Spotlight Alums in 2019
FTVM Alum Sheonna Mix ('02) Featured in Article by Bossip.com
Bossip.com recently featured FTVM Alum Sheonna Mix ('02) in an article entitled, "The Creative Class: Sheonna Mix Is Unscripted Television’s Force To Be Reckoned With." The article details Mix's career and praises her as "an unstoppable television force" who "As Bravo’s Vice President of Current Programming, [...] is shaping pop culture, one green light at a time. If Sheonna says something is a go, it’s a GO. Buckle up and let Sheonna make magic, it’s what she does best."
Bossip.com is the premier destination for African American popular culture and entertainment, with a voice that’s edgy, viciously hilarious, politically aware–and completely unique.
photo source: iOne Digital Creative / Creative Class
FTVM Honors Alum Tricia Williams ('15) Interviewed by VOYAGE L.A.
FTVM Honors Alum Tricia Williams ('15) was interviewed on October 7, 2019, by Voyage LA. In the interview, "Meet Tricia Williams" Tricia shares her story, announces her new e-book The Sewing Club, talks about her involvement with Magic Punch and Anthill Comedy - and hints at her future projects. To read the full interview and learn more about Tricia, please click here.
Photo from Voyage L.A.
Perry Janes (FTVM '12) Interviewed by VOYAGE L.A.
Perry Janes ('12) was recently interviewed for Voyage LA. In "Meet Perry Janes," Perry discusses his artistic journey, talks about his art, and shares the following advice: 1) Take your learning curve public; 2) Look side-to-side, not up-and-down; 3) Reject scarcity theory; 4) Consume art prodigiously; and 5) Don’t sacrifice your relationships to the myth that art requires suffering.
To access the complete article and Perry's contact information, please click here.
Photo from Voyage L.A.
FTVM Alums Jeremy Cohen (FTVM '99) and Tony Diaz (FTVM '00) Nominated for Emmy Awards
FTVM Alum Bryce Holden Enters AFI as Cinematography Fellow, Fall 2019
Bryce Holden received his BA from the University of Michigan in 2014 with a major in Screen Arts and Cultures. In Terri Sarris' Intro to Production class, where he got the opportunity to work in digital and film formats, he discovered his love for working with cinema cameras. He credits Mark Kligerman's film theory class for teaching him new perspectives on analyzing film. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and began working in camera departments on varying projects (as a camera operator, 1st AC and 2nd AC), while also working as a Prep Technician at a local camera rental house. Bryce has worked in over 20 different countries and shot for National Geographic. Bryce’s first feature film as a Director of Photography, I TRAPPED THE DEVIL, was released in theaters earlier this year through IFC Midnight.
photo courtesy of Bryce Holden
Anna Baumgarten (FTVM '15) Works at Jim Cummings' Inaugural Short to Feature Film Lab
Baumgarten, one of ten fellows at the Jim Cummings' Inaugural Short to Feature Film Lab, is currently working alongside industry professionals and peers to transform her short film Disfluency into a feature concept.Anna Baumgarten's Disfluency is an award-winning short film that follows a young woman through her daily life, from her passive usage of the phrase "I'm sorry," to her being raped and the emotional aftermath. All the while, this habit of apologizing eerily stays with her throughout, begging the question: have we let rape become a cultural disfluency—an expected, almost unnoticeable interruption—in our culture?Photo courtesy of Veerendra Prasasd(Pictured above) Anna Baumgarten (FTVM '15) talks with DP John Fisher (FTVM '14) and Gaffer Walter Lin (FTVM '12). during her Disfluency shoot on Sunday, September 8, 2019, at the MLB.
Waldemar Centeno to Edit New Comedy Feature, THE BINGE (Hulu)
Waldemar Centeno (FTVM '06) is a professional film and television editor who has cut on many noteworthy projects that include The Goldbergs and Mr. Student Body President. In over a decade, he has edited an array of genres on shows and features for Sony, Disney, HBO, CBS, ABC, FOX, FX, and many more. He recently was the editor on a comedy/drama feature film starring Pete Davidson, Griffin Gluck, and Jon Cryer for American High/LD Entertainment titled Big Time Adolescence, which premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. He has now completed post on another comedy/drama feature film called Bailey & Darla starring Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow and Veep's Sam Richardson. Centano will soon be heading to edit a new comedy feature titled The Binge for Hulu.
