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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Alumnus’ film wins awards


    Courtesy of Darious Britt

    Darious Britt poses with the award won by his film “Unsound” at the Phoenix Film Festival on Sunday. “Unsound” won Best Arizona Film for 2015. Britt is a UA alumnus who recently graduated and based his film on real-life experiences.

    A film written, directed and produced by a UA alumnus and filmmaker was announced as Best Arizona Feature at the 2015 Phoenix International Film Festival on Sunday.

    “It’s about a filmmaker trying to break into the filmmaking business by making a documentary about classic volkswagens, when life happens,” said Darious Britt, producer, writer and director of “Unsound.” “Essentially, his mom suffers another psychotic episode, so he’s got to resort to extreme measures to get her to health.”

    Britt said he began writing “Unsound” before he graduated from the UA School of Theatre, Film and Television in 2012. He said the film is about 93 minutes long and was inspired by true events.

    “A month after I graduated from the UA, I started shooting it,” Britt said. “Over the course of the next year, I was still shooting it. It took a year-and-[a]-half to write it, a year to shoot it and I was editing it for about six months.”

    Britt said this character drama and feature film was made entirely by UA alumni, with whom he built strong relationships while he was attending the UA.

    “The school facilitated an opportunity to get close to your fellow classmates; it was with them that I made the film,” Britt said. “I also obviously learned a lot about film, about how to make films and how to think critically about them, and how to think critically about your own work as well. So, I guess many of the skill sets that came from UA were mainly how to assess your work and think objectively so that you can get better.”

    Victoria Westover, director of the Hanson Film Institute at the UA, said UA staff and faculty helped Britt with the film. She said one of the main actors is a theater professor at the UA, another actor was one of Britt’s film professors, and a UA staff member was the cinematographer for the film.

    “Darious had a very clear vision of what he wanted to do,” Westover said. “This was his feature debut, and he really was ready to do it alone and call the shots. The faculty that were working with him were actually being directed by him.”

    Britt said he and his team have been on the film festival circuit for about a year, and “Unsound” has won a total of six awards. The film won the Directors Choice Humanitarian Award at the 21st annual Sedona Film Festival and Best Director at the 23rd annual Pan African Film Festival in February, as well as Best Arizona Film at the Prescott Film Festival in 2014.

    Britt said a complication he ran into while working on his film occurred when he began to cast the character roles. He said the talent pool in Arizona was somewhat limited.

    “It’s not like [Los Angeles] where there’s a ton of actors everywhere,” Britt said. “Casting the lead role, To-Ree-Nee Wolf, was particularly difficult. I had about three options in all of Tucson, Arizona. The African-American community here is pretty nil. On top of that, if you’re talking to African-American actors, to get a 50-year-old woman, it’s like looking for a unicorn, practically.”


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