By Patricia Pasquale, Assistant Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Sarah Lawrence College
Jun. 13, 2018: Aspiring filmmakers can look forward to a new one-of-a-kind program to be offered at Sarah Lawrence College in the spring semester of 2019.
Cinema Sarah Lawrence, a 15-week, semester-away program, provides a rare opportunity for young filmmakers from any accredited college or university to collaborate with 25 film professionals in the making of an ambitious feature film that would be released nationally.
The program is led by Jay Craven, award-winning independent filmmaker and Sarah Lawrence faculty member, and Fred Strype, chair of Sarah Lawrence’s robust Filmmaking & Moving Image Arts program.
Kanwal Singh, dean of the college, says of the program: “Cinema Sarah Lawrence is an experiential learning program that is deeply rooted in the liberal arts, immersing students in a process that starts with a work of literature and moves through the entire arc of development that results in the creation of a film.”
Cinema Sarah Lawrence begins with a weeklong visit to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. From there, students and faculty/mentors travel to the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, for seven weeks of classes, screenings, workshops, script critique and revision, casting, sessions with visiting artists, and pre-production. Following that, students will work with an expanded group of mentors/professionals to launch final pre-production and production of their planned feature film, Martin Eden.
The program has an impressive track record. Founded at Marlboro College, it ran for seven years, providing valuable experience to 106 students from 23 colleges and universities around the world. Previous films produced include Disappearances, starring Academy Award nominees Kris Kristofferson and Genevieve Bujold; Northern Borders, starring Bujold and two-time Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern; Peter and John, starring Golden Globe-winner Jacqueline Bisset, Christian Coulson (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), and Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black); and Wetware, starring Jerry O’Connell (Stand by Me), Cameron Scoggins (Nashville), and Morgan Wolk (Miles Ahead).
In 2019, Cinema Sarah Lawrence will produce a film based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel, Martin Eden. In this story, a rough-hewn, poor, and unschooled sailor, Martin Eden, unexpectedly meets a magnetic young woman of means and education, Ruth Morse. Their unconventional attraction upends both lives and propels timely themes of impossible love; the confines of class, celebrity, and individualism; aspiration to the American Dream; and the quest for a comfortable place in an inconstant world.
Students from all accredited colleges and universities are welcome to apply to Cinema Sarah Lawrence. Many kinds of students—not just film students—will benefit from the program, as the skills developed have multiple applications and are chiefly intended to foster critical thinking, joint decision-making, problem-solving, evidence-based inquiry, creative interpretation, contextual analysis, fair-mindedness, flexibility, risk-taking in the process of creative discovery, and much more.
Students also acquire practical skills in the many specific jobs that are required to make a narrative feature film or television program. These skills can help them to advance significantly if they choose to pursue professional opportunities in the field.
To learn more about Cinema Sarah Lawrence, visit www.sarahlawrence.edu/cinema or write to the program director, Jay Craven at
Photo by N. Bower
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