Photo credit, Mary Lou Chlipala
On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, Centano conducted an editing workshop for FTVM entitled, "How an Editor Organizes a Feature Film, What an Assistant Editor Does Before Moving Up to Editor, and Much More!"
Dave Devries Produces PLUS ONE with Studio 71
Dave Devries (FTVM 2011) recently produced PLUS ONE with Studio 71. PLUS ONE is a romantic comedy in which long-time friends Alice and Ben find themselves in that inevitable year that all late 20-somethings experience - in which seemingly every person they know gets married - and agree to be one another’s plus ones as they power through an endless parade of insufferable weddings.Written and directed by Andrew Rhymer and Jeff Chan and starring Maya Erskine (PEN15 on Hulu), Jack Quaid (THE BOYS on Amazon), Beck Bennet (SNL), and Ed Begley Jr., the film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
Author and FTVM Alum A. Brad Schwartz Publishes New Book SCARFACE AND THE UNTOUCHABLE
Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago draws upon decades of primary source research -- including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves. Collins and Schwartz have recaptured a bygone bullet-ridden era while uncovering the previously unrevealed truth behind Scarface's downfall. Together they have crafted the definitive work on Capone, Ness, and the battle for Chicago.
David Siev Screens YEAR ZERO at 2019 Media and Studio Arts Symposium
David Siev (FTVM '15) presented his award-winning short film Year Zero with an introduction and Q&A to follow the screening at the Duderstadt 2019 Media and Studio Arts Symposium in February.
When Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime seized control of Cambodia in 1975, the country plunged into civil war and was ravaged by mass killings, famine, torture and disease. With no end in sight to the hunger and starvation and nothing left to lose, two young brothers stop at nothing for a chance to survive.
Other FTVM Alums involved in the film are as follows: Michael Wylie (Film Editing), Joey Ostrander (Production Designer), Kyle Weber (Production Management), Victoria Reacklof (Second Assistant Director), and Dylan Hancook (Second Assistant Camera)
FTVM Alum Shooting Feature-Length Musical Entitled DUELERS in Pontiac, MI
FVTM Alums are shooting a feature-length musical film entitled DUELERS in Pontiac, Michigan. DUELERS was written and composed by U of M alum, Drew De Four (‘06) who recently composed the additional music for The Trail to Oregon. Danny Mooney (FTVM ‘08, Love and Honor), and Anthony Kalil (FTVM ‘15) are producing the show, and several other FTVM alums are contributing to the project.
(Pictured from left to right) Danny Mooney, FTVM '08; Josh Ficken, FTVM '08; Anthony Kalil, FTVM '15; Joey Ostrander, A&D 07; Hannah Noël, FTVM '17; Drew Hill, Eng '10; Calvin Shin, FTVM '19.
FTVM Alum Shihari Sathe Wins 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Producers Award
FTVM Alum Shrihari Sathe ('05) recently won the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Producers Award, an award that honors emerging producers who, despite limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films.
Barbara Twist (FTVM '12) of Dear Producer, sat down with Sathe and discussed the struggles of producing a Tibetan language film, how he raises money for non-English language projects, and how for six years he didn’t have an apartment and lived from festival to festival and market to market. To access Twist's profile on Sathe, please click here.
Roddy Hyduk's PIZZAIOLO (2017) Distributed by THE NEW YORKER
Roddy Hyduk's (FTVM '13) Pizzaiolo (2017), a short film about Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn and the living legend behind the magic, Domenico DeMarco, was distributed by The New Yorker. Hyduk and crew (including two other U-M graduates: Morgan Wynne '16, Producer, and Matthew Infante '13, IAC) were recently nominated for a Webby Award for their work on the film.
Andrew Laurich Featured in VOYAGE LA
FTVM Alum Andrew Laurich ('05) was recently featured in Voyage LA in an April 15, 2019 article entitled "Art & Life with Andrew Laurich." The feature details Laurich's work in the industry, provides background information on his art, shares some of his advice, and provides links to his work. Access the full article here.
