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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Two UA media grads head to Sundance Film Festival

    As the Sundance Film Festival begins today, two UA graduate students will be in Park City, Utah, helping get the annual celebrations underway.

    Ashley Caskey and Zach Hoskins, both of the media arts department, were chosen to serve in different internships at the festival.

    Caskey will be working for Queer Lounge, a program for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The program allows LGBT and LGBT-friendly professionals to network.

    “”I am excited to get my foot in the door and hopefully gain some networking from this experience,”” Caskey said.

    Caskey, whose studies focus on queer and gender theory, became interested in the internship after hearing about it from Kevin Sandler, an assistant professor of media arts, she said.

    It was Caskey’s maturity, communication skills, friendliness and work ethic that made her the perfect candidate for the internship, Sandler said.

    “”She’s a hard worker and she’s super cool – plus, she can be a jack-of-all-trades, which this requires,”” he said.

    Hoskins received the Deming Sundance Fellowship award. He will not be working with Caskey.

    Instead, Hoskins will be networking and making connections for the Arizona International Film Festival, which occurs April 18-27, he said.

    Hoskins will be screening and attempting to get artists to bring their films to the spring event held in Tucson.

    “”I am interested in working in exhibition and programming, whether it’s for a film festival or independent theater,”” Hoskins said. “”I think that made me a candidate for this.””

    While the trip to Utah came as something of a surprise, Hoskins said he is ready to make contacts and attempt to spread information and awareness about the Arizona festival to the myriad big-name and small-time actors and filmmakers who frequent Sundance.

    “”It’s kind of overwhelming,”” Hoskins said. “”I don’t even know what to expect and it’s such a huge deal. You hear about Sundance as this really important media thing, and I’ve never done anything remotely like it.””

    The 2008 iteration of Sundance – named from actor Robert Redford’s character in 1969s “”Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”” – will take place at five Utah locations simultaneously through Jan. 27. More than 120 new films spanning nine competitive categories will be shown.

    Park City should be the most attended site, housing about 59 percent of the 6,579 total seats.

    The opportunity to participate in an event of this magnitude made the decision to participate an easy one, Hoskins said.

    “”I’m most excited about seeing the films,”” he said. “”I’ve never been to Sundance or any film festival that is at this kind of level, and to get the opportunity to go out and see what’s going on just makes me hope there will be some exciting stuff there.””

    While both Caskey and Hoskins are excited about what they will learn at the festival, they also have slightly more selfish motives.

    “”I’m hoping I get to meet some celebrities,”” Caskey said. “”They’ll be all over the place so I hope for at least one encounter.””

    Hoskins agrees.

    “”I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get into any of the parties,”” he said. “”However, if I could track down Robert Redford, that would be cool.””

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