Alanna Wilkinson won Best Documentary for her film I Don’t Want to Live Without You at the 2016 Filmslang Film Festival in Lexington, Kentucky.
“I was inspired to make I Don’t Want to Live Without You after thinking about the idea of true love as it is portrayed in fiction versus in reality,” says Wilkinson, who received her BFA in studio art with a concentration in 4D in 2015.
“In fiction, true love is something that is created through situations of high intensity and conflict that often times sets high standards that cannot be met in real life. I wanted to share this story to show there is drama in the everyday and love is not just in fiction because there is hope in reality.”
Her documentary focuses on a recorded conversation between her parents that Wilkinson found on a cassette tape in a box in the closet of her parents’ home.
Described as “a pivotal moment between two lovers from two different worlds,” the recorded conversation tells the story of how true love unfolded.
“My parents are still embarrassed I’m showing this film in public,” says Wilkinson. “By winning the award, it tells me this piece is more than just a portrait piece. Something about it is clicking with an audience who has no relation to my family or myself, and I am thankful.”
Although she describes her experience at UT as “crazy” because she was immediately put out of her comfort zone, Wilkinson is grateful for the opportunity to try new things.
“My instructors were beyond great, and the art building was my second home.”
Wilkinson continues to make films, both professionally and creatively. She is a production assistant at Red Arrow Industries in Knoxville and credits her degree from the School of Art with her success.
“Graduating from the School of Art prepped me for this field and gave me an edge,” says Wilkinson. “I was able to provide a different perspective than a traditional student coming from a communications background.”
Wilkinson shared her most recent work, “A Gun or Something,” in the fall of 2016 and is now back to her sketchbook, coming up with the next new thing.