Longhorn Film Showcase to Feature Internationally Renowned Student Films
May 1, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas — The Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin will host the second annual Longhorn Film Showcase, which will feature nine of this year's best student films.
The event, which includes a 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. screening and 8:30 p.m. after-party, will take place Saturday, May 12, at McCullough Theatre, 2375 Robert Dedman Drive. It is free and open to the public.
"Every year, this celebration of student films features young filmmakers who go on to national and international prominence," said Paul Stekler, chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film and the Wofford Denius Chair in Entertainment Studies. "Our filmmakers have screened at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Dubai and other major festivals where they have received critical acclaim. They got started in screenings right here in Austin. I encourage everyone to come out and see the filmmakers who'll find similar success in the future and continue to fuel the film industry in Texas."
The event will feature the following films:
- "Spark," directed by Annie Silverstein, M.F.A. student in film and media production
This fiction film is about a boy who waits out his father's tryst and is unexpectedly forced to contend with the woman friend's daughter. It screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March.
- "Mijo," directed by Chithra Jeyaram, an M.F.A. student in film and media production
The documentary follows the relationship between a young, professional dancer and her 6-year-old son as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. It received the Best Documentary Award at Watersprite: The Cambridge International Student Film Festival; third place in Short Film (Documentary) at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival; the Best Student Short award at the Pennine Film Festival; the Best of Show award at 2011 Rose Bud Film Festival; and a second-place award at the 2011 James River Shorts film festival.
- "Road to Peshawar," directed by Hammad Rizvi, an M.F.A. student in film and media production
Set in 1988 during the Soviet-Afghan War, this fiction film follows an injured girl as she embarks on a dangerous journey to seek medical attention in Pakistan. It was second runner-up in the student category at the Kuala Lumpur International Short Film Festival. It also screened at the Center for Asian American Media's San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.
- "Merman," directed by Jono Foley, an undergraduate Radio-Television-Film major
In "Merman," Harrison dances in a deep well of crystal-clear water, undisturbed by his friends. It screened at the SXSW Film Festival.
- "Benny," directed by Huay-Bing Law, an undergraduate Radio-Television-Film major
This fiction film follows an overweight teenager who revisits an old friend who has become a personal fitness trainer. It has screened at the 2011 Austin Film Festival, the 2011 Starz Denver Film Festival and the 2011 New Orleans Film Festival.
- "Falconer," directed by Micah Barber, an M.F.A. student in film and media production
This fiction film tells the story of a rural town that continues operating after the remainder of the world seems to have ended.
- "Just to See Her Smile," directed by David Bukstein, an undergraduate Radio-Television-Film major
Bukstein created this music video for Mother Falcon, an Austin band. Bukstein also is one of four RTF students who stars in "Undergrads: South," which is directed by a College of Communication alumna and produced by actor James Franco.
- "Fotograf," directed by Elizabeth Walker, an undergraduate Radio-Television-Film major
This fiction film follows Morozov, a soul-stealing photographer who targets the unsuspecting residents of a small Russian city.
- "33 Teeth," directed by Evan Roberts, an M.F.A. student in film and media production
This fiction film follows Eddie, a hormonal 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother in the suburbs. It screened at the Slamdance Film Festival, CineSLAM and the Amsterdam Gay & Lesbian Film Festival this year.
Many students who have screened at the Longhorn Film Showcase or graduated from the Department of Radio-Television-Film have become internationally renowned filmmakers.
Soham Mehta, who screened "Fatakra" at the 2011 Longhorn Film Showcase, later received a Student Academy Award for the film.
Other recent graduates include Susan Youssef, who won grand prizes at both the Cinema Novo Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival for "Habibi"; Heather Courtney, who won the 2012 Nokia Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award for her documentary, "Where Soldiers Come From"; Kyle Henry, whose film, "Fourplay: Tampa," premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; Rachel Tsangari, whose film "Attenberg" was Greece's official entry for a foreign language Academy Award; and Bryan Poyser, whose feature "Lovers of Hate" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
The Longhorn Film Showcase is sponsored by Hasbro Studios, Beth and Wofford Denius and the Cain Foundation, with contributions from Weeks&Co partners David Weeks and Suzanne Erickson, Mike Jones, Susan Dirks and Ron Standifer.