January 30, 2007

Scene at Sundance

SCA Films Screen at Prestigious Festival

By James Tella, Communications and Public Relations

Though Park City temps were sub-zero, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) alumni, students, and faculty were in the glow as they celebrated the official USC screenings selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The event, which ran from Jan. 18-28, featured close to 20 of the school’s entries, with another two playing the alternative Slamdance festival. USC filmmakers offered those attending the country’s largest independent film festival in Utah a diverse slate of entertainment featuring drama, comedy and mystery.

“Sundance is incredible in terms of seeing the scope and diversity of what our students
and alumni are producing,” Dean Elizabeth Daley said.
The country’s largest independent film festival in Utah showcased a diverse slate of entertainment featuring drama, comedy and mystery.
Photos: Jill Aske

For alumnus Jeffrey Blitz ’97, Sundance proved especially rewarding as his drama
Rocket Science landed the dramatic directing award.

“I’m still learning so much about filmmaking, and winning an award like this feels surprising and fairly surreal,” said Blitz, who also penned the story. “To come back here ten years after being a student with my own film was really reward enough. This is just a terrific end to a terrific experience.”

In addition to taking in the screenings, over 200 alumni, students and friends flocked to the USC reception at the Riverhorse on Main to talk cinema and catch up with their fellow Trojans.

“I look forward to this party whenever I get a chance to come to Sundance,” said Jill Aske ’01. “It’s a great feeling of home away from home.”

The following is a list of USC School of Cinematic Arts students, alumni, and faculty with projects screened at the 2007 Sundance and Slamdance film festivals.

Rocket Science – written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz ’97, edited by Yana Gorskaya
Weapons – produced by Bill Straus ’00, executive produced by Jason Lust ’00
Looking for my Brother – directed by Nathaniel McCullagh ’04, produced by Jon Huer ’05 and Adam Lebovitz ‘05

Jarrett Schaefer '01, named one of Variety's "10 Directors to Watch" screened his film Chapter 27 at the festival.

Photo: Aymae Sulick
An American Crime – co-written and directed by Tommy O’Haver ’95, co-written by Irene Turner ’95, executive produced by John Wells ’82, cinematography by Byron Shah ’97, music by Alan Ari Lazar ’97
Black Snake Moan – produced by John Singleton ’90
Chapter 27 – written and directed by Jarrett Schaefer ’01
King of California – edited by
Glenn Garland ’88
The Nine – written and directed by John August ’94, produced by
Dan Etheridge ’92

Resurrecting the Champ
– edited by Sarah Boyd ’93

The Go-Getter – written and directed by Martin Hynes ‘’96, cinematography by Byron Shah ’97, edited by David Birdsell ’97
Miss Navajo – co-edited by Tracee Morrison ’03
Waitress – cinematography by Matthew Irving ’96
Zidane – produced by Joni Sighvatsson ’85


Smiley Face – directed by Gregg Araki ’85

Songbird – written, directed, and producted by John Thompson ’94, produced, edited, and photographed by Will Lamborn

Spitfire 944 – written and directed by William Lorton ’92

Slamdance Festival

American Fork – produced by Shannon Gardner ’96 and Derek Beumer
Bad Boys of Summer – directed by Tiller Russell ’01 and Loren Mendel
The Famous Joe Project – directed by Eli Rarey.

We apologize if we missed anyone. Please contact Justin Wilson at 213.740.2804 or alumni@cinema.usc.edu.