News Archives 2011

Strong Bodies Fight Wins at the AOF Festival

strong_bodies_fightStrong Bodies Fight, directed by FTT faculty William Donaruma and produced by Donaruma and Notre Dame alum Mark Weber has won another award. The film was honored as the Best Sports Documentary at the 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival VII (AOF Festival) in Pasadena, California. It is ranked by Movie Maker Magazine as one of the top 25 festivals.

"The AOF Festival is one of the fastest growing, high profile, international affairs in the film and video industry today... We have received tremendous celebrity and industry support and launched the AOF Channel, a weekly television series which showcases the talents of their filmmakers and allows them to be introduced to the world via traditional broadcast models." -

Strong Bodies Fight has been a Winner at the Monaco Charity Film Festival (Europe), Honolulu Film Awards and Mexico International Film Festival. It has been a Finalist for Best Documentary and Audience Choice Awards at the John Paul II International Film Festival and a Finalist for Best Documentary at the Foursite Film Festival. The film was recently selected to screen at the United Chicago Film Festival this September. 

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival Presents First International Production Pericles in the UK


The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) presented Pericles as part of the 2011 International Youth Arts Festival from July 3 through 11, 2011 near London at the Rose Theatre Studio in Kingston upon Thames, England. 

Directed by NDSF Ryan Producing Artist Director Jay Paul Skelton, the production features an international cast and crew. Included are two University of Notre Dame Department of Film, Television, and Theatre students, Nicholas Brandt and Carolyn Demanelis. 

FTT Student Film Selected For Los Angeles Film Festival


“The Elect," a documentary by University of Notre Dame undergraduates Erin Zacek and Dan Moore, has been selected to screen at the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival. Chosen from more than 5,000 submissions, the film was one of roughly 200 features, shorts and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, that make up the main body of the festival which screens at various Los Angeles venues June 16 to 26. The 20-minute film will compete in the Short Film category...MORE

Congratulations to Marie Wicht and Michael Burke!


FTT student filmmakers, Marie Wicht and Michael Burke, filmed their documentary in 2010 following the members of Pick Up America.

Pick Up America is a local, regional, and nationwide initiative committed to reducing plastic waste in our communities and waterways.

Marie Wicht and Michael Burke's documentary, Picking Up America, won the Social Change Award at the 2011 Ivy Film Festival.

The Ivy Film Festival is the world's largest student-run film festival held at Brown University. Click HERE to see the announcement on the Ivy Film Festival's website. 

Congratulations To Our Award Recipients!

Broad Avenue Filmmakers Award: Michael Burke, Daniel Moore, Marie Wicht, Erin Zacek
Catherine Hicks Award: Lucy Lavely
Joseph O'Toole Award: Javi Zubizarreta
Reginald Bain Award: Robert Jenista
Television Award: Allen Murphy

Notre Dame Alumnus Wins Top Documentary Award at Sundance


In accepting the prize for How to Die in Oregon, Peter Richardson thanked “the extraordinary individuals who allowed me to enter and document their lives. I love you. This award is for and because of you.”

Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1994, and according to a synopsis on the Sundance website, the film “gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether—and when—to end their lives by lethal overdose. Richardson examines both sides of this complex, emotionally charged issue.”

The documentary will air on HBO later this year.

For the full article, please click here.

The Joy Luck Club - directed by Anton Juan

joyluck2Dr. Anton Juan of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre has recently directed a staged version of Amy Tan’s 1989 novel, The Joy Luck Club, adapted by Susan Kim. Dr. Juan’s show, which follows the relationships between immigrant mothers and their Chinese-American daughters through time, opened on February 4th at the Repertory Philippines theatre in Manila. Juan’s direction is, according to The Daily Tribune, “effective in communicating the difficulty of understanding another culture, trying to adapt to it.”

 Dr. Juan’s show has received rave reviews from the Filipino press. It has been called,  “magnificent” and “ingeniously planned,” from the set design to the casting, by Business World.  The blog, “Overtures and Finales” described it as, “a beautiful piece of work.” Joriben Zaballa of “Jori’s Entertainment Journal” called the show, “excellence,” and, “perfectly delivered.” Business Mirror hailed it as a stunning, “richly theatrical experience.” 

