Department News (11-11-13)

Megan Sanborn JonesWade Hollingshaus, and Lindsay Livingston all attended The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) in Dallas this past weekend. Megan Sanborn Jones presented at a plenary session on her research on the Nauvoo Pageant, entitled “Walking With the Dead: Resurrecting Mormon History on the Streets of Nauvoo.” Megan was joined by Henry Bial, the president of ATHE and a guest, and Charlotte Canning, the editor for Theatre Research International.
Wade participated in the performance philosophy working session with “Peter Gabriel’s Growing Up Live: Theatricality and Aging.” (This is the beginning of a new book project on Peter Gabriel that Wade has started.) Lindsay also participated in a working session and presented her research, entitled “Extra/Ordinary Crime: The Place and Performance of Gun Violence in the United States.” Former BYU students Allan Davis (PhD candidate at the University of Maryland)  and Michael Morris (PhD candidate at Tufts University) also presented. Faculty made connections with colleagues at other institutions, with publishers at notable presses, and with ASTR leadership.

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Congratulations to Brad Barber and his team on the Beehive Stories: Iron County episode, which won a NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) award for “Best Short Form in Content Production.”  Brad directed and shot the episode; TMA student John Bills shot it with Brad and edited it.  All awards are listed at netaonline.org. You can watch the episode at kbyutv.org.
NETA is a professional association organized in 1997 to serve public television licensees and affiliated educational organizations. The organization has members in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. NETA honored twenty of its members with awards for their top-rated work in content production, promotion, community engagement, and instructional media. The presentation was part of NETA’s annual professional development conference.

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Christian Jensen, a recent alum of our program who emphasized in documentary when he was here, is a finalist for the IDA (International Documentary Association) David L.Wolper’s Student Documentary Award. This nomination is something akin to a student oscar nomination in the doc world. The film, Between Land and Sea (directed, produced, and written by Sarah Berkovich and Christian Jensen), is one they worked on while at Stanford’s MFA Documentary program. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field. The IDA Documentary Awards is the foremost event dedicated to the art of documentary film. Winners of the 29th Annual IDA Documentary Awards will be announced on December 6, 2013 in Los Angeles at the Directors Guild of America. For more information, go to http://www.documentary.org/awards2013.

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Media Arts paired up with the Laycock Center for Hyundai’s “Who’s the Greatest Fan” contest. Hyundai identified 20 Lens of Loyalty campuses across the US. Of the 20 universities participating, 7 of the best treatments submitted received $10,000 each to fund their idea. Media arts student Lane Russell directed and shot BYU’s winning short. Their winning idea, which was to highlight BYU Super Fans from around the globe and then inviting a select few to come to a BYU game here in Provo! Filming wraps up this week, a commercial will be cut, and with your help, BYU will have the chance to compete for an additional $10,000 in cash. Watch for more details to come!

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This week, the 2013 Peery Film Festival and Changemaker Fair will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 6 – 9:30 pm in the JSFB. More information can be found at peeryfilms.byu.edu about the screenings and the following Q & A sessions. Several Media arts and Comms students were involved with the projects that will be highlighted at the festival, each associated with Vittana, an NGO that specializes in micro-financing loans via the Internet for students around the world. For more information about Vittana, visit vittana.org or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vittana. One of the projects is a TV spot directed by Kelsie Moore, who recently graduated from media arts. There are also three mini-docs (3-5 min each), edited by Jonathan Ying, a current media arts student.  Media arts students traveled to the countries where the mini docs were filmed, and each mini-doc focuses on a student who has benefitted from Vittana: Bolivia – William (Jonathan Ying); Phillipines – Rose (Josh Gibson); Ghana – Natasha (Tess Kelly).

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