MFA in Film Programs Host Student Screenings in NYC
On Saturday, October 23, 2021, for the first time since the pandemic lockdown, the
Stony Brook MFA in Film hosted its annual end-of-year Production I and Production
II screenings at the Cinepolis movie theatre in Chelsea.
TV Series Produced by Lisa Thomas and Parker Cowden Named Among September's Best by
Teenage Euthanasia, an animated series on Adult Swim produced by two thesis students from the MFA in Film program, was recently named by Time magazine as one of the five best new television shows for September 2021.
Produced by Lisa M. Thomas and associated produced by Parker Cowden, the show is about
a partially undead family that owns a Florida funeral home, created by author and Made for Love creator Alissa Nutting and At Home With Amy Sedaris executive producer Alyson Levy.
Patricia Clarkson to Play Lilly Ledbetter in Lilly, Exec Produced by Simone Pero
Patricia Clarkson will play Lilly Ledbetter in the upcoming biopic Lilly, written and directed by Rachel Feldman and executive produced by Simone Pero, a
member of the MFA in Film faculty and a Stony Brook alumna.
Clarkson recently starred with Amy Adams in the HBO series Sharp Objects, for which she won a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination. She earned an Academy Award
nomination for Pieces of April and has received multiple Screen Actors Guild and Tony
Award nominations, with numerous Golden Globe, Emmy, National Society of Film Critics,
and British Independent Film Awards.
Lilly is a timely, political thriller based on the remarkable life of Fair Pay icon Lilly
Ledbetter, who fought tirelessly for equal pay for equal work.
‘Trans in Trumpland’ Documentary Debuts Trailer, Streaming on Topic
A new trailer for the upcoming docuseries Trans in Trumpland, produced by Jamie DiNicola,
an MFA in Film student from the incoming class of 2018, has been released. Topic,
the streaming service from First Look Media, has acquired North American streaming
rights to the series. It premiered on Feb. 25.
Students Lisa Thomas and Parker Cowden Help Produce Netflix Show on Meditation
Second-year MFA students Lisa Thomas and Parker Cowden are working on the new Netflix
show, Headspace Guide to Meditation, which will premiere January 1 on the streaming service.
Thomas is a supervising producer and Cowden is an associate producer on the animated
series, which is based on the popular meditation app, Headspace.Over the course of
eight episodes, Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe takes
viewers through the benefits and science behind meditation. Each 20-minute episode
showcases a different mindfulness technique that aids in the practice of meditation.
It is one of three series that Netflix and Headspace are creating, including the upcoming
Headspace Guide to Sleep.
Thomas is also an executive producer for the Adult Swim animated series Teenage Euthanasia, co-created by Alissa Nutting, a New York Times Editor's Choice writer (Made for Love) and Emmy-nominated producer Alyson Levy.
SBU Adds SUNY's First MFA in Television Writing Program
Stony Brook University announced that the New York State Education Department has
approved SUNY’s first-ever Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Television Writing. This stand-alone
MFA is one of a handful in the country to offer in-depth graduate studies in the burgeoning
field of TV Writing.
Located at the Manhattan Center for Creative Writing and Film, and partnered with
Killer Films, the Television Writing MFA is among the most comprehensive in the world.
Students will graduate with a portfolio of three original pilot scripts; they will
also write, direct and produce a micro pilot for an original web series.
Killer Films' Latest Project: Billy Porter's Directorial Debut
Billy Porter will make his feature directorial debut with the coming-of-age story
What If? from a screenplay by Alvaro García Lecuona for MGM’s newly relaunched Orion Pictures.
The story centers on a high school senior posting on social media about his crush
on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school, resulting in the internet encouraging him to
pursue the relationship. The two then navigate a senior year relationship that neither
of them could have expected.
Producers are Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa on behalf of Killer Films, along
with Andrew Lauren and D.J. Gugenheim on behalf of Andrew Lauren Productions. The
project marks the first film under MGM and Killer Films recently announced first-look
Killer Films Celebrates 25 Years of Exemplary Indie Cinema
By her own admission, Christine Vachon is not a nostalgic person. This would normally
make a conversation about the 25th anniversary of her pioneering independent film
company Killer Films a challenge but, luckily, recent events have changed her perspective.
