Arts + Culture

UCLA storytelling institute in Cannes launches spring 2018

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Cannes Film Festival scene

Cannes Film Festival scene.

Unique new stories will be created in the south of France when the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television/Université Côte D’Azur (UCLA TFT/UCA) Storytelling Institute in Cannes launches in Spring 2018.

Announced May 18 at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, the storytelling institute, created by UCLA TFT in partnership with the Université Côte D’Azur, the city of Cannes, the president and director of the international Cannes Film Festival and Vivendi/Canal+, is the latest in a series of high-level strategic industry partnerships and alliances conceived and spearheaded by UCLA TFT dean Teri Schwartz. This immersive, in-residence graduate-level feature film screenwriting program is designed to advance the artistry and skills of the next generation of outstanding, diverse humanistic cinematic storytellers.

Throughout the six weeks in Cannes, the institute's program will be framed by UCLA TFT’s unparalleled screenwriting curriculum, along with professional screenwriting instruction from UCLA and UCA faculty. Select UCLA and French graduate screenwriting students will complete a first draft feature film screenplay. In the final two weeks, they will have the opportunity to experience master classes with distinguished filmmakers and screenwriters, discussions, special screenings and other professionally oriented activities at the Cannes Film Festival. Vivendi/Canal+ will provide key sponsorship for the program and a “first look” opportunity for the students who participate in the program.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for our remarkable, diverse students to experience the most distinguished festival in the world along with the chance to write a feature screenplay that comes with a ‘first look’ opportunity in a dynamic, immersive writing environment in Cannes,” said Dean Schwartz. “As we are the storytelling school, it all starts with the story, the idea, the script. This new Storytelling Institute was conceived to nurture and develop the next generation of outstanding writers, from both our students and those from France (and in the future, other parts of the world) whose works will not only delight and entertain, but enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. It is one of our key missions to create meaningful partnerships across the global entertainment industry that will provide a direct pipeline for great talent to be nurtured and discovered.”

UCLA TFT alumni have a long association with the Cannes Film Festival. Alumnus Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Apocalypse Now” won the festival’s Palme d’Or prize in 1979, and “Taxi Driver,” written by alumnus Paul Schrader, earned the prize in 1976 for director Martin Scorsese. This year, nine alumni and a current student are involved in eight films that are being shown, including actor Ben Stiller (“The Meyerowitz Stories”), producer Fred Roos (“The Beguiled”) and first assistant director Scott Kirby (“In the Fade”).

Created in 2015, Université Côte d’Azur is a community of universities and establishments dedicated to research and training. UCA is an internationally renowned university recognized for its innovative educational program, its high quality of research, and its anchoring in the local ecosystem.

Applications to apply for the institute will open on Saturday, July 1, 2017 and close on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

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