For reviews and more information:

FTT Talks Presents: “An Evening with Larry Karaszewski, Screenwriter”

lkOn Friday, February 11, Larry Karaszewski will introduce his films Ed Wood (1994) at 6:30 p.m. and The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) at 9:30 p.m. He will also talk about his career in screenwriting following the 6:30 screening. Both screenings will be held in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

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The Department of Film, Television, and Theatre congratulates Visiting Assistant Professor of Filmmaking, Danielle Beverly!

sundance_beverly"Rebirth", a feature-length documentary that she has been Field Producer for since 2002, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this coming January 2011.

Directed by Jim Whitaker, "Rebirth" weaves together five stories of individuals whose lives were profoundly altered by the 9/11 attack with unprecedented time-lapse footage of Ground Zero composed over ten years; what emerges is a chronicle of grief's evolution and a nation healing.

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Congratulations to Associate Professor Christine Becker and Professional Specialist Richard E. Donnelly!

Associate Professor Christine Becker and Professional Specialist Richard E. Donnelly have recently been selected to teach their courses, 'The Telly in Transition: British Television Today' and 'Historic Fashion: The Greeks to the Victorians' in the 2011 London Summer Programme!

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Spring FTT Courses

Second section added for:Theatre, History, & Society (FTT 20704-02)

Instructor: Mark Pilkinton / Meets TR 3:30 - 4:45pm

Meets University Fine Arts Requirement

This course analyzes and evaluates the art form of theatre within its larger historical and societal context. Treating the art form as a culture industry, the course examines periods and sites to understand the theatrical event, its audiences, and its methods. Each unit emphasizes theatre as a site of cultural debate and political and social change and considers the larger role of representation in human society throughout time.

New Course: Contemporary Media Practices

courseInstructor: Ted Mandell / Meets every other Friday: 3 - 5:45pm

Course Description (1 credit course)
A unique insider’s view of the entertainment industry, this course features seven guest lecturers/industry professionals who will share the inner workings of the many aspects of the film and television world. Members of Notre Dame’s iNDustry Alliance alumni group will speak on aspects of Development, Marketing, Production, Distribution, New Media and other areas. This is a one-of- a-kind chance for students to meet and learn from working professionals in a classroom environment.

nejlaWorld-renowned Dancer, Nejla Yatkin, to Teach "Choreography and Modern/Contemporary Dance Workshop" at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN, 11/17/2010 – The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre is currently offering the 1 credit spring course, FTT 21009 “Choreography and Modern/Contemporary Dance Workshop,” taught by 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellow and Artist in Residence at the University of Notre Dame, Nejla Yatkin. The course will meet daily March 1–11 in the evening, from 6:00–8:00 pm in the Philbin Studio Theatre. This is a joint venture with the Saint Mary’s College Dance Program.


Photo courtesy of Lois Greenfield.

Beth Napoli's Thesis Film to be shown at Plus CameraImage Festival for Cinematography

Every year, students submit numerous etudes to the Student Etudes Competition. Although a very select few are chosen for the competition, there are many worth presenting in the non-competition Student Etudes Panorama. Notre Dame graduate, Beth Napoli, will be sent to Poland where her FSU thesis film, The Lone Warrior, will be screened in the Plus CameraImage Festival.

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The University of Notre Dame announces the Publication of Pamela Robertson Wojcik's "The Apartment Plot"

bookNotre Dame, IN, 11/5/2010 – The University of Notre Dame Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of Gender Studies are pleased to announce Pamela Robertson Wojcik’s “The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975” (Duke University Press).

The book rethinks films including “Pillow Talk,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Boys in the Band,” and “Rear Window” by identifying the “apartment plot” as a distinct genre, one in which the urban apartment figures as a central narrative device. It takes up issues of space, place and gender through an analysis of the ways in which the apartment produces a philosophy of urbanism that relates to identity. Chapters take up the bachelor pad, the single girl’s apartment, the figure of the housewife in the city, and the African American apartment.