Christine Vachon Speaks with Variety on Gender-Neutral Awards
Christine Vachon, attending the Venice International Film Festival, spoke to Variety
about gender-neutral acting awards, which will be given at the Berlin Film Festival
Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett both praised the Berlin festival for the move. Vachon,
who is serving on the Venice festival's Horizons jury, said the idea was a promising,
yet untested, hypothesis. From the magazine:
"In theory, it's a wonderful idea," said Vachon. "And it will be interesting to see
how it manifests. How do you reset your brain, either as a jury member or an Academy
member — and I'm not saying the Academy will do this — to divorce yourself from the
whole notion of best actor and best actress that we've grown up with? How do you reset?"
She then brought up her still ongoing jury duties. "It would change the nature of
the conversations," Vachon noted.
"Right now we're talking about a certain set of performances that we feel are very
strong by women, and another set of performances that we feel are strong by men. So
we would have to meld those conversations. I’m not saying we couldn’t do it, I’m just
saying it would be a different kind of discussion."
Venice Film Festival Is Memorable for Christine Vachon and Killer Films’ Latest, ‘The
World to Come’
The 77th Venice International Film Festival was a memorable one for Christine Vachon,
the artistic director of the Stony Brook University MFA in Film program, and Pamela
Koffler. Their film, The World to Come, made its premiere at “La Biennale di Venezia,” arriving to outstanding reviews.
The event also moved Vachon to post her feelings about the opening ceremony to Facebook,
explaining how important films are, especially in a post-COVID world.
James Sharpe’s Film ‘Tom of Your Life’ Is Getting Rave Reviews
Tom of Your Life, a full-length feature produced by MFA in Film graduate James Sharpe,
has received rave reviews since its debut last month. In his review in the Chicago
Sun-Times, film critic Richard Roeper declares, “This is one of my favorite movies
Social Impact Filmmaking Program Teaches "Passion to Make a Difference"
“The impact of the events of 2020 on filmmaking will be monumental,” said Karen Offitzer,
director of the undergraduate minor in filmmaking at Stony Brook and one of three
co-directors of the Social Impact Filmmaking program. “It will bring changes in the
way we make movies, changes in the way we see them and changes in the very stories
we want to tell.”
Jamie DiNicola producing docuseries 'Trans in Trumpland'
Jamie DiNicola, an MFA in Film student from the incoming class of 2018, is producing
the docuseries Trans in Trumpland.
The four-part series, created by TransWave Films and directed by trans filmmaker Tony
Zosherafatain, follows four people as they engage in the fight for transgender equality
in the United States during the Trump presidency. Trace Lysette, best known for her
work on “Transparent” and in “Hustlers,” has signed on as executive producer.
Christine Vachon Named One of the 50 Most Powerful LGBTQ Players in Hollywood
Award-winning film producer Christine Vachon, Artistic Director of the Stony Brook
University MFA in Film program and co-founder of Killer Films, has been named one
of the 50 Most Powerful LGBTQ Players in Hollywood by The Hollywood Reporter.
The magazine’s annual Pride Issue honors “the most powerful LGBTQ people in the industry
who are making global culture more inclusive.”
Killer Films signs first-look development deals with MGM
Killer Films, founded by Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, has signed first-look
development deals with MGM for both film and television.
Under the two-year agreements, MGM and Killer Films will develop and produce feature
films and original scripted series across a variety of genres and platforms. MGM will
work closely with Vachon, Koffler and their partner, David Hinojosa, to develop and
produce feature films and original scripted series together across a variety of genres
and platforms. The announcement was made May 21 by Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group
Chairman and Steve Stark, President of MGM/UA Television.
Christine Vachon is the centerpiece interview in Screen Daily
MFA in Film's Artistic Director and co-founder of Killer Films, Christine Vachon,
spoke with Screen Daily about the fluctuating state of indie film. From the interview:
One of the things I always tell my students [Vachon is artistic director of the film
and television writing MFA at Stony Brook Manhattan in New York City] is that there
isn’t a path. And you really have to walk through doors that open for you, especially
if you don’t come from money, and I don’t. I knew that film was interesting to me.
Simone Pero Selected as a Cynopsis Top Women in Media Honoree
Faculty member and New York Women in Film and Television Board President Simone Pero was honored by Cynopsis as one of its 2019 Top Women
in Media. Pero was one of five honorees in the "Community Builder" category.
