Chasing the Goat and Malignant Humor, two FTVM 423 films, premiered at The Traverse City Film Festival on July 27, 2017, at the Old Town Playhouse. 

The two student productions were developed throughout the semester by students in Screenwriting Program Director Jim Burnstein's and production faculty Robert Rayher’s Screenwriting 423 class and carried out with the help of fellow undergraduate writers, actors, and the multi-faceted production crew. Though his students provided the plot and stage direction, Burnstein said the productions required participation from across the University including the Stamps School of Art and Design, the School of Music, Theater, and Dance, and the Ross School of Business.

After the screenings, Burnstein, Rayher, and many of the student filmmakers spoke about their experiences and answered audience questions. In addition to the screenings and Q&A, the festival's Film School also featured a class taught by Burnstein, "Where to Go From Here: Developing Your Movie" and a class taught by Rayher and U-M alumna and casting director Pamela Guest, "Behind the Scenes at U-M Film School."

About the Films (extracted from the 2017 TCFF program)

When a college improv comedy group performs at a high school in the wake of a major tragedy, the team struggles with the line between humor and heartache in “Malignant Humor" (written by Kelsey Fox; dir., Nick Sheehan). With nobody laughing, the players realize they have more work to do offstage than on, and they must learn to use comedy as a way to cope.

In “Chasing the Goat” (written by George Gardner; dir., Celeste Holben), after the death of his father, an aspiring MMA fighter dives face-first into the harsh world of cage fighting in the hopes of becoming the greatest of all time. What price is a person willing to pay to be extraordinary?


To learn more about the festival and FTVM's involvement in it,
please refer to the following articles: 

To view a video created by Samantha Ward
about the TCFF experience, click here