Arts + Culture

UCLA Filmmakers Win Best Short Film Honors at the 8th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival


"Premeditation" by Alberto Barboza and "Pelea de Gallos" by Joel Juarez tied for best short at the 8thAnnual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival at the gala awardsceremony at the Egyptian Theater on July 25. The two thesis films by the 2004graduates of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television were selected frommore than 40 short films from around the world.

"We are very proud of Alberto and Joel and thrilled they arebeing recognized internationally in this way," said Barbara Boyle, chair of theUCLA department of film, television and digital media.

In addition to a trophy, Barboza and Juarez will divide a$30,000 award provided by Showtime Networks to produce their next shorts, whichwill air on the cable network as part of the Latino Filmmaker Showcase inSeptember 2005.

Since the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival isan official pipeline event for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,both of the winning films will be forwarded for consideration in the best shortfilm Academy Award competition.

As part of the festival, the recent UCLA alumni met withexecutives from Creative Artists Agency and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Barboza's "Premeditation" (23 minutes) is a heart-wrenchingstory about promises made and forgotten. A middle-aged woman confides in thehit man she has hired to kill her husband.Tempers flare as the two redefine their contract. The film was honoredwith a Spotlight Award for Excellence during the recent UCLA Festival of newstudent work. The film was funded in part by fellowships from the Caucus forTelevision Producers, Writers and Directors Foundation; the Edie and LewWasserman Award; and the Antonio Blanco Award.

Juarez' "Pelea deGallos" (20 minutes) is a black comedy about a man responsible for achampionship cock. When his wife chops off its head and cooks it, he descendsinto a dark underworld to search desperately for a prize-winning replacement.Juarez's thesis won Best Short at the 2004 San Diego Latino International FilmFestival and received an honorable mention at the 2003 Directors Guild ofAmerica Student Awards. The film received grants from the Edie and LewWasserman Award.

Juarez currently is developing his first feature filmproject, "Bajo el Sol de Fresas," thestory of Teresa, a 14-year-old girl kidnapped from a small Mexican village andforced into sexual slavery in the United States. She must decide betweenenduring daily torture or risking her life for freedom.



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