20/20/20 Testimonials

campbellWhat was most rewarding about 20/20/20 was the 24/7 intensity. The first week we worked on our scripts while attending workshops and mentoring sessions with some of the most brilliant minds in the entertainment business. The second week we crewed on our collaborators films while preparing for our own, and the third week we edited non­stop in preparation to screen our short films. My my mind was stretched in directions I had not thought possible. I was pushed hard, happily so, all the time knowing that I was part of a uniquely curated experience geared to propel all of us towards excellence. The knowledge gained is now embedded deep within, and I can’t begin to describe my gratitude towards my talented collaborators, the program mentors and the administrators who passionately strived to make it a success. I am a better artist because of it.

- ­Jill Campbell





stergiouI’m not one for hyperbole, so how do I put this....

The 202020 Program was life-changing.

I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity by Stony Brook, Southampton Arts, Killer Films, Canon and Dorothy Lichtenstein. They have managed to create something truly unique: an alternative, egalitarian film program dedicated to producing quality cinema across all genres.

The community that has been created is one that will leave its mark.

- Alexandra Stergiou




ngoI feel so fortunate and humbled to be part of the 202020 Summer Film Program.  In my 10 years of working in production, this experience was by far the most challenging, most diverse, most collaborative, and most rewarding in my career.  Stony Brook Southampton, Killer Films, Canon, and Dorothy Lichtenstein may have created a new film movement.  They were not joking when they promised to turn the old film school paradigm on its head.  

It was an arena to allow visionary hard-working people to dive in to create high-quality work distinctively in their own voices.  Feel totally revitalized about my place in the field of visual storytelling.  This is proof positive that creative collaboration is still alive and well.

- Michelle Ngo




kuoIt’s rare to find a program that teaches, inspires, and humbles you while still leaving you grateful and eager for more, but that was my experience with the 202020 program.  There’s something about getting a group of very talented, enthusiastic and hard working creative spirits together in one place for three weeks that produces an experience that has the potential to change the way you think about your dreams and the means by which you pursue them.  Stonybrook Southampton and Killer Films have stumbled on something truly special with this inaugural program.  Dorothy Lichtenstein’s generous contribution has allowed us all to experience for three weeks the freedom of plunging fully into the creative life with little fear of the consequences.  I don’t know if it’s possible to put into words the meaning this opportunity has had or will have on my creative life, but I’ll do my best to make some films worthy of the experience.  

- Kevin Chester Kuo





pinckneyHow awesome is it to feel like I can get whipped into film buff shape in a matter of three weeks?! This program taught me more about my artistic vision, and bringing others’ visions to life. I am so grateful to have been surrounded by such talented people, awesome equipment, and produce a work that I can share with confidence. I cannot wait to see how this program will grow. I will never forget my experience as a 20/20/20. Go team go!


- Kareema Pinckney





arvanites"Move over Sundance Lab, the 202020 Digital Film Fellowship is now THE place to learn the business and filmmaking; you get an education, industry relationships and a KILLER (pun intended) short film."

- Steven Arvanites, 202020 fellowship recipient/founder, NYCscreenwriter.org







applegateThe 20/20/20 program was a whirlwind adventure and after three short weeks I came away with a bounty of knowledge, experience and a short film to boot. The program organizers, guest speakers and the other filmmakers were all incredibly talented and inspiring. I feel lucky to have been a part of the inaugural program and I would encourage anyone looking to navigate the changing landscape of film, TV and web storytelling to participate in this program.

- Jeanne Applegate








evansThanks to the support of Dorothy Lichtenstein, the staff of Stony Brook Southampton, lead by Magdalene Brandeis and Christine Vachon, have put together a very special film program; an immersive 20-day project, that stays with you long after you're finished.

It's been two weeks since we finished the Stony Brook/Killer Films 202020 Program and I've still got a creative hangover from all I experienced. Aside from the technical skills acquired, which were put to the test over a week of rigorous back-to-back film shoots, the fluid interchange of ideas, between participants, visiting supervisors and guest speakers, was invaluable.

Thank you specifically to Ashley Maynor, Lauren Wolkstein, Sunrise Tippeconnie and Matt Yaggy who worked closely with us all, tirelessly around the clock, to get the best out of our films. It was a luxury to have access to such incredibly talented filmmakers, who are all active within today’s film industry.

Thank you to a magnificent crew of filmmakers, who gave me energy and hope, and who I look forward to collaborating with again soon.

- Jason Evans


hirschbergWhen asked about the 20/20/20 program, Christine Vachon said, “The goal is to match the reality of the film business today. That means turning the traditional film school on its head.”And that’s exactly what was masterfully executed by Christine and the Killer Films team, Southampton Arts, and the filmmakers in the program.

I formed invaluable professional relationships and had a wonderful experience directing a short film based on my feature screenplay. I would highly recommend 20/20/20 to any filmmaker who has a keen interest in the “business” of “show business” as well as a vision he/she wants to transform into a short film.

- Jeffrey Hirschberg
20/20/20 participant - Writer - Director
Film Professor and Director Television and Film Arts: SUNY Buffalo State




ragotRight now, the 202020 program is probably the best opportunity for any inspiring filmmaker to get a true idea of the industry they want to be in. I learned in 20 days what it would have probably taken me years to really understand. The program empowered everyone of us, regardless of our background, with priceless assets and confidence into our work.

I'm not gonna lie, this intensive program will challenge you in ways you probably never thought were possible before. It will bring you to your knees and eventually bring you back up, stronger. It won't give you any answers but it will deliver the right questions to ask yourself. It will push you to your limits, “up to the edge” of your vision to better help you embrace it.