Image Credits: Voyage LA - Scott Uhlfelder. Mousa Kraish
FTVM Alums Screen Films at Multiple Film Festivals
Jeremy Borison (FTVM '15) directed a short film called Boxes, which was recently accepted into both the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival and the Detroit Jewish Film Festival. Boxes also recently played at the Cleveland International Film Festival with another FTVM film, Disfluency (Produced by Anna Baumgarten, FTVM '15).
(Pictured above) At the Cleveland Film Festival, Anna Baumgarten (FTVM '15), Producer and Actor, Disfluency; Jeremy Borison (FTVM '15), director of Boxes; Shira Steiner (FTVM '15 ), Producer of Boxes. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Borison
Spotlight Alums in 2018
Perry Janes Selected for Creators for Imagine Impact!
Perry Janes (SAC grad, with Highest Honors, 2012) has been selected as one of 25 creators for the inaugural class of Creators for Imagine Impact! This new program, the brainchild of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, seeks to reshape the Hollywood development process by taking a leaf out of Silicon Valley's playbook. By pairing emerging creators with established writers and show runners ("Shapers"), the program fast-tracks projects to completion over an 8-week period, culminating in a series of pitches to studio and network heads. Perry's project AMERICAN REFUGEE, a 60-minute drama concept for cable television, was selected from over 4,000 applicants. He will be working with Academy Award winning writer Dustin Lance Black.
Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke Selected for IFP Filmmakers Lab
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) recently announced the 20 feature films selected for the IFP Filmmaker Labs, IFP’s year-long fellowship for first-time filmmakers currently in post-production on their debut features. Combining documentary and narrative features together for the first time, the program runs May 21-25, 2018, at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Goldsteins's (FTVM '06) and Zielke's (FTVM '06) A Machine to Live In was selected as one of the feature films. This sci-fi documentary paints a complex portrait of life and myth in the space-age city of Brasilia, a sixties-era architectural mega-project, and the flourishing landscape of cults, religious movements, and transcendental spaces that have emerged around it. The film is assembled from found documents and texts from key figures who were called to chronicle this monumental social experiment.
Yoni Goldstein (Writer, Director), Meredith Zielke (Director, Editor),
Sebastian Alvarez (Producer).
Ryan McDonough Talks about his Debut Film GROOVE in the DAILY
Ryan McDonough (FTVM '16) talks about his expeirences making the film GROOVE -- and how the FTVM program helped to fuel his confidence to "do something big." Read Ryan's full interview here.
GROOVE is is currently available on Amazon, Itunes, Xbox, Hulu, Google Play and Vimeo.
photo courtesy of Ryan McDonough
Sophia Kruz (FTVM '11) Collaborates with U-M’s School of Education to Transform High School Classrooms with her Documentary LITTLE STONES
Kruz has recently partnered with LSA alumnus, Darin Stockdill (A.B. 1991), the design coordinator with the Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) at U-M’s School of Education, on educational materials to use with her documentary, Little Stones. Together, they developed a program that would help teachers and students from around Michigan and across the country process difficult topics — genital mutilation, domestic violence, human trafficking, and economic precarity — by using Little Stones as a jumping-off point for difficult but important conversations.
Above text excepted from Brian Short's Change Agents - read the entire article here.
Alison Hacker (FTVM GMS Minor '17) Works in NBC Page Program
Alison Hacker (GMS Minor '17) is currently working in the NBC Page Program in NYC. Alison is on an assignment at Focus Features in the publicity department, one of her three-month long rotations during her year in the program. In additional to having three different rotations, Pages give NBC studio tours, work special events, and work with the audiences for Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night With Seth Meyers.
A recent highlight for Alison was working behind the scenes for the televised production of Jesus Christ Superstar starring John Legend and Sara Bareilles (see set photo at right). Alison worked specifically with audience seating for the production, helping to guide and direct over 1400 audience members. She states she was surprised at the fact that "before the event, audience members checked in at a near-by hotel and then were all bused to the venue. [She] was told it was because they didn’t want to disrupt the community surrounding the Brooklyn-based theater." As a graduate of Michigan's theatre school with a minor in the FTVM department, Alison says it was "an incredible experience to see her two favorite artistic mediums come together on such a large scale."
