“The Lights Are On, No One’s Home” film by UArizona student garners national distribution deal
Faye Ruiz’s short film will screen at cinemas nationwide as part of an anthology released by Kino Lorber and Dedza Films
Tucson, AZ (June 7, 2021) – The Lights Are On, No One’s Home, the senior thesis film by University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television alum Faye Ruiz (‘20), will be distributed nationally through Kino Lorber and Dedza Films as part of their first collaborative release, a film omnibus entitled Who Will Start Another Fire. The collection, featuring the works of nine emerging filmmakers from underrepresented communities with an introduction by filmmaker Charles Burnett, will screen at theatres throughout the United States and Canada starting June 11.
Who Will Start Another Fire will be released digitally through KinoMarquee.com, the distributor’s virtual theatrical platform in partnership with arthouse cinemas around the country, along with in-person screenings at cinemas that are open. Additionally, a limited-edition DVD release of the collection will be available in August 2021.
The Lights Are On, No One’s Home follows Mar, a trans woman who left home years ago, as she returns to her old neighborhood to find her childhood home. Upon her return, she’s confronted with the changes that gentrification has brought to the place she once knew so well. Along with Ruiz in the starring role, the film features actor Adriana Acedo Campillo (‘21), who is double majoring in Theatre Arts and Film & Television. Emma Sinex (BFA Film & Television ‘20) edited the film and Ramani Menjugas (BA Film & Television ‘20) produced. The cinematographers were Martin Somoza and Zach Lovvorn (both BFA Film & Television ’20). The University of Arizona Hanson FilmTV Institute provided completion funds.
The film made its debut at the 2020 edition of I Dream in Widescreen, the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s annual marquee event showcasing the short films made by BFA Film & Television senior students. Ruiz’s film collected awards for Cinematography, Production Design, and Post Production as selected by a jury of industry professionals. It went on to be selected to screen at multiple international film festivals, among them London’s BFI Flare, the largest LGBTIQ+ film festival in Europe, and Outfest Fusion, the Los Angeles-based festival dedicated to creating, sharing, and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and genderqueer media. Later this month the film will screen at the Academy Award-qualifying Palm Springs ShortFest, where it will be in competition for Best Student U.S. Short and Best LGBT+ Short.
“Dedza is committed to changing the landscape for emerging, underrepresented filmmakers and I’m elated to be a part of their first collection of short films and honored to have my film chosen to play on such a wide platform” said Faye Ruiz. “I’m grateful to the University of Arizona and the BFA program at the School of Theatre, Film and Television for providing me with the filmmaking resources and faculty mentorship to bring The Lights Are On, No One’s Home to life and out into the world.”
“The Lights Are On, No One’s Home truly stuck out to us from the beginning of tracking shorts. We knew almost immediately that we had to meet Faye and the film would be in our first collection. We couldn’t be happier to put Ruiz’s work out to the wider audience it deserves,” said Dedza Films founder Kate Gondwe.
“It’s always exciting to see our talented film and theatre students recognized on an international platform but even more so when supported by a ground-breaking and important initiative like Dedza Films,” said Andy Belser, Director of the School of Theatre, Film & Television. “We’re thrilled that Faye’s film is part of the inaugural release and extend congratulations to all involved.”
Dedza Films was founded in 2020 by filmmaker Kate Gondwe. The company’s aim is to foster diversity, build community and cultivate the next wave of emerging filmmakers. The shorts in Who Will Start Another Fire were curated and acquired by the Dedza team and Kino Lorber, who is serving as an incubator for this initiative, consulted on marketing, publicity and digital distribution. Watch the trailer for Who Will Start Another Fire at youtube.com/watch?v=JcX1xcAZGCg.
The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) nurtures and develops outstanding artists and scholars via rigorous training and mentoring by internationally recognized faculty, high-level internship opportunities, industry-standard resources, and hands-on production experience. TFTV offers comprehensive training programs that aim to prepare students to succeed in a wide range of careers – in the industry, the arts, and higher education. Each year through Arizona Repertory Theatre productions, the Studio Series, and Film & Television screenings, students of TFTV are able to showcase their talents, tell compelling stories, and provide clear results of what happens in their classrooms and studios. TFTV’s Film & Television program regularly ranks in The Wrap’s “Top 50 Film Schools,” and the School’s Theatre programs regularly rank in Onstage’s “Top 30 College Musical Theatre Programs” and “Top 30 College Theatre Design & Tech Programs” making UA one of the country’s top institutions to study theatre, film and television. More at https://tftv.arizona.edu/
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