Film Studies Graduate Accepted to UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting Program

Garrett Boudreaux, who is graduating from Michigan State University this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies, was accepted to the School of Theater, Film, and Television’s screenwriting program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

A lofty goal since his days in high school, Boudreaux will travel to California to start the two-year Master of Fine Arts degree program in Fall 2022 where he also plans to write his next feature script. His next goal is to work for Monkeypaw Productions, a production company founded by actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele.

Garrett Boudreaux

“What led me to choose UCLA was the caliber of the program where creativity can develop and strive. There is a healthy environment for filmmakers, like myself, to enjoy and perfect their craft,” Boudreaux said. “Attending a film school in Los Angeles is a door that is open to a house of endless possibilities that I cannot wait to explore.”

During his time at MSU, Boudreaux had a variety of experiences that broadened and enriched his Film Studies expertise while preparing him for future endeavors in the film industry.

“My sophomore and junior year, I participated in the MSU Filmetry Festival, creating cinepoems from the works of Robert Fanning and Anne-Marie Oomen,” he said. “I have a short film, Bathtub Confessions, that I wrote and directed for Film Directing, a class for the Fiction Filmmaking minor. I have also been a member of the MSU Telecasters’ Giraffe House as a co-head writer this past year along with working with the crew and directing a couple of episodes.”

“Attending a film school in Los Angeles is a door that is open to a house of endless possibilities that I cannot wait to explore.”

Garrett Boudreaux, Film Studies Graduating Senior

This past year, Boudreaux also worked as the Camera Operator for the Fiction Filmmaking capstone’s short film The Broken Diamond.

“Garrett’s intelligence, humility, sense of humor, and creative capacity are such a treasure,” said Pete Johnston, Academic Specialist who taught the Fiction Filmmaking Capstone Class. “It’s been a joy to get to know him better and get the chance to work with him, both inside and outside the classroom. I feel proud to know him now at the beginning of what I’m sure will be a long and impressive career.”

Outside the year-long capstone class, Boudreaux began the production process of Ignored, an independent study short film he wrote and directed. He also was involved with the Mekong Culture WELL Project through MSU’s James Madison College, which is taking place in Cambodia. For this project, Boudreaux explored footage of different regions of Cambodia to create website clips to show life along the Mekong River and its environmental impact.

Garrett Boudreaux (left) on the set of The Broken Diamond.

“Kalyanee Mam has been a key member of the Mekong Culture WELL Project for not only providing us footage from her film, A River Changes Course, but also being a mentor to guide us in our storytelling,” Boudreaux said. “It has been a great experience in documentary work to build a story of life to present to the world.”

Kaveh Askari, Associate Professor and Director of MSU’s Film Studies Program, was able to closely examine Boudreaux’s diligent film work in his classes.

“In his work with me, Garrett has demonstrated an intellectual curiosity for a broad range of courses and an ability to produce valuable, creative work in just about any opportunity that emerges,” Askari said. “I am excited to see what he does with current projects in Michigan and Cambodia, and I look forward to hearing news about the next phase of his career in Los Angeles.” 

“In his work with me, Garrett has demonstrated an intellectual curiosity for a broad range of courses and an ability to produce valuable, creative work in just about any opportunity that emerges.”

Kaveh Askari, Associate Professor and Director of MSU’s Film Studies Program

Alongside Boudreaux’s diverse roles in film production, he also has cultivated an extensive independent collection of original screenplays that currently consist of two feature-length film scripts and more than 10 short film scripts.

“Balancing massive projects has put me in a place to learn my strengths and find the perfect balance as a creative,” Boudreaux said. “I cannot say there have been moments of ease because it would be a lie, but that’s the beauty of filmmaking — the ability to mess up, struggle, and create beauty from it.”

This trial-and-error process that went into each distinct project Boudreaux was involved with he considers to be “integral” to where he is now and is what he is most proud of as a filmmaker.

“My biggest aspiration is to be happy in everything I do,” he said. “Creating dynamic films celebrating the everyperson for the good, bad, and ugly through film is what makes me most happy.”