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Spring 2009 Schedule

Montclair State University, Film Program
Visiting Filmmakers Coordinator: Roberta Friedman 973-655-7282
TUESDAYS from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: University Hall, Rm 1040 (unless otherwise noted)
open to all – admission free

January 20, 2009 – no schedule

January 27, 2009 – HENRY BEAN, writer, director.
Bean is a writer/director/actor/novelist- Best known as a scriptwriter, Bean wrote Internal AffairsDeep CoverVenus RisingThe Believer (which was awarded the dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Festival), Basic Instinct 2 and Noise. Bean acted in The Believer, and was a producer on Deep Cover and Noise. He was the director for The Believer and Noise. Henry Bean was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best First Feature for THE BELIEVER by the 2002 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards. Henry Bean will be screening THE BELIEVER, and will discuss the role of the screenwriter as director.

February 3, 2009 – DAN LEVIN, filmmaker with CLAYTON PATTERSON, star
Dan Levin will be screening CAPTURED, a documentary by Dan Levin, Ben Solomon and Jenner Furst, about Clayton Patterson and the Lower East Side of New York City. Clayton Patterson will be there with one of the filmmakers to answer questions and take photographs. Patterson, a photographer and filmmaker, has spent much of the past 25 years obsessively documenting the artists, drag queens, heroin addicts, rabbis, dealers, and new immigrants of the Lower East Side.

“History” is the key word, he said. “For over a hundred years, the Lower East Side was a magic crucible where people were inspired to great art and ideas. The Lower East Side probably changed the history of America five hundred times.”

February 10, 2009 – ALIX LAMBERT, Screening her film THE MARK OF CAIN.
Alix Lambert’s feature length documentary “The Mark of Cain” was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and aired on Nightline. She went on to produce additional segments of Nightline as well as produce 7 segments for the PBS series LIFE 360. Lambert has written for a number of magazines including Stop Smiling, The LA Weekly, and GQ, among others, and is an editor at large for the literary journal OPEN CITY. She wrote Episode 6, season 3 of Deadwood: “A Rich Find” and was a staff writer and associate producer on John From Cinicinnati. As an artist Lambert has exhibited her work to international critical acclaim, showing in The Venice Biennale, The Museum of Modern Art, The Georges Pompidou Center, and the Kwangju Biennnale, to name a few. Her Amonograph: MASTERING THE MELON is available through D.A.P. Her book THE SILENCING is available through Perceval Press. Her book CRIME is available through Fuel Publishing. She is currently in preproduction producing an hour long segment on criminal tattoos for The History Channel.

February 17, 2009 – ALAN BERLINER, filmmaker
Filmmaker and media artist Alan Berliner will be screening his film WIDE AWAKE. Berliner is a recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Jerome Foundation Fellowships, has received multiple grants from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA and in 1998, won his third career Emmy Award (he has also received six nominations) from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. WIDE AWAKE, received its world premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and its international premiere at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, and is an idiosyncratic and cinematically innovative essay exploring Berliner’s lifelong obsession with insomnia, WIDE AWAKEreceived its American television premiere on HBO in May 2007.

February 24, 2009 WEI K. PUN, Director of Photography
Wei will be giving a lighting,camera movement workshop with steadicam at 2:00 pm in Calcia Room 223 open to students only. At 7pm she will be screening some of her work and demonstrating the use of the steadicam at the Film Forum, University Hall 1040.

Wei was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was fascinated with photography and cinematography when she was little. After graduating high school she traveled to work and study cinematography and photography in Hong Kong. She started out as an assistant cameraperson and, shortly after, moved up to operator and later DP. She works with the leading agencies in Hong Kong, Shanghai Beijing, China, i.e. Saatchi & Saatchi, FCB, Dentsu, Grey Worldwide, among many other agencies and leading production houses. Clients have included Hutchinson Telecommunication, Nestlé-Nescafé, Rejoice, Epson, Matsushita Electronics and HSBC, to name a few. She has also worked with celebrities such as Zhang Ziyi, Eric Tsang, Athena Chu, Gigi Leung and many others.

March 3, 2009 – EMILY KUNSTLER. Filmmaker.
Emily Kunstler will screen and discuss the film she made about her famous father, William Kunstler, the self-described “radical lawyer” and civil rights activist. Emily worked as a video producer for Democracy Now!, an independent national television and radio news program that broadcasts on the Pacifica Radio Network and on public access and satellite television. She was a studio art fellow with the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2004. Emily was an associate producer on Alison Maclean’s “Persons of Interest” (Sundance, 2004). At Off Center Media, Emily has produced, directed and edited a number of short documentaries, including “Tulia, Texas: Scenes from the Drug War” (2003), which won Best Documentary Short at the Woodstock Film Festival, and was instrumental in winning exoneration for 35 wrongfully-convicted people, and “Getting Through to the President” (2004), which has aired on the Sundance Channel, Current TV, and Channel Thirteen/WNET.

March 24, 2009 – NINA PALEY, director/writer/producer/animator.
Screening of SITA SINGS THE BLUES. Nina Paley is a longtime veteran of syndicated comic strips, creating “Fluff” (Universal Press Syndicate), “The Hots” (King Features), and her own alternative weekly “Nina’s Adventures.” In 1998 she began making independent animated festival films, including the controversial yet popular environmental short, “The Stork.” In 2002 Nina followed her then-husband to Trivandrum, India, where she read her first Ramayana. This inspired her first feature, Sita Sings the Blues, which she animated and produced single-handedly over the course of 5 years on a home computer. Nina teaches at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow.