Anna Baumgarten (FTVM '15) Featured in IndieWire
Anna Baumgarten's short film "Disfluency" was recently featured in IndieWire's "'Disfluency': Short Film with 'Sneaky Pete' Star Libe Barer Confronts LIfe After Sexual Assault," by writer Bailey Mount. Based on the real life experiences of writer/producer Anna Baumgarten, this short film shines a light on the ubiquity of rape culture and the aftermath of rape itself. Watch the full short here.
Above, still from "Disfluency"
Congratulations to Anna for winning the Jury Prize in the
2018 Detroit Voices Competition at the Cinetopia Film Festival!
FTVM Alums James Janisse ('11) and Chelsea Rebecca ('12) Talk Horror in Their New Podcast
James Janisse (FTVM '11) and Chelsea Rebecca (FTVM '12) have begun a podcast about Horror film entitled Dead Meat (an offshoot of James's popular YouTube show Kill Count). In the first episode, James and Chelsea introduce themselves and give a context for their love of the genre. Chelsea cites Mark Kligerman's horror film class as "the best class, hands down [she] ever took." Listen to the full podcast here.
FTVM Alum Natalie Lomske ('16) Wins Grand Prize in Screenwriting Contest
Project Cinema MI recently announced the winners of their 2017 screenwriting contest, and screenwriting sub-major Natalie Lomske (FTVM '16) won the grand prize. This accolade not only includes a monetary reward but also involves Natalie's script being produced into a short film by Brauer Productions and screened at the State Theater in summer/fall of 2018.
Alum John Nelson ('76) Wins Oscar for Best Visual Effects and Appears at AAFF
John Nelson (pictured at left, front) won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for Bladerunner 2049 on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 5:00 p.m., Nelson presented a free illustrated lecture in the Michigan Theatre Main Auditorium as a part of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. In the lecture, Nelson illustrated how he and his team created some of the 1,190 visual effects shots for Blade Runner 2049. Using before-and-afters, he detailed the visual effects production process from design to principal photography to post-production.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Julia Mogerman (FTVM '15) Wins Big Break Screenwriting Contest in Drama Category
Julia Mogerman won the Big Break Screenwriting Contest Award in the Drama category for her screenplay, Stray. The Big Break Screenwriting Contest offers film and TV writers in 11 genres the chance to win up to $80,000 in cash and prizes. Grand prize winners also get flown to Los Angeles to meet with managers, producers, and executives.The grand prize winners for this year will be announced in February at the 2018 Final Draft Awards show.
Anna Garcia (FTVM '17) Stars in National Duracell Commercial
Jackie Turner (FTVM '12) To Create New Documentary on the Future of Bananas
FTVM Alumna Jackie Turner would like you to know that bananas do not grow on trees. Figuratively or literally. And that's important, because as consumers we rarely consider the consequences of our consumption, especially when those consequences occur thousands of miles from our grocery stores.
Having just completed a masters degree in ecological sciences at Imperial College London, Jackie is combining her skills as a former professional video producer and editor with her love for science and food to start a new project. On her team are six other ecologists newly graduated from Imperial College London. This international team is determined to create a documentary film about bananas: "Bananageddon" will focus on small banana producers who are innovating banana production by growing other edible banana varieties and growing these bananas in complex, biodiverse agroforestry systems. Jackie considers herself a science communicator and hopes to use her media skills to communicate important science topics.
Most recently, she authored an article for Science Magazine."
Spotlight Alums in 2017
Sultan Sharrief (FTVM '06 and Visiting FTVM Production Faculty '11-'14) and Street Cred Detroit Youth Cred Win Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant
Sultan Sharrief and his Street Cred Detroit Youth Crew recently claimed one of the 29 Knights Art Challenge Awards from the Knight Foundation for their work "When It All Changed, A Virtual Reality High School Tour." Sharrief's project is a follow-up to the TV show Street Cred he and his crew created for PBS and is meant to spark conversations about empathy and race.
When It All Changed is an interactive 360 Video performance piece that will be used to inspire positive dialog about social change. In the year 2072 two sisters, Nia and Eve, can't get enough people to "unplug" from technology to join their compassion movement. So they find a way to send a memory back to the past that they hope will inspire people to start the compassion movement sooner. The film puts you in the body of a 16-year-old Black girl in Detroit as she tries an ambitious project to bring several sparring groups in her neighborhood together. It's Eve's memory of the day when it all changed for her future.
