Zelie Dember-Slack’s (MFA/ER ’17) film, The Sweetest Heir, had its world premier screening at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase Film Festival on May 9th, 2018 where it won Best Family FIlm. The Sweetest Heir is an award-winning family comedy about Brittany Thompson, 9, who collects and restores old jewelry boxes. While restoring one, she discovers a seal inside a locket and a deed for the Winthorp Estate, valued at $450 million dollars.

Zelie Award

Zelie Dember-Slack and husband/business partner Lynn Slack

Amanda Young’s (BA/SW ’10) film, Love, Gwen, premiered on Saturday April 28 in the Maryland International Film Festival.  The 28-minute project follows a young woman named Alyssa who risks her own life to rescue her younger sister from a bad situation generated by drug abuse. The story is inspired by Amanda’s younger sister who was a heroin user.

Derek Doneen (BFA/FP ’09) has been named one of Variety’s 10 Documentarians to Watch in 2018. Derek’s film Kailash has been making waves in the festival circuit since premiering at Sundance and winning the Docu Grand Jury prize.

Sam Wineman (MFA/FP ’17) is in Billboard for his thesis film The Quiet RoomThe film follows Michael, a patient at a mental institution whose attempted suicide awakens the malevolent spirit of Hattie. Michael is forced into a situation where he must figure out how to defeat the demon before she murders the hospital’s patients.

Burke Doeren (BFA/TBJ ’12) has finished his work as DP for season 3 of BattleBots which airs today on the Discovery Channel.


BECiNE staff. Bianca Halpern is second from right

Bianca Halpern’s (MFA/CR ’07) boutique rental house BECiNE had their grand opening on April 28th. BECiNE is owned by women who are passionate about filmmaking and storytelling through a lens.

JD Chua (BFA/CRPR ’10) has started principle photography on his debut feature film and Singapore’s first monster film, Circle Line (working title). Circle Line tells the story of a group of passengers trapped on the last midnight train that veers off-track into an abandoned tunnel, only to discover that this tunnel is the lair of a terrifying monster. Will they find a way out to outrun the angered beast?

Justin Simien’s (BFA/FTP ’05) show Dear White People season two is now available on Netflix. Justin recently sat down with The New York Times for an interview to discuss the conversations surrounding the show.

Gabrielle Shepard (MFA/FTP ’16) was selected as one of 25 screenwriters to watch in 2018 by Austin Film Festival.

Amanda Renee Knox’s (MFA/DR ’17) thesis film Night Call and Kendall Goldberg’s (BFA/DR ’17) film Gloria Talks Funny were selected as finalists in Cannes Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Kendall also screened her feature When Jeff Tried to Save the World in Dodge College Folino Theater and brought actors Jon Heder and Steve Berg for a post screening Q & A, on April 24.

Featured Image: When Jeff Tried to Save the World, screening at Dodge College Folino Theater.

(From left ) Jon Hernandez, Jon Heder, Kendall Goldberg ’17, Steve Berg