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press

1.25.19

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Another batch of 'best movies' by Philip Martin, Tara Sheffer

Tara Sheffer, filmmaker from Little Rock, living in New York. 2018 was a huge year for me, full of big (and somewhat scary) firsts and big decisions. I went to Sundance for the first time. I left my job in New Orleans to re-embrace my film education. I moved back to New York City where I started my MFA in directing at NYU Tisch. I directed a short film on 16mm. I crashed my car. I sold most of my possessions. But, most importantly, 2018 was the year I started making movies again. With these changes and firsts (most good, all bittersweet and challenging), I find myself in a new, open head space. No longer obsessing over my email and consumed by other people's calendars, my active watching has quietly transformed back into a search to understand other filmmakers' grammar. Each film I watch is a crash course into the interiority of another director, constantly reframing and retraining my eye. This active watching created a solid theme for my 2018 end of year list: gut reactions of home. Home, to me and to the filmmakers I've listed below, is more than a physical structure. Home is a concept, a feeling, and an understanding. Each filmmaker in my list uses their story to understand and capture something about home that you feel deeply. Is home a family? Is home a landscape? Is home a relationship? What is home? I constantly think about what home means to me, particularly as a filmmaker who dreams of her home in Arkansas but has lived elsewhere for years. While I am considered an Arkansas expatriate, every film I write and shoot I'm thinking of characters and landscape in terms of my home state. I spent a good chunk of my first semester at NYU scouting for a waterfall in New Jersey that looked like Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park… [read more]


1.26.18

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Rewinding: Taking another look at best of 2017 by Philip Martin, Tara Sheffer

Tara Sheffer, Arkansas expatriate filmmaker, and coordinator for The Department of Motion Pictures and Court 13…This year I struggled with making a Top 10 of 2017 film list. There were films that I saw and enjoyed, but only three truly spoke to me. I relish cinema that examines people doing and working in their environment – in a place, they feel comfortable, especially in their discomfort. The three films I selected examine the interiority of women who are dealing with complicated transitional moments in their lives… [read more]


3.27.2015

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -Foothills Film Festival taken for granted by Philip Martin

And one of my favorite short films from last year, Tara Sheffer’s 13 Pieces of the Universe…[read more]


10.07.2014

Idle Class - Offshoot Film Festival offers solid selection by Joseph Hitchcock

13 Pieces” exemplifies that sought-after quality of storytelling that instantly solidifies a perfect trust between viewer and filmmaker. Every frame of Sam Cutler-Kreutz’s photography is perfectly constructed, from the first awe-inspiring shot to the last, with every pixel inviting you into Sara’s world of smoke, water and summertime insect ambiance. The film comes off as so honest and real that most of the time I have trouble believing that the characters are actors and not living, breathing people... [read more]


07.25.2014

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Midway in ’14 movie run, Hollywood has some front-runners by Phillip Martin

Sacred Hearts Holy Souls – Mark Theadman’s meditation of Catholic boys school is the best short film I’ve seen this year. Honorable mention goes to David Bogard’s A Matter of Honor and Tara Sheffer’s 13 Pieces of the Universe…[read more]


05.23.2014

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Festival reviews to keep spooling by Phillip Martin 

Two of the films that I have seen, Mark Thiedeman’s Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls and Tara Sheffer’s 13 Pieces of the Universe are simply terrific movies that demonstrate uncommonly well-developed cinematic sensibilities. [read more]


05.09.2014

Blood, Dirt, & Angels - Screengems on the internets: Levi Agee returns with a Tara Sheffer interview by Levi Agee

Tara Sheffer has a film — 13 Pieces of the Universe — playing in the Made in Arkansas program of the Little Rock Film Festival this upcoming week May 12-18. After seeing an intriguing still photo from the film of a young, almost lifeless redheaded girl with ivory skin floating in a dark green lake I had to check the film out. Needless to say it blew me away and I wasn’t sure who the filmmaker was so I reached out to Sheffer online and asked her some questions about her and the film…[read more]