The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television is presenting its 17th annual student film showcase, “I Dream in Widescreen,” on Saturday, May 7, at downtown’s Fox Tucson Theatre on 17 W. Congress St.
A dozen senior thesis films will be screened beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Films that have premiered at the showcase are selected regularly by film festivals worldwide including Sundance and Berlinale. The school has even had one of its student-made films, “The Lights Are On, No One’s Home” (2020), acquired for national distributer.
The in-person event will return to the Fox for the first time since 2019 after the pandemic forced it to be held online in 2020 and at an outdoors drive-in theatre in 2021, according to faculty member Jacob Bricca.
The student shorts, which run no longer than 10 minutes, touch on a variety of topics chosen by the students.
This year's lineup:
“9TEEN”: Without realizing the dangers, a teenage boy makes the fatal decision during the pandemic to try the drugs mentioned in his favorite rap songs.
About the director: Tucson native Desiree Bourret has a passion for telling stories that shine a light on social issues. She said she hopes this film will bring awareness to the dangers of drugs and the power of influence.
“Say Goodnight, Lily”: A mental-health focused film about a young woman who is confronted by a ghost from her past after being sent back in time to meet her younger self.
About the director: Nika Bogorad spent her childhood living in fantasy lands created by her untamed imagination. Her work is centered around her interest in psychology.
“Interim”: In this personal reflection, Heath Bannard struggles to find his place in the world.
About the director: Heath Bannard’s work involves using mixed media to share his passion for personal expression.
“Lens”: Two women move in together six months after meeting, but challenges threaten their relationship as winter approaches in this romantic drama.
About the director: Skyler Cardella has had a passion for film and television since a young age. His work primarily focuses on telling stories about queer people and their experiences, and he said he hopes to continue this work after graduation.
“Changing of the Guard”: This short documentary follows Arizona women’s basketball team as they start their 2021-22 season without star point guard Aari McDonald, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft after leading the Wildcats to the NCAA championship that year.
About the director: In fall 2020, Zoe Lambert made a short documentary about Arizona women’s basketball head coach Adia Barnes. After the team made it to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament that season, Lambert decided, “this is a pretty huge, exciting thing for Tucson, so I just really wanted to keep the story going.”
“Crocodile Tears”: A 19-year-old beauty queen who fears aging goes to a motel for eternal youth services.
About the director: Like much of Emory Macchione’s work, her senior thesis film is centered around her classical dance training. After graduating, she said she hopes to continue working on films on the design and art end.
“TWIXXX”: A dramatic piece that follows a struggling drag queen who meets a houseless man on the way to one of her shows.
About the director: Martin Olloren is a Filipino-American filmmaker whose work is dedicated to giving voices to marginalized groups. Olloren said his project was inspired by drag because it “has really helped me personally express myself and also come to terms with my own sexuality,” which in turn evolved his creative abilities. He decided to combine this idea with houselessness because he’s noticed how big of a problem it is in Tucson, and drag is “definitely not something that you can do and live off of, so a lot of drag queens face the threat of being homeless if they don’t have a second job.” He said he plans to submit the short to multiple film festivals but primarily festivals geared towards LGBTQ+ filmmakers.
“A Man’s Man”: A semi-autobiographical story about two brothers who are forced to communicate and understand each other’s pain after a failed suicide attempt.
About the director: Jacob Robinson is striving to destigmatize mental health issues, especially in males who may be struggling to openly and honestly communicate as a result of toxic masculinity. His creative focus shifted to mental health awareness and healthcare following his suicide attempt in 2020.
“True Tall Tales with Bun H. Butler”: A comedic short focused on an erratic public access broadcaster who is obsessed with proving he isn’t crazy.
About the director: Ever since he’s had access to the internet, Hunter Snider has been creating characters. After graduation, he said he hopes to continue comedic storytelling and acting, including two of his inspirations, Danny McBride and Larry David.
“Punchline”: Nate Jager finds himself internet famous after a rival posts videos on social media of him being assaulted.
About the director: James Valacich’s love for storytelling began while making home movies and small sketches with his friends while growing up. He said he plans to work as a writer and audio engineer for video games after graduation.
“I’m Just Trying to Help”: A young woman finds herself fighting to survive after seeking a new treatment for her mental illness with an AI avatar created by a doctor.
About the director: Linda Paola Varela is a Latina immigrant originally from Cananea, Mexico, who has already found success as a filmmaker after her 2021 short documentary, "Daughter of Eve," was selected to play at that year’s Festival Fotogenia in Mexico City.
“Eyes on Me”: Shortly after starting to care for a blind patient, an Asian-American nurse realizes it isn’t an ordinary house call.
About the director: Chinese-Vietnamese-American filmmaker Andy Zhao’s excitement for filmmaking began while consuming Lego stop-motion videos. Most of his work has revolved around the Asian-American experience, which he plans to continue exploring in his films after graduation.
For tickets and more information, go to idiw.tftv.arizona.edu.
If you can’t attend the event or want to rewatch your favorites, you can view them for free on the School of Film & Television's YouTube channel between May 8 and 15.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter