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Historic First: More Women than Men Directors in UT RTF Thesis Class Screening

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!

Update on Impact of Production Grants by Women in Cinema

 

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 .

https://rtf.utexas.edu/…/end-semester-screenings-spring-201…

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.

EPILOGUE
Director: Eboni Ellinger
Producer: Jordan M. Auzenne

HOMESICKENING
Director: Emma Rappold
Producer: Annika Horne
DP:Heather Grothues

CATFISH
Director: Alicja Zapalska
Producer: Annika Horne

UNION MADE
Director: Rikki Bleiweiss
Producer: Claire Norris

FEMININA
Director: Ilana Mittleman
Producer: Kat Quinn

LUPE
Director: Marisela Campos
Producer: Yannira Herrera

LIMINAL
Director: Nicholas Castorina
Producer: Wesley Herbst

MANONG
Director: Rajinee Buquing
Producer: Lucky Nguyen

PARANOID
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

THE ALL-NIGHTER
Director: Elias Hinojosa
Producer: Brittany Braun

WATCH IT
Director: Rene Castro
Producer: Emily Reyna Ortega

INDIGO
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

LUCKY GIRL
Director: Sidi Wang
Producer: Zhixuan “Sonia” Li

Daily Texan Article on Exorbitant SXSW Badge Prices

SXSW Attendees by Household Income

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.

Applications Open for 3rd Year of Grants by Women in Cinema at UT-Austin

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 austinwomenincinema@gmail.com) 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!”

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x-dSocq0ov5VedKGl2BD9NqCRaVHNCg09papYWF034c/edit

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.

Austin Revolution Film Festival Banned Me After I Requested Laurels that Do Not Feature Guns

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?”

Photo Credit: Samantha Dorisca | Daily Texan Staff

Read Original Article at The Daily Texan:

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.

and

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.

See the Films by Women Directors Who Received 2018 Grants from Women in Cinema in RTF at UT-Austin

Congratulations to the 2018 recipients of grants awarded by Women in Cinema, a UT student organization. This is the second year WIC has given out grants with the goal to increase the number of women directors in RTF advanced production classes.

Fundraising for the grants began in 2016 through the Grants Initiative to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers in RTF. Thank you to the donors who made the grants possible!

Women in Cinema has done a great job with the grants! In 2016, there was only one woman director and 12 men directors in the undergraduate thesis class. After two years of grants, this year there are five women directors and five men directors in the thesis class.

Do you want to check out the projects that Women in Cinema gave grants to this semester? Several of them can be seen in the End of Semester Screenings Spring 2018 hosted by the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

May 11, 2018

FRIDAY FROM 5:30-7PM (Advanced Narrative):
– Alternate Reality Television dir. Rikki Bleiweiss
– Birthday Boy dir. Monica Silverio 
– What Keeps Us Apart dir. Sarah Nouri

FRIDAY FROM 7:30-10PM (Undergraduate Thesis):
– Blackbird dir. Caitlin Ward
– Elina dir. Maria Forsythe
– Matchstick Willie dir. D.R. Garrett
– My Friend Shokat dir. Bita Ghassemi
– Tuskegee dir. Sharda Karim

All screenings will be in the Texas Union Theater. See you there!

Q&A after UT RTF Undergraduate Thesis Screening May 11, 2018. Congratulations to all the directors, producers, crew and cast! The films were very impressive! Listen around second 50, minute 8:30, and minute 15:20 to hear some comments on gender issues.

“Overwood” Won Best Short Screenplay at the 2018 Hill Country Film Festival.

We won! The script for “Overwood”, written by Scott Cobb, Morgan Floyd, Angelina Castillo and Ali Meier won Best Short Screenplay at the 2018 Hill Country Film Festival.

Morgan Floyd, Ali Meier, Angelina Castillo

 

 

 

Congrats to all the 2018 Hill Country Film Festival Winners!

Cinema Dulce – Best of Fest: The Unicorn (d. Robert Schwartzman, U.S.)

Audience Choice Award: Time Trap (d. Mark Dennis and Ben Foster, U.S.)

Best Texas Film: Dance Hall Days – A Documentary on Texas Dance Halls(d. Erik McCowan, U.S.)

Best Feature Film: Die beste aller Welten (The Best of All Worlds) (d. Adrian Goiginger, Austria)

Best Short Film: Imperdonabile (Unforgivable) (d. Giosue Petrone, Italy)

Best Documentary Film: Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (d. Dana Adam Shapiro, U.S.)

Best Student Short Film: Hacia el Sol – Towards the Sun (d. Monica Santis, U.S.)

Best Director: Dianne Dryer (Change in the Air)

Best Actress: Emilie Krause (They Are Strangers)

Best Actor: James Paxton (An American in Texas)

Best Short Screenplay: OVERWOOD written by Scott Cobb, Morgan Floyd, Angelina Castillo, Ali Meier

Best Feature Screenplay: SUMMER OF ’84 written by L. Elizabeth Powers

Cinema Dulce – Best of Fest: The Unicorn (d. Robert Schwartzman, U.S.)

Audience Choice Award: Time Trap (d. Mark Dennis and Ben Foster, U.S.)

Best Texas Film: Dance Hall Days – A Documentary on Texas Dance Halls(d. Erik McCowan, U.S.)

Best Feature Film: Die beste aller Welten (The Best of All Worlds) (d. Adrian Goiginger, Austria)

Best Short Film: Imperdonabile (Unforgivable) (d. Giosue Petrone, Italy)

Best Documentary Film: Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (d. Dana Adam Shapiro, U.S.)

Best Student Short Film: Hacia el Sol – Towards the Sun (d. Monica Santis, U.S.)

Best Director: Dianne Dryer (Change in the Air)

Best Actress: Emilie Krause (They Are Strangers)

Best Actor: James Paxton (An American in Texas)

Best Short Screenplay: OVERWOOD written by Scott Cobb, Morgan Floyd, Angelina Castillo, Ali Meier

Best Feature Screenplay: SUMMER OF ’84 written by L. Elizabeth Powers

“Overwood” Selected as Hill Country Film Festival 2018 Short Screenplay Finalist

The script for “Overwood”, written by Scott Cobb, Morgan Floyd, Angelina Castillo and Ali Meier is accepted to the Hill Country Film Festival as a 2018 Short Screenplay Finalist. The festival takes place in Fredericksburg, Texas April 26-29, 2018.

The 2018 Hill Country Film Festival Award Nominations

Overwood is a short film about a woman who returns to her childhood home for the first time after ten years abroad to find it sitting empty with the furniture covered in sheets. Her two sisters discover her in the house and confront her about her long absence from their lives.

Overwood is the name of the house that the sisters gave their home as children after watching the 1939 film Wuthering Heights because they liked the idea of homes having names.

2018 HCFF program