Sophia Kruz (FTVM '11) Participates in Shinola x Girlgaze "Girls with Purpose" Fall '17 Campaign
#Girlgaze is a digital media company, based in Los Angeles, that promotes and highlights the work of female Gen Z photographers and directors. Their mission is to close the gender gap by creating visibility and tangible jobs for girls behind the lens. Shinola (Detroit) has recently partnered with Girlgaze to highlight five Girls With Purpose who use art and creativity to promote social change. Sophia Kruz, Director of Little Stones, and Founder of the non-profit Driftseed, is a part of this campaign.
For more on Sophia's work, please click here.
Supriya Kelkar (FTVM '02) Hosts Two Local Book Signings for Her New Book, AHIMSA
Supriya Kelkar hosted two book signings for her new book, Ahimsa (Tu Books, 10/2/17), a middle-grade novel that takes place in British-ruled India in 1942. After Mahatma Gandhi asks each family to give one member to the non-violent freedom movement, 10-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life and joining. But it turns out he isn't the one going. Her mother is. As the family gets more and more involved in the resistance, Anjali is forced to confront her privilege and her prejudices to ensure their little part in the movement gets complete. (School Library Journal Starred Review; ALA Booklist Starred Review).
Book Signing Locations
Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at 3p.m. & Barnes & Noble in Northville on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6-9 p.m.
Anna Garcia's (FTVM '17) Film to Screen at Three Upcoming Festivals This Month
Garcia's film Anna Garcia Does a One Woman Play, a work made possible through M-agination Film and an incredible team of FTVM students and alumni, is screening in three upcoming festivals, two of which are local: The Royal Starr Film Festival (Royal Oak, MI; Oct. 12-14, 2017); The Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival (Grand Rapids, MI; Oct. 21, 2017), and the Orlando Film Festival (October 19-26, 2017). Watch the trailer here - and come out and support Anna if you can!
About the film: The highly intense, overbearing and imaginative Anna Garcia arranges to do a one woman play, and to have a documentary made about herself doing the play. There’s just one problem: she doesn’t have a script or any idea what her play will be about. Watch as Anna desperately scrambles around Ann Arbor, trying to get other people to write her play as she pieces together her “chef d’ouevre.”
Ryan McDonough (FTVM '16) Wins Best Director Award for GROOVE
Ryan McDonough won the Best Director Award from the Long Island International Film Expo for his film Groove, which chronicles New York City subway musicians and the unique lives they lead. Upon the film's debut this July, Ben Strack, of the LI Herald, interviewed Ryan about his work. McDonough claims, “I was inspired by the kind of indie film makers…who have the attitude of, ‘Don’t wait for someone to let you do something. Just go make it happen.'" To read the full article about Ryan's journey in making Groove, please click here; to listen to his interview at the LIIFE Film Expo, please click here.
photo courtesy of R. McDonough
(Sydney Shepard in Groove)
Matthew Kane (FTVM '12) Writes STITCHERS Episode
Matthew Kane wrote season 3, episode 7 ("Just the Two of Us") of Freeform's Sci-Fi series Stitchers. Written by Kane and Jeffrey Alan Schechter, the episode first aired on July 24, 2017. Read more about the series and access Kane's episode here.
Noah Stahl (FTVM '11) Produces First Film
Noah Stahl's first movie as a producer, Patti Cakes, screened at the Michigan Theater on August 30 and 31, 2017. An underdog movie about a young woman from Jersey with big dreams of making it as a rapper, The New York Times claimed it was "impossible not to root for" and described the lead Danielle Macdonald as "simply a revelation." Watch the trailer here.
Zack Arnold (FTVM '02) Shares Knowledge on Networking
Zack Arnold, now an in-demand editor in the world of scripted TV, with credits for cutting shows like Burn Notice, Empire, Glee, and Shooter, was recently featured in Robert Hardy's article “Empire” Editor Has 7 Steps to Network Successfully in Hollywood" (Frame.io Blog, August 14, 2017). In the article, Arnold shares his experiences and gives advice about how to network and build relationships with people in the business. "If you want to succeed in the film industry," he claims, "You need to keep showing up, keep doing incredible work, and keep building authentic relationships with the people who matter." To read the entire article and view Zack's 7 steps to success, please click here.
