Issue 1 | February 2005

  • Message from Membership Director
  • Message from the President – “Mia’s Monthly Message”
  • Member Profile of May Lugemwa '04
  • Industry Successes…
  • So You Got The Job, Hey…
  • And the Award Goes to….
  • Members in the News…

A Message from the Membership Director

Thank you to everyone who submitted information for our first Harvardwood Highlights newsletter.  Our members are doing some very exciting things, and it is nice to have a forum for sharing and celebration.  Please continue to keep Harvardwood abreast of things happening in your life, both professionally and personally.  Cheers, Kibi

Mia’s Monthly Message….

Hello Harvardwood!  Welcome to the first edition of Harvardwood Highlights, compiled by our amazing new Membership Director, Kibi Anderson.  We have a busy year ahead with several new programs, events, and online developments -- stay tuned for updates on all of the above.  It was great to see those of you who made it out to the Sundance Film Festival -- our event with Yale was a lively one, attended by alum filmmakers, friends, and festival programmers...And finally, we just wrapped up our third annual Harvardwood 101 program, in which two dozen undergrads came out to Los Angeles over intersession break to learn about careers in the entertainment industry. Participating companies included Fox, Disney, William Morris, USC, Lions Gate, ICM, Entity FX, Univision, and The Gersh Agency.  Many thanks to all of our alum participants and hosts, and especially to Harvard's Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts for cosponsoring the program!  To read articles about Harvardwood 101 that two of our participating students wrote for the Crimson, please visit:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=505623

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=505622

-Mia

Member Profile: MAY LUGEMWA ‘04 

As one of the first participants in the Harvardwood 101 program, May Lugemwa ‘04 is the perfect person to launch our member profile series.  In a nutshell, May grew up in Uganda and Zimbabwe, moved to Alabama at 7 and then to Cambridge, Ma for college. It was at Harvard that May first discovered her interest in films and media. Studying VES, May was particularly drawn to films on her motherland and more generally the subject of ‘cultural filmmaking’.   From May's perspective, African films were made in a paternalistic fashion, where Africa and African culture were often viewed as commodities.  May decided to make her senior thesis project in contradiction to this trend of objectification.   She set out with her mother to their village in Uganda, and began to film.   She never had a particular storyline in mind, rather she hoped to make a film about Africans from the inside out. Ironically, she soon realized that she too was viewed as an outsider by her people.

During this time, May's mother continued to help her, and unexpectedly her mother slowly began to emerge as the film's protagonist.   May discovered that her strongest link to the inside was through her mother, a silent, very private bystander.   Despite the lack of electricity and rural climate, May finished shooting and returned to Harvard to put her film together.  She describes bringing random snippets of film back to her advisor, Ross McElwee, and together they assembled the project.  “Former Nationality” opened at the Amakula Film Festival in Uganda and has a good response here in the US.  May plans to return to Uganda with her mother this year. 

May can be reached at [email protected] .  The documentary will be screening at the Pan African Film Festival (www.paff.org) in Los Angeles on:

Feb. 15th, 1:10 pm
Magic Johnson Theatres/Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. (1 block west of Crenshaw and King)
Theatre 2

INDUSTRY SUCCESSES….

Gary Negbaur’s '89 newest project is WINE NOTES: THE WINE TASTING MUSICAL, a show in which the audience gets to be spectators at a 90 minute musical as well as students in a wine tasting class. And yes, you get to drink wine! The show (which I've co-written with Michael Green of Gourmet Magazine) should go into production this year. Look for a tour to hit your town! Meanwhile, he continues to perform as a pianist/singer. For more info, consult: www.garynegbaur.com

Jonathan Dorf '93 recently had his plays BEEF JUNKIES, NOW YOU SEE ME, PEPPERONI APOCALYPSE, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO GODOT?, THE WHITE PAGES and X MARKS THE SPOT published by Brooklyn Publishers.  He also launched YouthPlays.com (with Matt Buchanan '88 and Ed Shockley) as a place to market plays for young actors and audiences.  More info http://www.jondorf.com

Karen Gordon gleefully worked on MEET THE FOCKERS as wacky Focker relative Anita Focker and just finished filming Mrs. Grey in THE BAD NEWS BEARS with Billy Bob & Marcia Gay Harden.

Kate Schutt HC ’97-99 Novax 8 string guitar/bass player, vocalist, songwriter is releasing her fifth album PAPER CROWN PROJECT on May 7th, 2005 on her own indie-label WILD WHIP RECORDS.  Second in a series of limited edition, short projects with hand-made, hand-sewn artwork, PAPER CROWN PROJECT was written and recorded in Guelph, Ontario, Kate's new home.  The EP features Kate's bird-like voice (akin to a modern Blossom Dearie), intelligent lyrics, dense harmonies, and her unhinged 8 string playing.  She will be on tour throughout February and March in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.  Check out www.kateschutt.com to find out more.

Melinda Hsu '92 is currently a staff writer on the new NBC drama MEDIUM, airing Monday nights at 10 p.m.  The show is based on a true story, and stars Patricia Arquette as a psychic who helps solve violent crimes.  She wrote Episode 8 and Episode 13 of the show which will air on Feb 14 and April 25 respectively.  Please tune in.  Prior to that, she co-authored a nonfiction book with my husband Thom Taylor, titled DIGITAL CINEMA: The Hollywood Insider's Guide to the Evolution of Storytelling, which is available now wherever books are sold.

Ric Arthur KSG '03 is finishing post right now on a wonderful film called LAURA SMILES that he produced with RKO Pictures in September 2004.   The film stars Kip Pardue, Jonathan Silverman, Petra Wright and Mark Derwin and was directed by Jason Ruscio. 

Sara Melson BA ‘90 had her demos featured on Indie 103.1, as well as XM Satellite Radio and Launch.com's Top Ten Picks.  She has a new band that recently played four private shows in Japan and is currently recording a new album.

SO YOU GOT THE JOB, HEY….

Peter Bell BA ’89 joined New Regency Productions full-time in Oct. 2004 as the Executive Assistant to the EVP Business Affairs and General Counsel. Peter also continues to work on his spec screenplays.

Rafael Gómez-Cabrera, Esq. recently took a job with NBC Universal Television Studios as a production attorney.  His office is on the Universal lot and he assists show producers on new pilots and existing programs, such as LAW AND ORDER.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO… 

Inger Tudor HRC '87, HLS '92 received a nomination for the NAACP Theatre Awards, Best Supporting Actress for her role as Madame Capulet in "Romeo & Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836" and the show received 6 nominations total.

Jason Holzman ’93 co-directed the documentary "Words" (www.wordsthemovie.com), which screened at the Florida Film Festival and the Denver Film Festival.  It won the Staff Award at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival.  He also recently finished a short film he directed and co-wrote called "The Method", starring Steven Randazzo and Gregg Brown.  He continues to work by day as a copywriter at an advertising agency in New York.

Tim Curley HLS '02 is a currently a finalist at both Cinequest.org and Indieproducer.net screenplay competitions for his screenplay, "Stagolee".  For more info contact: [email protected]

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

James P. Connolly was recently featured in an article in the LAS VEGAS SUN called 'Duty' called Connolly back into service. Clink the following link for the full article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/read/2005/jan/21/518161696.html. Check out his new website at www.jamespconnolly.tv

Calendar Programs Jobs & Career Development