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The University of Alabama

UA Departments Collaborate With New Orleans Producers on Student Film

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Several academic units at The University of Alabama have entered into collaboration with Court 13, a New Orleans-based film cooperative that produced the Academy Award-nominated “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The collaboration is titled Court13@UA and started in the fall 2014 semester on the UA campus. The pilot year of the partnership has produced a short film, which premieres at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.

From left: Josh Penn, James (Andy) Crank, Nick Corrao, Andrew Grace and  Dan Janvey.

From left: Josh Penn, James (Andy) Crank, Nick Corrao, Andrew Grace and Dan Janvey.

The collaboration takes a small number of advanced students through the creation and production of an original short fiction film. The effort involves UA’s English and telecommunication and film departments as well as Court 13 producers Josh Penn and Dan Janvey. Shepherding the collaboration at UA are Dr. James A. Crank, assistant professor of American and Southern literature and culture; Andrew Grace, director of Documenting Justice in TCF; and Nicholas Corrao, instructor in TCF.

“The Court 13 producers have consulted with our students regularly through video chat, emails and a series of on-campus visits,” Crank said. “The culmination of the class is the public screening of the work on Wednesday, April 22. The screening features a panel discussion with the student filmmakers and the Court 13 producers who will talk about their collaboration. The film ‘BREWING’ marks the culmination of the first year of our partnership; each year we will produce one short film in collaboration with the filmmakers at Court 13. Ultimately, it’s our expectation that our students’ films will go on to play regional and national film festivals, taking this story of UA’s partnership to an even wider and more diverse audience.”

The collaboration is being funded through grants from UA’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Communication and Information Sciences, as well as the departments of English and telecommunication and film. Additional support has been offered by Josh Rothman and the Summersell Center for the Study of the American South.

Court 13 is best known for the feature-length 2012 film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which won the Palme D’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The group is a hive for collaborative, creative filmmakers; the group has produced several groundbreaking films, documentaries, and shorts. For details, go to

For details on the partnership, contact Crank at


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.