Recent UGFTV alum Brian Blum's thesis film, Blood and Water, stars 2016 Olympic diver Steele Johnson. Check out a Q&A with Blum on the NBC Olympics website below! The article also includes an exclusive look at the film.
Three 2015 UGFTV alums are finalists for the 2016 Student Academy Awards:
Chloe Aktas received her nomination in the Narrative category. Aktas’s film, Mutt, is about two children in the 1970s rural south whose father, after shooting a stray dog, insists they burn the body. Mutt was produced in Prof. Susan Seidelman's Advanced Production Workshop.
Williams Naranjo received his nomination in the Narrative category. Naranjo’s film, A New Civilization, is a political drama – inspired by Venezuela's 2013 presidential election – about a group of young volunteers about to deliver presidential ballots after voting closed. A New Civilization was produced in Prof. Yemane Demissie 's Advanced Production Workshop. Additionally, the film won second prize at our 2015 First Run Film Festival .
Kevin Rios received his nomination in the Alternative category for Made of Sugar, which tells the story of three generations of a Cuban family as they reflect on their cultural losses and their relationships with each other. Made of Sugar was produced in Prof. Chitra Neogy 's Intermediate Experimental Workshop.
Originally from China, I have lived in NY for three years. I love the artistic atmosphere of NY, but have always been curious about the LA side of business. Fortunately, Prof. John Warren helped me find an internship at Sobini Films. Our CEO was a former executive of Lionsgate, which has produced many of my favorite films. It is said that the big studios are all focusing on tent pole films and IPs, and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work for a film company that truly has its vision.
I got the chance to not only do script coverage, but also read through all the scripts that we are developing now. The company is very small with less than a dozen personnel, which makes the environment very open for learning. I was able to look at our company development plan. My supervisor also allows me to mute and listen to all the phone calls after transferring them to the executives. They are very responsive for my questions and kind enough to ask me what I would love to get out of this internship. I also get the chance to sit down with our CEO Mark and talk with him about my opinions on the scripts that we are developing.
The gist of getting phone calls was very hard to grasp at the beginning. People’s names are very international and hard to figure out at first time. The project names are also too various to identify immediately. Their reasons for calling are even more diverse with many professional words that I found very hard to understand at first. My supervisor has been very patient with me and explains to me as questions come up. From those phone calls, I am gradually starting to understand the procedure of producing, and how our company puts a package together. It has been bits and pieces, but the whole picture is becoming more and more clear to me now.
My internship is only two days a week, which is typical for a Hollywood summer internship (yes there are full days internship at the big ones, but mostly 2-3 days per week). I was a bit upset at the beginning because my days would be so void. However, things quickly fill up. I was able to find on set jobs and meet with new friends. The beach and many museums are also great to explore. The national parks around LA are absolutely stunning. I highly encourage everyone to explore Joshua Tree to see the starry night in the desert. (yes the photo above is me at Joshua Tree)
Compared to NY, LA has a much relaxing living environment. (The Chinese food here is awesome by the way). I have been enjoying my summer in LA so far, and I still have one month to go. I am excited to explore even more.