SFUAD Student Film Named an Official Selection of the 2015 Durango Independent Film Festival

Date published

Written,directed by and starring Alec Brown, “I’m Not Here” is a personal narrative about clinical depression and anxiety

Media Contact:

Lauren Eichmann

Santa Fe University of Art and Design


Santa Fe, N.M.—February 11, 2015—I’m Not Here,” a short film written, directed by and starring Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) Film School student Alec Brown (’17), was recently named an official selection of the 2015 Durango Independent Film Festival. The film was also an official selection of the Albuquerque Film Festival in January 2015.

“I’m Not Here” is a six-minute docudrama based on Brown’s own experiences as a college student dealing with clinical depression and anxiety. Brown says he was inspired to shoot the film after witnessing how the media portrayed the death of Robin Williams. Shot over four days, “I’m Not Here” was an independent project outside of the Film School. It was produced with a small group of supportive friends and classmates, Omar Hilario (’17), Nathaniel Regier (’17), Elizabeth Schaefer (’17) and Nicolai Valdivieso-Sinyakov (’17).

“I intend for ‘I’m Not Here’ to make it known that mental illness is real, and that those who have it are not weak or just looking for attention,” says Brown. “We are all human, and we all deserve kindness and understanding rather than having our ailments addressed with scoffs and eye-rolling.”

In addition to having his film screened in Durango this March, Brown will travel to the festival to participate in a filmmaking panel.

“Alec’s film is very brave and getting great festival play,” says Paula Amanda, associate chair of The Film School at SFUAD. “The topic of the story and his journey are really unique.”

At SFUAD, Brown studies film as a Redford Scholar. In 2013 he received a Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative Emerging Artist Scholarship, offered in collaboration with the celebrated actor and Academy Award–winning director. Brown says he has wanted to pursue a career in the film industry since middle school and began exploring the field during high school in Austin, where he attended the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy.

“Coming to SFUAD was the best choice I’ve ever made,” says Brown. “The Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative Scholarship and the inspiration I’ve received from the Redford Scholar program and the Film School have all helped me a lot as a young filmmaker.”

Upon graduating, Brown said he ultimately wants to work in post-production as an editor.

About The Film School at SFUAD

The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design offers a relevant, hands-on BFA curriculum that emphasizes production skills, business savvy and storytelling across multiple film and video platforms. Films such as True Grit and Cowboys & Aliens and TV dramas such as Longmire have been shot at the university’s Garson Studios, where students have the opportunity to intern on professional productions on two motion picture soundstages—at 14,000 and 7,500 square feet. The Film School also has its own 2,200-square-foot soundstage and green screen. The Screen, a popular destination within the Garson Communications Center, shows some of the greatest works of world cinema daily for students and the public.

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