Filmmaker puts Mastic Beach in the spotlight with 'Mini Indie' festival
MFA in Film candidate James Evans recently hosted the first annual Mastic Beach Mini
Indie Film Fest, which featured a lineup of more than 20 local, experimental, documentary, animation and narrative films.
Killer Films' First Reformed is a winner at Gotham Awards and National Board of Review
Killer Films picked up three awards for First Reformed, written and directed by Paul Schrader and starting Ethan Hawke. The film was produced
by Killer Films; MFA in Film Artistic Director Christine Vachon and faculty member
David Hinojosa are also among the producers.
Schrader won the award for Best Screenplay and Hawke for Best Actor at the IFP Gotham
Awards on Nov. 26. Schrader also won for Best Original Screenplay when the National Board of Review announced its 2018 list of award winners on Nov. 27.
The Tale's Jennifer Fox talks about her film and collaborating with Simone Pero
In a guest column for Deadline, The Tale writer and director Jennifer Fox talks about the creation of the powerful film, and
her collaborative relationship with producer and MFA in Film faculty member Simone
Killer Films' Vachon and Hinojosa producing film based on novel by CWL's Merrell
In a Southampton Arts double feature, Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa of Killer
Films and the MFA in Film program will co-produce a new film based on the 2014 novel,Shirley, written by Susan Scarf Merrell, director of the Southampton Writers Conference and
a professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program.
The film, also titled Shirley, will star Elizabeth Moss as famed horror author Shirley Jackson, and Michael Stuhlbarg
as her husband. Filming is scheduled to begin in the summer.
Nicole Kidman joins Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey in supporting The Writers Lab
The Writers Lab — a project established by the New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT)andIRIS and associated with the Stony Brook MFA in Film program — got a boost this week when Nicole
Kidman pledged her support, joining Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey in funding the
program for women screenwriters over 40.
The project, established in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East,
selects leading filmmakers to provide exclusive mentorship and increase opportunities
for content made by women.The program has received funding from Streep every year since its inception in 2015.
"What a wonderful idea," said Kidman, who noted the expanding opprtunities for women
during her recent acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in HBO'sBig Little Lies. "A space for women to work with one another to develop the stories they want to
tell. I’m a fan already."
The Writers Lab is also supported by The Black List, Relativity Media, and Tribeca
Film Institute. The next lab will be held in September 2018.
Simone Pero-produced The Tale wows Sundance, will premiere on HBO
The Tale, starring Laura Dern, was produced by Simone Pero. Image courtesy Sundance
Jennifer Fox's sexual abuse survivor film The Tale, produced by Simone Pero — a member of the MFA in Film program faculty and a Stony
Brook University alumna — was described by Variety as "the buzziest movie of the 2018
Sundance Film Festival," and after receiving rave reviews, will premiere on HBO.
The film stars Laura Dern as a woman who starts to uncover memories from her childhood
involving sexual abuse, and was one of the most talked-about films at Sundance.
The deal for North American and overseas territories was in the high seven figure
range, making it one of the largest pacts out of this year’s Sundance. The Tale will debut along with an outreach program for victims of sexual abuse, which was
one of the requests of the filmmakers.
"It has always been my intent to find an engaged distribution partner who deeply understands
the wide reach of the project, not just as a film, but also for the impact it can
have on a larger global conversation," Fox said in a statement. "In a world in which
stories like mine have often been pushed into the darkness, no one has been better
at shining a light on storytelling and important social issues than HBO."
Pero is president and founder of For Impact Productions, a strategic marketing and
production firm specializing in the confluence of content and social action, and is
also president of New York Women in Film and Television. In addition to her producing
work, Pero is part of the leadership team that created SUNY's first-ever MFA in Film
at Stony Brook, in association with Killer Films.
Aaron Lehmann short film selected to Queens World Film Festival
A short film directed by recent MFA in Film graduate Aaron Lehmann has been named
an official selection to the eighth annual Queens World Film Festival.
Lehmann's film, "Violetta," was made in the MFA program and will be shown at the festival,
which will be held at the the Kaufman Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria from March 15-25, 2018.
