KCET's Annual 'Fine Cut' Student Film Festival Honors Filmmakers From Eight Schools, Premiering January 17

Five-Week Series to Showcase Student Films from AFI, CalArts, Chapman University, Columbia College Hollywood, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Loyola Marymount University, UCLA and USC

Los Angeles, Calif. - January 09, 2013 - KCET, along with the Bridges/Larson and Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundations, presents Fine Cut: KCET's Annual Festival of Student Films, honoring filmmakers from eight renowned schools across Southern California. The five-week series will showcase some of the finest documentaries, comedic, dramatic and animated shorts by students. The series begins Jan. 17, 2013 at 9 p.m. during KCET's arts and culture series, Open Call hosted by Suzanna Guzmán. Many of the winning short films can also be streamed online at kcet.org/finecut.

This season's participating student filmmakers hail from American Film Institute (AFI), California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Chapman University, Columbia College Hollywood, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC). 

"We're excited to offer another year of exceptional films from talented Southern California student filmmakers," said Bohdan Zachary, vice president of Broadcasting, Syndication and Program Development for KCET, who serves as executive producer of the annual series. "A KCET mainstay for many years, the Fine Cut series contiues to deliver groundbreaking stories that showcase the human spirit in triumph and adversity."   

Fine Cut: KCET's Festival of Student Films, kicks-off on Thursday, Jan. 17 with Kiss Me directed by Jules Nurrish of UCLA. The film tells the story of Kid Vargas, a boxer who is forced to face some devastating truths after he kills his opponent in the ring. Caterwaul directed by Ian Samuels of CalArts and Homecoming directed by Chapman University's Gursimran Sandhu will also air on the series' first night.

Fine Cut is made possible by the Bridges/Larson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting programs that serve film students. Fine Cut is also sponsored by the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, which supports young artists and community arts programs. 

Films are chosen by professors and submitted to KCET for final selection. Fine Cut showcases films as diverse as the students who make them.  Projects making the final cut have ranged from nail-biting suspense to gut-wrenching stories of love and loss.

Often, Fine Cut represents the television debut of a student's work- which has led to other opportunities. In 2009, for example, UCLA's Hezekiah Lewis thesis film, Warrior Queen, featured on Fine Cut, led to funding for a feature-length version of the film that is currently in production.

Detailed information about all of the film shorts in this year's series is available at kcet.org/finecut, which includes filmmaker biographies, film synopses, video streaming and discussion boards. Below, please find a complete list of films and scheduled airdates:

JANUARY 17, 2013


Jules Nurrish, UCLA


Ian Samuels, CalArts    


Gursimran Sandhu, Chapman University

JANUARY 24, 2013


Alexander Gaeta, Chapman University


Isidor Pollak, LMU


Lindsey Villarreal, USC 


Eusong Lee, CalArts


JANUARY 31, 2013


Julio O. Ramos, UCLA


Andrew DeJohn, USC


Amy French, AFI


Joe Rothenberg, USC

FEBRUARY 7, 2013


Pepe Albornoz, Columbia College Hollywood


Nadia Hamzeh, Chapman University


Bryce Hirschberg, LMU

FEBRUARY 14, 2013


Karen Gleinke, UCLA


Ben Proudfoot, USC


Katherine 'Tia' Kearns, Idyllwild Arts Academy

About The Bridges/Larson Foundation

The Bridges/Larson Foundation was created by filmmaking collaborators James Bridges and Jack Larson in 1992, just before Bridges' death. The writer and director of films such as Urban Cowboy and The China Syndrome, Bridges was passionate about encouraging educators to train the next generation of filmmakers. Actor and producer Jack Larson--perhaps best known as cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the 1950s TV version of Superman--has upheld Bridges' vision by consistently funding programs that serve film students. In addition to supporting Fine Cut, the Bridges/Larson Foundation has made major donations to the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Over the years, the foundation has expanded its purview beyond film-education programs. Larson is especially proud of funding AIDS research and a local organization called Lamp Community, which works to end homelessness.

About The Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation

Lloyd Eugene Rigler, a California industrialist, and investor, Lawrence E. Deutsch in the early 1950s, created the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.  The Foundation is an innovative venture that helped make the matching funds concept a powerful fundraising tool. The Foundation contributed to the creation of the Los Angeles Music Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.  Mr. Rigler created Classic Arts Showcase, a free television service designed to bring the classic arts experience to the largest audience possible by providing video clips of the arts.  KCET is proud to air Classic Arts Showcase on KCET HD.

About KCET 

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time nightly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.

