Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas Union Film Festival opens the curtain for student creators

Julieta Cruz

Showcasing student filmmakers on campus, UT Showtime, a committee under Campus Events and Entertainment, opened applications this month for the annual Texas Union Film Festival.

“We’re coming up to our 15th year,” TUFF co-director Evan Craig said. “It includes anybody who’s non-film majors or people who just make either music, animation, poetry and just any type of media that they make and produce they can send it into our film competition.”

TUFF offers a place for students starting in the Austin film scene and, for some, transitioning from high school film festivals to the collegiate level.

“I put myself into many film festivals in high school,” said Gianna Galante, a radio-television-film freshman. “Coming to UT, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know if I was gonna get as many opportunities. This is a good opportunity to put my work out there.”

Galante said she is submitting a film she made earlier this year that is very close to her. 

“It was something I made at home,” Galante said. “The film I’m submitting is about struggling with an eating disorder, and how that affects younger girls. It’s just a girl trying to figure out her life through an eating disorder. In a sense, it’s a film that is really dear to me because it’s kind of a self-insert.” 

For many students, such as Ruby Walker, a radio-television-film freshman, not only is making the film one of the benefits of the festival, but connecting with peers is as well. 

“I hope that, honestly, I can just meet people from it,” Walker said. “Just friends that I can make after, like other people who are submitting and (telling them), ‘Oh my gosh. Your film was so cool. Do you wanna work on my set?’”

Craig, an African and African Diaspora studies sophomore said he hopes to provide more than a connection to other student filmmakers but also networking opportunities with professionals from the industry and enabling access to other film festivals.

“We’re gonna have judges (such as) professors,” Craig said. “In previous years, we had the founders of the Alamo Drafthouse (Cinema), founders of our local film festivals and movie theaters around Austin. The winners would oftentimes get a pass or a badge to the film festivals.”

Craig said TUFF was created to connect filmmakers and be an outlet for those to express themselves through the medium.

“It’s just an opportunity for students to show their art,” Craig said. “To show their style and their personality through media, and to actually get an opportunity to be connected to people in the film industry.”

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