TUCSON, AZ — Students about to graduate from the University of Arizona are using their past year and life experiences to showcase diversity in a few short films.
Seniors with UArizona's School of Theatre, Film & Television have completed a senior thesis project that will feature fourteen different films.
It took nearly an entire year and working through COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions to complete the films, but students tell ABC15 they found a way to make it work.
“I think that everyone just really tried to push themselves with COVID restrictions we had, we did have to work around what does it look like to have characters in masks versus not in masks, what does it look like to have characters that are familial versus strangers, what does it look like to shoot in public versus in a home?” said senior Mackenzie Giguere.
The short films will feature social injustices and first-hand experiences from the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter marches throughout the past summer to showing diversity in communities trying to adapt to the American life.
The films will be shown at different festivals around the country.
“This year’s class of filmmakers is an exciting follow-up to our 2020 filmmakers and represents what filmmaking at the University of Arizona is all about: determined, creative, flexible, totally original and emotionally honest,” said Lisanne Skyler, filmmaker and Film & Television faculty at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film & Television. “That they were able to achieve such evocative storytelling when all of their pre-thesis training was turned on its head by the pandemic is a testament to the spirit of our student and filmmaking community.”
In a press release, posted to Ticketmaster.com, it shares where the films can be viewed for the public, free of charge with an in person viewing at the Cactus Drive-In in Tucson.
“The hybrid event will premiere concurrently in person and online: the in-person event will take place on Saturday, May 8, and IDIWS will stream online for a global audience from May 8-22.
The in-person edition of the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s marquee annual event will take place at the Cactus Drive-In Cinema on Saturday, May 8. Tucson’s Loft Cinema Program Director Jeff Yanc will host. From May 8-22, the films will also be available to stream online at loftcinema.org via a partnership between the School and the renowned arthouse cinema. Films will compete for prizes awarded by this year’s Jury: Mike Plante (’94), Senior Programmer for Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival, Nicholas Snell (’14), screenwriter and A/V coordinator for Lucasfilm, and film critic and journalist Katie Walsh (Los Angeles Times, IndieWire, Vanity Fair).
I Dream in Widescreen films regularly attract international recognition that sets the emerging filmmakers on a path to industry success. In a record-setting year, films from the 2020 edition of IDIWS have been officially selected to screen at nearly a dozen multiple festivals nationally and internationally.
Hailed by LatinHeat as “a powerful start to her career,” Roxanna Stevens Ibarra’s film Tesoro has been selected to screen at the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the Latino & Native American Film Festival, and the Phoenix Film Festival. Two films – Emma Sinex’s Barren and Adrian Meyer and Martin Somoza’s Houses in Motion were selected by the Las Cruces International Film Festival. Adam Meilech’s The Leak has been selected by the Austin Comedy Film Festival and the Portland Comedy Film Festival. Zach Lovvorn's film IRIS has been selected by the Phoenix Film Festival. Faye Ruiz’s first film, The Lights Are On, No One’s Home, is currently screening at Outfest Fusion in Los Angeles, and featured last month at London’s BFI Flare, the largest LGBTIQ+ film festival in Europe.”