Webster Professors Show Films to International Audiences

Nov. 4, 2013

ST. LOUIS, November 4, 2013 – There’s no need to click on Netflix when you’re looking for an interesting movie to watch - just head over to the Webster University School of Communications. From fiction to documentaries to animation, professors are getting international attention in all film genres.

Jorge Oliver, an associate professor in the film production department; Chris Sagovac, an assistant professor in animation and Charlie Anderson, a visiting assistant professor in film production, have each produced films that are appearing in a number of international film festivals.

“We teach students about the process of creating a film but it’s important for them to remember that the process doesn’t end with the final edit,” said Oliver. “You want people to see your work and experience what you’ve created. Getting a film into a festival is the best way to develop an audience.”

“Free to Love” – Jorge Oliver

Jorge Oliver’s documentary “Free to Love” is headed to four different international film festivals: the Reeling Film Festival in Chicago, Ill.; the Puerto Rico Queer Film Fest in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the 22nd St. Louis International Film Festival in St.Free to love imageLouis, Mo. and the 35th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, Cuba.

“Free to Love” tells the story of a group of LGBT activists in Puerto Rico who organized a grass roots initiative against CR99, a constitutional marriage amendment backed by the religious right. The amendment aimed to prevent gay marriage from taking place. The documentary chronicles the events that led to the failure of CR99.

“I started out doing a history of the gay movement in Puerto Rico,” said Oliver. “But then this story surfaced and it gave me the opportunity to tell this complete story from start to finish and follow the issue from start-to-finish. I hope this documentary will help Puerto Ricans remember what they did.”

Oliver received a $7,500 grant from Webster’s Faculty Development Fund for the film and said that he received support from throughout the School of Communications.

“Although the film is shot in Puerto Rico, my Webster University family was very involved,” said Oliver. “Tori Meyer, an assistant professor in the audio department, was the composer for the film, alumnus John Schwartz did the sound mixing and Elias Huch, another Webster graduate, did the graphics.”

“newscaster / dragon / maggots” – Chris Sagovac

Chris Sagovac’s surreal animated film “newscaster / dragon / maggots” is appearing in both the 22nd St. Louis International Film Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Sagovac’s film was also selected to be on thenewscaster dragon maggotAssociation Internationale du Film d’Animation central compilation for International Animation Day.

Sagovac’s film is described as a surreal animation capturing what lurks between channels created from three randomly
 selected pieces of found footage.

“Surrealism is an artistic movement that has been a great influence to me,” said Sagovac.”People need to get past the idea that animation is just for children. Even though there are animation categories and sidebars at almost every film festival, I don’t think of animation as a genre but I do think it of as a method.”

Sagovac’s film “newscaster / dragon / maggots” is appearing in the experimental or non-narrative short film category in the Cornwall Film Festival.

 “We Could Be Your Parents” – Charlie Anderson

“We Could Be Your Parents” is Anderson’s latest short film. It focuses on a woman who wants to have a baby but needs her We Could Be Your Parentshusband to quit smoking first. The film appeared at the Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, N.Y. and the New Orleans Film Festival in New Orleans, La. It is also scheduled to appear at the New Filmmakers LA Film Festival in Los Angeles, Calif, the Indie Memphis Film Festival in Memphis, Tenn. and the Williamstown Film Festival in Williamstown, Mass.

For Anderson, the benefits of appearing in a film festival go beyond building an audience.  "We Could Be Your Parents" recently won Best Narrative Short Film at WILLiFEST in Brooklyn, N.Y. His previous films, “All Day Yeah" and "Werewolf Trouble" also screened at a number of festivals and won awards.

“I create films because I love telling stories, but it's nice to receive festival recognition,” said Anderson. “It's motivating to know your work is entertaining people, plus, festivals are great networking opportunities." 

For more information on these faculty films, please visit the following links:

Free to Love
newscaster / dragon / maggots
We Could Be Your Parents