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    Film Review: 'Tag'

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    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “This is just what we love,” explains Isla Fisher’s delightfully overzealous character Anna Malloy in Tag, the uproarious new comedy directed by Jeff Tomsic (Broad City). Based on a true story (yes, really), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Jon Hamm (Baby Driver), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Hannibal Buress (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) play a group of friends that every year, for the entire month of May, regardless of their current life situation, reunite to continue their game of tag that they’ve been playing together since fifth grade. One of the friends, Jerry (Renner), has yet to be tagged in the 30 years they’ve been playing.

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    Celebrating the Crew

    Acknowledgement and recognition was given to students, instructors and department staff at the second annual NXT Up Fest

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    Photo by Bob Toy.

    For the second annual NXT Up Fest, the School of Motion Pictures & Television (MPT) at the Academy of Art University decided to do things a little different.

    Compared to last year’s event, which had students’ peers decide who takes home the prize, this year, it was up to a select group of industry professionals with hefty resumes: Chris Moore (Manchester by the Sea, Good Will Hunting); Howard Rosenman (Call Me By Your Name); Liz Glotzer (The Shawshank Redemption, The Good Fight); and Barbara Fisher (Hallmark Channel).

    “We wanted this work to be viewed by people in the industry,” said MPT Director Randy Levinson. “We wanted to get an assessment of what people were really thinking, the heads of each of their own particular crafts.”

    On paper, NXT Up Fest is all about acknowledging individual student excellence. But for the entire night, the department instructors and award winners were all about showing their crew some love.

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    NXT Up Fest Panel Discusses Making Film Dreams a Reality

    Film and television industry guests share advice with students and praise individuality

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    The NXT Up Fest guest panelists: (L-R) Roy Langbord, Clare Kilner, Fred Seibert and Michael E. Goldman. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Coffee, apple juice, muffins and a small panel on industry insight is on the very short list of things that can drag university students to school early on a Saturday morning.

    But Palmer Mendelson, M.F.A. producing student, had no concerns about the timing of the panel, trusting in the School of Motion Pictures & Television’s (MPT) – specifically Jana Memel, MPT executive director – track record for bringing in top-notch speakers to the Academy of Art University.

    “I knew today was worth coming to,” he said.

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    UKR Holds First Spring Concert

    UrbanKnightsRadio.com hosted performances by Academy students and local acts in end-of-semester festivities

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    King Tahoe performing at UKR's first ever Spring Concert. Photo by Nina Tabios.

    Always known for bringing the noise, the School of Communications & Media Technologies’ (COM) UrbanKnightsRadio.com (UKR) crew closed out the semester with a bang when they hosted the first ever UKR Spring Concert at Academy of Art University on May 18. Held at the 79 New Montgomery theater, the radio station invited a diverse cast of rappers, singers and DJs to put on a stellar show for the student body. 

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    Sold Out Shows of ACT’s 'Drowsy Chaperone' Intoxicate Audiences

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    The cast from the School of Acting’s spring musical production, The Drowsy Chaperone. Photos by Bob Toy.

    The Drowsy Chaperone may not have the cachet of Broadway sensations like Hamilton, but as Academy of Art University School of Acting’s (ACT) recent stellar production of this spoof of a 1920s musical proved, it’s no snoozefest. The crowds that packed Sutter Street Theatre during The Drowsy Chaperone’s two-week run enjoyed a madcap escapade that had them laughing and cheering from start to finish.

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    Styling 'The Drowsy Chaperone'

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    essica Schmaus adjusts School of Acting student Allison Frank’s headband for The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo by Nina Tabios.

    Costume designers from the School of Fashion had their hands full with dressing the cast of The Drowsy Chaperone, the School of Acting’s Spring 2018 production. With a cast of 36, Shelby “Lio” Feeney, Alexia Rodriguez and Jessica Schmaus (and Costume Supervisor Brooke Jennings) certainly had to play a numbers game.

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