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Film fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha re-established at UCLA

UCLA Delta Kappa Alpha was recently re-established for students who are interested in getting involved with making films, writing films or performing cinema-based community service.

By Anthony Cerrato

April 11, 2013 12:02 a.m.

When you stroll down Bruin Walk, you may see an LGBT fraternity, some business fraternities and a few social fraternities. Now among them is Delta Kappa Alpha, a co-ed professional cinema fraternity that has been re-established at UCLA after disbanding in the 1970s.

Delta Kappa Alpha, UCLA’s Delta chapter, was started this winter quarter as a colony and as of this spring quarter is now a fully fledged chapter.

The board members of Delta Kappa Alpha set out to start a fraternity for students to write and make films, as well as participate in community service. They have not yet started on a fraternity film, but are in the works for starting one this quarter.

“When someone tells me a story, from that comes an art form; whether it be music, a play, a film, a photo, a poem,” said Nerris Nassiri, second-year World Arts and Cultures student and president of Delta Kappa Alpha.

“That’s basically what I live for. I love films, but I live for stories.”

Most of the students who founded Delta Kappa Alpha are not film students themselves. Members said being in the film school is not a requirement to join the fraternity, though they hope to have film students in the fraternity.

William McDonald, Film, Television and Digital Media department chairman, will be advising Delta Kappa Alpha and hosting the fraternity’s films at the school’s theater.

“What has attracted me to get involved with DKA is it creates a nice, mechanical structure and organization on the UCLA campus to allow so many students that are interested in film, television and moving image arts to come together under that one umbrella,” McDonald said.

In order to bridge the gap between the student population and the school, Delta Kappa Alpha will work with the School of Theater, Film and Television to build the fraternity into a place where students can create professional connections in the film industry as well as collaborate with film students in making moving image art, McDonald said.

The fraternity has held rush events all of this week in order to recruit its first class since the 1970s.

After this quarter’s rush and application process, the board members of the fraternity will give out bids for pledges to begin the process of becoming brothers.

All members of Delta Kappa Alpha are required to work on one of the fraternity’s films every quarter, through acting and directing or anything in between.

Members must also serve at least five hours of community service with the fraternity’s charity of choice, actor Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network. The charity hosts camps and programs for children with serious illnesses. Fraternity members will participate in a host of activities with children at the SeriousFun Painted Turtle Camp, in addition to raising  money for the charity.

Additionally, it is planned for the members of Delta Kappa Alpha to attend guest speaker workshops, film archives and museums, which will help members expand their knowledge of the film industry and history of filmmaking, said Nassiri.

In order to learn more about film history, Delta Kappa Alpha members can also look to the fraternity’s honorary alumni, such as George Lucas and Alfred Hitchcock, who are part of the national organization’s network.

To help facilitate each others’ ideas, the fraternity hosts a wide array of specific committees where fraternity members can help each other on film ideas and collaborate to make films together. The committees include screenwriting, cinematography and directing – which are only a fraction of the committees the fraternity will host this quarter.

“I want to show the world how wonderful life could be through film,” said Elaine Lin, a first-year psychobiology student and member of Delta Kappa Alpha.

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