The Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin will host the third annual Wofford Denius Longhorn Showcase, which will feature 12 of this year’s best student films. Among the films are three regional Student Academy Award winners, which will proceed to the national finals in May.
The event, which includes a 6 p.m. screening and a 9:30 p.m. reception, will take place Saturday, May 11, at KLRU Studio 6A, 2504-B Whitis Ave. It is free and open to the public. There will be an intermission.
“Every year, this celebration of student films features young filmmakers who go on to national and international prominence,” said Paul Stekler, chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film and the Wofford Denius Chair in Entertainment Studies. “Our filmmakers have screened at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Dubai and other major festivals where they have received critical acclaim. They got started in screenings right here in Austin. I encourage everyone to come out and see the filmmakers who’ll find similar success in the future and continue to fuel the film industry in Texas.”
The event will feature the following films:
- “Incident at Public School 173,” a narrative directed by Andrew Tilley, who received a bachelor’s degree in radio-television-film in 2012
A boy must brave the harshness of battle to save the girl he loves from the wrath of the evil school bully. The film received the WXWC Film Festival’s Jury Award and has screened at the Texas Independent Film Festival, Capital City Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Fargo Film Festival and Lone Star Film Festival.
- “Peaches,” a music video directed by Johanna Witherby, who received an MFA in film and media production in 2012
From a series of music videos capturing moments from American history, “Peaches” is inspired by 1923 celebrity culture.
- “The Longest Sun,” a narrative directed by Patrick William Smith, an MFA student in film and media production
Tahn Pi, a young Tewa boy, sets out on a mythical quest to stop the sun from setting. Set to be acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, it also will be exhibited at the George Gustav Heye Center in New York. It received the Wild and Scenic Film Festival’s Student Filmmaker Award, the Kodak Student Scholarship and the Rocks With Wings Film Festival’s Audience Award. It also has screened at the PBS Online Film Festival.
- “Yeah Kowalski!” a narrative directed by Evan Roberts, an MFA student in film and media production
Thirteen-year-old late bloomer Gabe Kowalski goes to desperate measures to impress a more mature classmate, Shane. The film has screened at the Maryland Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, San Antonio Q Fest, Amsterdam LGBT Film Festival and the Toronto LGBT Film Festival. It was also a runner-up for the Iris Prize.
- “The Yellow Wallpaper,” an experimental film directed by Nidhi Reddy, an undergraduate radio-television-film major
Based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” this rotoscoped animation tells the story of a woman who is driven to insanity by the confines of female stereotypes. It received the Grand Prize at the Texas Union Film Festival.
- “Ash,” a documentary directed by Nathan S. Duncan, an MFA student in film and media production
“Ash” wanders the abandoned spaces of the Austin State Hospital (formerly the Texas State Lunatic Asylum) using archived doctors’ logs from the late 19th century to light the way. It screened at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and will screen in Edinburgh, Scotland, in June.
- “The Teleported Man,” a narrative directed by Zach Endres, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in radio-television-film in 2012
To shorten his sentence, a convict volunteers for a risky experiment that takes an unexpected turn. It received the Austin Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Student Short and screened at the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Texas Independent Film Festival. It will screen at the LoneStarCon 3 Independent Film Festival in August and the Tri-Cities International Fantastic Film Festival in October.
- “Factory,” a music video directed by Johanna Witherby, who received an MFA in film and media production in 2012
From a series of music videos capturing moments from American history, “Factory” is about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. “Factory” played at an installation as part of the Dance on Camera festival.
- “Ex-Votos,” a narrative directed by Ivete Lucas, who received an MFA in film and media production in 2012
Her pregnancy at risk, a young girl and her mother set out on a pilgrimage to ask a statue of St. Francis for divine protection.
Student Academy Award Regional Winners
- “The Midwife’s Husband,” a narrative directed by Déjà Cresencia Bernhardt, an MFA student in film and media production
Based on a true story, “The Midwife’s Husband” is a drama about forgiveness, self-reflection and the rebirth of a marriage.
- “Vultures of Tibet,” a documentary directed by Russell O. Bush, who received an MFA in film and media production in 2012
Sky burial, a private ritual in which the bodies of Tibetan dead are offered to wild griffon vultures, becomes a tourist attraction as Chinese modernization in Tibet invigorates an ideological conflict often hidden from the outside world. The film won the 2013 University Co-op Outstanding Thesis Award.
- “Ol’ Daddy,” a narrative directed by Brian Schwarz, who received an MFA in film and media production in 2012
A young man struggles with his new role as his father’s full-time caretaker.
The Longhorn Denius Film Showcase is sponsored by Beth and Wofford Denius and the Cain Foundation, with contributions from WeeksandCo partners David Weeks and Suzanne Erickson, Mike Jones and Ron Standifer.
For more details on the films and filmmakers, click here.