Campus: San Francisco State University -- April 21, 2004
SFSU Student's Film To Premiere At Cannes Film
Festival Next Month
Oakland resident’s short film ‘The Waves’ to
screen in Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Showcase
“The Waves,” a short film by San Francisco State University
graduate student Yael Braha, will screen next month at the world’s
top showcase for new movies: the Cannes Film Festival in France.
The film will debut during the festival as part of the Kodak Emerging
Filmmakers Showcase. Braha, who is pursuing a master of fine arts degree
in cinema, earned the Cannes invitation by being one of two student
filmmakers nationwide to receive the $2,500 Eastman Scholarship Award
for Cinematography and Excellence from Kodak.
“The Waves,” described by Braha as a “poetic experimental
narrative,” features famous statues in San Francisco and her native
Rome. Voices representing the statues recite original poetry written
by Braha and friend Mauro Mazzetti. The statues of Willie Mays, Joan
of Arc, St. Francis, Bernini’s Angels and others discuss their
voices, thoughts and feelings about time, space and life, as life passes
them by. “The Waves” is shot on black-and-white, 35-mm film
and features a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix.
The 57th Cannes Film Festival, to be held May 12-23, is one of the most
prestigious film festivals in the world. Each year it draws thousands
of visitors from around the world to view nearly 1,000 of the newest
innovative and artistic motion pictures.
“Yael has a very imaginative concept that succeeds. It is beautifully
done and moving,” said Stephen Ujlaki, chair of the SFSU Cinema
Department. “She’s going to have a very good career. She
is a very talented filmmaker.”
The fact that “The Waves” features Dolby Digital sound and
an Academy Award winner on its crew is unusual for a student film. Braha
recruited Michael Berger, a sound designer at the Saul Zaentz Film Center
in Berkeley, to be the supervising re-recording mixer for the film.
Berger won Oscars in Best Sound for “Apocalypse Now,” “The
Right Stuff,” “Amadeus” and “The English Patient.”
“Watching the film, I found that the sound is extremely important,”
Braha said. “I really wanted to have enough latitude to experiment
and create another sound-scape within the film.”
Braha, a 29-year-old Oakland resident, is a Webby Award-winning graphic
designer who works full time for the Exploratorium as a multimedia specialist.
She already has her next three films planned — another poetic
experimental narrative, a documentary on her family history, and a film
about her mother Deny, who died unexpectedly last fall.
Her long-term goals include continuing to make films and teach at the
university level. She would like to start her own film festival in Italy
as well as an international school of arts for adults, children and
the disabled — all dedicated to the memory of her mother.
Founded amid the political activism and artistic experimentation of
the 1960s, the SFSU Cinema Department has educated generations of filmmakers
including Academy Award winners Steven Zaillian (Best Screenplay, “Schindler’s
List,” 1994), Christopher Boyes (Best Sound, “Titanic,”
1998, “Pearl Harbor,” 2001, “Lord of the Rings: The
Return of the King,” 2004) and Steve Okazaki (Best Short Documentary,
“Days of Waiting,” 1991). In 2000, Entertainment Weekly
named the department one of the nation’s top film schools.
The Kodak Filmschool Competition, inaugurated in 2000, is open to students
and recent graduates in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions.
Nominees for the Eastman Scholarship Award are evaluated on the basis
of academic achievement, creative and technical ability, initiative,
communications ability and range of filmmaking experience. A jury evaluates
all work and makes final selections. The jury consists of a professional
cinematographer, distinguished scholar, independent filmmaker, and industry
or trade association executive.
Media Contact: Matt Itelson, (415) 338-1743; (415)