Community & Craft

Community & Craft: Conversations with Alumni

A series of live conversations between UGFTV alumni in a variety of disciplines and the faculty who mentored them. How did they get there from here, and ways that UGFTV training, experiences and relationships did and still do serve them. Designed to inspire, inform and keep us connected while apart.

Tyler Mitchell, Self Portrait
Tyler Mitchell, Self Portrait

September 23, 2020

Watch Recording of Tyler Mitchell

UGFTV Alum Tyler Mitchell, is a photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, working across many genres to explore and document a new aesthetic of Blackness. Mitchell is regularly published in avant-garde magazines, commissioned by prominent fashion houses, and exhibited in top tier institutions.

In 2018 he made history as the first Black photographer to shoot a cover of American Vogue for Beyoncé’s appearance in the September issue. In 2019 a portrait from this series was acquired by The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for its permanent collection. This, alongside many other accomplishments, has established Mitchell as one of the most closely watched up-and-coming talents in image making today.

Read more About Tyler Mitchell

Moderated by Darrell Wilson

Derek Simon
Derek Simon

August 5, 2020

Derek Simon is currently a writer on the CW's Supergirl, where he has worked since the series began in 2015.  He previously wrote for USA's Graceland and was the writer's assistant on FX's The Americans.  Prior to his career in television, Derek worked for Focus Features restocking the bathrooms with air freshener and for the Howard Stern Show, where he fretted over the temperature and consistency of Howard's oatmeal.  He graduated from the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & TV at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2011.  Derek is originally from Long Island, New York, but currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and baby daughter.

Moderated by faculty member and veteran producer, Joe Pichirallo.


Zac Stuart-Pontier
Zac Stuart-Pontier

July 22, 2020

ZAC STUART-PONTIER is a filmmaker and a journalist. He won two Emmys for HBO’s “THE JINX” as Co-Executive Producer and Editor, he was also a writer on the show. “THE JINX” was awarded a Peabody Award and the Outstanding Miniseries by the Television Critics Association.  ZAC is the co-creator of the Gimlet podcast CRIMETOWN with Marc Smerling, which has been included on numerous best of lists (including The New York Times, USA Today, Vulture, & The Atlantic) and spent multiple weeks at number 1 on the Apple Podcast Charts. He is the co-creator of THE RFK TAPES, which delves into the conspiracy behind RFK’s assassination in 1968, and THE BALLAD OF BILLY BALLS, an investigation of the shooting of an punk rock musician in the East Village. ZAC was a producer on the documentaries "CATFISH" (Sundance), "BEAUTIFUL DARLING" (Berlinale) and “MARKIE IN MILWAUKEE" (Slamdance). On the narrative side, Zac was the editor of BLEED FOR THIS (Telluride 2016), MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (Sundance Best Director, 2011), SIMON KILLER (Sundance, 2012) and OPUS JAZZ (SXSW, PBS).

Moderated by Chris Chan Roberson.

Alfonso Morgan-Terrero
Alfonso Morgan-Terrero

July 15, 2020

Alumnus Alfonso is a Caribbean American filmmaker born and raised in the Bronx. His Advanced film "Champions" (2018) won the Wasserman King Award. Alfonso shot his family's home town of Dajabon in Dominican Republic. He is a 2019-20 Henry Luce Scholar.

Moderated by Professor Richard Litvin.

Antonio Campos
Antonio Campos

July 8, 2020

Watch Recording of Antonio Campos

Alumnus Antonio Campos is an acclaimed writer, producer and director who is currently in post-production on his latest film THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME. The Netflix film features an all-star cast including Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Bill Skarsgard. Campos' other notable feature credits as a director include the Sundance sensations CHRISTINE starring Rebecca Hall and SIMON KILLER starring Brady Corbet. His debut feature AFTERSCHOOL premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Caméra d'Or and Un Certain Regard awards. In television, Campos directed the pilot of USA’s Emmy-nominated series THE SINNER and served as an Executive Producer for the first season of the anthology series.

Moderated by Professor Nick Tanis

Matthew Kazuo Firpo
Matthew Kazuo Firpo

June 24, 2020

Watch Recording of Matt Kazuo Firpo

Matthew Kazuo Firpo is an award-winning director and photographer, and the writer of Marvel Studios' upcoming feature THE ETERNALS. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was recently named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30.

Born and raised in San Francisco, he’s been making movies since he was eight years old. His focus on powerful storytelling has won him Best Director at the AdWeek Watch Awards, Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and landed him at the top of the 2017 Black List. As a photographer he’s shot editorials and covers all over the world, from Jaipur to Joshua Tree, and has led photographic expeditions from Mount Kilimanjaro to the Swiss Alps. In 2016, Matthew spent a month in Greece creating THE REFUGE PROJECT, a multimedia chronicle of human stories from the Syrian refugee crisis that premiered at SXSW - and he's since worked with UNICEF to create an original documentary series highlighting local programs from around the world.

His commercial work has generated hundreds of millions of views online, played the Super Bowl, and has been featured everywhere from Times Square to the front page of AdWeek. He believes in telling stories that make a difference.

Currently based between Los Angeles and New York, Matthew is represented worldwide as a writer-director by the United Talent Agency and LBI Entertainment. He's the writer of five feature films, including Marvel Studios' THE ETERNALS, the upcoming post-war drama RUIN starring Margot Robbie, and the near-future thriller MIMI FROM RIO currently set up at Netflix with Ridley Scott producing. He's the winner of the 2017 Black List, Hit List, and Blood List, as well as a two-time Semi-Finalist in The Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship. He currently has his debut feature film in development, slated to shoot in 2020. He likes incredible things.

Moderated by Teacher Chris Chan Roberson.

Sue Perrotto
Sue Perrotto

June 17, 2020

Watch Recording of Sue Perrotto

Sue Perrotto, Supervising Director on Mira, Royal Detective for Disney Jr.

Sue Perrotto is a 1990 graduate of UGFTV and its Animation Program. She is a four-time Emmy Nominee for her work as a director on Phineas & Ferb series and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. She has worked in every area of the animation industry, including storyboarding, layout, animation, timing supervisor, voice talent and director. Her versatility has kept her busy at numerous studios on the east and west coasts, such as Cartoon Network, Disneytoon Studios, Curious Pictures, MTV Animation, Film Roman, and Wild Canary Animation.

Sue Perrotto will discuss her career and current work as Supervising Director at Disney Jr. on Mira, Royal Detective with Professor John Canemaker, Head of UGFTV’s Animation Program.

Moderated by Professor John Canemaker

Harrison Allen & Madeleine Schumacher
Harrison Allen & Madeleine Schumacher

May 13, 2020

Watch Recording of Allen & Schumacher

While still Juniors, Harrison Allen '20, and Madeleine Schumacher '20 developed, funded, and produced, The Last Mary I Saw, an indie feature written and directed by Edoardo Vitaletti, ‘19. Learn how Harrison and Madeline used skills, strategies, and relationships acquired at UGFTV to make this happen!

Moderated by Professor Janet Grillo.