In the filmmaker's note on the festival website, Lehmann describes the film as follows:
"Violetta" is about a young girl striving for human connection in an isolating and
dangerous world. It is about the psychological avenues a person might travel when
there is an offset of power dynamics within their family, and how Violetta is striving
to understand this all; as her soul begins to steer her towards her own independence.
Violetta is not aware of her own motivations, and is forced therefore to allow her
desires to lead her into strange worlds, interactions, and discovery."
MFA in Film Faculty Simone Pero Addresses the Year for Women in Entertainment at NYWIFT
Film producer Simone Pero, a member of the MFA in Film program faculty and a Stony
Brook University alumna, delivered the presidential welcome speech at the New York
Women in Film and Television’s 38th annual Muse Awards gala on Thursday, Dec. 14,
at the Hilton Midtown in New York.
Pero, the president of the NYWIFT, spoke about the year for women in entertainment,
one that has been seen a revolution against sexual harrassment in the industry. Lieutenant
Governor Kathleen Hochul and Julie Menin, the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of
Media and Entertainment also addressed the gathering, both championing the causes
of women in entertainment, New York State productions, and zero tolerance for harassment.
MFA in Film creative director Christine Vachon recently sat down with The New Yorker’s Hilton Als for a conversation about some of her landmark works, including Larry
Clark’s Kids, which looked at AIDS and homelessness among New York teens, and Boys
Don’t Cry, one of the first movies to address the trans experience. Vachon also discusses
her time working with Harvey Weinstein, and the barriers that women face in Hollywood.
Video: Alan Kingsberg talks about how to break into the TV industry as a writer
Alan Kingsberg speaks with IVY TV and breaks down everything you need to know to make
it as a writer in television, from creating a portfolio, to getting yourself noticed
and landing an agent, a manager, and a job.
MFA in Film Program ranked by The Wrap among the top 50 in the U.S.
The MFA in Film program was recognized by The Wrap when, on September 20, it released its ranking of the top 50 film schools in the
United States. Stony Brook was ranked 40th in the country, not bad for a program in
just its third year.
Focus on Women: Stony Brook's MFA in Film leads the way for shaping women directors
Faculty member Simone Pero notes that we're in an auspicious time for cracking the gender gap in film, entertainment
and media storytelling in a Happenings story on the Stony Brook Film Festival, where 42 percent of the films are directed
Christine Vachon, Magdalene Brandeis talk about the state of film with Filmmaker
Christine Vachon, director of the Stony Brook / Killer Films MFA in Film program,
spoke with Filmmaker Magazine in an article titled, "Film Schools in a Time of Disruption." Associate director
Magdalene Brandeis was also interviewed, and the pair discussed their thoughts on
the current state of the film industry and how film schools are adapting.
From May 13 to May 20, Stony Brook Southampton film students visited sites around
East Hampton for a series of linked webisodes using techniques inspired by Dogme 95's
ethos for a pared-down, anti-Hollywood approach to filmmaking.
'Toy Story' Writer Alec Sokolow joins Dogme filmmaking students In East Hampton
Alec Sokolow, a screenwriter whose credits include co-writing “Toy Story” and “Garfield,”
is among six writer-directors making a film in East Hampton.
Mr. Sokolow joined a group of Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Film students in January
for a semester-long project that takes a Dogme 95 film from inception to completion.
The semester began at the Stony Brook University's Manhattan facility and will now
culminate in a six-day film shoot.
Julianne Moore interviews Christine Vachon in Interview Magazine
Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore sat down with MFA in Film director Christine
Vachon for an interview published in Interview Magazine and on its website.
Vachon and Moore discuss screening her latest film, Carol, in Cuba, getting started
in the movie business, and her longstanding and incredibly productive working relationship
with director Todd Haynes.
Christine Vachon to be named 'Woman of the Year' at Fusion Film Festival
Christine Vachon, director of the MFA in Film program at Stony Brook Southampton and
Manhattan and a co-founder of Killer Films, will be named 2016’s ‘Woman of the Year’
by the Fusion Film Festival, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ student film fest.
Vachon’s most recent film, Weiner-Dog, directed by Tisch alumnus and graduate faculty member Todd Soldonz, will kick off
the festival, which will be held March 3-5. The film will be followed by a conversation
and Q&A between Vachon and Soldonz.
