Academics & Faculty

UCLA film festival to honor producer Hawk Koch, screenwriter-producer Laeta Kalogridis

Festival events to celebrate student achievements in screenwriting, producing

Screenwriter and producer Laeta Kalogridis and award-winning producer Hawk Koch, two of Hollywood's leading creative professionals, will be among those honored during the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's annual weeklong celebration, the UCLA 2010 Festival of New Creative Work, which runs from June 4 to 10.
Kalogridis ("Shutter Island," "Avatar"), who earned her M.F.A. from the school in 1994, will be presented with the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award during the festival's Screenwriters Showcase event at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 7, at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA.
The Screenwriters Showcase celebrates the best writing produced by School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT) students each year in the M.F.A. screenwriting program and provides eight finalists with the unique opportunity to stage excerpts of their winning screenplays and teleplays with professional actors.
The winning scripts were selected by a panel of more than 200 industry judges as part of a competition that began in March. The highly anticipated showcase has become one of the industry's premier events for discovering emerging talent, as well as honoring major screenwriters.
Past recipients of the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award include Robert Towne, James Cameron, Ernest Lehman, David Koepp, Scott Kosar and Dustin Lance Black. Screenwriter Dave Johnson ("Orphan"), who earned his M.F.A. from TFT in 2003, will be the host of the event.
Oscar-nominated producer Hawk Koch ("Collateral Damage," "Primal Fear"), will receive the Vision Award during the festival's Producers Marketplace event at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, at the Geffen Playhouse in the heart of Westwood Village. The Vision Award is presented by TFT and the Producers Guild of America to honor producers whose careers exemplify extraordinary vision in all aspects of film, art and the business, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
PGA Vice President Mark Gordon will present the award to Koch. Past honorees include Cathy Schulman, Mike Medavoy, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, and Mark Gordon.
The Producers Marketplace features presentations by four graduate producing students whose projects went through a series of panels judged by industry professionals throughout the academic year. During the showcase, the four finalists take to the stage and pitch their film projects to a panel of top-level studio executives in front of a live audience.
The winning student will receive the UCLA Producers Program Marketplace Award, which is supported by a generous donation from producer and distinguished alumnus Dan Angel. An additional prize is presented to the project receiving the most votes from the audience.
Admission to all events during the UCLA 2010 Festival of New Creative Work is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Campus parking for the festival is available for $10 (all day) or at pay-by-space hourly parking stations in Lot 3. For a full schedule of events and to reserve seating during the festival, please visit
Laeta Kalogridis: As one of Hollywood's leading and in-demand screenwriters and producers, Kalogridis has the distinction of having worked with many of America's most acclaimed and prolific feature film directors, including Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Wes Craven and Oliver Stone, among others. In addition to "Shutter Island," Kalogridis has penned a diverse array of scripts, including "Avatar," "Scream 3," "Tomb Raider," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "Night Watch" and "Alexander." She has also served as executive producer on a number of television series, including "Birds of Prey" and "Bionic Woman." 
Born in Florida, Kalogridis attended Davidson College and the University of Texas at Austin prior to studying at UCLA. She is currently working on an adaptation of "Ghost in the Shell" for DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg.
Hawk Koch: Koch got his start in the film industry as second assistant director to Sydney Pollack on "This Property Is Condemned." He subsequently worked as an assistant director on some 20 films, including Pollack's "The Way We Were," Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" and John Schlesinger's "Marathon Man." Koch made his first foray into producing with "The Other Side of Midnight" and went on to produce dozens of successful films, including many for his own firm, the Koch Company. Some of his most celebrated productions include the Oscar-nominated "Heaven Can Wait," "The Idolmaker," "Gorky Park," "Peggy Sue Got Married," "Wayne's World," "Primal Fear," "Collateral Damage," "Hostage" and "Untraceable."
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), consistently ranked among the nation's leading institutions in its field, is unique in the world, bringing together the arts of theater, film and television in one academic institution. UCLA's reputation as an outstanding training ground for the theater, film and television professions and for critical scholarship is based on its long tradition of fostering creative growth, encouraging experimentation and ensuring artistic freedom. Many of the most respected names in the entertainment and communication arts and the world of scholarship are UCLA alumni. 
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