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
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.
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.
Women in Cinema, a student organization at UT-Austin, has posted the grants application for this year’s Women and Minority Directors Grants! 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 be enrolling in the advanced narrative, advanced cinematography, or undergraduate thesis class in spring 2018. If you’re in an upper-division class not listed and feel that you could use the money to help your film, please contact Women in Cinema to ask about it.
The applications are due by 5PM on February 16, 2018.
Last year Women in Cinema gave out more than $1,600 to five projects with funds raised through the Grants Initiative to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers in RTF. This year, significantly more funds are available. The goal is to increase the number of women directors making films in the advanced directing classes 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. 2018, could be the year the thesis class is at least 50 percent women directors.
Congratulations to the first recipients of funds raised through the Grants Initiative to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers in RTF and awarded by Women in Cinema. Thank you to all the generous donors who made the grants possible!
We plan to do it again in Fall 2017, so over the summer we hope to raise some more money. Women in Cinema did a great job administering the grants!
Behind The Lens: A Women in Cinema Screening, Friday, May 12, 2017, 2504 Whitis Ave, Austin TX 78705 – CMB 2.102
An evening of films directed by UT female and/or minority students presented in order to open a discussion about diversity in the current age of film. A panel with the directors of the films lead by RTF Associate Professor Mary Beltrán will start an interactive conversation with attendees about diverse representation in our new media landscape. This event is to be hosted by the UT student organization Women In Cinema and Professor Beltrán herself.
The five projects that won the 2016 Director’s Grant, and will be highlighted are:
“Cardinal” by Caitlin Ward
“Play Pretend” by Madeline Dimayuga
“Perdóname” by Tani Shukla
“Not Long Now” (Music Video) by Leo Aguirre
“Bokeh” (Music Video) by Akayla Lewis & Mariana Gonzalez
Thank you to the following organizations for supporting the grants program: ATX Television Festival, Austin Film Festival, SAFILM – San Antonio Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival ,Austin Panic Room, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San José, Shayna Brown of Chez Boom Audio, Moving Image Arts & Education, Dr Jennifer Seger, Hooman Hedayati, and Kat Candler.
Tani Shukla director of Perdóname
Still from Perdóname, directed by Tani Shukla
Caitlin Ward was a 1st Level grant recipient, and the writer/director of Cardinal. Ward directed this film for her Advanced Narrative class last year, although she has thoroughly refined the film since then and we are very excited to see it! Ward is widely known for her top-notch production design skills but plans to keep diving into the world of writing and directing.
Maddy Dimayuga was a 1st Level grant recipient and the writer/director of Play Pretend. Madeline is a young filmmaker hailing from Katy, Texas. Though widely known for her producing talents, this is her directorial debut.
From Madeline on Play Pretend:
“I want to tell a bit of my story that could possibly be shared by other mixed race kids who felt like they didn’t (or presently don’t) feel like they could fit into the neat little box others wanted them to. This is a film for those who get confused about which box they check on the census, or wonder why people say their English is surprisingly good, or have to explain to people what exactly makes up their specific shade of skin.”
“Play Pretend”, directed by Maddy Dimayuga, starring: Lucky Cantu (left)
Mariana Gonzalez and Akayla Lewis were 3rd Level grant recipients, and the co-directors for Bokeh- a music video for local artist Tocaio. Lewis hopes to continue working with music videos and more experimental formats, ideally hoping to work for Adult Swim. Gonzalez is an aspiring cinematographer but making Bokeh has inspired them to go into directing music videos as well.
Leo Aguirre was a 2nd Level grant recipient and the director, editor, and cinematographer of Not Long Now- a music video spec for the James Blake song. Leo is an Austin-based aspiring writer, director, and cinematographer. He was raised in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico where he was exposed to classic Hollywood films by his grandparents. When Leo turned fifteen, his family was transferred overseas to the island of Aruba where he began making films.
Thank you to Kat Candler! She generously donated $100 to the Grants Initiative to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers in RTF. Kat has inspired and taught many RTF filmmakers. I was in her advanced narrative production class. She founded Women In Cinema while a professor in RTF. She is the writer/director of Hellion, which screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. She has directed 2 upcoming episodes of Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s “Queen Sugar”. In a recent Daily Texan article, Kat said she believes the root of the problem with underrepresentation lies with those in power.
“The people who have the money and the power and the control are white males,” Candler said. “But just now we’re slowly seeing more women and more people of color come into positions with the opportunity to reflect their world.”
You can also donate to the grants initiative.