About AFI

AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.  AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.


AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its AFI Conservatory, which has been consistently recognized as one of the world's top film schools, boasting alumni including Darren Aronofsky, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Heidi Levitt, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Wally Pfister, Robert Richardson, Ed Zwick and so many more.  AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines:  Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting.  Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling.


About CalArts

CalArts is ranked America's number one college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. With its six related schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater, CalArts is unique in its multidisciplinary approach to studying the arts and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a program in World Music for performance. CalArts encourages students to recognize and explore the complexity of the aesthetic, social and political aspects of the arts.  It is supported by its distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its BFA, MFA and DMA students with both hands-on training and engagement with the cultural community necessary for artists' growth. CalArts was founded in 1961--and opened in 1969--as the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. specifically for students interested in pursuing degrees exclusively in the visual and performing arts.  

About Chapman University, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

One of the premier film schools in the country, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers students the unique opportunity to learn filmmaking in a hands-on environment modeled on a working studio.  The college is comprised of the Sodaro-Pankey Undergraduate School of Film and Media Arts, offering degrees in film production, film studies, screenwriting, creative producingtelevision and broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising, screen acting and digital arts; and the graduate Conservatory of Motion Pictures, offering M.F.A. degrees in film production, film and television producing, production design, and screenwriting, and an M.A. in film studies. Two joint M.F.A. degrees in producing are also offered in conjunction with the business (M.F.A./M.B.A.) and law (M.F.A./J.D.) schools. Dodge College is housed in Marion Knott Studios, a state-of-the-art, 76,000-square-foot studio and classroom building that provides students with 24-hour access to sound stages, edit bays, Dolby surround mixing, a motion capture stage and more.  With an Oscar and Emmy-award winning full-time faculty that boasts more feature film credits than any other film school, Dodge College is where students learn the entertainment business from the inside out.

About Columbia College Hollywood

Columbia College Hollywood is a Tarzana-based 60-year old nationally accredited not-for-profit film school offering BFA degrees with emphases in directing, producing, cinematography, writing, and editing/VFX.  Alumni of CCH include directors Robert Schwentke (Red), Salim Akil (Jumping The Broom and Sparkle), Jaume Collett-Serra

(Orphan), Timonthy Linh Bui ( Power Blue) and Barry Cook (Mulan).

About Idyllwild Arts

Idyllwild Arts is a prestigious arts institution that was founded in 1950 with its renowned Summer Program.  It is the only intensely focused boarding arts high school on the West Coast.  Idyllwild Arts is set on 205-forested acres in the picturesque mountain village of Idyllwild, only a short 2-hour drive from the Los Angeles region.  Idyllwild Arts offers both academic and arts education in all of the arts including Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Art, Creative Writing, Moving Pictures, InterArts and Fashion Design. The Idyllwild Summer Program features a diverse range of arts courses for all ages which feature hands-on workshops in music, dance, visual arts, writing, filmmaking and Native Arts.

About LMU School of Film and Television

Movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University's (LMU) current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. By 1964, LMU was formally teaching film and television curriculum, and in 2001, the School of Film and Television (SFTV) was established as its own entity.  Today, SFTV offers students a comprehensive education where mastering technical skills and story is equally important to educating the whole person, including the formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. SFTV offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing fortelevision. The school is one of the few film programs providing students with a completely tapeless model of production and post-production, and SFTV's animation program is one of the only in the world teaching virtual cinematography. Selected alumni include John Bailey, Bob Beemer, Francie Calfo, Brian Helgeland, Francis Lawrence, Lauren Montgomery, Jack Orman, Van Partible and James Wong, among others. Get more information at sftv.lmu.edu or facebook.com/lmusftv.

About UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

The vision of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is to serve as a premier global interdisciplinary professional school that develops outstanding humanistic storytellers, industry leaders and scholars whose diverse, innovative voices enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. Consistently ranked as one of the top elite entertainment and performing arts institutions in the world, the School offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the study and creation of live performance, film, television and the digital arts. Our distinguished graduate and undergraduate programs include acting, directing, writing, producing, animation, cinematography, and lighting design, set design, costume design, sound design, Moving Image Archive Studies, and offers PhDs in Theater and Performance Studies and Cinema & Media Studies. For more information, visit www.tft.ucla.edu.


About USC School of Cinematic Arts

Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 80 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts  has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The school offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. USC was voted the #1 game design school in North America for its graduate and undergraduate Degree programs by the Princeton Review and GamePro Magazine for three consecutive years.


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