Christine Vachon Wins Special Teddy Award at 2016 Berlin Film Festival
Christine Vachon, director of the MFA in Film program at Stony Brook Southampton and
Manhattan and a co-founder of Killer Films, received the Special Teddy Award February
19 at the Berlin Film Festival.
The Teddy Award is an international film award for films with LGBT topics, presented
by an independent jury as an official award of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Vachon discussed her long career at the Berlin festival’s Queer Academy Summit, including
her work with Todd Haynes, LGBT cinema and the challenges of financing female-driven
Two Films Edited by Jeanne Applegate Featured at Sundance
Former Stony Brook MFA and Killer Films 20/20/20 student Jeanne Applegate was the
editor on two films featured at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Applegate edited the feature Dark Night, which was written and directed by Tim Sutton. Dark Night is a 'ripped-from-the-headlines'
story that traces the events leading up to a mass shooting in a suburban multiplex.
Anna Rose Hopkins, who starred in Darcy Brislin's 20/20/20 short, was cast in Dark
Night. Brislin won a Sundance Institute / Sloan Commissioning Grant this year. Read more on Dark Night at Rolling Stone. Read the review at Twitch.
Applegate also co-edited Sebastian Silva's short film, Dolfun, that played at Sundance in the Shorts 2 program. Applegate began working with Silva
through Killer Films on the 2015 feature Nasty Baby.
Former Stony Brook / Killer Films Student Wins Sundance Grant
The grant was one of a slate of awards presented as part of the Sundance Institute
Science-in-Film Initiative, made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
$60,000 in awards were presented.
Breslin and Dyana Winkler, co-writers of the film, Bell, will each receive a $12,500 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Bell is the true story of inventor Alexander Graham Bell, including the controversy surrounding
his invention of the telephone and his lesser known work with eugenics and the deaf.
Brislin has developed screenplays with Sundance award-winning director Ondi Timoner,
actor Maria Bello, and screenwriter Roger Wolfson. She was a selected participant
for filmmaker programs at the Cannes, Berlinale and Telluride Festivals, and received
a number of fellowships, including the Killer Films bootcamp led by Christine Vachon
and Pamela Koffler.
Four Killer Films Features Making Waves at Sundance
MFA in Film partner Killer Films has four films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival
that are gaining attention from the press and the film industry.
Goat, which Southampton MFA students screened and discussed as a test case in Fall 2015,
stars Nick Jonas and is directed by Andrew Neel. It is based on Brad Land's 2004 memoir
about a college freshman who is subjected to hazing when pledging his older brother's
college fraternity. Read more in The Huffington Post, USA Today and Variety.
White Girl is directed by Elizabeth Wood, who was a visiting guest teaching artist as part of
the MFA Program Master Class in Spring 2014. The "intense" and "provocative" film
stars Morgan Saylor as a college girl who gets caught up a world of drugs and crime.
Read more about it and Wood in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and IndieWire.
Wiener-Dog is the latest from Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse) and follows the titular dachsund through a series of troubled owners. The comedy
was purchased at Sundance by Amazon. Read more in IndieWire and The Verge.
Frank & Lola is a romantic noir from first-time feature director Matthew M. Ross and
stars Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. Read more at IndieWire.
(Photo: Wiener-Dog, courtesy Sundance Film Festival)
Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler Give Keynote Producer's Lunch at Sundance
The power producers behind Carol, Still Alice and more gave an informative keynote speech at the festival's Producers Lunch, providing
survival tips for producing.
Watch How to Create a Killer Resume, the Web Series Created by MFA in FIlm Students
Shot in the Dogme tradition, the seven-episode web series was created this year by
students in the MFA in Film program.
How to Write a Killer Resume is written and directed by Melissa Bank, Jill Campbell, Dejan Pavlovic, Tonilyn Sideco,
Brad Becker-Parton, Borna Jafari, and Patricia Marx. Starring Juliet Garrett, Shaun
Licata, David Rysdahl, Ying Ying Li, Mustafa Gatollari & April Armstrong, and produced
with the help of Richie Duque, Lenny Crooks, and Magdalene Brandeis.
The Dogme brotherhood, which included acclaimed Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and
Thomas Vinterberg, took a “vow of chastity” that included limiting themselves to natural
lighting, no added sound, and only those props that were available at their chosen
location. Read more about the production of the series in The East Hampton Star.
