to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers in RTF. The goal has been to increase the number of women directors making films in the thesis in RTF. In 2016, the undergraduate thesis class had 12 men directors and only one woman director. In 2017, the thesis class had only 3 women directors out of 11 total directors. In 2018, the class had an equal number of women and men directors, 5 and 5.
The Daily Texan ran an article written by Noah Levine about me getting banned from the Austin Revolution Film Festival after I asked, “Do you have any laurels that don’t have guns on them?”
Published on September 30, 2018 at 11:37 pm
BY NOAH LEVINE
Every film student looks forward to the day a festival recognizes their work. For UT radio-television-film alumnus Scott Cobb, this dream became a reality, and then quickly became a nightmare.
In June 2018, Cobb’s script entitled “Overwood” was selected as a semi-finalist by the Austin Revolution Film Festival. While Cobb was honored by the award, there was one glaring problem with the festival’s imagery — its focus on guns. The repercussions of his story have struck a chord with current radio-television-film students who one day hope to embrace Austin’s robust selection of film festivals.
Included in the festival’s email were laurels meant to showcase the achievement of the writers, but instead, Cobb said he felt they glorified gun culture.
Not wanting to associate his project with such violent images, Cobb said he asked the festival via email if they offered alternate laurels that did not feature weaponry. They responded, telling Cobb he was welcome to create alternate laurels.
In an email to festival representatives, Scott agreed to consider designing his own laurels but explained his criticism, stating that the laurels were insensitive and out of touch with the modern political climate. As a result, the ARFF revoked Scott’s award, stripping the script of its semi-finalist position.
Cobb said his wariness of gun-related imagery comes from his story as a survivor of armed robbery at a McDonald’s in Houston in the 1990s.
“Two people came in, showed us their guns, hit me in the face with the butt of one, and ordered us into the kitchen,” Cobb said. “I was told to lie down and a long gun was stuck hard in my back.”
Cobb compares his treatment by the festival to mid-1900s Hollywood, when unfair rules and blacklists banned filmmakers with controversial or outspoken opinions from participating in the industry.
Founder and editor of “MovieMaker Magazine” fsTimothy Rhys said it is unfortunate the parties involved were unable to work through the issue respectfully.
“I can appreciate the festival’s unwillingness to change its imagery or allow any usage of alternate imagery,” Rhys said. “I can understand Scott’s point, as well, and don’t think he should have been disinvited.”
The festival is also a part of the Film Festival Alliance, which prides itself in strengthening “the film festival industry and advocates for a sustainable and inclusive environment for film festivals and the people who run them,” according to its website.
Despite sparking conflict by speaking up, Cobb is trying to find his way in the film industry by continuing to share his work with festivals. Cobb said he believes unjustifiable retractions of recognition due to an artist’s personal or political views represents a major roadblock in the way of aspiring artists like himself.
“(A film festival) harms the entire filmmaking community by silencing people at a time in history when filmmakers should be encouraged to speak out and not feel intimidated into remaining silent,” Cobb said.