Not many college students have the honor of receiving the title of “award-winning screenwriter.” But Aashka Pandya, a graduating student double-majoring in Film & Media Studies and Communication, earned that elite title earlier this year when she received the Best Screenplay award at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival 10-10-10 Competition. In this interview, she comments on her award as well as the connection her Indian American identity has on her filmmaking and creative process.
Hosted by the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Religious Studies department at UC Santa Barbara, Brown University modern culture and media professor Regina Longo screened and spoke about her film “Shoah: Four Sisters” at an event recently at the Pollock Theatre.
“These films are points of confluence, death of family members and harshness of ghettos or concentration camps,” she told an audience of a campus and community members.
Film and Media Studies major Katelyn Zamudio recently produced Playdolls, a documentary that looks at the issue of human trafficking from different perspectives. In a recent interview, Zamudio discusses her experience bringing this issue to light in an empathetic way.
“I consider that evening in May 2018 and the months of work leading up to it to be some of the most memorable and impactful experiences of my life,” says Giovanna Vicini, a graduating Film & Media Studies and Communication double major at UCSB, of hosting the 27th Annual Reel Loud Film & Arts Festival onstage at Campbell Hall. “My teammates and I led the organization toward record-breaking growth, achieving Reel Loud’s most competitive year to date.”
Directors rely on history to be a backdrop and to set the scene for their storytelling, Film and Media Studies and History double major Ryann Stibor says. In a recent interview, she answers questions about how knowledge of history affects society today and how that knowledge intersects with her second major in film.
Student film director Hunter Johnsen discusses his passion for film and his involvement in the Film and Media Studies Crew Production class. His movie called “Obsolete,” a project for this course, is set to premiere March 22 at the Pollock Theater.
Drum Corps International, or DCI, is essentially the major league equivalent of marching band. Thousands of marching arts enthusiasts under the age of 21 join one of the 44 active drum corps and go on a nationwide tour, performing at high schools, colleges, and even NFL stadiums for thousands of fans across the country.
Michael Hall, one of those many drum corps members, recalls the elation that he felt when his team won the title of “World Champion” at the 2018 Drum Corps International World Championships and how he has sought to recapture the joy that he found through music in the music and film departments at UCSB.
How many college students have been lucky enough to be within two feet of actor Hugh Jackman at a black-tie gala to cover the event on social media?
Taylon Faltas interns at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) headquarters and had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2019 festival as a member of the press. The festival’s mission includes film education to the community, ranging from bringing local elementary school students to free movie screenings to the comprehensive internship experience offered to college students like Taylon.
“I like doing things that aren't just the norm. I don’t want to have a nine-to-five job,” says Dorian Elgrichi, a senior Film and Media studies major, who is currently running two companies while he is still in school — a photo booth company and a car detailing company. He has recently started a partnership with the electric skateboard company Riptide, creating a video for the firm in order to promote the use of its skateboards on college campuses.
Originally from Beverly Hills, Elgrichi transferred to UC Santa Barbara from Santa Monica College in 2017. He has been working in film production since participating in a film program during high school in Beverly Hills.
In this interview, Elgrichi speaks on how he has combined his love of film and his desire to succeed in business.
Michelle Sharp, a double major in Art and Mathematics who graduated this spring, decided to branch out from her background in mathematics to expand her repertoire in the arts. Sharp is among a growing number of UCSB students who are combining STEM majors with those in the Humanities and Fine Arts.
Sharp exhibited much of her photography in the Glass Box Galleries, which feature student and faculty creative work on campus. And she created an animated short, “Agnus’ Front Lawn,” for one of her film production classes, which is a comedy about an old woman trying to win the neighborhood’s lawn competition.
After exploring the ins and outs of various creative departments, Sharp is finding her passion in animation. She finds it is easy to get jobs in art-related fields, saying it takes hard work but if you are dedicated it isn’t much different than finding jobs in STEM related fields.
“I knew I had made the right decision to transfer to UC Santa Barbara, when I received an email from my screenwriting professor at the end of first quarter. She told me I should send my pilot episode to production companies because I had developed a “potential hit series.”
I am just one of many students who have experienced success transferring into UCSB, due in no small part to the UC system’s Junior Transfer Program. The UC’s have historically been very supportive of transfer students, especially those coming from California community colleges who are guaranteed admittance to one of the UC campuses after two years.”
—KATHERINE GRAYSON, FILM & MEDIA STUDIES TRANSFER STUDENT
The Carsey-Wolf Center wrapped up its fall film series “Hollywood Berlin: Exiles and Immigrants” with the final film Some Like It Hot. The event featured guest speaker David Mandel who is a writer, director and executive producer of shows such as Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Gasps, yells, and laughter rocked the auditorium as Werner Herzog’s 1979 film Nosferatu the Vampyre screened at the Pollock Theater last week. The legendary German-born director was there to watch the film alongside nearly 250 enthusiastic UCSB students and community members.
Their spirited reaction was a fitting welcome to a director who is known for his originality and feistiness. But Herzog also displayed the humility of an artist who puts his work above all else. “I am just a quiet soldier of cinema,” Herzog told the crowd at one point, prompting applause.