Still from Kudzu, image courtesy of Atlanta Film Festival

'Kudzu' by Alumni Wins Best in Show at George Lindsay UNA Film Festival

April 8, 2019

Kudzu, written & directed by current student Connor Simpson and produced by alumnus Carver Diserens '17, won the award for Best in Show at the George Lindsay UNA Film Festival in Alabama. The film held its world premiere at the Stockholm International Film Festival. It won the Filmmaker to Watch award at the Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival, the Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship award at the Columbia University Film Festival, and will be playing next at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival in June.


Kudzu follows a young boy as he wrestles with a deepening sense of remorse after the disappearance of his friend. When those close to him begin to question his involvement, he is forced to make a life-altering choice. Themes of friendship, guilt, and redemption are examined against the backdrop of a scorching summer in rural Alabama.


Connor Simpson is a director, writer, and editor based in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in the South. In 2018, Simpson was an Emerging Filmmakers Production Grant winner, chosen for the Filmmaker to Watch Award at the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, and received an IFP Audience Award for Kanarí. He previously was a Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship winner, a Holle Award for Excellence in Filmmaking grant winner, and an alum of the Transatlantic Talent Lab in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Carver Diserens' recent productions as a producer have screened at the Atlanta Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, DC Shorts Festival and Stockholm International Film Festival. Diserens has worked in film and television in New York City since 2009 on various projects,y  yy including The Colbert Report, How to Make it in America, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Men in Black III, Person of Interest, Anchorman II, Amazon’s Alpha House, and the upcoming Showtime mini-series Escape at Dannemora. He recently worked in Development at Amazon Studios in their half-hour development group and currently works at Thruline entertainment as a manager/producer's assistant. He also works part-time at The Screenwriters Colony, a non-profit screenwriting lab where he coordinates the episodic comedy Colony held every June.


The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival is hosted each year by the University of North Alabama in Florence, one of the four cities comprising the culturally rich Shoals. The Shoals is an entertainment Mecca with long roots, which reach to the heart of rock and roll, southern rock, and the blues.