Josh Gibert's (FTVM '15) Film Chosen as Finalist in Detroit Voices 2017 Competition
Black Trust Fund Baby vs. Remote Therapy (Dir. Josh Gibert, 5 mins) A bratty college drop-out distracts himself from his woes with technology, but an encounter with his step-sister triggers a supernatural revelation.
Josh Gibert is a 24-year-old, local actor/director and University of Michigan alum. In 2015, he was chosen to participate in the prestigious Sundance Institute’s Screenwriter’s Intensive: Detroit. Josh is currently producing and starring in his own web series, is developing a Detroit-set pilot, and is working to bring challenging narratives and compelling characters to the screen.
The Detroit Voices Competition program will take place on the closing night of the Cinetopia Festival, Sunday, June 11, at 7:30 PM at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. A closing night party will follow.
Film & Video Studies Alum Ted Houser ('05) Joins Alums from Detroit Voices in Retrospecive
2014 R. Stern; 2017 Task Force – Small town American deals with the opioid crisis.
Ted Houser is a filmmaker and Co-Director of the Detroit Film Society. His films have played at film festivals locally and nationally, including the Cinetopia Film Festival and Virginia Film Festival. After studying Film at the University of Michigan he relocated to Los Angeles, working in the mainstream Entertainment Industry. After moving back to Detroit, Ted has worked with local organizations like DAFT (Digital Arts Film & Television) to help student filmmakers tell their stories.
The Detroit Voices Retrospective will take place in Ann Arbor on Sunday, June 4 at 3:15 PM. These alumni will appear in person to share their latest work and reflections on life since taking part in Detroit Voices.
Colin Rich Edits Film to Premiere on ABC
Colin Rich (FTVM '09) was the Editor on John Ridley's "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992." The film was released on Friday, April 21, 2017, in theaters -- a week before its television premiere on ABC on April 28. Pegged to the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles uprising, the feature documentary takes a unique and in-depth look at the years and events leading up to the city-wide violence that began April 29, 1992, when the verdict was announced in the Rodney King case. To read more about the film, please click here.
Sophia Kruz Gives UMTedx Talk about Her Documentary, LITTLE STONES
In February of 2017, Driftseed co-founder Sophia Kruz (FTVM '11) gave a TEDxUofM talk entitled The Combat of Women Cultureto a sold-out audience on her new documentary Little Stones, and the power of art and culture to empower women and girls around the world. Watch her video here.
Spotlight Alums in 2016
Andrew Day Interviewed on CTN
Filmmaker and FTVM Alum Andrew Day (FTVM '16) was featured on CTN's "Let's Watch the Ann Arbor Film Festival" (host, Dana Denha) on November 16, 2016. The show includes Day's discussion of his time and experience with the Festival, a showing of his film "The Human Body, Our Friend," and ends a discussion of his work.
Sophia Kruz Hosts Test Screening at Michigan Theater
Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and former PBS producer Sophia Kruz (FTVM '11) along with cinematographer Meena Singh, hosted a test-screening of their 90-minute documentary Little Stones, at the Michigan Theater on October 5, 2016. The film explores the role of art in the global empowerment of women and girls. From a graffiti artist in the favelas of Brazil raising awareness about domestic violence, to a choreographer in India using dance to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking, Little Stones profiles four artists who have found innovative ways to use their art to tackle the most pressing issues facing the women in their communities.
Hena Ashraf Attends UCLA and Wins Scholarship
Hena Ashraf (FTVM '08) entered UCLA's MFA in Film Directing program in September 2016. After graduating from UM, Ashraf moved to New York where she worked for various media institutions such as Black Public Media and the Tribeca Film Institute, amongst others. Her films, such as Small Delights (Best Emerging Filmmaker, Queens World Film Festival) feature characters whose multiple identities characterize them as outsiders and who thus struggle to fit in. These themes have been developed from her own personal experiences as a young Muslim woman growing up in the U.K. and America. Ashraf is also the 2016 recipient of The Farah Tahir Scholarship from the Islamic Scholarship Fund. Congratulations, Hena!
2013 Alums' Film Opens Shorts Program at Rooftop Festival in NYC
2013 FTVM Alums Roddy Hyduk, Josh Buoy, and Meredith Finch -- of the Ann Arbor production company Snowday -- have created a film selected to open the shorts program at the Rooftop Film Festival in NYC (2016).
