UCLA film society’s partnership provides accessibility to industry professionals
Bruin Film Society events coordinator Kevin Yang conducted a Q&A with “Eighth Grade” director Bo Burnham and actress Elsie Fisher at its Sept. 26 event. Following a screening of the film, they discussed the importance of accurately depicting teenage characters. (Courtesy of Juan Díaz)
BFS Awards Season: Mid90s
James Bridges Theater
October 14, 2018 10:52 pm
This post was updated Oct. 15 at 1:19 p.m.
Bo Burnham recently answered students’ questions in a Bruin Film Society event. This week, students can watch an advance screening of “Mid90s,” directed by Jonah Hill.
A24, the entertainment company that produced movies such as “Eighth Grade” and the Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” partnered with BFS this summer. The collaboration will allow UCLA students, as well as students from eight other college campuses, access to the studio’s indie films through a series of free screenings, said Kevin Yang, BFS events coordinator and a fourth-year political science and economics student. A24 will help BFS host career-networking events and bring in professionals involved in the films. One of the events will be a screening of the upcoming film “Mid90s” at the James Bridges Theater on Monday as part of the BFS Awards Season series, which involves prescreening contenders for the Academy Awards and other notable award shows. Yang said the club’s partnership with A24 is part of an effort to start dialogues with professionals involved in the film industry and support other UCLA-affiliated groups, while making films more accessible to students.
“The main goal of the program is to engage with the student body because it is obviously really easy to screen a movie and be done with it,” Yang said. “But we want (the collaboration with A24) to be known as something that can help facilitate engagement with the student body, especially in the conversations we want to hold.”
Events are primarily structured around film screenings, said Juan Díaz, BFS president and a third-year economics student. For example, “Eighth Grade” was written and directed by Burnham, so A24 – the film’s distributor – helped set up a campus Q&A with Burnham and the movie’s star, Elsie Fisher. Because of the movie’s secondary-school theme, BFS also worked in conjunction with the Mentorship Program at UCLA, which helps mentor local students between the ages 7 and 17, to host a discussion informing students about the program.
The advance screening of “Mid90s” is part of the official Homecoming events list, Yang said. BFS will be giving away merchandise at Homecoming’s Office Hours on Monday, which offers students coffee and school supplies. BFS will invite other clubs and organizations to match the themes of other A24 screenings in the future and will be giving out the company’s merchandise at the events, he said.
BFS in collaboration with A24 at UCLA also supplied students with tickets to “Pod Save America,” an HBO show A24 worked on, Yang said. Third-year political science student and BFS Vice President Priyanka Kapoor said the tickets were part of a plan to help encourage students to become more politically active, as the show started after the 2016 election and aims to start political discussions.
“It’s a conversation about politics that’s accessible to students and A24 feels it is an important cause to bring students out to vote,” Yang said.
Díaz said the partnership with A24 does not just involve screening events for the company’s films or giving students passes. Though there will be a few quarterly screenings with the indie film group, BFS plans on hosting events that would benefit students interested in film or the creation of film as a career, he said.
“We are planning industry-contact events,” Díaz said. “(We are) bringing people from the film industry to have a conversation with students about career planning and have events tied into the film community on campus.”
Though BFS has a partnership with A24, the club will continue to show films from other producers as well, he said. The partnership eases the process of approving certain events and prescreenings, but it also increases the ability for BFS to work with other groups or bring professionals in to speak to students.
“(A24) fits into the larger scheme of the BFS Award Season that we are doing,” Díaz said. “With the partnership and other movies we are getting, we are bringing students quality films for free.”