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BYU hosts annual "Final Cut" student film festival March 18-22

Brigham Young University's Theatre and Media Arts Department's annual film festival "Final Cut" is the highlight of the year for a group of students who express their talents with an eye to the camera.

This showcase of 34 student films will be shown Tuesday through Saturday, March 18-22.

The festival's preliminary screenings will run Tuesday through Thursday. Short-format screenings will be held in the Wilkinson Student Center's Varsity Theater, with program "A" beginning at 7 p.m. and program "B" beginning at 9:30 p.m.

The long-format program will be presented in 250 Kimball Tower beginning at 7 p.m. A panel of judges will select the "Best of Final Cut" from these screenings.

"Best of Final Cut" will be shown twice each night on Friday and Saturday in the Joseph Smith Building Auditorium at 6 and 9 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $2 to $6. Discounted tickets are available at the Wilkinson Student Center Information Desk. For more information about tickets, call (801) 422-4313. Proceeds from the festival go toward funding future student film projects in the form of grants.

Films run from 30 seconds to 29 minutes and include narrative, documentary and experimental films as well as animation, commercials and a sitcom.

New to "Final Cut" this year is "So Much In Love: Sitcom 2003," the first attempt by BYU film students to produce a situation comedy that examines various ideas of love in a comedic setting. Complete with commercials and an original soundtrack, it guarantees to produce laughs.

"So Much In Love: Sitcom 2003" will play Tuesday through Saturday at 6 and 6:30 p.m. with additional showings on Friday and Saturday night at 9:30 and 10 p.m. in the Varsity Theater.

The primary appeal for entering a film in "Final Cut" is not monetary. It is the opportunity for a filmmaker to screen his or her film to a live audience, although the expense of producing a film is often enormous. Production costs for this year's films range from $0 to $9,000.

"Final Cut" will present the recent Slamdance Grand Jury Award for Best Short, "The Snell Show," produced and directed by theatre and media arts student Andrew Black and written by theatre and media arts faculty member Darl Larsen. This eight-minute short, selected from 2,500 entries, portrays the yearly community gathering at Old Man Snell's trailer for the greatest show on earth.

"The Snell Show" has been featured in the HBO Comedy Arts Festival, and is applying to the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival in France. "The Snell Show" is eligible to be considered for Best Short Oscar Consideration in 2004.

"Final Cut" entries in the past have gone on to be honored at prestigious festivals around the country. Matt Janzen's film "Funky Town" won a student Emmy for best sound. Bryan Lefler's "War Play" won best picture and best director awards at the Eclipse Film Festival and was honored at the Slamdance Film Festival.

For more information about the festival, contact Roxana Boyer, (801) 422-6242.

Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen

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