Writing & Directing Fiction Concentration:

For our Writing/Directing Fiction program we are looking for emerging filmmakers looking to say something through their work – willing to take creative risks to create meaningful stories that reflect the human experience. The first year of intensive study in Writing/Directing Fiction focuses on finding story, and mastering techniques in screenwriting, directing, camera, editing and producing. This is a hands-on program and students workshop their ideas in the field, directing their own short exercises and crewing on those of classmates. Writing/Directing Fiction students enter the second “thesis” year with a short screenplay that is production-ready. Over the final two semesters, students direct their thesis films and supervise their post-production, while they also lend their talents in support of other thesis projects. We consider these films professional productions, as opposed to student films. Students create a full festival and distribution plan for their work. Thesis films are launched to the festival circuit at Cityvisions, our film festival held at The Director Guild of America Theater.

Here are some of the accomplishments of our recent graduates:

  • Alex Lora (2012): His experimental film entitled, US was 1 of 35  students films from 20 U.S. colleges and universities selected as a finalist this year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th Annual Student Academy Awards competition.  Read and watch via: http://www.alexlora.es/shorts/aboutus/
  •  Zachary Borst (2010): He won a $25k prize in Chevrolet’s Route 66 contest with a his commercial “Happy Grad” which also aired during the Super Bowl XLVI this year. The Budget? $478 (Yes – Four Hundred Seventy Eight Dollars”. Read and watch via: http://www.chevrolet.com/culture/article/superbowl-route-66.html
  • Rania Atteih (2009): She’s listed as one of the “25 New faces of Independent Film in 2011” by Filmmaker Magazine. And her feature film debut Ok, Enough, Goodbye (Tayeb, Khalas, Yalla) won “Best New Directors from the Arab World” at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and is now traveling the festival circuit. More via: http://filmmakermagazine.com/people/rania-attieh-daniel-garcia/
  •  Jeremy Joffee (2008): His thesis film, The Bronx Balletomane, was awarded with a Student Academy Award [Silver Medal] in the Narrative category at its 36th Annual Student Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, CA. This film also received the “Spalding Award” at the 33rd Cleveland Int’l Film Festival, the “Lou Costello Award” at the 6th Garden State Film Festival and a “Gold Remi Award” at the 42nd Worldfest-Houston Int’l Film Festival. Read and watch via: http://bronxb.wordpress.com/ and http://www.oscars.org/video/watch/36saa_bronxballetomane.html
  • Erin Greenwell (2008): Her first feature film, My Best Day, premiered at the Sundance 2012 Film Festival, as one of the 110 chosen from a pool of 4042  submissions.  The film showed in Sundance’s “Next” category alongside Sleepwalk with Me, co-written by Ira Glass, and Compliance, executive produced by David Gordon Green.  More via: http://www.smithyproductions.com/ and http://www.mybestdaythemovie.com/
  • Lanre Olabisi (2007): His full length feature, based on his thesis film, August The 1st was shown at SXSW and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and had its premiere on PBS stations in the US. Read and watch via: http://www.augustthefirst.com/
  • Piotr Kajstura (2007): Produced 6AM, which won a Student Academy Award (Silver Medal in Alternative Category) and directed his thesis When They Could Fly. The short film screened and took home awards at numerous festivals, among them the Best Short Film and Best Overall Film awards at Texas Black Film Festival, as well as the Shoestring and the Audience Choice – Best of the Fest Awards at the Rochester Int’l Film Festival. Read and watch via: http://www.myspace.com/whentheycouldfly