2017 FILM STUDIES PARTICIPANTS
A very special thank you to Bruce Heavin & Lynda Weinman for making this program possible.
Alberto De La Rosa
Alberto De La Rosa is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis studying Film and Media Studies and American Culture. He is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia but moved to Miami at a young age. His interests include modern representations of queer culture in Latin American cinema as well as the sociopolitical influence of the United States in the definition of national cinema of countries like Colombia and Mexico. After film, his other passions include journalism, Spotify playlists, Solange, and Cuban Cafecito. His favorite film is Y Tu Mama Tambien.
Alex Cherry is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, majoring in Telecommunication and Film. She is interested in all aspects of filmmaking, though she is particularly passionate about working in the post-production process, especially editing. Alex would ultimately like to work as an editor for television or feature films, and perhaps become a director someday. Outside of film, Alex is passionate about theater, board games, and comic books. Her favorite film is Atonement.
Alina Verenich is a junior at Western Kentucky University studying film with a minor in creative writing. She enjoys eating Taco Bell while sitting on the top floor of parking structures. Alina is a citizen of both the United States and Belarus, and she would like to become an international filmmaker to help shine light on global issues, such as women’s, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ rights. In addition to making films, Alina also writes poetry and hopes to publish her poems in both English and Russian. In the meantime, one might find Alina planning road trips, playing with her cat, and drinking coffee. Picking a favorite anything is one of her weaknesses, but some of her favorite films are The Brass Teapot (dir. Ramaa Mosely), Eastern Boys (dir. Robin Campillo), and Mean Girls (dir. Mark Waters).
Alyssa Belardo is a senior at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Alyssa is a double major in Secondary Education and English (Writing Concentration) with a minor in Film and Media Studies. She is a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon, for which she served as the philanthropy chair for a year. She is the past president of the International English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, Nu Phi chapter. Alyssa currently serves as Rider University’s Greek Council president, and she’s also a Resident Advisor! Alyssa likes to write her own songs and poetry, and she loves the snow. Her aspiration is to become an English or Film teacher at a high school in Pennsylvania, where she is from. Alyssa’s favorite film is We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Anton Carter is an American filmmaker, actor, and a student at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He began his career eight years ago as a content producer for Machinima.com. Later, he became a video editor for Thrasher Magazine’s SKATELINE, a weekly skateboarding news show first produced by professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. In 2016, he won an award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Best Editing of his first short made during his education, “Disappearance” (2015). Anton is currently creating films with his company, Enjoya Film, and is determined to emulate the wonder and excitement of one of his all time favorite films Back to the Future. He hopes to one day star and direct his own featurettes in his developing personal style.
Austin Lange is a film student at Western Kentucky University. Austin was born and raised in Kentucky, and now he writes and directs short films. His primary interests are screenplay writing, directing, and reading. Austin aspires to run his own production company with the freedom to produce and direct his own screenplays and also to make connections around the world to expand his horizons. His favorite film is Back to the Future.
Austin Renna is a junior at Rutgers University – New Brunswick where he is studying Cinema and Creative Writing. He is interested in the emotional aspects of cinema and the underlying idea that something must be felt before it can be truly understood. Austin draws inspiration for this idea and others from directors like Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, and other filmmakers who have shaped and changed his perspective on cinema and life. Austin aspires to one day be a repertory film programmer at cinemas in New York City and elsewhere. He is also fascinated with production aspects of film and would love to work on a film set in any way he can. Austin’s favorite movie is either Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie or Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. Austin also looks to the works of directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Chantal Akerman, and Stanley Kubrick for artistic inspiration.
Becca Murdoch is a junior studying critical studies in film and television with a minor in creative writing at the University of Alabama. Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama she identifies first as a woman, second as a student of film, and third as a southerner. Her main interests include television comedy, films with predominantly female casts, and her roommates’ two beautiful puppies. When she’s not binge-watching the latest Netflix show, you can find her hiking around Tuscaloosa, reading and writing and pretending to be outdoorsy. In the next five years Becca hopes to be working in New York or DC in the entertainment industry with a salary that can support herself and her future dog.
Debbie McFetridge is a senior at Rider University in New Jersey. She is majoring in public relations with a minor in film and media studies. Her interests include film and music. Her favorite movies are Psycho and Stand by Me. Last spring, she interned for the Trenton Film Society where she wrote press releases, designed the festival programs and managed the email and social media accounts. She is currently a production assistant for Seven13 Films. After graduation, Debbie hopes to be involved in public relations within the film industry. Eventually, she hopes to work as a publicist for either films or a public figure.
