The works of three UTS Media Arts and Production alumni have been picked to feature in this year's SXSW (South by Southwest) film festival, to be held in Texas from 10-18 March.
Writer/director/producer Jessica M. Thompson and producer Carlo Velayo's feature-length drama The Light of The Moon will premiere along with the documentary Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, produced by Alexander Behse.
Thompson's feature directorial debut was one of only ten films selected from 1,442 entries in the Narrative Feature competition.
"We're very proud and very excited. It's an incredible honour and I think the exposure already has been amazing. We've had calls from so many agents, directors, contributors, producers, and lots of different film management teams," said Thompson.
The partnership between Thomspon and Velayo originated in 2003 when the two met during the first day of their Bachelor of Communication (Media Arts and Production) degree at UTS. It was here they developed their technical and conceptual skills in film, sound and multimedia, and began their first steps into media production.
The two have since flourished both individually and in collaboration, making several award-winning short films together including Hike, Percepio and Across the Pond.
Dr Chris Caines, Senior Lecturer for Media Arts and Production (MAP), said collaborations like Thompson and Velayo's are common for graduates making their mark overseas.
"As The Light of the Moon shows, many of our most successful graduates carry with them the creative relationships they formed as students into productive professional relationships that establish them in the industry," he said.
International recognition for MAP alumni in festivals like SXSW is also frequent. "Alongside regularly winning places in national and international film and media festivals, the global cohort of UTS MAP Alumni is well represented in production houses and creative industries globally," Dr Caines added.
Thompson, who founded Stedfast Productions in the US six years ago, believes UTS gave her the tools to build experience.
"I really thank UTS for giving me that hands-on, practical knowledge. I like that we were actually able to touch film, and shoot film, and edit on film and (although obviously that's a little bit more obsolete these days) we were encouraged to make as many films as possible and the sky was the limit," she said, speaking on the phone from New York City.
For information on the Bachelor of Communications (Media Arts and Production) course, visit the program info page.
Future students considering an undergraduate degree at UTS can attend the UTS Open Day on Saturday 26 August (9am-4pm). For postgraduates, the Media Arts and Production Postgraduate Information Evening is on Thursday 27 April (6pm-7pm).