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Lab turns fest guests into lecturers

Education Impact Report 2012: Media Mentor of the Year

UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television began a partnership with the Telluride Film Festival last September, bringing 10 graduate film students to Colorado for an intense series of workshops and networking events with the talent in attendance, which last year included Alexander Payne, Rodrigo Garcia and Glenn Close.

The visiting students included one, Peruvian-born Julio Ramos, whose Spanish-language short film, “A Doctor’s Job,” had already been accepted for a Telluride showcase. Of that selection, Telluride festival co-director Julie Huntsinger says, “It speaks to the quality of the students they brought.”

This inaugural Film Lab kicked off a two-pronged alliance between Telluride and the school that continued last week with another program, For the Love of Movies, which brings inner-city high-schoolers to UCLA’s Westwood campus for a year of co-curated screenings. West Adams Preparatory students enjoyed the initial offering of “Slumdog Millionaire,” followed by breakout sessions with UCLA faculty and graduate students.

“We want to help them focus on story and finding their personal voice,” says UCLA/TFT dean Teri Schwartz.

Adds Huntsinger: “It’s all about exposure, to movies and to an academic institution the caliber of UCLA.”

By all accounts, last fall’s Film Lab, which attracted UCLA alum and film school executive board member Frank Marshall as a founding sponsor, accomplished all its goals, immersing the 10 graduate students into the festival and filmmaking experience.

“We’re hoping — almost expecting — to see some of them back again someday,” Huntsinger says. “Creating this community within a community is very important to Telluride.”

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