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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.

The Festival is the annual premiere of over 40 thesis short films and feature screenplays by MFA students in the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program. Like Adam Davidson's film, many of the films premiered over The Past 25 years have Gone on to win top awards and honors at prestigious festivals worldwide. The Lunch Date, Davidson's thesis film, has just been added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress;Un Mundo Para Raul (A World for Raul), directed by Mauro Mueller ('13), won the Bronze Medal in the Narrative category at the Student Academy Awards in 2013; Under, directed by Mark Raso, won a Gold Medal in the Narrative category at the 2012 Student Academy Awards; I Am John Wayne, directed by Christina Choe, was awarded the Grand Jury Sparky Award for Short Film at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival; The Recorder Exam, directed by Bora Kim, won the 2012 DGA Best Woman Student Filmmaker Award; and High Maintenance, written and directed by Shawn Wines, won a Silver Medal at the 2011 Student Academy Awards.

The schedule of this year's events is as follows:

Friday, May 2 - Sunday, May 4
Film Screenings: 2014 Showcase of MFA Films
Film Society of Lincoln Center,
Walter Reade Theater,
165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam
Tickets for these screenings are $13 and go on sale at noon on Thursday, April 17 online at filmlinc.com and in person at the box offices of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Visit www.cufilmfest.com for up-to-date information, as well as a full list of festival films, synopses, filmmaker bios, and ticket information.

Sunday, May 4
2:00pm
Special Screening of Frozen and Talkback with Jennifer Lee
Film Society of Lincoln Center,
Walter Reade Theater,
165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam

Monday, May 5
7:00pm: Screenwriting Night
An evening of screenplay readings.
Miller Theatre, Columbia University
2960 Broadway at 116th Street

For ticket information, visit cufilmfest.com.

Tuesday, May 6
Both events below are in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, 144 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam
Complimentary tickets to both of these events may be picked up on Tuesday, May 6, only.

4:00pm: CUFF Creative Producing Pitch Contest
The art of pitching is a vital skill for any filmmaker. Join eight Columbia MFA students in the Creative Producing Program, as they display their skills in action. Students will pitch feature film projects to a panel of industry professionals gaining constructive feedback and invaluable experience. The student with the best pitch will win a one-on-one meeting with David Picker. Jury includes Jack Lechner, Michael Hausman, and others to be confirmed.

7:00pm: Is it Television? The Rise of Episodic Storytelling
Panelists will include accomplished Columbia alumni with a diverse range of experience working in television as writers, directors, and producers. Moderated by Frank Pugliese (House of Cards).

Wednesday, May 7
7:00pm: Student Selects
Screenings of the favorite films of the festival as voted by students at the Columbia University School of the Arts MFA Program.
Miller Theatre, Columbia University
2960 Broadway at 116th Street.

For ticket information, visit cufilmfest.com.

Thursday, May 8
7:00pm: Awards Night
Screenings and awards ceremony of the films designated as Jury Selects of the festival. The 2014 Festival Jury is comprised of faculty of the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program and, for the second time this year, outside jurors from the industry, including performing arts and film curator and producer Rachel Chanoff; filmmaker So Yong Kim; and filmmaker and playwright Douglas McGrath.
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway

For ticket information, visit cufilmfest.com.


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