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Student films selected for Emerson Film Festival in LA

Seven Emerson student filmmakers will screen their work at the 12th Annual Emerson Film Festival (EFF) on Thursday, March 8, at the Writer’s Guild Theater, in Beverly Hills, California. This year’s festival, which gets underway at 7:30 pm, will follow the groundbreaking ceremony for the College’s new building on Sunset Boulevard: Emerson College Los Angeles, which will take place earlier in the day.

Each year, students throughout the College submit their short films for a chance to attend the coveted event and showcase their films in front of film and entertainment industry professionals, including Emerson alumni. Five films were selected from more than 60 submissions to be screened at this year’s festival. Movement (16:44), by Matthew Figler ’11, a BFA graduate in Cinematography/Videography, and John Pouliot ’11, a BA graduate in Media Studies, is a personal look at the paths of young people in the Unification Church today. In Most Likely (18:19), BA graduate in Film Production Rachel Globe ’11 tells the story of fictional character Alice Darren, who wanted nothing more than to be class valedictorian, but on graduation day struggles with accepting her dream come true amid the circumstances surrounding it.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing this year’s selected student films,” said President of Emerson College Lee Pelton. “And this year’s film festival is perfectly timed to coincide with the groundbreaking celebration for Emerson College Los Angeles. The new facility highlights Emerson’s ongoing commitment to the City of Los Angeles as well as the film industry, in which many of our students, parents, and alumni actively participate.”

Also screening at EFF 2012: Foundling (20:14) by BFA Film Production graduate Adam Talaid ’11— A young woman with no memory is discovered on the shore of an isolated island by two strangers; Wrigley and King (8:30) by MFA graduate student in Media Arts, Cornelius Murphy—a man attends his brother's funeral and reflects on a childhood memory when his brother took revenge against a neighbor for killing the family dog; and 10,000 Trees (20:54) by Sarah Berkovich ’10 and Sarah Ginsburg ’10, both BA graduates in Documentary Production—to some, age is only a number; 85-year-old Victor Kaufmann embraces this philosophy as he meets his lifelong goal and plants his 10,000th tree.

The student whose film most powerfully explores a current social issue (cultural, political, or personal) will be awarded the Take Action Hollywood! Award, co-founded by Emerson alumna Maria Menounos ’00.  Menounos will be on hand to present the award. The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf ’71 Women in Film Production Award will be presented to the Festival’s outstanding female filmmaker.

Members of the screening committee who evaluated and selected the student films are Visual and Media Arts (VMA) Professor and Chair, and award-winning filmmaker (Powwow Highway and Repo Man) Jonathan Wacks; alumnus and best-selling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (both being adapted as feature films) Seth Grahame-Smith ’98, Associate Professor of VMA and filmmaker John Gianvito; Professor of VMA and Graduate Program Director Jan Roberts-Breslin; and Executive Director of the Emerson study and internship program in L.A., Jim Lane.

The Emerson Film Festival begins at 7:30 pm. Admission is $25 for the general public; $15 for Emerson GOLD Members (graduates of the last decade, 2001 – 2011); and free for current Emerson students. The event includes a reception following the screenings. To secure tickets in advance, contact Tickets can also be purchased at the event: Writer’s Guild Theater, 135 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills, CA.

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