April 8, 2016

USC Brings Student Films to Major Agencies

First Look Film Festival Changes Format

Film Festivals are the chance for new Trojan graduates to take their student films into the real world and show agents, managers, producers, and distributors what they’ve got. This year, the School of Cinematic Arts’ Industry Relations has made it even easier for agents to see student work.They won’t even have to leave their buildings.

Traditionally held at the Directors Guild of America, the First Look Festival will instead take its showcase on the road, screening the five short student film winners at three agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA) and William Morris Endeavor (WME), over the course of three days later this month.

“We are thrilled to make these transformative changes to this year’s First Look Film Festival, and look forward to screening our students’ deserving films directly to many of the industry’s top decision makers,” said Head of Industry Relations ad the USC School of Cinematic Arts Larry Auerbach and Senior Director of Industry Relations Bonnie Chi. 

The five winning films will be selected by a jury comprised of Rowena Arguelles (CAA), Peter Dodd (UTA), Rob Carlson (WME), Chris Weitz (director and writer) and Paul Sloop (Lead Festival Programmer at Cleveland International Film Festival) who will rank the top student films on a weighted scale.

Thirty eight total short film submissions from SCA undergraduate and graduate students are to be initially screened for a blue ribbon panel during USC’s Talent Week April 11th-15.th The five winning selections will be featured in the special programming series at CAA on Tuesday, April 26th, WME on Wednesday, April 27th and UTA on Thursday, April 28th for top literary, film and television agents, exposing leading industry professionals to USC SCA’s emerging talent.

Previous USC SCA student participants and winners of the First Look Screening Series have gone on to achieve notable industry success, including Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner Chris Terrio (Argo), director and writer Ryan Coogler (Creed), director and producer Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum), Best Live Action Short Oscar winning director Ari Sandel (West Blank Story) and producer Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure).