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News from 2020

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Bahar '00
December 21, 2020

Emmy and Goya award-winner Robert Bahar '00 joins us to talk about his documentary The Silence of Others, the impact of having your work seen throughout the world, and his advice to aspiring documentary filmmakers.

MISC List 2020
December 19, 2020

USC Media Institute for Social Change (MISC) picks the fifteen most significant social change projects to highlight. The MISC LIST of the Best Social Impact Cinema of 2020 was also compiled of projects that could be streamed at home, making them both impactful and appropriate for pandemic viewing. To check out the full list: https://news.usc.edu/180096/social-impact-films-shows-2020-streaming-usc-cinematic-arts/

The most significant social impact films of 2020, all streaming at home
December 18, 2020

This list of 15 movies and shows, compiled by the Media Institute for Social Change at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, highlights the stories that both traumatized and inspired us this year.

SCA Family Stories: Stu Pollard '95
The Producer of Rust Creek on his Time Inside and Outside of USC
December 3, 2020

Stu Pollard is a Trojan in more ways than one. The Trojan family is a blend of students, faculty, staff, supporters, parents, and alumni who come together to make one of the best film schools in the world (number one according to the Hollywood Reporter.) Pollard graduated with his MFA in 1995 and returned to his alma mater to teach film production years later.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Patricio Ginelsa '99
November 20, 2020

Patricio tells us how he arrived at his sequel project seven years in the making, Lumpia With A Vengeance, and how his community played a huge role in bringing the movie to life. ?

Allison A. Waite wins Student Academy Award for The Dope Years
October 28, 2020

On October 21st, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first virtual award ceremony for the Student Academy Awards. Four School of Cinematic Arts creators won awards. Allison A. Waite ‘20 took home the silver award for the Documentary (Domestic Film Schools) category for her film The Dope Years (click for trailer). 
 

Curry Sicong Tian wins Student Academy Award for Simulacra
October 28, 2020

On October 21st, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first virtual award ceremony for the Student Academy Awards. Four School of Cinematic Arts creators won awards. Curry Sicong Tian ‘20 took home the gold award for the Alternative/Experimental (Domestic and International Film Schools) category for Simulacra (click for more about Curry and her film). 

Rommel Villa wins Student Academy Award for Sweet Potatoes
October 28, 2020

On October 21st, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first virtual award ceremony for the Student Academy Awards. Four School of Cinematic Arts creators won awards. Recent graduate Rommel Villa ’19 received the bronze award in the Narrative Film (Domestic Schools) category for his film Sweet Potatoes.

Yucong Chen wins Student Academy Award for Unfinished Lives
October 28, 2020

On October 21st, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first virtual award ceremony for the Student Academy Awards. Four School of Cinematic Arts creators won awards. Yucong Chen ‘20 took home the gold award for the Documentary (Domestic Film Schools) category for Unfinished Lives (click for trailer).
 

Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Bang '20 and Margo Sawaya '19
October 15, 2020

Writer-directors Hannah Bang '20 and Margo Sawaya '19 join us to discuss their sci-fi short Ripple Effect, produced in collaboration with USC’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

Alumni Spotlight: Nona Khodai '05
October 15, 2020

Nona Khodai '05 joins us to discuss her journey and experience as an editor in the industry.

Writing Division Professor Howard Rodman wins USC Associates Award for Artistic Expression
October 14, 2020

Howard Rodman, professor in the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television is a recipient of a 2020 USC Associates Award for Artistic Expression. Rodman will receive his USC Associates Award at a virtual ceremony on October 22 nd .

Global Exchange 2020
October 13, 2020

On September 25th, 2020, the USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted a virtual screening of documentaries created the 2020 Global Exchange with Communication University of China in Beijing. Seven films, in total, made their debut.

LA SkinsFest
October 8, 2020

The annual festival that celebrates Native American filmmaking comes to the School of Cinematic Arts on Oct. 12 to showcase some engaging short films

SCA Launches Black Student Welcome Experience
September 28, 2020

SCA Launches Black Student Welcome Experience
 

SCA alumni lead Student Academy Awards Wins
September 19, 2020

Four USC Alumni recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Griffith '16
September 3, 2020

Joshua shares his journey from SCA student to co-writing the series finale of FX's Mrs. America in this month's Alumni Spotlight

SCA Students Make Animation on Zoom
The Animation Division Collaborates to Make Art on Video Meeting Platform
August 28, 2020

In the era of COVID-19, Zoom is everywhere. Zoom meetings. Zoom fatigue. Zoom classes. Now, thanks to the creativity of USC School of Cinematic Arts students and faculty in the John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts, Trojans can now add Zoom Animation to the conversation.

