UNT students to present short documentary films

Wally Linebarger
Wally Linebarger reflects while painting in this still from the documentary "Wally" directed by Andy Galloway.
We Can Fly
Three skydivers experience free fall in this still from the documentary "We Can Fly" directed by Xiao Cui.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 13:08

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: 7 p.m. May 1 (Thursday)

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

Cost: Free

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

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Seven 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 May 1 (Thursday) at UNT.

The spring 2014 premiere screening will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 184 in UNT's Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building, 1179 Union Circle. Admission is free. The students will answer questions from the audience after the films are shown.

All of the students are completing their second year of the three-year MFA degree program in Documentary Production and Studies. The films are created as a part of their Advanced Documentary Production/Postproduction class in the Master of Fine Arts program. Tania Khalaf, assistant documentary film professor in the department, said the class is difficult, but rewarding.

"Making a documentary can be challenging in every aspect," Khalaf said. "Once the footage has been secured, the most challenging part of the process comes: constructing the story in the editing room and make it interesting and cohesive."

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.

"The films produced this year by our students tackle interesting and diverse subject matters that resonate with people," Khalaf said. "I feel that audiences will find something to enjoy within every film: the excitement of skydiving; a personal recounting of reporting the JFK assassination; intimate portraits of characters dealing with the extreme challenges of life; and much more."

This year, the films were made with the guidance of Melinda Levin, director of the MFA program, Brenda Jaskulske, senior lecturer and instructor of Advanced Graduate Audio for Film and Khalaf.

The documentaries to be shown at the spring 2014 premiere screening include:

  • We Can Fly -- A glimpse into the mind of skydivers and a documentation of their experience. Directed by Xiao Cui.
  • Forever Family -- A look at the people who open their hearts and their homes to dogs that would otherwise not stand a chance on the streets. Directed by Mark Dobson.
  • Wally --The story of Wally Linebarger, a man who is caught in the turbulence of truth. Plagued by a past that longs to define him and a future that remains unsure; Wally presses forward. Directed by Andy Galloway.
  • Two Four Hell -- A visually driven documentary following two amateur climbers as they prepare for and compete in one of the nation's toughest rock climbing competitions-24 hours of Horseshoe Hell. Directed by Hannah Beavers.
  • With Oswald in Dallas -- Retired KRLD-AM reporter Bob Huffaker recalls the John F. Kennedy assassination and the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald as he reported the events live in 1963. Directed by Travis Barnes.
  • Without Her -- A quiet, emotional documentary that explores the grief of three lesbian widows, and how they, cope and move forward. Directed by Lauren Cater.
  • The Bottom Rung -- A look at Denton's amateur comedy scene and its sense of comradery. Directed by Ron Lechler

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

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