I have been raising money for grants in an attempt to increase the numbers of women taking advanced production classes in RTF at UT-Austin. Now, the Women in Cinema Director’s Grant for Women and Minorities is officially open! That’s right, you can apply RIGHT NOW. Check out the application to see if you meet the criteria, and apply for a chance at some $$$ for your film! Women in Cinema is administering the grant. The deadline for submitting is October 8th, 2016 at midnight.
In addition to cash grants, one recipient could receive an hour of professional ADR from Austin’s Shayna Brown. This will not only be a nice improvement on the final quality of the audio of the dialog in someone’s film, but it will be a great learning experience for the grant recipient and her actors to work with a professional like Shayna on an ADR session.
The grant will not be judged by Women in Cinema, it will be judged by outside professionals in the film industry. Either people working in filmmaking, film festivals, or film services.
Each semester there are some advanced production classes in RTF that have a large gender imbalance, e.g. in a class of 20, there often may be only 1-5 women. In spring 2016, the undergraduate thesis film admitted 13 directors, but only one woman was admitted to the class as a director.
While we have raised enough funds to cover the first semester of grants, we continue to raise funds for next semester and future semesters. We want this grant program to run at least four years so that we can tell if we are making a difference.
To donate, please visit the crowdfunding page.
Act fast and you could snag one of these great perks for donating to the grants initiative to support women and diverse filmmakers taking advanced filmmaking production classes in RTF at The University of Texas at Austin.
(SOLD OUT) The ATX Television Festival has donated two Weekend Badges, which we are offering for $125 each. You can snag them on the donation page. We only have two, so act fast. The ATX Television Festival Weekend Badge includes access to all panels and screenings at official ATX Festival locations June 9-12, 2016. Though there are thousands of film and music festivals, in and out of Austin, there is nothing like ATX. The focus of the ATX Television Festival is the celebration of the medium of television: looking back at its history, where it is now, and where it is headed.
The San Antonio Film Festival (July 26-31, 2016) has donated 2 badges for us to use as perks for donations. They normally go for $129, but we are giving them away for donations of $50 each. We want to thank the San Antonio Film Festival and the director Adam Rocha, who is an alumni of RTF at UT.
The San Antonio Film Festival sets up an amazing, creative innovative environment for just a few days every year where opportunities for one-on-one networking abound, connections are forged and filmmakers have a slew of unique opportunities to share ideas and advance their careers. As an accessible and inclusive platform for cinema artists, the San Antonio Film Festival also brings together scores of new and original films from across the country and around the world to delight, elevate and edify cinema lovers as well.
The Austin Film Festival October 13-20, 2016 is 4 days of panels and workshops and 8 nights of films and parties. The 2016 Austin Film Festival Conference Badge is a perfect way to experience the full Conference. Gain entry into the panels, select parties and networking events – PLUS be first in line for all eight days of the screenings that make AFF the “not-to-miss” event of the fall season! The festival donated us 2 Conference Badges to use as perks. They are going for $350 now on the AFF website, but you can get a Conference Badge for a donation of only $250 on our crowdfunding page.
The Texas Panic Room in Austin has donated a voucher good for up to ten people to visit. We are offering this voucher as a perk for one person who donates $100 (normally, it would cost $200). Buy it here. So you get to have fun and donate at the same time! “Thank you for reaching out to us for your donation request! We strive to uphold our motto of being “more than just a business” and constantly provide back to our community. We love what your organization does in supporting women and diverse filmmakers on their journey to success!
Watch this video to get a taste of what Austin Panic Room can offer you and your team!
Shayna Brown is donating an hour of ADR to one of the grant recipients this fall. This will not only be a nice improvement on the final quality of the audio of the dialog in someone’s film, but it will be a great learning experience for the grant recipient and her actors to work with a professional like Shayna on an ADR session.
According to a profile in Austin Woman Magazine, “Shayna Brown is the founder, owner and chief cook and bottle washer at Chez Boom Audio, where she excels in the arcane and exacting art of audio (aka automated) dialogue replacement, or ADR. Besides being devilishly good at an indispensable part of filmmaking, she is also one of the few women in a corner of the industry that is often dominated by male egos and testosterone.”
She told us: “Thanks for reaching out. I’d love to help. Count me in! Great thing you’re doing. Rock on.”
Chez Boom Audio
Chez Boom Audio is the leading audio post-production company for TV, film, advertising, and audio books in Austin, TX.
If you donate $250, you can name one of the grants one semester after yourself or a family member. See the donation page for more details how we will honor you or one of your family members.