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UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television Honors Alumni and Students

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Thursday marked closing night for UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s 2012 film festival. The five-night event concluded with the Directors Showcase held at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood.

The event began with the doling out of honors and awards to worthy professors, students, and alumni of UCLA. Those honored included notable alumni Harvey Weinstein and co-writer and director of The Descendants Alexander Payne, dean of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, Teri Schwartz and 10 talented student directors who were presented with the much sought after Spotlight Awards.

In his absence, Weinstein’s award was accepted by co-writers/co-editors/co-cinematographers of the award-winning feature documentary, Undefeated, Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin. However, Weinstein provided a pre-recorded acceptance of his award in which he congratulated the student winners and shared his anticipation of their many successes.

Shailene Woodley was invited to the stage to introduce Payne and to present him with the Filmmaker of the Year award. Light-heartedly admitting he felt “a bit pedantic” giving advice, Payne thoughtfully used his acceptance speech to share some of what he has learned from being in the industry with the students whose films were featured during this year’s film festival.

“I still consider myself a UCLA film student who just happens to be working professionally while continuing to learn,” Payne said.

Payne went on to advise students to hold onto creative control of their films for as long as they can and to watch films by Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu.

“He who searches for style finds death,” Payne shared, quoting Italian director Eduardo De Philipo. “He who searches for life finds style.”

This year’s Spotlight award winners were Jonathan Crawford, Karen Glienke, Adam Holmes, Eliza Kinkz, Eric Leppo, Cory Miller, Milena Pastreich – who, for her outstanding work as a cinematographer, also won a $60,000 certificate for a camera kit – Julio O. Ramos, Jerell Rosales and Simon Savelyev.

Following the awards ceremony, the winning directors’ films were shown. All of the films showed deep humanity, meaningful emotional content and impressive command of directorial technique.

Visit http://legacy.tft.ucla.edu/festival/homepage.cfm to see trailers for these films and to get more information about this year’s film festival.

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