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.” The filmmaker will be present.

March 31, 2009 DAVID GOTHARD, film theorist
David Gothard is Associate Artist in Dublin at the Abbey Theatre. Although the is a director of plays, initially under the great director Lindsay Anderson, he has been associated with key moments of film creativity. This really began when he was the artistic director of London’s international contemporary arts forum, the Riverside Studios where the generation of Peter Greenaway and Hanif Kureishi flourished in the eighties.He was a close colleague of Andrei Tarkovsky during the development of “The Sacrifice” and was planning to produce “Hamlet” with him.

From his post-graduate days at the Bela Balasz Studios in Budapest through early work with first time directors and writers for Channel 4,he has been associated with individual voices and the resurrection of lost causes.He teaches as regular guest at the National Film School, Chelsea Art College, and the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He is currently producing an experimental group of 1000k cheap films with Mike Figgis and others.

April 7, 2009 – EDDIE SCHMIDT, filmmaker.
Eddie Schmidt is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work ranges from powerful, real-life dramas to razor-sharp satirical comedy. The latter is in evidence in the acclaimed IFC documentary THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, which he will be screening tonight. It is an irreverent investigation into the MPAA film ratings system and its impact on American culture that Schmidt produced, co-wrote, and shot much of. Nominated for Critic’s Choice and GLAAD Media Awards, RATED caused a sensation at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and later in theatrical release, where it earned raves from the NY Times, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, among others.

April 14, 2009 -TIA LESSIN & CARL DEAL, director/producers
Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal will present TROUBLE THE WATER, a film they produced and directed and which was a winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and a Gotham award winner. The film tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It’s a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen.

April 21, 2009 Daniel Battsek, Presiident, Miramax Films
As President of Miramax Films since October 2005, Daniel Battsek is responsible for all operations, including creative, acquisitions, production, distribution as well as marketing and publicity.

Battsek’s tenure at the company was off to an auspicious start when his first acquisition for Miramax, Tsotsi, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. The following year, Miramax released The Queen, which was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and won Helen Mirren both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actress.

Following the success of 2006, Miramax had an outstanding year with a Best Picture win at the 2007 Academy Awards for No Country for Old Men. On top of its many accolades, which include eight Oscar nominations and five wins, the film has broken the Coen brothers’ box office record as their highest grossing film to date. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which Battsek and his team acquired at the Cannes Film Festival, earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Julian Schnabel. As they did for No Country, Miramax partnered with Paramount Vantage for the Paul Thomas Anderson film There Will Be Blood. Also like No Country, There Will Be Blood earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Mr. Battsek will be talking about his career in film, as well as the upcoming slate of films for Miramax in 2009 including: Adventureland, from Superbad director Greg Mottola and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds and Kristen Stewart; Cheri, from Academy Award nominated director Stephen Frears and starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend; Last Night, starring Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet; Extract, the new comedy from Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis & Butthead) starring Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis; Everybody’s Fine, starring Robert DeNiro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell; The Boys Are Back, from Academy Award nominated director Scott Hicks and staring Clive Owen; and The Debt, from Academy Award nominated director John Madden starring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren.

Battsek is a graduate of Oxford Polytechnic where he majored in Social and Political Studies. He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

April 28, 2009 AUSTIN STARK, filmmaker, head of production, Paper Street Films
Austin is the Head of Production at Paper Street Films. Currently, he is producing Alex Cox¹s “Repo Chick”, which was shot on the 25th anniversary of Cox¹s cult classic “Repo Man”. He is also executive producing Werner Herzog¹s “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?”, which stars Academy Award nominees Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe and Chloe Sevigny. On both pictures, Paper Street is co-producing with David Lynch and his company, Absurda.

In 2008, Austin produced the romantic drama, “Peter and Vandy”, written and directed by Jay DiPietro, starring Jason Ritter, Jess Weixler and Jesse L.Martin. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, as well as Best Screenplay and Best Editing at the 2009 Milan International Film Festival. It will be released in theatres in late 2009.

This past year Austin also produced the teen thriller, “Homecoming”, directed by Sundance-winner Morgan J. Freeman (“Hurricane”). The film stars Mischa Barton, Jessica Stroup and Matt Long, and will be released in the fall of 2009 by Paramount Pictures and the Lifetime Network.

In 2007, Austin executive produced the animated film, My Biodegradable Heart, directed by Dana Adam Shapiro (“Murderball”), which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, among others.

Before joining Paper Street, Austin worked in development for Cary Woods at Independent Pictures in Los Angeles and then with Academy Award-winning producer Martin Richards (“Chicago”). To date, he has also written, directed and produced a number of short films and music videos, receiving critical acclaim at festivals across the country for his films, “Love/Death/Cobain”, “Killing Pedro Rivera” and “Wrong Number”. Among the awards Austin has received are “Audience Favorite” ­ Palm Beach International Film Festival; “Best Dark Comedy” and “Director of the Year” ­ New York International Independent Film & Video Festival; “Best of Festival” ­ Denver International Fall Film Festival; and “Best of Festival” ­ Berkley Film & Video Festival.

Austin graduated from Georgetown University and currently lives in New York City.

Paper Street Films is an independent, New York City-based film production and finance company specializing in documentary and fictional feature films. The company was launched in December ‘06 by filmmakers Austin Stark and Bingo Gubelmann and Wall Street financier Benji Kohn with one simple, yet entirely uncompromising goal in mind: to create films that are both artistically fulfilling and commercially viable.

IF you want to suggest an artist for next semester contact Prof. Tony Pemberton @ The Dept of Art and
Design 973-655-7200 /