Student Filmmakers Present Their Work at the BYU Final Cut Film Festival

BYU audiences have the chance to see student-produced short films during campus festival The annual Final Cut Film Festival returns to the HFAC Nov. 15-17, bringing with it an opportunity to see new student work that was developed and produced over the last year. For over 25 years, the BYU Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) department has encouraged students to present their work to campus audiences. Though the event is sponsored by the media arts program and the Student Film Association, all majors are eligible to submit to the festival, which is intended to highlight creative and meaningful media. The films for the 2018 festival were chosen by a selection committee of media arts faculty and staff and will be organized into three programs, each around 75 minutes long. Two of the three programs will be screened each night of the festival, with an awards ceremony taking place following the last program on Nov. 17. Awards aside, a festival like Final Cut is an important step for student filmmakers. “It gives them exposure, and it lets them see their work in front of an audience so they can really experience that reaction,” said Scott Christopherson, a media arts professor and member of the festival’s selection committee. “You can show your film to your friends, and they might sugarcoat it, but when you show it to the public, they’re either going to laugh, or they’re not; they’re going to emote, or they’re not,” Christopherson continued. “A festival gives students a goal to work towards. It pushes them to create better work because they know that people are going to see it.” Beyond his current role as a festival organizer and a mentor to student documentary filmmakers in the media arts program, Christopherson has a deep personal connection to Final Cut from his own years as a BYU student. “My capstone honors thesis was a film called ‘Only the Pizza Man Knows,’ and it was about my parents,” said Christopherson. “My dad was a stockbroker who went bankrupt and then became a pizza delivery man. This happened when I was about 14, so the film was me going back and revisiting that time and figuring out what happened to my dad and exploring relationships between fathers and sons.” Christopherson’s film made an impact at Final Cut, winning a Best in Fest award and catching the attention of a man who would become one of the most important professional connections for Christopherson’s career. “I met a guy who’s now a good friend of mine,” said Christopherson. “He saw my film at Final Cut and was touched by it, and since then he’s funded all of my movies. I owe a lot to Final Cut.” Now returning to the festival as faculty, Christopherson hopes to help foster these important connections for student filmmakers and bring quality, family-friendly films to BYU audiences. “Some of these films touch on important topics that students can relate to,” he said. “I think audiences will appreciate the production quality of our student films. They just keep getting better and better.” Among these student films are the four most recent media arts capstone projects, all of which premiered earlier this semester at the Vineyard Megaplex. The films were developed and produced during the 2017-2018 school year and represent the time, talents and energy of the student directors, producers and crews who took them from an initial concept to a full 15-20 minute short.   Tickets and Show Details Performance Dates and Times: Nov. 15-17 | 7:00 p.m. Location: Pardoe Theatre, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU Price: $4-5 Tickets: Available in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the HFAC or Marriott Center, by phone at 801.422.2981 or online at