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Alexandra Overton’s Film Wins Best Narrative Drama in Video Festival

There’s no other feeling like finding out you won an award for your work. Academy of Art University School of Motion Picture and Television alumna Alexandra Overton was in disbelief when she found out the film she directed, Torn Together, won Best Narrative Drama at the Latino Arts Video Festival in San Francisco.

Alexandra knew filmmaking was her destiny ever since she was 11 years old. Inspired by the oral histories of her family, she wanted to use memories and experience to explore her talents. She enrolled in the Academy’s prestigious Motion Picture and Television program with a concentration in producing and directing.

“It was wonderful,” she said about her experience at the Academy. “Town hall meetings, facilities, industry standard equipment, industry professionals as mentors and instructors, all made the experience feel more like a transition into filmmaking Hollywood style.”


A still from "Step to Hell"
 
In her final year at the Academy, Alexandra’s film Step to Hell won Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the Epidemic Film Festival in 2007. Her current boss, Steve McGlothen, presented the awards to her.

Torn Together is about a 30-year-old single mother named Carmen who works at a massage parlor to provide for herself and Anabel, her 10-year-old daughter. The film follows Carmen as she struggles to balance the roles of mother and sex worker. A conflict arises when Anabel’s father discovers and then discloses Carmen’s occupation. Carmen must face her family and society as she comes clean with her secret.

 
Alexandra on the set of "Step to Hell"

Alexandra had two weeks to prepare for the shoot. Filming took place in the Mission District of San Francisco over one week. The key crew was made up of all women from all different nationalities. The producer, Jannet Nunez, and Alexandra had worked on projects together before.

“I was excited to be asked to direct the project because I am a mother,” Alexandra said. “I used some of my experiences and motherly intuition to enhance Jannet’s vision of the script.”

Alexandra is currently working on a feature film with a division of Twentieth Century Fox called Fox Atomic. Fox Atomic films reaches a 17-24 year old audience. She is the assistant to Steven McGlothen, a co-producer on the film. The film is currently untitled.

She advises current MPT students to meet with their department director once a week as directors have a finger on the pulse of the industry as well as networking at professional mixers. She recommends keeping classmates as professional contacts and hiring them to work in projects.

“Motion pictures create an opportunity for us to share in the life of a main character,” she said. “Film sets create an opportunity for everyone to share in each other’s lives.”

 

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