The MFA in Film program at Stony Brook Southampton and Manhattan will be co-sponsoring the seventh annual SUNYWide Film Festival SWFF7 April 8-9, 2016 at SUNY Oswego. As part of the collaboration, Killer Films co-founder and director of the Stony Brook MFA in Film program Christine Vachon will give the keynote address.
The Stony Brook Film program has had a six-year association with digital imaging pioneer Canon USA Inc., established and cultivated by Vachon and MFA in Film Associate Director Magdalene Brandeis. As a result of this relationship, Canon is generously presenting the SUNYWide 2016 Grand Jury Prize — a Canon EOS C100 Mark II kit with EFS 18-135mm lens, which has a retail value close to $7,000.
“We love getting to know the undergraduate filmmakers and their work and hope to cultivate their interest in our new MFA program with Killer Films,” said Brandeis. “Plus, we are proud to bring our long-standing relationship with Canon to the table, and are delighted by their very generous presentation of the Grand Jury Prize.”
“SUNY Oswego is absolutely thrilled to have Stony Brook joining us to sponsor the seventh annual SUNYWide Film Festival,” said Festival Director Joshua H. Adams. “They’ve added their MFA Program in Film into the mix (the only one in the SUNY system), along with their partnership with Killer Films and esteemed Christine Vachon. All this combined with their bourgeoning relationship with Canon USA, Inc. has provided SWFF7 with an amazing Grand Jury Prize.”
Vachon and her Killer Films partner Pamela Koffler had a record-breaking four feature films in competition at Sundance this year, with several of their films making the New York Times “best” lists. Killer Films’ 2015 release Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, was recently nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and six Academy Awards.
“I’m honored to be speaking at this year’s SUNYWide Film Festival,” said Vachon. “There is exciting content being created by undergraduates, and I am looking forward to seeing this year’s festival selections. At Stony Brook, our goal is to offer a new model of instruction by matching the reality of the film business today and embracing new distribution platforms. I’m pleased to offer the SUNY community the opportunity to study with us.”
The SUNYWide Film Festival was launched in 2009 to showcase the cinematic work of students and faculty from the SUNY system. This year’s first class of SBU MFA in Film degree candidates includes two students who were in competition at last year’s SUNYWide Film Festival: SUNY Oswego student Jordan Bianchi and SUNY Binghamton student Ethan Scarduzio, winner of last year’s Grand Jury Prize.
Stony Brook’s MFA in Film is a three-year program in screenwriting, directing and producing, with production periods culminating in a feature screenplay, an MFA thesis film or a feature producer’s package. Faculty guide participants through the essential elements of independent film production, drawing on a curriculum requiring 45-48 credits.