Chair's Sundance Report

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018

Tisch Alumni At Sundance 2018

Tisch Alumni At Sundance 2018

Dear Students,

I just spent a few days at the Sundance Film Festival, where the strong showing by Grad Film students was an endless source of inspiration and pride for me.

There was great word of mouth and positive early reviews for all the Grad Film alums’ feature films in the Dramatic, World, Documentary and Next competitions, including but not limited to Monsters and Men (Reinaldo Marcus Green), The Kindergarten Teacher (Sara Colangelo), Dead Pigs (Cathy Yan, Federico Cesca), Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Nicholas Ma), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan), Monster (Cole Wiley), Clara’s Ghost (Stephen Winter), Skate Kitchen (Aslihan Unaldi) and many more films by past alums in the premieres section, including the festival's opening film, Private Life, directed by Tamara Jenkins, who will soon be teaching for us, and films by Joshua Marston, Debra Granik, Professor Spike Lee and more. Our students also had work throughout the shorts programs - including films by Charlotte Wells, Myrsini Aristidou, Shaka King and Charles Rogers.

This year, NYU threw a lively alumni party and inaugurated what will become an annual gathering spot across from the Egyptian theater, “Tisch on Main." Recent grad Mary Evangelista said that one of the best parts of the festival was having this space where students could reconnect with classmates.  

I urge many of you to attend the festival in upcoming years. Whether you have a film there or not, it's inspiring to see the work that breaks through, and gives you a sense of the rich and varied landscape in which we do our work.

One of the great things about this year's festival was how original and independent it was, recalling the spirit of the festival in the early days. I was struck by how the festival's theme, "The Story Lives Inside You," speaks to the unwavering belief in the diversity of voices and stories to which we are committed at Grad Film.

We have much to be grateful for today, as current student Kevin Wilson, Jr. was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short film for My Nephew Emmett, and alum Dee Rees' Mudbound also received Oscar nominations, as did Lisa Bruce’s film Darkest Hour.  A more comprehensive list will be published later.

I am this morning reflecting on how honored I am to be the chair of our wonderful program.

Everyone, have a great start to the term.


Barbara Schock,

Chair, Graduate Film