7:00PM Wednesday, June 12, 2019

James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

6:30 P.M. — DOORS OPEN
10:00 P.M. — RECEPTION

Please join us for a night of celebrating our emerging directors at the 2019 Directors Spotlight! Come enjoy a night of screenings as we showcase some of the best films coming out of the UCLA TFT M.F.A. film directing and M.F.A. animation programs.


Keynote Speaker: Professor Nancy Richardson


Feature film editor Nancy Richardson began her career with the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, which won the Independent Spirit award that year for Best Picture, and received a best actor nomination for the film’s star, Edward James Olmos. Her many credits include ThirteenLords of Dogtown and Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke; To Sleep with AngerSelma, Lord, Selma and Annihilation of Fish, directed by Charles Burnett; and Mi FamiliaSelena and Why Do Fools Fall in Love, directed by Gregory Nava. She also edited the directorial debut of Maya Angelou’s Down in the Delta.
Other credits include Step Up, starring Channing Tatum; American Violet, starring Alfre Woodard; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (shared credit), starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson; The Vow (shared credit), starring Channing Tatum; Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult; Divergent and Insurgent (both shared), starring Shailene Woodley; Everything, Everything, starring Amandla Stenberg; and the recent Fighting with my Family, starring Dwayne Johnson.
She was also an additional editor on Lisa Cholodenko’s Kids Are All Right and Travis Knight’s Bumblebee.  Her next project, Paramount’s thriller Monster Problem, starring Dylan O’Brien, is currently shooting in Australia.
In 2001, Richardson received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work on the TV miniseries Hendrix. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as American Cinema Editors, and has been on the Editors Guild Board of Directors for more than 15 years.
Richardson received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
She has been a professor at UCLA TFT for 19 years and is currently the head of post-production.


Distinguished Alumni Award: Quyen Tran


Quyen Tran is a Los Angeles based cinematographer whose work prioritizes story above all else.

Tran recently wrapped photography on the feature film PALM SPRINGS, starring Andy Samberg and JK Simmons.  Prior to that she shot the pilot for the upcoming Netflix drama UNBELIEVABLE with director Lisa Cholodenko, starring Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette and Merritt Wever.  She splits her time between features and television, having shot multiple pilots and shows for HBO and Netflix.  She also lensed two features that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: Netflix’s Deidra and Laney Rob a Train, a teen heist comedy; and The Little Hours, a comedy set in the 14th century about a servant who seeks refuge from his master at a chaotic covenant of nuns, starring Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman and John C. Reilly.  

Among her other narrative credits are director Justin Lerner’s The Automatic Hate and Girlfriend, winners of the SXSW Audience Award and Gotham Award respectively.   She is a frequent collaborator of director Grace Lee, whose documentary film, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, was a winner of the Peabody Award.  This past November Tran traveled to a refugee camp in Kenya to document a story about girls’ education for the non profit organization GIRL RISING.  She also is a mentor for HBO, and attended the Sundance 2019 Mentoring Workshop on their behalf.  Tran takes mentoring very seriously, and has been a guest speaker for multiple universities and high schools in between projects.  

Beginning her career as a still photographer, Tran gained acclaim for her stunning images of the heartbreaking destruction of 9/11. Her emotive cinematography captures the humanity and truth of each moment, regardless of the subject matter. She has shot films throughout the United States and in Africa, South Africa, Canada, Thailand, Japan, China, Russia, Italy and Vietnam.

Tran was featured in American Cinematographer as an ASC Rising Star in 2017, and was recently named in Variety’s 10 DPs to Watch 2019 this past April.  When she isn’t on set, Tran is an avid gardener, cook and mother.


Fly Trap • Connor Bland

 ‘Charles falls into a germaphobic hysteria.’

Drifting • Hanxiong Bo

Disguised as a girl growing up during the time of one-child policy in China, Yan confuses about his gender identity and struggles with the conservative world around him now. Drifting his dad's old taxi becomes his way of expressing feelings.

Lotus • Sydney Deng

Lovely guy studying animation all over the world.

'Sympathy and Love make life a circle.'

Tea Shop • Jessie Lee

Xin Liu must confront past wounds when her sister returns home after years of separation.

Homegrown • Yubo Wang

For these Mormons, marijuana runs in the family.

Undercut • Kelly Pike

Two high school athletes become unlikely teammates in the wake of unspoken trauma.  

Bounty • Shirley Zhou

An ex-bounty hunter makes breakfast with his young daughter, who becomes increasingly curious about his past profession.

Soukoon • Farah Shaer

While her marital life decays, Mariam worries she might be pregnant.

Shoot the Moon • William Rowe

'Brothers Max and Sam can't agree on anything, but when Max's ambition to fly to the moon in a cardboard box puts the two in grave danger, it's up to older brother Sam to get them home safe'