Alumna Film Named Best Student Short in Cannes

May 18, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — "Danzak," a film written and directed by Radio-TV-Film alumna Gabriela Yepes, (M.F.A. '08), won the best student short film category at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival May 17. "Danzak" was selected among 400 other shorts from around the world.

The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes supports upcoming filmmakers by screening their films at the pavilion during the festival while providing an opportunity for these filmmakers to connect with the global audience at Cannes.

"Danzak" tells the story of Nina, a 10-year-old girl whose life dramatically changes when she is asked to fulfill her dying father's last wish. Yepes produced the film as her thesis, which was inspired by "The Agony of Rasu Ñiti," a short story by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas.

The film has earned seven awards, including the "Some Farmers" TVR Craiova Award at the 10th Slatioara Film Festival in Romania, the Best Student Short Film at the 2008 Austin Film Festival and the 2008 Conacine Short Film Contest in Peru.

Yepes and Radio-TV-Film alumna Naiti Gamez (M.A. '07), director of photography, earned two 2007 Teresa Lozano Long Graduate Study Abroad Travel Grants to produce the film in Peru.

Yepes, who minored in Latin American studies, recently earned another grant to start research and development on a documentary film about the impact of global warming on indigenous communities in the southern Peruvian Andes.

More information about "Danzak" is available online.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071; Gabriela Yepes.