KCET's 'Fine Cut' 14th Annual Festival of Student Films Honors Filmmakers From Eight Schools Premiering Sept 20




Four-Part Series to Showcase Student Films from AFI, CalArts, Columbia College Hollywood, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Loyola Marymount, UCLA and USC



Los Angeles,

Calif. - September 8, 2011 - KCET, along with the Bridges/Larson and Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundations, presents Fine Cut: The 14th Annual Festival of Student Films, honoring filmmakers from eight renowned schools across Southern California. The four-part series will showcase some of the finest documentaries, comedic, dramatic and animated shorts by students. Hosted by actor Kevin Kilner, the series is set to premiere on September 20, 2011 and will air every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on KCET.


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


"Fine Cut is a longstanding tradition in KCET programming and we are excited to showcase another year of exceptional student films," said Bohdan Zachary, vice president of broadcasting and program development for KCET, who oversees the annual series. "Each year, we are amazed by the abundance of talent and take great pride in introducing the students' work to our broad, diverse viewership."


Fine Cut: KCET's Festival of Student Films, produced by Catherine Oser, premieres with The Ambassador's Wife directed by Sara Akhteh of USC. The film tells the story of a young bride in 1946 who relocates to South America with her ambassador husband. Disconnected from her homeland, she finds that liberation from her mores comes at a price.


For the 14th consecutive season, 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.


For most filmmakers, Fine Cut is their television debut - and often that break leads to bigger breaks. In 2004, for example, two films in the Fine Cut series not only were viewer favorites, but also got noticed by the producers of the PBS documentary and film series Independent Lens.  Their projects aired nationally later that year.


Other featured filmmakers have embarked on careers in film or television.  Among the former students featured in previous seasons of Fine Cut are Tricia Brock (AFI), who directed an episode of Grey's Anatomy in 2006; Adam Finberg (AFI), director and producer of After Katrina: Rebuilding St. Bernard Parish; J.R. Arinaga (USC), editorial production assistant on Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon; Eli Akira Kaufman (UCLA), production assistant on Memoirs of a Geisha; Sean Jiminez (Cal Arts), who is now an animator at Walt Disney Television Animation; and Ham Tran whose short film, The Anniversary, was short listed for an Academy Award ® in the Live Action Short Film category.


In celebration of this year's Fine Cut series, the Vista Theatre and KCET hosted a sneak peek screening of selected films on September 7th.


Detailed information about the 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:


Tuesday, September 20

  • The Ambassador's Wife

Director: Sara Akhteh, USC


  • Photographs                        

Director: Christina Manrique & Brendan Clogher, Loyola Marymount University    


  • Delayed

Director: David Herman, AFI 


  • 18 Minutes

Director: Alexis Echavarria, Idyllwild Arts Academy          



Tuesday, September 27

  • From the Core

Director: Adriana Montenegro, UCLA


  • Life On Earth

Director: Jeffrey Keith, AFI


  • The Other Side

Director: Benjamin Hayes, Idyllwild Arts Academy



Tuesday, October 4

  • The Absence

Director: Alex DeMille, UCLA


  • Ellen

Director: Kyle Hausmann-Stokes, USC


  • American Sweetheart

Director: Karin Binanto, Columbia College Hollywood

Producer:  Avril Ilejay

Tuesday, October 11

  • Crushed

Producer: L. Warren Thompson, USC Peter Stark Producing Program

Director: Max Epstein, USC


  • Cowboys & Indians

Director: George Valos, Loyola Marymount University


  • Dad?

Director: Zesung Kang, Cal Arts


  • Family Tradition

Director: Carl Flood, Columbia College Hollywood



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 weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 47-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.


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