This month the University of Arizona returned to Austin, Texas, for the 2023 South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, offering four days of speakers, music and immersive experiences at the Wonder House. Included in the line-up was Movie Night at the Wonder House, an evening of short films by current and past School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) filmmakers. Emerging TFTV filmmakers Zach Lovvorn (BFA Film & Television, ’20), Roxanna Denise Stevens Ibarra (BFA Film & Television, ’20) and Sasha Reist (BA Film & Television, ’23 and BFA Dance, ’23) were invited to be part of the proceedings. Here is Zach’s account of the experience.
“It was an incredible opportunity to attend SXSW and represent TFTV at the Wonder House. It was a surreal and unforgettable experience to be able to talk about my time with the Film & Television program.
I was invited to show my senior thesis short film, IRIS, alongside a spectacular line-up of short films created by TFTV filmmakers over the years. I graduated in 2020, and since my class was not able to present their senior thesis films on the big screen due to the pandemic, it is always a pleasure to show IRIS to a live, in-person audience. After the screening, I joined fellow TFTV filmmakers onstage to discuss our work. Being able to answer questions about my work and listen to UArizona peers talk about their process was refreshing after multiple years of isolation.
While at SXSW, we also had the opportunity to watch the world premiere of a number of high-profile films. A couple of my favorites included Problemista, directed by Julio Torres, and Bottoms, directed by Emma Seligman and starring Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri. Both films screened to a packed audience at the historic Paramount Theatre. It was thrilling to be in the audience as the filmmakers took to the stage afterwards amid huge applause and cheers. It was also great to spend time with fellow TFTV filmmakers and our Director of Advancement and External Relations, Kerryn Negus. Kerryn was the one who brought us all together and I couldn’t be more indebted for her kindness and friendship. I enjoyed seeing and catching up with one of my classmates, Roxanna Stevens Ibarra, and we reminisced about our time at UArizona and our career hopes for the future. I also had the pleasure of meeting Sasha Reist, a current senior. I was compelled by the merging of film and dance in her documentary and can’t wait to see where she takes her passions moving forward.
Being part of the University of Arizona Wonder House and SXSW was an extraordinary experience. I have just moved to Los Angeles, where I am working as a video editor and focusing on my passion for screenwriting. I am working every day to expand my horizons as an artist and can’t wait to continue working with such talented people.
It was my pleasure to present the work I created during my time at the University of Arizona and to encourage others to pursue their passions at the School of Theatre, Film & Television.”
The onstage conversation featuring Zach, Sasha and Roxy alongside hosts and podcasters Shai and Becky Korman was recorded and memorialized in a Friday Night Movie Podcast episode.
Listen to the podcast episode