Department of Film and Media Arts presents
Beginnings and Endings
Tuesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
Philadelphia Film Society Roxy Theater
2023 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Beginnings and Endings is a retrospective program, featuring work from first, second and third year students. The five films presented in this showcase also encompass a range of genres and styles- from psychological
drama to black comedy and fiction to non-fiction while also exploring experimental, observational and highly
Films and filmmakers:
Sundog, writer/director Israel Vasquez, c. 2015, RT 17:00
A mother and daughter struggle to find meaning amidst the barren landscape of the dust bowl. When an
apocalyptic duster consumes their house, they must decide what kind of life is worth living.
Israel Vasquez is a Philadelphia-based filmmaker, writer, and educator. He graduated from Temple University
with an MFA in Film and Media Arts. Israel is a Sundance Knight Fellow and participated in the Sundance
Screenwriting Intensive in Philadelphia. Sun Dog is his thesis film.
Hopscotch, writer/director Chung-Wei Huang, c. 2015, RT 10:30
It was always easier to go with the flow of the game as a child. But as an adult, Matt begins to question the
game of love as he searches for self-identity. At the moment when he decides to walk away, Matt's memory of
a childhood hopscotch game haunts him. The game continues, but will life move on?
Chung-Wei Huang is a Taiwanese filmmaker based in Philadelphia. After working for a Taiwanese TV
network, she received the Presidential scholarship from Temple University and continues her study at the
MFA program of Film and Media Arts. Her work is focused on the minority voice and has been screened in
Taiwan and the USA. Hopscotch is her second year film.
Transcriber, writer/director Mark Partridge, c. 2015, RT 15:30
Apollo Demode is a loyal bureaucrat at COMMUNICORP where he serves as the megacorporation’s top tape
transcriber. He has dedicated 39 years to the company, finding a great sense of peace and freedom in his
highly structured routine until the day that Apollo discovers a secret embedded in an audio recording that
forever alters his humble world.
Mark Partridge is an award winning filmmaker and sound composer. Mark’s second year film Transcriber
won Best Graduate Film at the 2015 Diamond Screen Film Festival as well as being awarded the Ben Lazaroff Award for Excellence in Screenwriting.
White Mushroom, Black Earth, writer/director Althea Rao, c. 2015, RT 10:30
White Mushroom, Black Earth is an experimental documentary based on Walter de Maria’s landscape
installation The New York Earth Room. Through the integration of experiential cityscapes, an abstract
personal voiceover and intuitive moments of animation, the film attempts to create a dialogue with the
audience where answers can only come from one’s own individual background and experiences.
Mengxi (Althea) Rao is a writer and artist. She has lived and worked in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo and is
now an MFA candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia. Her creative interest is in pushing the edges of
visual storytelling and writing.
Blind Date, writer/director Jamel Northern, c. 2015, RT 25:40
Athena, a contract killer, seeks respite from her day job by taking time out to go on a blind date. However, her dysfunctional assassin sisters, who are looking to make amends after botching their last job, crash her date with disastrous results. Past mistakes come back to haunt the team as Athena becomes a target. Will the bumbling sisters get their act together in time to save Athena’s life?
Jamel Northern is a native Philadelphian who worked as a television news editor for 12 years before joining the MFA program at Temple University where he graduated in 2015. Jamel is interested in creating stories that explore the everyday life struggles of people who are generally on the fringes of American cinema. With interests varying from comedy to action to science fiction, Jamel looks to break through the whitewashing of Hollywood to show that extraordinary people come in all colors, genders and sexual preferences. Blind Date is his thesis film.