Dreaming Big. Really Big. In Widescreen Even.

May 11, 2013 |

Help Wanted

Filmmaking students often toil in obscurity with only their family, friends and fellow filmmakers for support while they work on a project. They rarely get a chance to see their work on the big screen, with all of the related hoopla and attention of their “professional” peers. Well, that’s not how it works at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. The annual showing of the final film projects by Bachelor of Fine Arts students again takes place at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, May 11 at 7pm. This year the program will feature the work of 17 different directors who are presenting the fruit of a yearlong legacy on film.

As in years past, the mix of thesis films this year includes a variety of topics and genres including documentaries, rock operas, romantic comedies and music videos. The films are also vying for a significant prize, $5,000 in film services by FotoKem of L.A. This is the third time the company has supported the event, which represents a strong interest in the UA’s students from the Hollywood industry company. The competition will be judged by a panel of significant jurors including: Claudette Godfrey, the short film programmer for the South by Southwest film festival; Brenda Lhormer, director of the Napa Valley Film Festival; and Kathleen McInnis, film curator and director of industry programming for the Palm Springs ShortsFest.

Lisanne Skyler, Associate Professor at the school of Theatre, Film and Television is hard pressed to nail down a theme of this year’s films. She did feel that all the films were “ambitious” and “pushing the student’s ideas out” but was also quick to state that the filmmakers are also very aware and “care about the audience for their work, and want to make sure they are communicating with the audience whatever it is that they are doing.” Skyler is also proud to mention that recent UA school film grads are making a splash in the festival world with recent films being accepted at the Aspen Shorts Film Festival and Palm Springs Shorts Film Festival.

The wide range of films at this year’s iteration is a first according to Skyler in regards to having everything from animation to documentary along with sci-fi, drama, romance and comedy. The students also seem to be benefiting from the recent increase in hi-tech equipment, which is allowing for a greater range of styles and finishes thanks to Canon cameras and other advances in the industry. But as the old adage goes, it all comes down to story, and no new, fancy camera or technical skill can make a poor story good.

A few films that were available at press time included a dark comedy set in a convenience store entitled “Help Wanted” which is both well done and a sad statement on the current economic climate, and “Ljosio,” which is a music video of sorts married to a dance performance with striking visuals and a haunting soundtrack. Also of note are the films “Allergic To Love” about a man who believes his romantic troubles are really an allergy; “Dad’s Space Mission” which is a mock-umentary about a quest to launch a loved one’s ashes into space; and the science fiction film “Grey State” about a future world where the psychic powers of citizens are exploited by the government.

I Dream In Widescreen, Saturday, May 11 at 7pm at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 West Congress Street. The screening is free and open to the public, and doors open at 6pm. Seating fills up, so arrive early. 

More info at http://tftv.arizona.edu


Category: Arts, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE, Film