UNT students to present short documentary films

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:13

What: A screening of documentary films produced by University of North Texas students earning master of fine arts degrees in documentary film. Presented by UNT's Department of Radio, Television and Film.

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 12 (Thursday)

Where: Room 184 in UNT's Radio, Television and Performing Arts Building, located at 1179 Union Circle.

Cost: Free

Contact: Tania Khalaf, assistant documentary film professor in UNT's Department of Radio, Television and Film, at 940-565-2537

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Eight films created by University of North Texas students who are earning the Department of Radio, Television and Film's master of fine arts degree in documentary film will be shown Dec. 12 (Thursday) at UNT.

The fall 2013 premiere screening will begin at 9 p.m. in Room 184 in UNT's Radio, Television and Performing Arts Building, one block west of Welch and Chestnut streets at 1179 Union Circle. Admission is free. The students will answer questions from the audience after the films are shown.

All the students are completing their first year of the three-year MFA degree program in documentary film. Tania Khalaf, assistant documentary film professor in the department, said the class is designed to mirror a real-world production environment.          

“The class encourages cooperative relationships and constructive critical analysis of the students' creative work,” Khalaf said. “The students are encouraged to begin preproduction the first day of class. Films produced in the first-year documentary class are typically between eight to 12 minutes long. The short duration of the films encourages the students to be sharp and focused in telling their story.”

Student-produced documentaries that premiered at UNT in previous years were later screened at film festivals around the world, including Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs in Toronto, Dallas International Film Festival, Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, and New Filmmakers New York Spring Series. Some also aired on PBS affiliates.

“Every new group of students brings a set of unique perspectives on the world, giving each first-year screening its own distinct flavor,” Khalaf said. “This year’s filmmakers have produced films of a wide spectrum of subject matter, ranging from the personal to the informative. Each film stands out as a reflection of the filmmaker and represents the hard work and dedication each of the students has given over the course of the semester.”

The documentaries to be shown at the fall 2013 premiere screening include:

  • Critterman — A glimpse into the work life of David Klevin, also known as Critterman, who has been educating people on critters in the North Texas region for more than 20 years. Directed by David Goodman.
  • When the War Came to Texas — The story of how a young German soldier crossed paths with a young private from Tennessee at a World War II POW camp in rural Texas. Directed by Ashlea Sigman.
  • Preserving More than History: The Legacy of Roy Graham — Architect Roy Eugene Graham devoted his career to preserving communities’ pasts through historic preservation. As he prepares for retirement, Graham reflects on his life’s work as he travels to the 2013 National Preservation Conference to receive the highest honor in his field. Directed by Garrett Graham.
  • Unconventional — A showcase of two very different men who on the surface lead very different lives. The film reveals that these two men have more in common than one might think — a commonality that is both incredibly interesting and surprising. Directed by Johnathan Martin.
  • New Perspectives: The Beginning of Queer Studies in Texas from the Perspective of Dr. William Beauchamp — A series of interviews are documented that illustrate the foundation of a LGBT studies class that, along its journey, would eventually be taught at Southern Methodist University. It was the first LGBT studies course taught in the North Texas region. Directed by Jakob Schwarz.
  • Supernatural Marriage — The story of a couple who has dedicated their lives to helping marriages of those of all ages, ethnic groups and nationalities understand the meaning of marriage. The couple demonstrates that through biblical understanding and exercise, focusing on one marriage that was rebuilt from a broken marriage to a supernatural marriage. Directed by Robert Bowen.
  • DJ Jay-clip — A portrait of Jay-clip, a Dallas disc jockey whose primary source of income is DJing. The documentary accounts his involvement in the DJ academy. Directed by Tuarean Hodge.

Note to Editors: A still from one of the documentaries can be downloaded here.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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