2014 Columbia University Film Festival to Run 5/2-8

2014 Columbia University Film Festival to Run 5/2-8

Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program and the Film Society of Lincoln Center will co-present the 27thAnnual Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF), a weeklong program of screenings, dramatic readings and special events in New York. The celebration will continue with events to be announced for June 17-20 in Los Angeles. This marks the third year that the Festival is co-presented by the Film Society.

Columbia University's School of the Arts Film Program is one of the most prestigious programs in the country and boasts a graduate list that includesJennifer Lee (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Kimberly Peirce(Carrie, Boys Don't Cry), Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia), and Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and an esteemed faculty that has includedMilos Forman, Martin Scorsese, Emir Kusturica, and Paul Schrader.

Ira Deutchman, Chair of the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, stated, "Each year, the Festival is an opportunity to take a step back and marvel at the amazing body of work that has been created by our students. We are very pleased that the Film Society is co-presenting the festival with us again this year. They are not only providing us a prestigious platform, but also validation of the quality of the work. It is an acknowledgement that there is no other film festival anywhere that showcases student work with such accomplishment, ambition and diversity."

"Supporting emerging filmmakers is an important focus for the Film Society," said Film Society of Lincoln Center's Executive Director Lesli Klainberg. "We are delighted to welcome back the Columbia University Film Festival and their talented new student filmmakers."

The Andrew Sarris Award
Jennifer Lee ('05) will receive this year's Andrew Sarris Award, named for the late School of the Arts Film Program professor and world-renowned critic and theorist, which honors outstanding service by and artistic achievement of distinguished Film Program alumni.

Jennifer Lee grew up in the 1970s and 80s in Rhode Island, surrounded by hairspray, Irocs, and heavy metal. Her love of storytelling and literature led her to the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a BA in English in 1992. From there she moved to New York City and built a career in book publishing. Saturdays at Lincoln Center introduced her to the films of Agnès Varda, the Coen Brothers, and Atom Egoyan. Inspired, she made her first short film and fell in love with visual storytelling.

She entered Columbia University School of the Arts' graduate Film Program in 2001. In 2002, she received the William Goldman Award for excellence in screenwriting and the Kathryn Parlan Hearst Scholarship honoring women screenwriters. Her script Hinged on Stars won top prize at the 2004 Columbia University Film Festival and launched her career. She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in Film, and in 2006 she got her first film option for her script The Way Between. Her next film, The Roundup, was optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way. In 2010, she moved her family across the country to begin work on Wreck-It Ralph for Walt Disney Animation Studios with fellow Columbia graduate Phil Johnston ('04). The film went on to earn an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Feature and won the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Screenplay. As she was finishing her work on Wreck-It Ralph, Jennifer was tapped to write the screenplay for Disney's Frozen. She also directed the film with animation veteran Chris Buck. The film has earned over one billion dollars at the box office and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award, and two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Lee currently lives in Los Angeles with her 10-year-old daughter, Agatha.

The annual Andrew Sarris Award winner is selected by current School of the Arts Film Program students. Past recipients include Adam Davidson('91, The Lunch Date, Six Feet Under, Lost, Community), Malia Scotch Marmo ('88, Rafina, Madeline, Hook, Once Around), Greg Mottola ('91, Super Bad), Albert Berger ('83, Little Miss Sunshine), Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini ('95 and '94, American Splendor), Kathryn Bigelow ('81,The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), Lisa Cholodenko ('97, The Kids Are All Right), Sabrina Dhawan ('02, Monsoon Wedding), Simon Kinberg ('03,Sherlock Holmes), Kimberly Peirce ('96, Carrie, Boys Don't Cry), James Mangold ('99, Wolverine, Walk the Line), and Nicole Holofcener ('88,Enough Said, Please Give).

Is it Television? The Rise of Episodic Storytelling

Columbia Film faculty member Frank Pugliese (House of Cards) will lead a discussion on the new so-called "Golden Age of Television" and how aspiring artists can use their skills and talent to break into the world of TV. Panelists will include accomplished Columbia alumni with a diverse range of experience working in television as writers, directors, and producers. The event, which is free to the public, will be held Tuesday, May 6, at7pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and will also be streamed live.

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