UCA welcomes artist-in-residence Tara Sheffer

Tara Sheffer

Tara Sheffer

Tara Sheffer, an award-winning filmmaker and native Arkansan, will be an artist-in-residence at the University of Central Arkansas starting Wednesday. 

Sheffer, who earned an MFA in filmmaking from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, has produced more than 20 short films and is the producer for the upcoming feature-length film, “Roadtrip to Totality”, a narrative/documentary hybrid that follows a retired actress, Kitty, who believes she is destined to die during the upcoming total eclipse. She road trips through Arkansas to find her poodle a new owner and meets a burnt out documentarian who captures her journey with real Arkansans during the Eclipse. Sheffer’s residency will include scouting locations around the state for the film.

UCA film professor, Emily Railsback, the writer/director of the project said, “We are both very excited to be able to capture an authentic view of Arkansas set during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the total solar eclipse.”

The movie will stage one scene at the Dog Barkanalia, UCA’s pet-friendly eclipse party on April 8. 

According to UCA officials, this is just the second time that a film will include a scene shot during an actual total solar eclipse.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to have Tara visit our campus and offer producing workshops,” Railsback said. “Many of our students dream of getting their films into Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals, and being able to meet with someone who has achieved that early in their career will offer a lot of insight into the industry.”

The Feb. 14 residency activities include:

  • 10-10:50 a.m., “Soup to Nuts: Indie Producing Workshop with Creative Film Producer Tara Sheffer,” Stanley Russ Hall 103
  • 3-4 p.m., “From Idea to Set to Screen: Producing Indie Films Workshop and Cookie Decorating Party” with Creative Film Producer Tara Sheffer, Windgate Center Lobby
  • 7 p.m., “A Night of Short Films Produced by Tara Sheffer,” Stanley-Russ Hall 103. Films include Flounder, directed by Sam & David Cutler Kreutz; Threads of Desire, directed by Bianca Di Marco; Lovetaps, directed by Derrick Woodyard; Merci, Poppy, directed by Hanna Gray Organschi; My Dear God, directed by Tara Sheffer; and Plaisir, directed by Molly Gillis. Content warning PG-13: may contain graphic, sexual, or violent content, and may not be suitable for children and other audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sheffer, who lives in New York City, has a diverse background in film directing, production, and development. She line-produced The Letter Room, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Her directorial work includes My Dear God, which played at the New Orleans Film Festival, and has screened at Indie Memphis, Nitehawk Shorts and the Jeff Nichols-founded Arkansas Cinema Society’s Filmland.