Ready for a Close-up

Paul HarrillPaul Harrill joined the faculty of the School of Art this year as the inaugural appointment of the Dee and Jimmy Haslam Professor of Art.

Harrill’s area of expertise is in film, and he has joined the faculty in 4D (time-based media) and in the new graduate program in transmedia design.

“Professor Harrill has extended the interests of our faculty and students who create narratives in their art and design into the medium of film,” says Dottie Habel, professor and director of the School of Art. “His hire draws the school into an enriched association with the faculty and students in cinema studies, an interdisciplinary program now poised to launch a new undergraduate major in the fall.”

Harrill, a UT alumnus with a BA in College Scholars, received his MFA in film and media arts at Temple University prior to becoming a member of the faculty at Virginia Tech. Harrill’s short films include “Gina, An Actress, Age 29,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, and “Quick Feet, Soft Hands,” a co-production with the Independent Television Service.  Called “one of America’s finest and most sensitive directors of actors” by film critic Ray Carney, Harrill’s films have screened around the world at festivals and museums and on TV. Filmmaker Magazine named Harrill one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

In spring 2013 Harrill was selected for a year-long fellowship at the Independent Filmmaker Project’s Narrative Lab in New York City for his new feature film. The fellowship award focuses on supporting first-time directors of feature-length films with budgets under $1 million. His film was one of ten selected from about 140 submissions.

UT’s Darren Hughes interviewed Paul Harrill about his new film, Something, Anything, which premiered two weeks ago. Read more.