The Wrap: Christine Vachon, Todd Haynes Look to Break Oscar Barrier with 'Carol'
Killer Films co-founder and producer Christine Vachon and director Todd Haynes are
indie film icons but neither has been nominated for an Academy Award, something that
could change with Carol.
The Wrap talks about the duo possibly breaking the streak with the celebrated and raved-about film, which received six Film Independent Spirit
Award nominations on Dec. 1. Carol was nominated for Best Feature, Best Director (Haynes),
Best Female Lead (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Carol was nominated for three Gotham Independent Film Awards, including Best Feature,
Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Blanchett), but did not win when the awards were
presented on Nov. 30.
Christine Vachon Interviews FIlmmaker Effie Brown
In exclusive video, Vachon chats with the Project Greenlight producer on the challenges
involved in filming stories about people of color.
Christine Vachon Joins Five Other Prominent Filmmakers in “Producer’s Roundtable”
Killer Films' co-founder Vachon joins a lively conversation on Compton threats, Tarantino outbursts and the truth behind a Star Wars "firing" in a Hollywood Reporter roundtable also featuring Ice Cube, Scott Cooper, Steve Golin, Simon Kinberg and
Killer Films Is Honored at the Hamptons Film Festival
Killer Films' co-founders Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler were honored with the
Hamptons Film Festival's industry award for 20 years of innovative, risky movies and
for championing unique voices in independent film. Killer Films has produced movies
like Boys Don't Cry; Kids; Still Alice, which made its U.S. premiere on the closing night of last year's Hamptons Film Festival;
and the most recent, Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Horizon Award for Young Female Directors to Launch Second Annual Indiegogo Campaign
The award was founded by indie film producers Cassian Elwes ('Dallas Buyers Club'),
Lynette Howell ('Mississippi Grind') and Christine Vachon ('Carol'). Read more in The Hollywood Reporter.
Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler Talk 'Carol' and Indie Resilience with The Hollywood
Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about their latest
film, Todd Haynes' Carol, which could mark the company's biggest commercial and critical success yet. From the story, available here:
"(Killer Films) runs an MFA program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook,
where Vachon urges students to banish the word "filmmaker" from their vocabularies.
"We have to call ourselves storytellers, content-makers," she says, echoing a central
talking point from her South by Southwest keynote talk in March. "If you want to go
into the business today, you have to be prepared to make your stories work on all
different kinds of platforms."
Killer Films Duo Named to the Gotham 60: Influential New Yorkers in Entertainment
Salma Hayek, Aishwarya Rai and Parker Posey Join Christine Vachon to Hit Back at Gender
InequalityThe trio of actresses joined producers Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen
in calling for greater gender equality in film at a forum at the Cannes Film Festival
organized by Variety and the United Nations Women's HeForShe campaign. Read more in The Guardian here.
Exclusive Video: Todd Haynes Shares Tips for First-Time FilmmakersThe Velvet Goldmine and I'm Not There director's Cannes-bound film, Carol, functioned as a real-time case study for students in the Stony Brook Graduate Film Program.
Killer Films' 'Carol' Named to 2015 Cannes Film Festival Lineup
'Carol,' a new film directed by Todd Haynes and produced by Killer Films and Stony
Brook's MFA Film Program Director Christine Vachon, has been named to the 2015 Cannes
Film Festival. The film stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Read more in VARIETY.
SXSW: The 8 Best Things Christine Vachon Said at Her Keynote
Award-Winning Writer-Director Ed Burns Shares Filmmaking Tips in Exclusive Video
In an exclusive video, produced by Stony Brook University in partnership with Indiewire,
director and actor Ed Burns talks shifting distribution models, social media marketing
and directing actors. (Feb. 26, 2015) Watch the video here.
