President of Lionsgate Television to give keynote address at UCSC Film Symposium

Events will feature prominent UCSC alumni in Film and TV industry

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Kevin Beggs, UCSC alumnus, President of Lionsgate Television Group
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Ron Yerxa--UCSC alumnus, Film producer (Little Miss Sunshine, Election)

Kevin Beggs, the president of Lionsgate Television Group, will deliver the keynote address for a two-day film symposium—Bridging the Gap—at UC Santa Cruz, June 3-4.

The UCSC alumnus is just one of many graduates of the campus who will participate in panel discussions and screenings at the event—exploring such topics as Documentary Films & Media/Social Change, So What is Film Education?, The Business of Film, and Getting Started in Television
Beggs graduated from UC Santa Cruz with honors in 1989 with a double-major in politics and theater arts.

As president of Lionsgate television, he is responsible for development and production of all scripted and non-scripted programming for both domestic and international distribution.

He is also head of the company’s feature-length documentary unit.

Lionsgate’s roster includes the recently announced drama series Boss starring Kelsey Grammer; the award-winning AMC hit Mad Men; Weeds, starring Mary-Louise Parker; Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco; and Running Wilde starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell.

Beggs first gained prominence in television as a producer on the series Baywatch and was tapped in 1998 to start Lionsgate’s series television business. He has since led the expansion of the company’s television production activities in both broadcast and cable.

Other featured alumni guests at the UCSC Film Symposium will include: Rick Carter production designer (Sucker Punch, Avatar); Ron Yerxa producer, Bona Fide Productions (Little Miss Sunshine, Little Children, Election); Tad Leckman (visual effects designer (Escape Studios/ Industrial Light & Magic); Sarah Schechter Senior Vice President, Production--Warner Brothers; Marc Smolowitz new media producer/director (The Weather Underground & Trembling Before G-d); James Stanton television editor (Mega Quake, Undercover Boss, America's Got Talent); Tiffany White assistant costume designer/costumer (Mad Men, True Blood); Dylan Wilcox Head of Acquisitions Focus Features, Universal International; Stuart Sender producer/director (Harmony, Beyond "JFK" – The Question of Conspiracy); Joe Sheridan web writer (Ellen Show); and Davey Holmes writer/producer (The Chicago Code, Pushing Daisies).
“Considering the size and age of our film program, it is impressive how many of our alumni are successful in the film and TV industry,” noted David Yager, arts dean at UC Santa Cruz.

“They are all very excited about returning to UCSC,” Yager added. “In every case when I have talked to these alumni, they have remarked how their education at UCSC has changed their lives and played an important role in their career success.”

The festivities kick off on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with a reception and screening honoring emeritus UCSC film and digital media professor Chip Lord, co-founder of the Ant Farm in 1968--a groundbreaking, experimental art and architecture collective that showcased the potential power of video and performance art.

Saturday features a day of film screenings and panel discussions with alumni professionals working in film, television and digital media, along with faculty from UCSC’s Film and Digital Media Department.

Beggs will deliver the keynote address at 5 p.m. at UCSC’s Media Theater, with additional film screenings beginning later that evening at 8:15 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public; however attendees need to register in advance.

For more information and a complete lineup of all events, venues, and times, go to the Bridging The Gap web site.