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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    From students to silver screen


    Courtesy of Joe Chavez

    A still from Joe Chavez’s film “Whistle.”

    The UA’s finest filmmakers are exhibiting their senior thesis films this Saturday night at the annual “I Dream in Widescreen” event at the Fox Tucson Theatre.

    Many students seeking a bachelor’s degree at the UA must complete a senior thesis project that represents all of what they have studied and learned throughout their college career. For some, this is a paper or a project, but for those aiming to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the School of Theatre, Film and Television a slightly different task is put forth: to create and direct their very own short film. 

    Over the course of their senior year, students must write, revise, plan and shoot their film in the fall semester and edit, reshoot, advertise and finalize their projects in the spring. The projects are each a gigantic undertaking, and the students put hours upon hours of work into making their vision come to life. A few students also opted to write screenplays of television show pilots or feature films, and although their work will not be able to be exhibited, they will be recognized at the event as well.

    “The films are the culminating achievements of [the students’] time in the program,” said Jacob Bricca, assistant professor for the School of Theatre, Film and Television. “For the school, it’s a celebration of our talent and the collaborations that happen here.” 

    Bricca taught the spring half of the senior thesis course, in which he advised the students on the editing process, among other things. 

    Nine films will be making their debuts on Saturday night, and the program is stacked with a variety of genres and a selection of stories that has something to appeal to every audience member’s interests. From “Slashed!”, a short combining the horror, musical and comedy genres, to the dramatic and visually detailed “Lipstick,” the filmmakers brought their own voice and creativity into their projects to eloquently tell their stories.

    “It’s a passion project for everybody,” said Lisanne Skyler, an associate professor who teaches the fall portion of the BFA senior thesis class. “You’re here until two in the morning but you don’t care because you’re making your film better.” 

    Even in the last week or so before “I Dream in Widescreen,” the BFA seniors were still retouching their films and ensuring that the final product they put up on the theater screen is the best it could possibly be.

    Joe Chavez, one of the film and television seniors screening his movie this Saturday, created “Whistle,” a story set in a dystopian future in which children are abducted and trained to be soldiers for a corrupted government. 

    “My film is about a man who risks his life to save an abducted child recruit from a callous sergeant,” Chavez said. “It’s about a guy who becomes a hero.” 

    Chavez began writing the film back in the very beginning of the fall semester and was retouching some color correction earlier this week before giving in his final edition for screening this weekend.

    Not only do the student filmmakers want their films to look pristine for exhibition on the big screen, but there are also some prizes at stake. Several corporate partners of the Film and Television department have donated prizes for the winners of awards spanning the different roles and aspects of filmmaking. 

    The five awards that will be given out on Saturday include excellence in editing, cinematography, production design and producing and the Fancy New Filmmaker Award, which gives the winner the opportunity to run their film through the international film festival circuit.

    “I Dream in Widescreen” begins at 7 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theatre downtown, and tickets can be purchased at the door or online for $5. Seats fill up quick, so it is recommended that attendees buy theirs in advance to be sure that they won’t miss out on seeing these stories being told for the first time on a big screen.


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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