Julianne Moore Oscar Nod a Box Office Boon Says 'Still Alice' Producer
Christine Vachon speaks with The Street about how an Oscar win by Julianne Moore would
be a box office blessing for a small independent film like 'Still Alice.' Vachon spoke
about the MFA in Film program, saying:
The program kind of grew out of the fact that I had taught at quite a few film schools,
both on the graduate and undergraduate level. And what I was seeing was that students
were not being prepared for this new world. They weren’t being prepared for this
new world where you sort of have to reinvent yourself constantly, and be an artist
and an entrepreneur. So we decided to take the old model, and try to make it as based
in reality as we could. And also do something affordable. I mean, our MFA at Stony
Brook is an affordable MFA. We would like our students to be able to come out and
work in film if they want to and not be in crushing debt. The other great thing about
our program is how hands on it is – you know at least three of our students got to
work on Still Alice, for example, so – hopefully – they can say they worked on an
Christine Vachon discusses the MFA in Film program with the Star:
I had been thinking a lot about how these institutions weren’t really preparing students
to earn a living. It’s the old academic issue, there are so many people teaching you
who haven’t actually done the thing they’re teaching you how to do. I thought there
was a real opportunity here for me and Killer to do an M.F.A. program that really
turns all that on its head.
One of the interesting things about our program is that there are people of all different
ages and experience levels,” Ms. Vachon said. “The faculty consists of people who
are in the field, who are really giving students a blow-by-blow as the world unfolds.
Another thing that was so appealing about Stony Brook is that it’s affordable.
The "Videos 4 U" series seeks people who have a personal message that they wanted
Ms. Stergiou — pictured at right along with former Southampton Arts film student Jason
Evans — helped tell the story of Maia Leppo and Alex Kobzik, who have been in an eight-year
relationship but had not said the words "I love you" to each other. The video was
Ms. Leppo's way of telling Mr. Kobzik how she felt.
The video was made by Bianca Giaever and This American Life with m ss ng p eces.
PBS NewsHour interviews Christine Vachon in report from the Sundance Film Festival
Christine Vachon is featured in a report by Jeffrey Brown on what an indie movie deal
means in the age of on-demand.
Deadline Talks with Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler About 20 Years in Indie Films
Deadline's Dominic Patten interviewed Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler at the recent Sundance
Film Festival about Killer Films and its "20 solid years as an indie powerhouse."
From the article:
"To help the next generation of filmmakers navigate some of those landmines, the duo
started a Masterclass program with Stony Brook University a few years back. Like some
of the lessons from Vachon's books Shooting To Killer and A Killer Life, the six-hour workshop teaches the skills for getting a film made and getting it
seen. "Part of the reason we started this program is because we feel like there's
a lot of young filmmakers that are not getting the tools they need in the films schools
to really enter this new world," says Vachon.
Adds Koffler: "One thing we tell young filmmakers frequently, especially the ones
in our program, is you really have to be much more entrepreneurial now as a storyteller
and wear a lot of different kinds of hats. Filmmakers do themselves no favors when
they don’t really learn about that side of the business."
Maria Shriver Spotlights the Women Who Made 'Still Alice'
Maria Shriver, one of the executive producers of the Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated
film Still Alice, shined the spotlight on the women who made Still Alice, including our own Pamela Koffler, and how the film takes aim at defeating Alzheimer's
SBU Film Students Credited for Work on Award-Winning Still Alice
Three Stony Brook University film students were credited participants in the full-length
film Still Alice, nominated today for a 2014 Academy Award® for “Best Actress in a
Leading Role” and winner of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe
Award for “Best Actress,” for Julianne Moore
Three Stony Brook University film students were credited participants in the full-length
film Still Alice, nominated today for a 2014 Academy Award® for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” and
winner of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress,”
for Julianne Moore - See more at: http://sb.cc.stonybrook.edu/news/general/2015-01-15-still-alice-release.php#sthash.OvieauAb.dpuf
Killer Films' Still Alice Nets Golden Globe Win with Julianne Moore
Still Alice, a movie co-produced by Stony Brook-connected Killer Films, picked up a Golden Globe
for Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) in the annual awards ceremony televised
The honor went to Julianne Moore, who portrays a woman afflicted with Alzheimer’s
disease in the prime of her life.
Sarah Salovaara talks with Lauren Wolkstein, one of Filmmaker Magazine's 2013 25 New Faces of Film, about the Southampton filmmaking workshop and the significance
of pedagogy in filmmaking. Read more at Filmmaker Magazine here.
Todd Haynes Greets Filmmakers at Stony Brook Southampton
Filmmakers participating in the Stony Brook Southampton’s summer shorts 20-day intensive
production workshop were given a warm welcome on Monday with an opening discussion
with Todd Haynes, the director of “Far from Heaven,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “I’m Not There,”
“Mildred Pierce,” “Safe,” and many other original and provocative films.