Media Arts Student Hanh Nguyen Taps into Cutting-Edge Film Festivals

Gregory Jacobs, aka the "bushman of Fisherman's Wharf," is the subject of Hanh Nguyen's short documentary, The Bush Man (2008, film still)

Note: Zero Film Festival is currently offering a West Coast tour in which The Bush Man will screen locally Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. at The Dark Room in San Francisco ($6 admission).

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With two-time Academy Award–winning director Rob Epstein as Media Arts cochair, it's not surprising CCA student and filmmaker Hanh Nguyen's short documentary, The Bush Man (see film clip below), was programmed into the following local and national independent film festivals: The San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Zero Film Festival (Los Angeles), Hollywood East Film Festival (Danbury, Connecticut), and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Missoula, Montana).

The Bush Man, a six-minute high-definition video that was recently awarded the 2009 Hollywood East Film Festival Gold Coast Award for outstanding achievement in filmmaking, was shot using a Sony HDV camera and edited using Final Cut Pro. She directed, produced, and worked as cinematographer and video operator on the film, which features Gregory Jacobs, San Francisco's infamous busker, the "bushman of Fisherman's Wharf". Since 1980 Jacobs has entertained countless tourists as he conceals himself with handheld eucalyptus branches and suddenly jumps out and scares unsuspecting passers-by.

An All-College Honors scholarship recipient in 2008, Hanh's short documentary was screened at the inaugural Zero Film Festival in Los Angeles, a festival dedicated to U.S. and international screenings of self-financed, zero-budget films. The film festival was established to showcase DIY filmmakers' work that, unlike more and more indie and underground films that receive outside corporate financing, represents "authenticity, integrity, and innovation."

The Zero Film Festival received almost 750 film submissions from almost every continent. Upward of 100 films were screened December 1 through 6, 2008, in warehouses, underground venues, and other zero-budget locations within downtown Los Angeles. More than 50 filmmakers attended from as far away as the United Kingdom, Bangkok, and Singapore.

The Bush Man also screened February 14 at The Roxie in San Francisco's Mission district as part of the 11th annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival, which ran February 5–22, 2009.

More recently, The Bush Man was showcased at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, on Sunday, February 22.

Watch a clip from The Bush Man below.

Can't view the video? Use the direct link.