For Eden Palmer, filmmaking is the most captivating form of storytelling and the best way to capture the modern human experience. As an immigrant, a triple citizen, and a woman, she is driven to tell stories that can reflect people all across the globe. Eden is currently studying at the University of Minnesota where she is majoring in Studies in Cinema and Media Culture with a minor in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature with the goal of becoming a screenwriter and director. She is the president of Minnecinema, a film club at the U of Minnesota. Her current favorite film is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Emily Allen is a junior majoring in film with a minor in studio art at the University of Oklahoma. She is pursuing a career in acting and screenwriting. After graduation, she plans to earn a graduate degree in acting in New York or Los Angeles. Emily has penned two feature length screenplays and is in the process of writing her third. She is applying for various film internships for the upcoming summer. Emily is an avid traveler and spent half of 2016 hiking and studying film in New Zealand. She has a several favorite films, including Little Miss Sunshine. Some of her other interests include photography, animation, drawing, ultimate frisbee, and kickboxing. Emily is thrilled to be a participant in SBIFF’s 2017 Film Studies Program.
Gabriel Carden is a Telecommunications and Film major at the University of Alabama. Gabriel enjoys spending time with friends and investing in the lives of others. He likes dark chocolate and travel, and he currently works as a barista as a great coffee shop in Tuscaloosa called Heritage House. He is also an avid film watcher and Netflix binger. Gabriel aspires to be a successful screen director and writer, and he would also like to direct on Broadway and publish a novel. His favorite movie is While You Were Sleeping because it’s light, it’s quotable, and because he loves Sandra Bullock.
Ian David Hawkes was born on an island off the coast of Maine where all the hippies go to retire. He is currently finishing his undergrad at BYU where he writes screenplays and designs video games. His favorite movie at the moment is Ordet, but he’s always looking for a new one.
Jack Shugrue is an undergraduate in his last year at UCLA where he studies philosophy and film. He is interested in all things film, especially in directing, writing, practical effects, and set design. When Jack isn’t studying for his courses one can find him watching films, working on one of his creative projects, or on the basketball courts. Jack is originally from Walnut Creek, CA, whose environment has had a strong impact on what he is passionate about today: film, learning, and staying active through basketball. Jack’s goals right now include bringing to life the scripts and other creative projects he has been working on, graduating from school, and one day directing one of his own works inspired by one of his favorite films: Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.
Jared Angcanan is a student at Moorpark College. Film and literature are Jared’s first two loves; in fact, this year he plans to read through 20 books, including the Bible. Jared also loves comic books and most anything related to Star Wars. Most of his free time is spent watching movies or reading, but he also loves spending time with friends and family over coffee or a good meal, or trying new things like cooking, which he recently started and is enjoying. Jared’s main goal in life is to direct movies, so he is trying to absorb as much as he can about film theory and production. He is also improving his editing skills while working as a Production Specialist for his church, and continues to work on many other skills at Moorpark College.
Keaton Bell is a senior at the University of Oklahoma double-majoring in Public Relations and Film with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. Keaton is pursuing is interest in writing by working as a freelance entertainment writer for various publications. His published work includes an interview with Cyndi Lauper and an essay on the cultural significance of Stevie Nicks. When he isn’t writing or reading, Keaton might be found dancing to Janet Jackson wherever he goes, spending all day at the movies, and finding ways to bring up Reese Witherspoon in casual conversation. Some of his favorite films include Blue Velvet, Manhattan, Singin’ In The Rain, Edward Scissorhands, Say Anything, and Boogie Nights.
Keilee Bentley is a student at CSU Fullerton. Her interests include photography, cooking, writing, reading, art, fashion and beauty, and horror movies. She aspires to become a successful producer and own her own production company. Keilee’s favorite films include The Fall, The One I Love, Whiplash, and Prisoners.
Kelsey Sharpe is a Cinema Studies major at Oberlin College planning to minor in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies. She plans to direct her own films and documentaries that focus in part on storytelling’s ability to create a truth. Her favorite film is Fargo.
Kevin Yatsu is an undergraduate studying Cinema and Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. His focus is on art and avant-garde films that tell stories in unconventional visual languages. Kevin’s interests in film stem from his admiration of experimental writers in literary fiction. Currently, his filmic obsessions lie in the Greek Weird Wave and the French New Wave. At the moment, Kevin’s favorite film is Attenberg by Athina Rachel Tsangari. Upon finishing his studies at University of Oregon, Kevin hopes to continue his education, studying film, directing, and screenwriting.