Life-changing is the least to say about the 202020 program. It personally changed my thought process when it comes to my writing and visualization. But more importantly, I feel like it made me a better creative artist in line with today's high stakes. More confident and prepared, I am now also more excited to get out, share my vision and face any challenges.

I believe this program will contribute to shape tomorrow's filmmaking trends and talents. Up to you to decide if you want to be a part of it!

- Cécile Ragot


sosaIt was a pleasure to work with, and learn from, so many filmmakers. 20/20/20 was a unique and wonderful place, the experience of learning felt so natural I didn't even know it was happening. And let's be honest - nothing beats being able to crew on five films in less than a month.

So much of art is voice. Finding your voice. Accepting your voice. Knowing when a voice isn't really your own.

Take 20 days with 20+ dedicated people. Add time constraints. Throw in heat, physical exertion, and long hours. What can I say? The formula works.

- S. Iturri Sosa





baileyI cannot begin to thank Dorothy Lichtenstein, Killer Films, and Stony Brook Southampton enough for the incredible filmmaking experience they've given to me this summer. In three weeks time, I learned more about filmmaking–through the fascinating lectures and the hands on experience both crewing and directing–than I did in two years as an undergrad film major. To simply say "life changing" doesn't capture the confidence the program provided, the insight, the relationships, the intensity, the support, and yes, the grueling hard work. I would highly recommend 20/20/20 to any person looking to gain real-world filmmaking experience in a structured, supportive, and intensely creatively engaging environment.

- Hannah Bailey





steinThe 20/20/20 Killer Film program was intense, presenting a realistic presentation of how USA Independent film is produced, created and distributed today. The best part was the creation of a film community. In our colloquium we met like minded creators and thinkers while working on each other’s projects. It was exciting and humbling to see so many different approaches, philosophies and directing styles. It was an optimal collaborative zone and I hope to make films with these chaps in the future while reflecting upon the insightful master classes with the brilliant artists and thinkers — Tom Kalin, Greta Schiller, and Tony Gerber among others.

- Julia C.K. Stein







This summer experience was a dream come true for any aspiring filmmaker. Never in a million years would I think that we could pull off shooting 20 films in a week, but with the immense support and help from Christine Vachon, Magdalene Brandeis, and Bob Reeves, we were able to accomplish this otherwise insurmountable feat with a feeling of great personal triumph. I have been to several film classes, took part in multiple workshops, listened in on a myriad of panels and master classes, but I've never been so illuminated as I was by the 20/20/20 experience this summer. The 20 talented students, the wonderful crew and team of visiting specialists, Killer Films, and all the other collaborators, each brought their absolute best to the three intense weeks of filmmaking boot camp in Southampton. This was my first camp experience and definitely an unforgettable one. I wish that this kind of training existed when I started making films ten years ago. The cameras and equipment that were donated as well as the expertise from Christine Vachon were essential for making these films with the utmost production quality, technology, and determination. Students were given hands-on production training as well as advice from the real world of the thriving independent film scene. In only three weeks time, Stony Brook Southampton 20/20/20 gave you everything you could ask for, and more, in a graduate film program. And, we have all gained life-long collaborators in the process -- teachers and students alike. I wouldn't trade this past summer for anything.
- Lauren Wolkstein

From the mentors:

maynorI wouldn't have attempted, much less even imagined, producing 18 short films in a mere 20 days. But Christine Vachon, Magdalene Brandeis, and Bob Reeves somehow seemed to think we could, so who was I to second-guess? Miraculously, we did what I had thought impossible. And this feat would not have possible without the extraordinary generosity of Canon USA, Dorothy Lichtenstein, the staff of Stony Brook Southampton, and a talented, tireless, and enthusiastic inaugural class of students!

I wish such a program had existed for me before or during my traditional film school degree--the guest master classes, hand-ons learning opportunities, and equipment access were far superior to programs I have seen or taken part in in the past!                              

- Ashley Maynor, award-winning producer-director





magdaleneI was blown away by the extreme commitment the 20/20/20 scholarship awardees made to each other. How tirelessly and uncomplainingly they worked in extreme heat, on early mornings and late nights. How much courage they showed in stepping up to DP, or stamina in holding the boom pole… As a person setting up a program, you can only hope the students will rise to meet it. And boy did they ever! I learned from each and every one of them.

- Magdalene Brandeis, Associate Director 20/20/20








dane20/20/20. For an inaugural year, things couldn’t have gone better. The selection of candidates, mentors, visiting artists, and staff, was a perfect mix. As a staff member who worked on planning throughout the year I was prepared for a titanic disaster somewhere during the three week program, gratefully…….nothing but smooth sailing. The program was such a great success it erased years of horrifying memories of my own experiences in the film industry, and now I’m anxious to step back into the professional fray. Film rehab camp really worked!

- Dane Pizzuti-Krogman








yaggyThe amount of creative and personal growth I saw in all the participants over the course of the 20/20/20 program was staggering.  We were dealing with some people who had never directed before, who had never shot with a camera before, and who had never edited before yet at the end of the three weeks everyone had a piece of work that they could be proud of.  Each participant poured everything they had into their films as well as the films of their colleagues.  It was inspiring to see everyone rise to the challenge and coalesce around each other.  

The fact that the 20/20/20 program gives these filmmakers the access to the resources needed to make  a solid short film AND gives them a comprehensive overview of the current state of the film industry directly from the mouths of professionals is beyond valuable.  

Watching the participants develop and grow in strength from preproduction, to production, to editing was amazing.

I can tell that we will see many more great things from this year’s group of participants as well as the participants in the future.  It was an honor being a part of 20/20/20’s mission.

- Matt Yaggy


crooksIt is very rare to find a program where the challenge/nurture balance is just right. For me the organization was exemplary and hats off to you and the team on the ground. I look forward to further collaboration and to catching up in September.

- Lenny Crooks