Temple Alums Thrive at Sundance

Temple Alums Thrive at Sundance

Feb 5 2019

---Temple alums take home top prizes & more---

The annual Sundance Festival presented and hosted by the Sundance Institute, has grown to become a premier platform for film, theatre, film composing and digital media creatives across the globe. It is a place to showcase talents and get noticed. Founded in 1981, the institution has provided monetary and creative support to more than 900 artists a year.

Each January, the Sundance Film Festival is shines light on independent film artists and continue to expand a community that supports creativity.

And this year -- Owls are all over it! We wanted to highlight a number of Temple University’s School of Theatre, Film and Media Arts alumni featured and showcased at the fest. Many contacted us to let us know they were in Park City this year -- but there are also several that we likely missed (please let us know who you are!). The point is, Owl filmmakers are in the vanguard!

 Chinonye Chukwu (TFM ‘10) who directed CLEMENCY (starring Alfre Woodard), Paul Harrill (TFM ‘99) who directed LIGHT FROM LIGHT, Kevin Otte (KLN ‘15) assistant editor for MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, Jake Kader who served as the co-author of ABE, and Anne Humphries who was script supervisor for TO THE STARS all contacted us to let us know how excited they were to be at Sundance this year! There were likely several more alums besides, but these were the ones we caught up with at the fest.  

(Added! Rachel Moton (TFM '17), who is a Sundance Ignite Fellow, attended with her short film DAD'S DEAD DAMNIT)

This year, at least two program alums, took home major awards. CLEMENCY director Chinonye Chukwu impressed the judged with her prison drama. This film that explores the death penalty was awarded the highest award at Sundance, the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. Chukwu is the first Black woman to take home this award.

“I wrote this because I wanted audiences, I wanted us, I wanted myself to connect with the ecosystem of humanity’s connected to incarceration,” Chukwu told Deadline.com.  “So we as a society can stop defining people by their worst possible acts, that we can end mass incarceration, and dismantle the mass prison industrial complex, and root our societies in true justice and mercy and freedom, which is all tied to our joy inside, that nobody can ever incarcerate or execute.”

Paul Harrill’s LIGHT FROM LIGHT film also received praise at this year’s Sundance Festival. According to Metacritic, the film that unfolds in a haunted house, left a positive impression on the Sundance audience.

“Gentle, humanist drama that uses the idea of a haunted house to explore themes of doubt, wonder, and the search for meaning in the modern world,” Joe Blessing said  in his review.

As the reviews continue to come in, Temple University alum have showed their talents and hard work once again at the annual Sundance Film Festival. Keep sharing your passions with the world and informing us of your accomplishments. Already looking forward to seeing the owls soaring over Park City next year!

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