March 22, 2007

Meadows holds master classes, screenings
with AFI's Dallas International Film Festival

SMU's Meadows School of the Arts is holding a series of master classes in collaboration with the American Film Institute's Dallas International Film Festival, scheduled for March 19 - April 1. SMU students, staff and faculty are invited to attend these sessions, which offer an opportunity to hear and ask questions of film industry experts. Seating is limited.

Master Classes

Screenwriting: James V. Hart

9:30 - 1 a.m.  Monday, March 19
Co-Sponsored by Dallas Screenwriters Association
Screening Room 3527, third floor of the Greer Garson Building at SMU

Related Programming:
Screening of The Last Mimzy (Screen story by Jim Hart) Monday, March 19 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark

Directing: Sydney Pollack

11:00 a.m.-noon Friday, March 23
Screening Room 3527, third floor of the Greer Garson Building at SMU

Sidney PollackSydney Pollack’s Out of Africa won seven Oscars in 1986, including best picture and best director for Pollack. He has been nominated an additional three times, and his films, collectively, have received over 40 Academy Award nominations. In 1982, Pollack won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director for Tootsie. Pollack is also a recipient of two David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s leading film award) for Three Days of the Condor and Out of Africa, two Golden Globes for best picture (Tootsie and Out of Africa), an Emmy award, and prizes from the Belgrade, Berlin, San Sebastian, and Moscow Film Festivals.

The American Film Institute voted Tootsie the #2 comedy of all time, and The Way We Were and Out of Africa are in the AFI’s top 100 romantic films of all time.

Pollack is a founding member of the Sundance Institute, chairman emeritus of the American Cinematheque, a founding member of the Film Foundation, and on the Board of Directors for the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

Alan and Marilyn Bergman

2:30-4 p.m. Friday, March 23
O'Donnell Hall in the Meadows School, second floor, Room 2130

Alan and Marilyn BergmanLyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards and are the recipients of three: for “The Windmills of Your Mind” (from The Thomas Crown Affair) in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for Yentl in 1984. The Bergmans have also been awarded three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and two Grammys.

 Marilyn Bergman is president and chairman of the board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and Alan Bergman serves as a member of the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board. Alan and Marilyn were born in the same hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Marilyn was a music major at New York’s High School of Music and Art, going on to study psychology and English at New York University. Alan studied music and theatre arts at the University of North Carolina, continuing toward a masters degree at UCLA.

Related programming:
Screening of The Way We Were
4:45 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Landmark Magnolia

Talent Agent Stephen Rice and Producer Matt Donowho

1 p.m. Monday, March 26
Umphrey Lee Center, Room 117

Stephen Rice is an SMU Broadcast/Film alumnus, and Matt Donowho is a producer whose new film “Music Within” opens the AFI Festival at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Majestic Theatre. It will be shown again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Angelika Film Center 6.

About the film: Richard Pimental (Ron Livingston) overcame a troubled childhood only to lose most of his hearing in the Vietnam War. In college, he befriends Art (Michael Sheen), a genius with cerebral palsy, and romances Christine (Melissa George) before finding his true calling as a motivational speaker and driving force behind the Americans with Disabilities Act. Based on a true story, Music Within is angry, rueful and surprisingly funny.

Film Scoring and Composition: Marvin Hamlisch

2 - 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 28
O'Donnell Hall in the Meadows School, second floor, Room 2130

Marvin Hamlisch’s life in music is notable for its great versatility as well as its substance. The composer of more than forty motion picture scores, Hamlisch is the recipient of virtually every major award, including four Grammys, four Emmys, three Golden Globes, a Tony, and three Academy Awards.  He also has a Pulitzer Prize for his part in the groundbreaking Broadway show A Chorus Line.

A graduate of both Juilliard and Queens College, Hamlisch believes in the power of music: “Music can make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can.”

Related Programming:
Marvin Hamlisch Live (and Presentation of Star Award)
 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at the Nasher Sculpture Center

AFI Film Festival screenings to take place at SMU:

SMU Student Films
Films will be shown at 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at the Magnolia Theater at McKinney and Lemmon Avenues. Cost is $8.50 per person.

(USA, 2005, 6 minutes)
In a pas de deux between death and life, a young woman embarks on a strange journey to resolution.

Bird's Eye View
(USA, 6 minutes)
A guy wakes up only to realize he is turning into a bird.

(USA, 2007, 7 minutes)
When a rollercoaster engineer falls into a strange realm, the last thing he remembers was test riding his most recent design. Jonathan takes a ride across the edge of death to prepare him for a final decision.
SMU Presents

(USA, 2007, 11 minutes)
Richard Langley, an angry businessman, is on the mission to find a lucky lady. Throughout the course of a day, he learns what comes around goes around.

