Widen the Lens: John Pickhaver

SFTV has launched a new video series, Widen the Lens, featuring recent alumni and students. For our first video interview, we spoke to comedian and writer John Pickhaver (WPTV – M.F.A. ’16) about his start in comedy, and how LMU’s spirit of collaboration has influenced him in his career.

Hollywood Master: Norman Lear

“We were mirroring life,” said groundbreaking Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer, producer and social activist Norman Lear. The 93-year-old creator of All in the Family and The Jeffersons stopped by SFTV for the fifth season of the Hollywood Masters to talk about his exceptional life and career, and how television mirrors life – all with a Lear-esque sense of humor, of course.

Hollywood Master: Geena Davis

“I just say whatever you are already making, you’re leaving out half of the population. Even in the crowd scenes. And people are absolutely shocked,” said the Academy Award-winning actor, activist and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis stopped by The Hollywood Masters to talk about her roles in such films as Thelma & Louise, which celebrates its 25th year anniversary this year, and how women are portrayed (or not) in Hollywood.

Solomon Onita Jr.’s “JOY” Airing on HBO

Solomon Onita Jr. (PROD – M.F.A. ’16) has worked diligently to bring often unseen stories to the screen. His award-winning short film, JOY, about a Nigerian woman living in America who struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter, will air on HBO beginning next week for Black History Month.

LMU Surprises Three Girls with Full Ride Scholarships

“I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to go to college,” said high school senior Larissa Ramirez as she tearfully accepted a full-ride, four year scholarship to Loyola Marymount University at The Hollywood Reporter’s 24th Annual Power 100 Breakfast. The scholarship was awarded as part of THR’s Women In Entertainment Mentorship Program, a competitive joint venture with the national non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters that pairs inner-city schoolgirls with top-level women in the entertainment business.