The U at the Movies

One of the joys of summer is chilling inside a theater or pulling up at the drive-in to enjoy a big blockbuster or cool indie film. In honor of movie season, we’re revisiting Utah Magazine stories about U alums and faculty who are making movie magic.

Growing Minari

The buzz for Minari started after its first screening at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie by U alum Lee Isaac Chung is a fictionalized version of his childhood as his family moved to a tiny farm in search of their own American Dream. Read more about Chung and how he almost gave up on filmmaking before giving once last try with the now critically acclaimed, award-winning film.

Falling Down on the Job

U alums Kristina Baskett and Andy Jones are no strangers to being stomped on, thrown down stairways, and hurled through windows. It’s all part of the job as stunt workers on hits such as Captain Marvel, Wild, Logan, and Game of Thrones.

Larger than Life

From Marvel to Bill Maher, U alum Anayat Fakhraie has racked up some impressive projects on his TV and film writing resume. He talks about his path from the U to Hollywood, shares some of his favorite things, and tells us what politicos are really like behind the talk-show curtain.

Jazz on Demand

As the premiere of the Pixar and Disney film Soul drew near in December 2020, Visiting Director of Jazz Studies John Petrucelli got an unexpected phone call. The team in charge of promoting the flick asked him to compose an original track inspired by its themes and setting. To make the urgent deadline, he turned to some musicians he knew he could trust—current and former U students.

Stage and Screen

Growing up, Claybourne Elder didn’t know if he would achieve his dream of becoming a professional actor. Now he’s racked up roles in television, film, and theater. Learn more about his work on HBO’s The Gilded Age and Stephen Sondheim’s Company on Broadway, and make sure to watch for him in the upcoming film Mikey’s Army. 


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  1. Jorja Fox played Sara Sidle in the CBS police procedural crime-drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, both as a regular (2000–2007, 2010–2015)[1] and recurring (2008–2010) cast member. She reprised the role in the sequel CSI: Vegas, which premiered on October 6, 2021. She sat in front of me at an entry-level American History course at the U of Utah-SLC. The males teased her because of the spelling of her name on a passed-around clipboard.

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