The Last Goodbye
(USA, 8 minutes)
A young man goes inside the mind of his dying father to say goodbye just moments before the father's death.

Life Box
(USA, 8 minutes)
When you die your Life Box goes to a purgatory court of review and reviewed by the honorable judge you.

(USA, 2006, 4 minutes)
Dreams and reality are examined through time and space. Charlie takes a journey into the subconscious.

(USA, 2006, 7 minutes)
You can’t hide from your own mind.

(USA, 4 minutes)
In a comic book film noir, a female assassin’s final kill of her career goes wrong.  When there is a mix-up with her poison, her victim finds himself more embarrassed than dead.

Robot Nightmare
(USA, 2006, 5 minutes)
An obsessed inventor becomes consumed with bitter jealousy, when he creates a robot that outshines him.

Wet Feet
(USA, 2006, 5 minutes)
An artist accidentally stumbles on a new way to explore his creative talents and finds success in the process.

Where the Sun Rises
March 26, 7:30 p.m.
SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theatre
About the film: Xanana Gusmao of East Timor is a living legend: warrior, poet, leader and peace advocate. Where the Sun Rises tells the story of the president of the world’s youngest nation, from his bitter guerilla campaign against Indonesian rule to his amazing ability to forgive.  Made in Singapore, 2006. Director/producer: Grace Phan. 81 min.
(The Hughes-Trigg showing of Where the Sun Rises will be introduced by James V. Hart, SMU alum and screenwriter whose credits include the newly released film The Last Mimzy as well as Contact, Hook, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and more. After the showing, Hart will host a Q and A with Grace Phan, director of Where the Sun Rises. Hart says of the film, “This is a remarkable account of a hero’s journey who fought for 18 years to free East Timor in Indonesia and form our planet’s newest country.” )

A Lawyer Walks into a Bar
4 p.m. March 31
SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theatre
About the film: The current pass rate for the California bar exam is 39%. A Lawyer Walks into a Bar follows six people as they study and prepare for one of the most difficult exams in law. Director Eric Chaikin also examines the influence of law in American culture, featuring interviews with legal experts such as renowned Texas trial attorneys Joe Jamail and Mark Lanier. Made in USA, 2006. Director/screenwriter: Eric Chaikin. 96 min.
(Note: This is part of the Texas competition; they thought it might appeal particularly to law students.)

Documentary Shorts
6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31
SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theatre
Includes 6 shorts, 90 minutes total running time

Festival Films by SMU Alumni
and Current Students:

Screenings of SMU student-produced shorts
Time: 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 27
Includes 11 short films, 71 minutes total running time
Magnolia Theater at McKinney and Lemmon Avenues

Boy Next Door
SMU alumnus Travis Davis (’94) has a film in the Short Film Program titled Boy Next Door. Mr. Davis wrote, directed, and stars in the film, produced by Cale Boyter (’94). Both are Cinema-Television graduates.
Time: The Short Film Program is at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, March 25, and 9:45 p.m. Monday, March 26, at the Angelika Film Center 6
Mr. Boyter is an executive producer at New Line Cinema with major credits, including Elf and Wedding Crashers. Mr. Davis works regularly in Hollywood and national commercials as an announcer, voice-actor, and actor, recently appearing on Desperate Housewives.
About the film: Boy Next Door is a dark comedy about a 30-something man’s run-in with his 6 foot 8 inch neighbor, played by Richard Moll of Night Court fame.

In the Texas competition, which showcases films produced and shot in Texas, SMU Cinema-Television alumnus Bill Sebastian (’99) has directed a feature titled Midlothia.
Times: 5:15 p.m. Monday, March 26, at the Magnolia 3 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Magnolia 5.
About the film: Put four people in a room; add guns, adultery, and a few bottles of alcohol, and you’ll have this tale of exposed small-town secrets. Fred Hicks’ friends are mad that he missed his own going-away party, but when Fred announces that he’s staying to get married, a chain of revelations unfolds that threatens four life-long friendships. A true indie fusion of quality music, smart characters, and claustrophobic tension.

Other Collaboration

Dark Passage
At 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Magnolia Theater, the AFI festival will be screening a great film noir classic, Dark Passage (WB, 1947) directed by Delmer Daves, starring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall.
Dark Passage will be shown in a beautiful 35mm film print from the SMU/Hamon Library's G. William Jones Film-Video Collection. The print has not been shown in many years, and is exceptionally good.
Ms. Bacall will conduct a question-and-answer session after the film.

For more information on American Film Institute's Dallas International Film Festival, visit

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