February 3, 2016

Free filmmaking workshops and an evening of student films are all part of a UCF-sponsored Education Day at the Feb. 11-14 Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Sanford.

Education Day, sponsored Feb. 11 by UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities, will kick off the festival activities at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, where 61 short films from 17 countries will be shown during the weekend. This is the second year UCF has sponsored Education Day at the festival.

“This kind of connection between the university, artists, and citizens is what UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities is all about,” said Lisa Mills, an associate professor of film in the college’s School of Visual Arts & Design. “The day will feature one-of-a-kind workshops where anyone can learn more about the filmmaking process.”

Three workshops will be presented for both novice and veteran filmmakers.

Workshop panelists will lead informative and nurturing discussions for anyone who’s ever thought about writing, producing, directing, or even acting in a film, Mills said.

Two morning workshops will be led by Mills at the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce, 400 E. 1st St., Sanford:

  • 9:30 a.m.
  • – “Finding the Talent You Want: How to Cast Your Independent Film”

  • 10:30 a.m.
  • – “Directing Your Talent: How to Work with Cast Members on Your Independent Film”

    Others on the morning workshop panels are: Marco DiGeorge, program director at Truthful Acting Studios in Orlando and an adjunct at UCF; Tim Ritter, an Orlando independent feature film director, video producer and UCF adjunct; Leslie Maine, a Tampa actress, filmmaker and writer; and Lukas Hassel, a New York actor, director and writer.

  • 2 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Hassel will lead a workshop at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center about writing, producing and acting in independent films. Hassel has appeared in numerous films and on TV shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Blue Bloods. His sci-fi film Into the Dark, which has played at more than 55 film festivals, including Love Your Shorts Film Festival, will be shown as part of the afternoon workshop at 201 S. Magnolia Ave.

  • 7-9 p.m.
  • A selection of shorts by UCF Film and School of Visual Arts & Design students also will be shown at the performing arts center. Films to be shown were made independently by students and collaboratively by SVAD character animation classes. Intriguing titles range from Couch Potato to Spikey van Dykey to Snacktime.

    All the Education Day workshops and student films are free, but those planning to attend the workshops are asked to register at the festival’s website, LoveYourShorts.com. Some of the films have mature themes and language.

    The rest of the festival weekend will showcase short films in seven categories (Comedy, Drama, Animation, Documentary, Sci-Fi/Horror, Florida Flavor, and E for Everyone), plus an opening-night variety of films, and a Best of the Fest competition on closing night. Also on Saturday during the festival, a panel of visiting filmmakers will present a discussion and Q&A on techniques, tips and current projects.

    Two films with UCF student connections were accepted for competition in the Florida Flavor block of the festival:

  • The Watch
  • by David Pace, a student in the Film BFA program. The film is about two mysterious cloaked figures confronting each other over the fate of a sleeping child.

  • The Art of Villainy
  • by James Noir, a graduate of the Film BFA program. The film is a supernatural crime thriller that follows an otherworldly criminal and the detective who has spent his entire career chasing him.

    The site of the festival, the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, was built in 1923 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    For a schedule of festival films and ticket information, visit the festival website’s ticket page. And for updates: Love Your Shorts.