Arts & Culture

UK Alumna Kris Deskins Honored for Costume Designs for Film

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black and white photo of still from "Cemetery Tales" of actress in robe seated
black and white photo of still from "Cemetery Tales" of actor in suit and actress in maid costume
black and white photo of still from "Cemetery Tales" of actress at tombstone

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2019) — University of Kentucky theatre alumna Kris Deskins was honored for her costume designs on “Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters” at multiple film festivals. Deskins won Best Costume Design at the Southern Shorts Awards, Asian Cinematography Awards, IndieX Film Festival, South Film & Arts Academy Film Festival in Chile and The Queen Palm International Film Festival.

The Pikeville native, now living in Los Angeles, earned bachelor's and master’s degrees in theatre from UK in 1993 and 2000 with a concentration in both costume design and acting. While in grad school, Deskins bought all the stock costume inventory from UK to start a costume rental house with her business partner called The Lexington Costume Company.

After successfully building and running that company for five years, Deskins sold her stake to her partner and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of becoming a Hollywood costume designer. Since her arrival in California, Deskins has worked primarily on films set in contemporary time periods but hopes to revisit her roots in classic time periods.

The short film with her winning designs, “Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters,” was directed by Chris Roe. Set in 1949, it follows an aging Hollywood star mourning her sister on the first anniversary of her death. When the truth about her murder is revealed, a visitor adds new layers to the dark mystery. 

Along with “Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters,” Deskins' work has been featured in “The Appearing,” “The Wrong Cruise,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and more.

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.