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Student Film-makers Featured at Riverside Festival

Student Film-makers Featured at Riverside Festival

UCR's Department of Media and Visual Culture will co-sponsor the student film night of the Riverside International Film Festival.

(April 7, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A short film directed by UC Riverside student Brian Tan is one of 10 movies by student film-makers to be featured in the Riverside International Film Festival on Wednesday, April 16, from 3:30 p.m. to about 10 p.m. in the Regal Theaters at Riverside Plaza, 3535 Central Ave.

The film festival, in its sixth year as an independent film festival, runs from April 11 through April 20 and will include films from Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico and the United States. The theme is “Experience the World in Ten Days.” The festival is sponsored by the City of Riverside.

The Caucus for Television Producer Writers and Directors Foundation supports grants for the student films.

These films are the work of graduate and undergraduate students at UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UCLA, Chapman University, Columbia University, University of Southern California and the American Film Institute. Seven students involved in the movies will participate in a question-and-answer session after the screenings of their films.

For ticket information go online to

Scheduled student films are:

“Dark and Bloody Ground: The Story of an Open Grave,” 3:30-4:45 p.m. — Kevin King, UC San Diego. This story of the 1995 murder and attempted rape of an elderly woman and the 15-year-old convicted of the crimes in a small Kentucky town won the Gold Circle Award for outstanding student film from the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors Foundation.

“Small Avalanches,” 4:45-5:15 p.m. — Gillian Munro, Chapman University. Adapted from a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, the film takes place during the summer of 1971 and follows a singular event in the life of 13-year-old Nancy, who spends her afternoons at her uncle’s gas station in the hope of seeing people and being seen.

“Joburg,” 5:15-6 p.m. — Thabo Wolfaardt, UCLA. A young newspaper vendor struggles to care for his ailing brother. A pregnant woman discovers a terrible secret about her fiancé. At the height of their desperation, these two worlds collide in a life-altering event.

“The End of Magic,” 6-6:15 p.m. — Ann Husaini, Columbia University. Twelve-year-old Laurie is a reluctant passenger on a family outing with her psychologically fragile mother, Liz, and her baby sister, Dani. When the car breaks down, the pressure of expensive car repairs and unhappy daughters drive Liz to her breaking point and Laurie begins to realize that Liz may be incapable of being a mother to her and Dani again.

“Underpass,” 6:15-6:30 p.m. — Rain Breaw, University of Southern California. In 1992 San Diego, a family of Cambodian Khmer Rouge survivors finds healing when they reach out out a young illegal immigrant.

“I Heart Veronica Martin,” 6:45-7:15 p.m. — High school loner Darby spends her days watching the cheerleaders practice and becomes infatuated with Veronica Martin. When Veronica breaks up with her boyfriend, Darby befriends her and the friendship blossoms into a sexual obsession. When Veronica returns to her boyfriend, she leaves Darby confused and alone.

“Long After . . . ,” 7:15-7:30 p.m. — Afia Nathaniel, Columbia University. This story of a young woman struggling with her husband’s deception is told as a non-linear narrative and explores the moments of the last meeting between Jaya and Naseer before Naseer commits suicide on the same tracks that Jaya visits often and perhaps has never left.

“The Big Production,” 7:45-8:15 p.m. — Preston DeFrancis, University of Southern California. Bryce stages an elaborate event to propose to his girlfriend. But when the engagement ring goes missing, he suspects his three closest friends. Each tells his or her side of the story as a different film genre — sitcom, musical, art house — and Bryce must piece together the clues to expose the culprit.

“The Life & Death Experiences of Young Beth Byrd,” 8:15-9 p.m. — Maarit Nissila, American Film Institute. Nine-year-old Beth struggles for connection as she slowly loses all the important people around her in this story about collisions between life and death.

“Incrimination,” 9:15-10 p.m. — Brian Tan, UC Riverside. Police Detective John Larsen teams up with an FBI agent to unravel a fatal puzzle of corruption, intrigue and betrayal at the highest levels of the police force. The film includes intense action and realistic-looking violence. Tan, the film’s director, is president of the UCR Film & Photography Society.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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