News & Updates

Former Student Film is “Must-See” at Sundance

We are so excited for our former student Michael Beach Nichols. Rolling Stone magazine lists his documentary, Welcome to Leith, as one of the 25 “Must-See” films at Sundance.  The film, co-drected by Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, chronicles the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb.  You can learn more about the film from the directors by viewing Indiewire’s Meet the Sundance Filmmakers.

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A Busy New Year for DFP Alum

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Mindy Keeley (right) and  Lesley Pacey  (left).

Mindy Keeley  (MFA ’14)  is welcoming in 2015 with a new job and a new documentary project. Keeley recently began work as an editor for Discovering Alabama on a series called “Speaking Evolution.” Discovering Alabama is an Emmy award winning documentary program about the rich natural history and heritage of Alabama

Keeley’s return to her home state of Alabama also led to her latest film, The Cells of Baldwin County. The film will focus on three families in Baldwin County, Alabama coping with childhood cancer and on Lesley Pacey’s nearly decade long quest to understand why so many local children, including her daughter Sarah, who is now 14, have been diagnosed with rare cancers. Keeley hopes the film will not only show how families are dealing with this tragedy, but also bring attention to the potential environmental causes behind cancer clusters. The National Cancer Institute defense cancer clusters  as “the occurrence of a greater than expected number of cancer cases among a group of people in a defined geographic area over a specific time period.”  She recently raised $4,500 on Kickstarter to launch the project.

Indy Memphis Honors Hoop Dreams

10449901_10152886426415127_6076821692344053694_nProfessor of Practice Peter Gilbert recently attended an Indy Memphis Film Festival screening of a digitally restored Hoop Dreams in honor of the films 20th anniversary.  Gilbert, who served producer and cinematographer on the film, was joined by the film’s stars Arthur Agee, Sheila Agee and William Gates.  Check out this article in The Commercial Appeal to learn more about the event and catch up with the film’s stars.

Winning Weekend in New Orleans!

DJIt was a success all the way around for the DFP students attending the New Orleans Film Festival.  The umappable team’s festival premiere weekend got off to a great start with a profile in Wired magazine that featured a Q and A with filmmakers Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma.  It ended on an even higher note with the team taking home the Programmer’s Artistic Vision Award.  Congratulations to Diane and Jasmine on an amazing film launch!

PitchPerfect 2nd year student Bryan Campbell also came home a winner.  Bryan’s pitch of Looking for Trouble, a film he is co-directing with Caroline Cuny, took top honors in the Pitch Perfect competition. The contest included students from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Loyola, the University of New Orleans and Dillard University.  Bryan’s win earned $1000 in prize money that will go towards the completion of the film. This marks the third time a DFP student has participated in the competition and the third 1st place win.

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