Featured on Rorotoko

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"Trunk" wins Student Award at the 2010 US International Film & Video Festival

ramaCongrats to 2010 FTT grads Mark Lyons and Alex Wheeler whose student documentary "Trunk", about a painting elephant in Portland, won a Student Award at the 2010 US International Film & Video Festival.

"Trunk" was partially funded through a “Learning Beyond the Classroom” grant from the College of Arts and Letters.

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Jane Zusman, In Our Thoughts and Prayers

janeJane Zusman, the Film, Television, and Theatre costume shop manager, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning surrounded by her family. Jane had been with the University and the College since 1991. She worked hand-in-hand with faculty and students, to whom she was devoted, both in teaching and bringing FTT productions to fruition. Jane was very much a part of our campus community. In addition to her role with FTT, Jane provided costuming services to the Department of Music for the annual Opera @ND production, Shakespeare @ ND’s Summer Shakespeare productions, exhibits and plays performed for the Center for History and the South Bend Civic Theater.

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Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award

sheedyJim Collins, a professor in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT), has been awarded the 2010 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award.

“The Sheedy award is the highest award the College can give to a faculty member for their work as a teacher,” says John T. McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College. “The award recognizes Collins’ unusually wide-ranging influence as a teacher: with undergraduates and graduate students in their course work and thesis and dissertation projects, and with faculty members in the popular course he teaches each summer on pedagogy and film. Few of the College’s teachers can claim such a range, with instruction of such high quality.”

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Presentation of the award will take place on October 28, 2010 at 4pm in the McKenna Hall Auditorium. Reception to follow.

Theatre: An Agent of Social Change

anton juanDuring the spring semester, students studying abroad at the University of Notre Dame’s London Centre brought the mission of the University to life in a local school play that was far from the typical gymnasium fare.

Led by Anton Juan, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the undergraduates helped bring to the stage the stories of migrant families as seen from the perspective of the children at Sacred Heart Primary School.

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javiCongratulations to FTT student Javi Zubizarreta!

Senior Javi Zubizarreta was recognized by the Princess Grace Foundation and was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award 2010. Check him (and his stud photo) out on their website!

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anneAnne García-Romero awarded Moreau Postdoctoral Fellowship

Anne García-Romero has received a 2-year fellowship from The Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, beginning this fall 2010. Eleven scholars received fellowships from this newly-established Program which provides research, teaching and mentoring opportunities for scholars.

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From Fine Arts Requirement to Professional Passion

Lydia AntoniniLydia Antonini, a graduate of the class of 1997, took the basic film and television class to "check off" a fine arts requirement her first year at Notre Dame. Today, she's director of digital development for Warner Premiere, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment and recently was named to The Hollywood Reporter's Next Gen 35 Under 35 list for 2009. Her trajectory comes as no surprise.

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Peter Holland Named Honorary Fellow at Trinity Hall

Peter HollandPeter Holland, McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, has been elected an honorary fellow at Trinity Hall, his alma mater and one of the 31 colleges that comprise the University of Cambridge. Trinity Hall has recognized approximately 20 people in this way—Stephen Hawking among them—since 1969.

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Student Playwrights Find Their Voices

students on stage performingTheatre major Shay Thornton '10 remembers well the genesis of the student-written play Scattered Voices. It was in early 2008. She and fellow students in Professor Anton Juan's theatre and social concerns course started corresponding with juveniles at a local correctional facility. The personal interaction, Juan says, was designed to help the students understand and then be able to dramatize the residents' process toward reconciliation with society.
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Teaching in the Modern Media World

Jim CollinsThe idea "began with a cup of coffee and a vacant stare in a strip–mall store in Mishawaka, Indiana," writes Jim Collins in the introduction to his new book Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture. Collins, a concurrent professor of English and film, television, and theatre—and winner of the College of Arts and Letters' 2010 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award—remembers sitting in a suburban Barnes and Noble, drinking a Starbucks latte, and listening as his daughters argued about which Harry Potter movie was really the best.
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