Trojans Shine Bright with Student Academy Award Nominations
August 20, 2020

A Student Academy Awards is one of the highest honors a School of Cinematic Arts student can achieve. This year, nine student projects are represented among finalists and semi-finalists for the student academy awards. 

ETC and Partners to Pilot Test Virtual Production Capabilities
August 17, 2020

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC has selected filmmakers Hannah Bang, Margo Sawaya and Sabina Vajra?a to receive the 2020 Innovative Technology Award for their virtual production-based project, “The Ripple Effect.” The trio developed the futuristic live-action project with the aim of testing the limits of virtual production. “With Unreal Engine, we can minimize on set crew and provide better controls for talent and staff,” explained executive producer Erik Weaver. “We want to get people back to work while keeping cast and crews safe.”

Alumni Represent USC in 72th Primetime Emmy Awards Race
August 3, 2020

Thirty-three USC SCA alumni received nominations for their work in some of the most popular shows of 2019-2020.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Friend '16
July 9, 2020

Caroline joins us to talk about double-majoring in Production at SCA and History at Dornsife, how she blends the two in her work, and the life changing journey that began with a black and white photo she saw at Leavey Library. 

A Tale of Two Siblings: A Soldier in Iraq and a USC School of Cinematic Arts Student Reunite Halfway
June 11, 2020

While serving his country, an Army specialist missed most of sister’s milestones—but not this time, thanks to a group of SCA students and their professor who made it their mission possible.

#ShutDownAcademia
June 10, 2020

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) supports #ShutDownAcademia, a grassroots movement that designates June 10, 2020, as the beginning of a “transition to a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in Academia and STEM.” The movement asks institutions within academia to use the day to focus on how Black academics and Black STEM professionals can be better supported within our institutions.

Danny Bilson Discusses Spike Lee Joint Da 5 Bloods Which He Co-Wrote with the Late Paul DeMeo
June 7, 2020

USC Games director Danny Bilson says he'll be proud to see his writing credit appear on Da 5 Bloods when Spike Lee's new Netflix movie starts streaming June 12. After all, he and longtime collaborator, the late Paul DeMeo, came up with the film's premise: Vietnam vets reunite in present-day Ho Chi Minh City intent on retrieving gold they'd left behind in the jungle decades earlier during the heat of battle.

Project Blindfold
June 5, 2020

Justine Sophia created and produced the music video Project Blindfold, bringing awareness to the epidemic of homeless youth on Skid Row.

Alumni Spotlight: Adam Habib '09
May 29, 2020

Adam shares his post-SCA journey, his time at Pixar, and how he defines the role of a cinematographer across the different formats of cinema in this alumni spotlight.

USC School of Cinematic Arts Graduation Celebration
May 16, 2020

Fight on Class of 2020

First Look 2020: Breach of Trust
Winner of the Industry Award for Best Documentary
May 15, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Breach of Trust, winner of the Industry Award for Documentary.

Alumni Spotlight: Merawi Gerima '18
May 11, 2020

Merawi takes us through the process of making his very personal feature film debut Residue and the importance of being authentic.

First Look 2020 Awardees Announced!
The USC School of Cinematic Arts Recognizes the Year’s Outstanding Student Films.
May 11, 2020

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Office of Industry Relations today announced its First Look Awards for outstanding SCA student films. A jury of made up of industry professionals chose winners in six categories: Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Social Change, Thriller/Sci-fi/Horror. Awards were also given to individual students in seven specialties—Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Screenwriting and Sound—with winners chosen by SCA faculty members.

First Look 2020: Go! Go!
Go! Go! Wins Industry Award for Animation
May 11, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Go! Go!, winner of the Industry Award for Animation.

First Look 2020: Piggy Bank Proposition
Piggy Bank Proposition Wins Industry Award for Comedy
May 11, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Piggy Bank Proposition, winner of the Industry Award for Comedy.

Gameplay in a Bottle
May 8, 2020

Creative Director Brooke Jaffe tells us how a cancer diagnosis led to the creative process of creating the game Bottles.

