Graduate students’ films to be screened at prestigious Cannes Film Festival

AUSTIN, Texas—Karen Skloss and John Fiege, graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin, have been invited to screen their short films at the Cannes International Film Festival in France next month.

“Smitten” in production. Filmmaker Karen Skloss works with a child on the set. Siobhan Walsh is behind the camera.

Skloss is working toward a master of fine arts degree in transmedia in the College of Fine Arts’ Department of Art and Art History. Her film, “Smitten,” is “an 11-minute experimental narrative that traces the ups and downs of junior high romance as seen through the eyes of an 8th grade girl.”

The film recently won a Nextframe festival award in the narrative category and an additional cinematography prize at Nextframe. Skloss’ film will be shown in its entirety at the Short Film Corner in the Cannes Market at the Palais des Festivals. In addition, a three-minute clip will be shown at the Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Showcase also in Cannes. “Smitten” is her first 16mm narrative.

Fiege, a graduate student in the College of Communication, was a winner in the 2003 Eastman Scholarship competition. He is pursuing a master of fine arts focusing on directing and cinematography in the Department of Radio-Television-Film. His short narrative, “Bebe,” a highly visual, lyrical and comical 16mm film about a little girl’s reaction to her father’s self-absorbed attempts to achieve enlightenment, has also been selected to participate in the Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Showcase.

John Fiege (right) and Rommel Eclarinal (left, a fellow M.F.A. candidate) prepare an Arri SR 16mm camera for a shot in “Bebe.”

Photo: Anita Grabowski

Skloss’ editorial work has been screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, on HBO and in festivals internationally. Her film and installation works have previously been shown in Cinematexas, Refraction Arts, 1/4 Hora, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair and others.

Fiege works in documentary and narrative films. His directing filmography includes “Les Petites Morts” (in post-production), “Casa Marianella” (2003) and “Chasing Paradise” (2001). As a cinematographer, he has shot several student films on Super 16 mm and HD. His freelance work has taken him across the U.S., Latin America and Asia, with camera credits that include the Discovery Channel, AandE and PBS. John is in pre-production on his next film, a documentary about African American and Latin American workers in the poultry plants of rural Mississippi.

In addition to enabling filmmakers to show their work, the Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at Cannes will give the students the opportunity to participate in panel discussions to talk about taking their work from concept to completion.

For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021, or Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071.