The Jack and Vivian Hanson Arizona Film Institute cultivates the art and business of film. The Institute works in partnership with the UA Film and Television program and in collaboration with diverse UA entities and local, national, and international organizations. The Institute produces educational programs, public events, and creative projects that provide educational and professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and filmmakers. Hanson Film Institute programs reflect The University of Arizona’s three-fold mission of teaching, research, and public service. The Institute produces film events and films that address societal issues, placing a special focus on Mexican and Native American filmmaking.
Since 2004, the Hanson Film Institute has provided a variety of services for students, faculty, filmmakers and the public, as well as support for film organizations. The Institute has produced numerous unique public events featuring noted filmmakers, and brought a diverse array of visiting artists and industry professionals to speak to classes at the University of Arizona, including lawyers, agents, writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, distributors, and experimental filmmakers. The list of distinguished visitors includes producer Christine Vachon (CAROL); director Stanley Nelson (THE BLACK PANTHERS); director Chris Eyre (SMOKE SIGNALS); visual effects producer John Kilkenny (AVATAR); television producer/writer Peter Murrieta (WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE); producer Scott Stuber (THE KINGDOM); producer Martha Sosa (AMORES PERROS); producer Frida Torresblanco (PAN’S LABYRINTH); director Charles Burnett (KILLER OF SHEEP); German director Monika Treut (FEMALE MISBEHAVIOR) and actor Chazz Palminteri (THE USUAL SUSPECTS).
For the past several years the Institute has produced and presented numerous installments of nationally recognized programs, including Tucson Cine Mexico and Native Eyes Film Showcase, and has hosted the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Academy and the NALIP Doing Your Doc Seminar. Along with signature programs Tucson Pitch Fest and Inside Track: A Series of Film and TV Panels, the Institute has created or hosted many workshops, seminars, and panels, including assistant directing training seminars; screenwriting and television script writing seminars; creative development workshops; pitching workshops; documentary workshops; an agents panel; and a film financing panel.
The Hanson Film Institute operates under the auspices of The University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. The Institute is made possible through annual contributions from The Jack and Vivian Hanson Foundation, which was created in 2002 upon the death of Vivian Hanson, a cherished donor to The University of Arizona. Fiduciary Trust Company International in New York, NY manages the Foundation’s assets. The Institute began pilot programs in October 2004. The Arizona Board of Regents formally approved the non-profit Hanson Film Institute in December 2005.
Vicky Westover, Hanson Film Institute Director
A native of Washington, D.C., Vicky has worked in non-profit arts management for over 27 years directing numerous repertory seasons of cinema, international film festivals, competitions, and special programs. Prior to moving to Tucson, Arizona, she served for seven years as the Executive Director of the Baltimore Film Forum. Vicky was the Founding Director of Baltimore Youth TV and the Founding Producer of Independent Eye, which aired for many years on Maryland Public Television. She has served as the founding Director of the University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute since 2004, and created one of the Institute’s most noted signature programs – Tucson Cine Mexico.
Vicky has served on numerous non-profit boards, committees, and panels, including for the AFI in Washington, D.C. and NALIP in Los Angeles. Vicky is a documentary photographer and has produced short and feature length independent films, including the documentary APACHE 8, which screened on public television stations across the U.S. She continues to produce films and occasionally serves as adjunct faculty in the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television. Vicky has received numerous awards for her work, including a Governor’s citation for her efforts to promote filmmaking in Maryland and a nomination for an Arizona Governor’s Arts Award.