Department News (3-23-15)

Variety Magazine announced that the grand jury winner in the documentary category at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), Peace Officer, as one of the top thirteen breakout films to watch from the festival, with the audience choice award in the same category.  Variety stated: “Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber’s hard-hitting doc “Peace Officer” was recognized [with the audience choice award] in the documentary feature competition following its documentary grand jury prize win. … The 22nd annual SXSW Film Festival screened over 150 feature films, including 102 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and 11 U.S. premieres, with 62 first-time directors.”
From the BYU Universe: BYU professor and BYU alum take home the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival for their documentary feature film, “Peace Officer.”
unnamedDirectors Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson film the subject of the film, “Dub” Lawrence in “Peace Officer” (Photo courtesy of Brad Barber).

Directors Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson were awarded the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary feature film at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on March 17. The awards ceremony was hosted bySaturday Night Live member Vanessa Bayer.

According to the SXSW website, “Peace Officer” was selected amongst 1,000 submissions and was up against nine other real world stories.

The film embarks on the journey of a former police officer, William “Dub” Lawrence, who created the first S.W.A.T. team in Utah that ultimately took the life of his son-in-law, Brian Woods, years later. Throughout the course of the film, Lawrence shares his journey to find the clues to prove his son-in-law’s innocence and uncover what he believes is the truth behind the deadly the 12-hour standoff.

– See more at:


The Cokeville Miracle, directly by T.C. Christensen and recently played in the LDS film festival, was featured in the Deseret News last week.  The film opens in theaters on April 8. Several of our faculty members are in the film, including Stephanie Breinholt, Barta Heiner, and Kim Mellon.  The article in the Deseret News can be found at



George Nelson and Jason Kamalu’s musical, Single Wide, was featured in a staged reading this past Saturday in the Nelke theatre.  MDT alum Jeff Whiting, who will direct the play this fall for the New York Musical Theatre Festival and who currently works in New York as a theater director, choreographer, performer and entrepreneur, was in town this weekend to direct the reading.  The musical was staged in Spring of 2014 at BYU, but has been revised since that time.  Almost all of the original performers were featured in the staged reading.  The show will be cast and start rehearsals this summer and will be performed this July off-broadway at the NY Musical Theatre Festival.  The musical was also recently awarded the Blanche and Irving Laurie Musical Theatre Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Check it out at



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