Summarized by Kent Larsen
Mormon film director leaves KBYU for hot UCF film program (UCF welcomes new director of film school)
Orlando FL Sentinel 17Aug99 L5
By Jim Abbott: Sentinel Staff
Well-known independent film director Sterling Van Wagenen has left
BYU's public TV station KBYU, where he served as managing director,
to become the director of the film school at the University of
Central Florida in Orlando. UCF is currently hot because a group of 5
of its recent alumni directed and produced the current stand-out film
"The Blair Witch Project."
Van Wagenen is well-regarded in his own right. He is best-known for
producing the film "The Trip to Bountiful" for which actress
Geraldine Page won an Academy Award in 1986. He is also known for
co-founding the Sundance Film Festival, now the nation's premier
exhibition for independent films, in 1978 with actor Robert Redford.
"The Blair Witch Project," like many successful independent films,
premiered at Sundance.
With the success of "The Blair Witch Project" Van Wagenen, 52, plans
to capitalize on the films success, growing the size of the film
school's faculty by six members. The five recent graduates who
created the film were at a ceremony on Monday to introduce Van
Wagenen, and basically upstaged him, given the notoriety of their
film. "We weren't expecting this," said one of the five, Gregg Hale.
"We came here to pay homage to the program that helped us become