Stack ‘Em Up for a Co-op Game of Hilarious Fun!
May 8, 2020

Director and Lead Artist Christine Xu talks about the team’s inspiration and process in creating ShortStacked, a new game based on a classic comedic scenario

A Masterclass in Vertical Filmmaking
With Tribeca winner Girls Room, alumnus Ruben Contreras offers lessons in shooting for mobile
April 30, 2020

School of Cinematic Arts alumnus Cinematographer Ruben Contreras talks working on award winning IGTV series, Girl's Room.

A Warning about Life After COVID
School of Cinematic Arts graduate Julio Vincent Gambuto goes viral with a prescient essay
April 23, 2020

SCA Film and Television Production  student Julio Vincent Gambuto warns that companies will try to position their products as the feel-good antidotes to all the trauma and inequities the quarantine uncovered.

Animation Alumnus Van Phan Premieres at Tribeca
His VR project Upstander is available online beginning April 17
April 17, 2020

Van Phan has been making notable animated films since graduation from the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts with an MFA in 2000. However, he finally achieved one of his career goals this year when his VR film Upstander, which challenges viewers to confront bullying, was accepted into the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.

Alumni Spotlight: Edson Oda '15
April 7, 2020

Edson takes us through his journey writing Nine Days, how he's coping with COVID-19, and why he keeps returning to campus to write.

The Show Will Go On! USC Games Expo 2020 Announced!
USC Games and Jam City Announce a Digital Event to Showcase the Future of Gaming
April 3, 2020

The USC Games Expo presented by Jam City is the largest University-sponsored gaming and esports event in the world. It provides a glimpse into the nation’s leading game design program and the next generation of tabletop, mobile, AR video games and other interactive projects from the university’s diverse students, alumni and faculty. 

Zoomanji
An SCA virtual challenge for USC students and alumni
April 2, 2020

SCA alumni Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian host a Q&A for their 2018 film Searching and help announce a new virtual filmmaking challange.

A Message from Dean Daley
March 26, 2020

A video message from Dean Daley

Studio Day for Animation Students
The Hench DADA Division hosted studio executives for a day of insider advice
March 19, 2020

The John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench DADA) held its annual Studio Day on Monday March 9, transforming the SCA Gallery into a meeting space for students and studio executives who came to campus to give career advice and recruit students for internships and jobs.

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Hoyt
THE 21ST CENTURY ARCHIVIST
March 10, 2020

SCA Alumni is revolutionizing archival research with Lantern Digital search engine. 

Alumni Spotlight: Davah Avena
SCA SCRIBE HAS CARVED OUT A WRITING CAREER IN COMEDY, AND DRAMA
March 4, 2020

SCA Alumni Davah Scribe has carved a career writing for successful comedy and drama series.

Alumni Spotlight: Nonny de la Peña
THE GODMOTHER OF VIRTUAL REALITY
March 4, 2020

SCA Alumni Nonny de la Peña is creating new media's storytelling language. 

Esports arrives at USC
A NEW VARSITY TROJAN TEAM TAKES THE (VIRTUAL) FIELD
March 3, 2020

USC's varsity esports team joins 

Stark 40th
Stark Production Program Celebrates its 40th Anniversary
March 3, 2020

On October 20th, 2019, SCA welcomed the Stark program alumni back to campus to reminisce and celebrate this milestone together.

A TRANSFORMATIVE TROJAN
JOHN SINGLETON’S INFLUENCE ON A NEW GENERATION OF FILMMAKERS
February 26, 2020

A Los Angeles native, John Singleton belonged to every subset of the SCA family, continuing to influence new generations of filmmakers and auteurs.  

Como Caído del Cielo is a Netflix Hit!
February 19, 2020

Alumnus Pepe Bojórquez and SCA Professor Chris Chomyn find success with their Spanish-language comedy
 

New Issue of In Motion Available Now
SCA magazine remembers John Singleton
February 14, 2020

SCA magazine remembers John Singleton in its cover story

Nine Days Screens for SCA Students
February 12, 2020

The Sundance standout film brought tears and laughter to the Theatrical Film Symposium Class
 

The New DKA
February 12, 2020

The Cinema Fraternity that started at USC gets a campus reinvention.

Starkies at Sundance
Ten creators from Peter Stark Producing Program take Park City
February 11, 2020

Conversation with Peter Stark production students about their trip to Sundance film festival.