Stations -- shot over the course of 10 days at 120 stations in all five boroughs, blends scripted scenes and pure documentary to offer a captivating glimpse of New York life. P.Claire Dodson of The Atlantic says of Hyduk, "Roddy [...] has always been fascinated by the subway." Hyduk confirms, "There are so many layers of information to be absorbed within the context of each individual station [...] Imagining what's happening simultaneously across the entire system sparked my initial curiosity." Hyduk's end goal is that "through the sum of all of the stations represented, the unique texture of New York might reveal itself in a new and compelling way" (qtd. in Dodson, The Atlantic)
Stations was directed by Hyduk and produced by Josh Buoy, Meredith Finch, and Chelsea Hyduk.
Paul Sutherland Directs Unique Promo for Livonia Public Library
Paul Sutherland ('08) directed a promotional video for the Livonia Public Library, promoting their summer reading program in an unconventionallly engaging way. The video features Phoenix Freerunning Academy ... and some very limber librarians.
The video was recently featured on the Late Late Show with James Corden on May 25th, 2016.
Joe Reed Co-Produces Viral Video on Women in Sports Broadcasting
The viral video "#MoreThanMean - Women in Sports Face Harassment" was co-produced by FTVM alumnus Joe Reed ('12). The video features real men reading real comments made about sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro – to their faces -- in an attempt to increase awareness about harassment of women in sports broadcasting.
Jacqueline Wood Recognized in Cincinnati's CITYBEAT
Cincinnati's Citybeat recognized FTVM Alumna Jacqueline Wood ('06) in their 2016 Arts & Nightlife Staff Picks Feature as "Best Attempt to Use Corporate Foundation Money to Pay Avant-Garde Filmmakers." With her $15,000 from People’s Liberty, filmmaker C. Jacqueline Wood’s ambitious Mini Microcinema project paid more than 140 artists working in experimental film, film installation and poster art. Wood programmed the Globe Gallery in Over-the-Rhine with 28 screenings over eight weeks and (with the help of arts volunteers committed to her cause) spent every last penny of said grant, paying each filmmaker, artist, curator and otherwise for their time and work. The Microcinema will be back in action at The Carnegie in Kentucky in 2016, with screenings through April 22.
Text extracted from Citybeat, "2016 Arts & Nightlife Staff Picks."
Photo credit, Jesse Fox, Citybeat.
Sultan Sharrief Creates YouTube Channel to Address Hollywood's Lack of Diversity
Sultan Sharrief's (FTVM '06 and Visiting FTVM Production Faculty '11-'14) YouTube show What's Really Going On? premiered with a two-part episode entitled, "What if Deadpool was Black? (How Chunky Monkey Can Explain Why the Oscars Are So White)." In the episode, Sharrief addresses the underlying complexity of the "Oscars So White" issue, citing seven reasons that he believes to have collectively contributed to the lack of diversity in Hollywood. In future episodes, Sharrief plans to continue to explore the lack of diversity in the industry, beginning with his process of developing his new reality TV show, STREET CRED, a show that challenges inner city youth to apply their street smarts and inherent grit to compete for a chance at a dream film internship.
Spotlight Alums in 2015
Will O'Donnell Receives Honorable Title
FTVM's Will O'Donnell ('15) claimed the title "Young Alumnus of the Month" (January, 2016) and was featured on the UM Alumni Association's website. In an interview with Alexander Bernard, O'Donnell reveals the details about his post-graduation adventures. After backpacking in Europe for two months, he moved to New York in hopes of becoming a Production Assistant. Recently, O'Donnell has worked on two Woody Allen films, Showtime's new series "Billions," and Hulu's new comedy "Difficult People." He states, "[W]hile the hours are unhealthy 90 percent of the time (14 hours is a standard day), I really do love what I do and consider myself lucky to be a part of so many great productions." When asked where he is going after his work on "Difficult People" ends, O'Donnell responds, "[...] Sometimes part of being a production assistant is that you don't know what your next gig is until your current one ends. Sometimes you don't even know where you'll be working on Friday. You just have to do your best work, maintain all of your connections, and figure it out. It keeps me on my toes."