Program Dates, Calendars, and Timelines

Spring 2019 | Summer 2019 | Fall 2019

Mission Statement

The Denius Center’s mission is to introduce students to the working world of the entertainment industry, and to the people and places who make things happen in Hollywood. Through a combination of working internships with prominent companies, courses taught by working professionals, and guest lectures by prominent industry experts, students get the chance to gain the skills and contacts that will make a career in film, television, music or new media possible. Every alumnus of the program comes to Hollywood with a real sense of where and what the jobs are, who to call, and how to present themselves. It is the goal of the program to translate theory into reality, to enable students to start their careers, and to offer real-world support as they begin their journeys.

Acting Leadership of UTLA:

Mira K. Lippold-Johnson is the Acting Program Director of UTLA. She has taught in the RTF department at UT-Austin and at Austin Community College, and she has worked as a director, editor, producer, animator and cinematographer. Her last short film Bad Things was an Austin Film Society Grant recipient and her work has won awards at Sidewalk Film Festival, Bend Film Festival, Women Texas Film Festival, Austin Revolution Film Festival and Deep in the Heart Film Festival. She recently edited episodes of the PBS web docuseries Tacos of Texas and was the short film programmer for Flyway Film Festival in 2018. Until returning to independent film in 2014, she was the supervisor of digital media content at Smithsonian Channel. She holds an MFA in film production from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Harvard University. Lippold-Johnson’s experience provides UTLA students with the leadership and practical experience that will enhance their participation in the program.  

In addition, Ms. Heather Siemienas, who joined Moody College last July to work on alumni relations from the Denius UTLA Center will now also serve as acting assistant UTLA program manager. In addition to her current duties, Ms. Siemienas will engage daily with UTLA students and help Prof. Lippold-Johnson to oversee the operation of the Center. Ms. Siemienas is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.