Lydia Smith believes cinema is a powerful cultural force with the ability to reflect, critique, and change realities. As a filmmaker, she aims to interpret connection and vulnerability through film with respect and particular attention to the resilient and full complexity of humanity. She looks forward to challenging work in an industry dominated by men, so that one day there will be as many films starring Asian American women as there are starring dogs. Favorite films include Chungking Express and Girlhood.
Lydia Scholl is a junior studying Screenwriting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She’s fluent in American Sign Language and not even close to fluent in Portuguese. Her interests include hating the Miami International Airport, filling out informational bios, and the comedic rule of three. She grew up spending her summers visiting family in Boston and Cape Cod so she blindly supports the Red Sox. Lydia looks forward to writing diverse and humorous characters for women, members of the LGBTQ community, and other minorities. She hopes to work within the genres of comedy, science fiction, and children’s animation. She also aspires to find a healthy balance between humor and actually answering the questions you asked her. Her favorite film is Juno but honestly, after two drinks she’d lean in and whisper “it’s Prometheus”.
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Madeleine Collier now attends Barnard College in New York City. Madeleine has interned at Tinkerstreet* in Woodstock, NY, Dawson Media Group in Portland, OR, and Millennium Film Magazine in NYC. This coming semester she will declare a Film Studies major and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. While she continues to explore various roles in the film community, Madeleine is currently most interested in screenwriting, directing, and film theory. She intends to create avant-garde/abstract narrative films as well as films that address social issues. There are two films tied as her favorites— Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man and Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Madeleine Sutka is currently a sophomore at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She enjoys writing, painting, and reading. After she graduates, she hopes to find a job writing for film and TV. Some of her favorite films include Dirty Dancing, Juno, and Daisies.
Mia Khoury was born and raised in London, England. She is now a senior at Barnard College of Columbia University in NYC, expected to graduate this summer with a double major in Film Studies and History. Mia has always been passionate about film, and throughout her years in college her interest in the field has only continued to grow. She has taken a number of small, collaborative courses in screenwriting and production, and is currently President of Columbia Undergraduate Film Productions (CUFP), a team of students who provide resources to facilitate student filmmaking on campus and coordinate the annual CUFP Film Festival at Columbia. Mia is determined and excited to work in the entertainment industry upon graduation.
Michelle Chu, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, is currently a sophomore Cinema Studies major at Oberlin College. In addition to studying film, she enjoys studying English, writing, and art. She also spends her time cooking and working on the crew of theater productions. Some of her favorite films are The Big Lebowski, A Clockwork Orange, Coraline, and In the Mood for Love. In the future, Michelle hopes to learn more about the production and cinematography of film, especially about digital and stop-motion animation.
Nyree Holmes is a freshman currently attending California State University of Fullerton, where he is majoring in Cinema and Television Arts and minoring in Broadcast Journalism. Nyree’s original media-oriented dream was to be a sports broadcaster on a program like ESPN. However, it was in a broadcasting class in high school that he discovered a love for filmmaking. His other interests include photography, fashion, and advocating for social change. Nyree plans to work as a Director of Photography on feature films and Documentaries. His favorite film is Zombieland the riveting comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone.
Rachel Barnes is a sophomore at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Rachel is majoring in Film and Video Studies with a concentration in Production and Post-Production and minoring in Communications. After college, her goal is to work in the news industry in New York City! Of the many films she enjoys, some of her favorites are Written on the Wind, Vertigo, and La La Land.
Taylor Ugrinow is a sophomore majoring in Cinema at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Taylor is an avid reader, lover of poetry, and film addict (obviously). Even though she sometimes finds herself spending money she doesn’t have on clothes and makeup she doesn’t really need, Taylor still knows how to enjoy the simple things in life by channeling inner peace and focusing on being ever more optimistic. Taylor’s goals are to graduate college and work in the film industry to help make movies truer to the books they’re based on, for all you book lovers out there. Although it’s hard for her to choose just one favorite movie, she’ll settle for sharing her current favorite, The Grand Budapest Hotel directed by Wes Anderson.
Constantly in search of new endeavors in her life, Tuesday Dunn studies film and psychology at Portland State University in addition to working on freelance filmmaking, writing reviews, after-school teaching, and a whole lotta binge-watching. She aspires to become a better director able to work in both comedic film and television one day. Though her film professors would likely be disappointed with this choice to pass up Citizen Kane, Tuesday has to single out a childhood favorite, Tommy Boy, as one of her favorite films.