Experts Available to Discuss Filmmaking and SXSW

Beginning tomorrow, thousands of film industry heavyweights and fans will converge on Austin for the annual SXSW Film Conference and Festival to network and discover new talent in the independent film industry. Researchers, filmmakers and film industry experts at The University of Texas at Austin are available to comment on the many aspects of filmmaking, such as the independent film industry, screenwriting, film history and criticism, film preservation and the role of celebrities in American culture. 

Joshua Gunn
Assistant professor, Department of Communication Studies

Gunn conducts research at the intersection of rhetorical and cultural studies, and teaches a course on popular music. He is an expert in many areas of popular culture, including celebrity, fads and fashion, youth cultures, horror film, popular television, and cultural and rhetorical studies.

Stuart Kelban
Assistant professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film

Kelban is a professional screenwriter with experience writing for feature films and television, for network and cable outlets. A Writers Guild of America member, he has sold screenplays to many of the major studios and production companies in Los Angeles.

Charles Ramirez Berg
Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film

Ramirez Berg is an expert on images of Latinos in U.S. films, Mexican cinema, film history and criticism, screenwriting and the films of Hitchcock. His most recent book is "Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance."

Thomas Schatz
Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film; executive director, University of Texas Film Institute

Schatz has written four books about Hollywood films and filmmaking. He is an expert on film and television history and criticism, media industry studies (history, economics, etc.), Hollywood studios and the "studio system," and film genres. He was executive director on the film "Dance With the One," which makes its world premiere at the SXSW film festival this year.

Andrew Shea
Associate professor, production area head, Department of Radio-TV-Film

Shea teaches directing and film production. His most recent feature film, "Forfeit," a heist movie starring Billy Burke, Sherry Stringfield, Gregory Itzin and Wayne Knight, premiered at SXSW and went on to play in more than 30 domestic and international festivals. A member of the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, he is working on a documentary about a Nazi-looted painting, Egon Schiele's "Portrait of Wally," and a feature adaptation of Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman," which Shea optioned, co-wrote and will direct.

Alex Smith
Creative director, University of Texas Film Institute; lecturer, Department of Radio-TV-Film
323-573-7465 - mobile

Smith teaches screenwriting and directing and is the creative director of the University of Texas Film Institute. He co-wrote and co-directed the award-winning feature film, "The Slaughter Rule," starring Ryan Gosling, David Morse and Amy Adams. He adapted the graphic novel "Son of the Gun" for Fox Searchlight, and recently wrote "Crazy Mountain," a contemporary western dramatic series for the F/X Network. He is adapting "Faerie Wars" for Framestore UK. Smith also has written scripts for Disney Pictures, Columbia Pictures, HBO and ESPN Films. He produced "Dance With the One," which makes its world premiere at the SXSW film festival this year. He will be co-directing his feature film adaptation of James Welch's best-selling novel "Winter in the Blood" this summer.