The MFA in Film announced its week of faculty and guest filmmakers screenings during the inaugural Fall 2013 residency, October 28–November 1. The film screenings were free and open to the public, culminating each day of the residency during which students and faculty interact in intensive workshops, discussions, lectures, and activities.
The film screenings spanned the week of the MFA in Film residency. A discussion with the director of each film followed the screening. All events were free and open to the public at the Savoy Theater in downtown Montpelier, Vermont.
Monday, October 28, 7:00 pm, The Savoy Theater
The Iran Job by Till Schauder, Faculty
The documentary The Iran Job follows Kevin Sheppard, a professional American basketball player, as he plays in Shiraz, Iran for the A.S. Shiraz team in the Iranian Super League. The documentary was filmed in Iran in the winter of 2008–2009, a few months before the uprising of Iran's Green Movement. Till Schauder ran one of the most successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaigns of all time together with his producing partner (and wife) Sara Nodjoumi. Through his company Partner Pictures, Till writes, directs, shoots and produces for television and film.
Schauder got his start in Germany where he wrote and directed the award winning films Strong Shit, and City Bomber. After earning a government grant for the arts he made his U.S. debut with the romantic comedy Santa Smokes which won several international awards, among them Best Director at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award. Duke's House, about Duke Ellington's Harlem home premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He has a side career in acting where he occasionally is cast in shows like HBO's Mildred Pierce or a national American Express campaign.
Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 pm, The Savoy Theater
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty by Terence Nance, Faculty
Terence Nance’s first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, documents the relationship between Terence and a lovely young woman (Namik Minter) as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. The film premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was recently released on DVD and iTunes. Terence, an artist whose practice includes installation, performance, music, and moving images, is currently developing his sophomore feature entitled The Lobbyist. Terence Nance was recently named by The New York Times as one of the "20 Directors to Watch".
In addition to his personal work, Terence is also an accomplished music video director having collaborated on short films and music videos with Blitz the Ambassador, Cody ChesnuTT, and Pharoahe Monch to name a few.
Wednesday, October 30, 7:00 pm, The Savoy Theater
Laure Colella is both an acclaimed filmmaker and an experienced teacher. Her third and most recent narrative feature Breakfast with Curtis features an introverted, bespectacled teenage who, over the course of a balmy east coast summer, is brought into the strange and delightful world of his bohemian neighbors. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2012, and will be released theatrically by Abramorama this fall. On the festival circuit, Breakfast with Curtis earned several awards and critical acclaim. At the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards, the film was nominated for a Cassavetes Award, and won the Jameson FIND Distribution Award. Her shorts and features have screened at over 100 festivals internationally, winning over 25 awards.
Laura Colella has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, and was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s '25 New Faces of Independent Film'. She freelances as a screenwriter, cinematographer, camera assistant and editor, and has been teaching Film Production and Directing at RISD since 1996. She currently also teaches Screenwriting at Brown University. She is currently the faculty chair in the MFA in Film at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Thursday, October 31, 7:00 pm, The Savoy Theater
First Comes Love by Nina Davenport, Faculty
Nina Davenport’s fifth documentary First Comes Love chronicles her own journey to motherhood through a sperm donor. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and on HBO in 2013. Davenport, finding herself single going into her 40s, decided to enlist a somewhat reluctant gay friend to donate his sperm to propel her on her journey toward being a single mother.
Davenport has made five critically acclaimed feature-length documentaries that have playing at major international festivals and been broadcast around the world. Nina’s films have all been to varying degrees autobiographical. Her first film, Hello Photo, is a poetic and cinematic essay about her travels in India. It premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and received many festival awards, including “Best Documentary” at Melbourne. Davenport’s third feature documentary, Parallel Lines is a lyrical road movie about her journey from California back home to New York, in the aftermath of September 11th. Her film Operation Filmmaker explored the relationship between filmmaker and subject, as it followed an Iraqi film student who traveled from war-torn Iraq to a Hollywood movie set.
Friday, November 1, 7:00 pm, The Savoy Theater
Romance and Cigarettes by John Turturro, Special Guest
John Turturro has performed in more than 60 films, including Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues and Jungle Fever; Robert Redford’s Quiz Show; Francesco Rosi’s La Tregua; and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou. For his lead role in the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink, Turturro won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He received Cannes' Camera D'Or Award for his directorial debut, Mac. Other films as director include Illuminata, Passione: A Musical Adventure, and the upcoming Fading Gigilo, written by Turturro, starring him and Woody Allen.
Romance and Cigarettes is a musical drama about an ironworker, married for years and the father of three daughters, who gets enveloped in an extramarital affair. The movie stars, among others, James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslett, and Christopher Walken. Turturro is a special guest of the MFA in Film inaugural residency at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
The MFA in Film at Vermont College of Fine Arts is the first low-residency graduate program of its kind in the country. For more information about the program and about Vermont College of Fine Arts, visit www.vcfa.edu/film.