Columbia Shorts Travel to South by Southwest

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South by Southwest 2013

South by Southwest has long held the reputation for being the seminal, post-Sundance indie film celebration. Eight Columbia shorts have been selected to screen this year at the festival's 20th film anniversary.

Included in the 2013 film festival and conference, Social Butterfly is one of the 106 selections chosen to compete in the short film lineup. Written and directed by Lauren Wolkstein ('10 SOA), Social Butterfly follows the story of a thirty year old American woman the night she attends a teenage party in the south of France. The short also played at this year's Sundance Festival.

Shale, written and directed by Jed Cowley ('12 SOA), explores the dynamic between John, a shale pit owner, and his wife, Sheila. The film also screened at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival. Shale was produced by Michael De Caro ('12 SOA), who also served as 1st AD, co-produced by unit production manager Alvaro R. Valente (4th year Producing), associate produced by Esra Saydam ('11 SOA) and photographed by 2nd AC Christopher Laszlo (4th year Producing). Oded Naaman (4th year Directing) and Avram Dodson (3rd year Directing) were responsible for the visual effects.

Director Aaron David DeFazio (2nd year Directing) will screen his short, Top Floor, a look into the surprising life of a hedge fund manager and father down on his luck. The film was written and produced by Daniella Kahane Levy (2nd year Producing) and edited and mixed by Filip Kasperaszek (2nd year Directing). Angelos Rompolis (2nd year Directing) served as gaffer with 1st camera assistant Sean Webley (2nd year Screenwriting), 2nd camera assistant Michael Minard (2nd year Screenwriting), production assistants Hugo Kenzo (2nd year Producing) and Emma Wang (2nd year Producing), colorist Rob Richert (5th year Directing), and visual effects supervisor Kyle Novak (2nd year Screenwriting). Julie Seureau (2nd year Producing) made a cameo in the short.

Skin, directed by student Jordana Spiro and co-written with fellow student David Pablos, will also be featured in the lineup. Skin tells the story of a young taxidermist and the girl who finds his work beautiful. It was produced by Spiro along with Alvaro R. Valente (4th year Producing), Benjamin Rubin (3rd year Producing) and Naomi Spiro. Minji Kang (4th year Directing) served as the production designer and Jamie Sisley (4th year Directing) was the set grip. Skin played at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Erlingur Thoroddsen's (4th year Directing) Child Eater comes to this year's SXSW's Midnight Short Program after playing at the Cineporto Festival in Rome in 2012 and the NYC Horror Film Festival. The film follows Helen through a terrifying night of babysitting. Child Eater was produced by Perri Nemiroff ('13 SOA), co-produced by AD Sarah Nerboso ('12 SOA), and shot by JP Wakayama Carey (3rd year Producing) with AC Brian Love (3rd year Producing). Baldvin Kári was the script supervisor and worked alongside grip Jordi Wijnalda (3rd year Directing), gaffer Victor Hugo Duran (3rd year Directing), and production assistant Pei-Ju Hsieh (4th year Producing). Brandon Zuck (3rd year Producing) oversaw the film's promotional artwork.

Along with Child Eater, Root, directed by Caleb Johnson ('08 SOA), will screen during the Midnight Short Program. The film recounts the troubles of a young woman who attempts to remove a mark left by an affair. Special thanks for the film's success include Scott Burkhardt ('08 SOA), Jeff Smith, and Madeleine Olnek ('08 SOA).  

This is Where We Live, edited by Filip Kasperaszek (2nd year Directing), will screen this year as well as The Roper, produced by Apryl Richards ('10 SOA), to play in the Documentary Shorts program.

South by Southwest begins Friday, March 8 and ends Sunday, March 17.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.