May 6, 2015, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building lobby, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The USC School of Cinematic Arts, ITVS, and PBS, invite you and a guest to attend


Followed by a Q&A with Writer/Directors Tanuj Chopra, Trevin Matcek, Alex Rivera, and Aldo Velasco

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The event will include screenings of all
7 short films that comprise Season 5.


About FUTURESTATES: Season Five

What will become of America in five, 25, or even 50 years? FUTURESTATES is the acclaimed, groundbreaking series of online digital shorts from ITVS and PBS exploring possible future scenarios through the lens of today's global realities. Immerse yourself in the visions of these independent prognosticators as they project a future of their own imagining.

The fifth season of FUTURESTATES continues its exploration of what life might look like in the not so distant future, where automation and artificial intelligence is an even more dominant force in day to day life. The series marks its final season with a revolutionary new approach, envisioning a singular futuristic world with interconnected stories from a diverse group of indie filmmakers and digital storytellers.

This season’s FUTURESTATES website aims to take interactive fiction storytelling to the next level with video artifacts, shareable media, news clips and more. Audiences are introduced to Dr. Evelyn Malik, who has reached back through time with a message. She wants “you” the user, to help her change the future. Now that the site is live, audiences are invited to take part in this exploratory mission.

Total running time for the series is approximately 110 minutes.

Visit the Official Website: http://www.futurestates.tv

About the Films

This season’s line-up features narrative shorts by some of the leading indie filmmakers and digital storytellers, including:

Written and Directed by Tina Mabry. When a bipolar patient abruptly stops taking his digitally encoded psych meds, a therapist named Ant must risk his life to avert catastrophe.

As You Were
Written and Directed by Trevin Matcek. In the near future, an injured soldier returns home with advanced prosthetics to replace an arm and leg lost in combat and must reconnect with his family.

Code Academy
Written and Directed by Nisha Ganatra. The Equal Futures Academy addresses gender disparity by keeping boys and girls separate until 18. But at what price to these teenagers’ identities?

Written and Directed by Aldo Velasco. A young man convicted of a violent crime is released into a surveillance-assisted, community service-based alternative to incarceration.

Happy Fun Room
Written and Directed by Greg Pak. The host of a once-popular kid’s show clashes with child co-stars and crew. The world’s changed and the show’s messages may no longer apply. Can she adapt?

A Robot Walks Into A Bar
Written and Directed by Alex Rivera. A new breed of labor robot works at a bar, his mission is to excel at his new job while avoiding human injury, he soon learns that this may be impossible.

Teacher in a Box
Written and Directed by Tanuj Chopra. A jaded teacher being replaced by a digital avatar protects girl who invented a product that will make millions for the corporation owning the school.

About the Guests

TANUJ CHOPRA (Writer/Director, Teacher in a Box)

Tanuj’s first feature film Punching at the Sun premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival while he was in film school. Punching went on to play at over 30 festivals around the world including the Tribeca Film Festival as well as the the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival where it won the grand jury award.

He’s the recipient of the $100,000 LOS ANGELES VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS development grant  for his comedic drama narrative feature script Chee and T. Other award winning titles he's directed include: Grass, Teacher in a Box, Clap Clap, Carbon Dated, The Swet Shop Boys Benny Lava, and Pia. He’s the co-­writer, director and editor of the popular episodic female comedy Nice Girls Crew, sponsored by The Center for Asian American Media and Comcast. He holds a BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in film direction from Columbia University where he was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship.

TREVIN MATCEK (Writer/Director, As You Were/SCA Alumnus)

Born in a small Texas town, Trevin graduated USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is a Film Independent Fellow in Directing and Screenwriting. His feature film script Things We’ve Made was a finalist for IFP’s Emerging Narrative Program. His music video The District Sleeps Tonight for The Postal Service, was Fuse TV’s #3 Video of the Year and nominated by the Music Video Production Association for Best Video under $10K. Trevin’s short Sylvia won the Gold Award for Best Short at Houston Worldfest, played over a dozen festivals around the world and aired on Showtime. He wrote/directed You, Me & We, a short about human clones in group therapy which played film festivals including Sci-Fi London, The Future is Now, Icon International in Tel Aviv and screened at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Life Begins at Rewirement for Season 3 of Futurestates premiered at Tribeca and will be featured in the upcoming Valletta2018 art exhibition “Culture of Ageing.”

ALEX RIVERA (Writer/Director, A Robot Walks Into a Bar)

Alex Rivera is a digital media artist and filmmaker. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, a science-fiction feature set on the U.S./Mexico border, won multiple awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, was screened as part of ‘New Directors / New Films’ at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center, and had a commercial release in the U.S, France, Japan, and other countries around the world. Alex is a Sundance Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, USA Artist Fellow, Creative Capital grantee, was The Rothschild Lecturer at Harvard University, and was named one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch.”

ALDO VELASCO (Writer/Director, Excarcerated)

Aldo Velasco is a filmmaker and playwright born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He received his MFA in Film Production from UCLA. His short films have screened at the Sundance, SXSW, and Los Angeles Film Festivals, among others.

Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC or State ID, or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #4, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu