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Academy Award Nods for Killer Films' Carol
Have Special Meaning for MFA in Film Students

carol filmSOUTHAMPTON, NY; February, 2016—When the film Carol earned nominations for Oscars in six categories this year, the Academy Awards attention had special meaning for students in Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Film program.

The feature film, produced by Killer Films, was a case study in independent film production for the students, who had an insider's view of the process courtesy of Killer Films co-founders and the film's executive producers, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler. Vachon is the director of the MFA in Film program based in New York and Southampton, and Koffler is on the faculty for the program.

In addition to the Oscar nods for Cate Blanchett in the Best Actress and Rooney Mara in the Best Supporting Actress categories, Carol received Academy Award nominations for Edward Lachman, Best Cinematography; Phyllis Nagy, Best Adapted Screenplay; Carter Burwell, Best Original Score; and Sandy Powell, Best Costume Design, as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA SAG nominations.

While none of the nominees for Carol received an Oscar, director of photography Ed Lachman won the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit awards ceremony held on Saturday, February 27, in Hollywood.

In class, Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Film students studied early drafts of the Carol script (adapted from the Patricia Highsmith story, "The Price of Salt”), and also delved into the making of the film, from production development to scheduling, shooting and post-production. The film, released by the Weinstein Company, tells the story of an aspiring female photographer who develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.

carol stillAs part of Stony Brook Southampton's innovative three-year graduate MFA program in film, students also had the opportunity to intern on two other Killer Films productions: Kyra, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kiefer Sutherland, and the upcoming Todd Haynes film Wonderstruck, starring Julianne Moore.

Robert Reeves, Associate Provost of Southampton Graduate Arts, noted, "It is an extraordinary opportunity to have producers nominated for multiple Academy Award helming our program. We are proud at Stony Brook Southampton to have created an MFA program that attracts the most distinguished practicing artists in the country to provide our aspiring student filmmakers with an affordable, project-driven, in-the-practice learning experience that they wouldn't find at any other school."

With locations in Manhattan and Southampton, the Stony Brook MFA program provides students with industry-level training and real-world, practical experience at an affordable SUNY tuition. The MFA program focuses on screenwriting, directing, and producing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Deadline for all applicants is May 1, 2016.

"Partnering with Killer Films provides our students with unprecedented access to the film world, both within the classroom and outside it," said MFA in Film Associate Director Magdalene Brandeis. "Our MFA program teaches student-storytellers to stay true to their voices while keeping up with the ever-changing technological and financial landscapes of the film industry."

For more information about the Stony Brook Southampton + Manhattan MFA in Film, visit