Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College to Present “Feirstein Film Festival” Showcasing Work of First, Graduating MFA Class

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Launched in 2015, Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema will celebrate the thesis projects created by its first graduating class, highlighting topics including parenthood, disability, racism, immigration, gender issues, sexuality, and aging

Launched in 2015, Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema will celebrate the thesis projects created by its first graduating MFA class, highlighting topics including parenthood, disability, racism, immigration, gender issues, sexuality, and aging at the inaugural Feirstein Film Festival. This first annual event will take place May 22-23 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and feature a film screening, screenwriters table reading at the Made in NY Media Center, and screen studies conference at the Feirstein school.

Feirstein, a public school within the CUNY system, is set to graduate its first-ever MFA class—made up of 58 promising filmmakers from diverse backgrounds—this May, highlighting the school’s commitment to increasing diversity and accessibility in the film and television industries. Located at the Steiner Studio lot in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Feirstein’s student body is 50% women and nearly 50% are from under-represented groups. Feirstein also works to increase opportunities for diverse filmmakers through partnerships with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).

“Feirstein opened three years ago with a mission to educate and create opportunities for new, diverse voices in the film and TV,” said Jonathan Wacks, Founding Director of Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. “We’re proud of our inaugural class which truly represents the future of film and TV. Our talented filmmakers, who will show their work at BAM, have begun to tell their stories that were for too long unseen. As they enter the industry it is our hope that they will help to make it more equal, accessible, and diverse.”

Feirstein offers a three-year Master of Fine Arts degree and a two-year Master of Arts degree, with specialized programs in directing, screenwriting, producing, cinematography, post production, media scoring, sonic arts, and digital animation and visual effects. The school is supported by a star-studded Advisory Council that includes Maryse Alberti, Darren Aronofsky, Don Buchwald, Celia Costas, Ezra Edelman, Barry R. Feirstein, Roy Furman, Ethan Hawke, Lesli Klainberg, Michael Lynne, Julie Menin, Keri Putnam, Robert Richardson, Steven Soderbergh, Douglas Steiner, Fisher Stevens, and Joana Vicente.

After graduation, Feirstein’s inaugural class has an array of ambitious and inspiring plans for their careers, including establishing a production company dedicated to veterans and working-class filmmakers, entering international film festivals, and continuing to tell the stories of women, people of color, and other groups that have traditionally been left out of the film and television industries.

“As a society, we’ve been missing out on an unimaginable number of powerful and important stories because of a lack of diversity and accessibility in film,” said Wacks. “Feirstein’s first graduating MFA class will elevate alternative narratives and empower filmmakers to tell their stories.”

The following students will graduate in May as the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema Class of 2018:

  • Victoria Alvarez, MFA Producing
  • Laura Archer, MFA Producing
  • Frances Arpaia, MA Cinema Studies
  • Gabriel Aviles, MFA Screenwriting
  • Peter Azen, MFA Directing
  • Thomas Bentey, MFA Producing
  • Thai Bettistea, MFA Producing
  • Jamesha Blackburn, MFA Post-Production
  • Alexandra Brown, MFA Cinematography
  • Delilah Campos, MFA Screenwriting
  • Rashan Castro, MFA Directing
  • Siyao Cheng, MFA Post-Production
  • Dominic Clarke, MA Cinema Studies
  • Megan Clement, MFA Post-Production
  • Kaitlyn Cortes, MFA Post-Production
  • Antonia Colodro, MFA Cinematography
  • Tricia Cramer, MFA Directing
  • Christian Culkin, MFA Screenwriting
  • Joshua Deane, MFA Directing
  • Christian Fernandez, MFA Directing
  • Jason Figueredo, MFA Producing
  • Max Frazier, MA Cinema Studies
  • Karl Galvan, MFA Screenwriting
  • Kristen Garris, MFA Directing
  • Eliecer Gutierrez-Gaspar, MA Cinema Studies
  • Natasha Griffiths, MFA Screenwriting
  • Rose Haag, MFA Directing
  • Yasmin Hardart, MFA Directing
  • Kayinde Harris, MA Cinema Studies
  • Christopher Insana, MFA Screenwriting
  • Bilal Javed, MFA Screenwriting
  • Katharine Jefferis, MFA Screenwriting
  • Austin Jung, MA Cinema Studies
  • Khaula Malik, MFA Producing
  • Jessica Mazza, MFA Screenwriting
  • Matthew McCanna, MFA Cinematography
  • Mary McCune, MFA Producing
  • Nolan Metcalf, MFA Post-Production
  • Aidan Meyer, MFA Post-Production
  • Guy Mor, MFA Post-Production
  • Robert Moxley, MFA Screenwriting
  • David Negrin, MFA Screenwriting
  • Benjamin Orifici, MFA Directing
  • David Park, MA Cinema Studies
  • Krittin Patkuldilok, MFA Cinematography
  • Brian Petersen, MFA Producing
  • Danielle Reddick, MFA Post-Production
  • Amanda Reyes, MFA Directing
  • David Rosfeld, MFA Directing
  • Jackson Salisbury, MFA Screenwriting
  • Daniel Smith, MA Cinema Studies
  • Rachel Thoe-Schechter, MFA Producing
  • Viktoriia Vanina, MA Cinema Studies
  • Alyssa Villegas, MFA Producing
  • Gino Volpe, MFA Post-Production
  • Jesse White, MFA Directing
  • Jialiang Zhao, MFA Post-Production
  • Dmitry Zhukov, MFA Cinematography

About Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema

Founded in 2015, Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema is committed to cultivating diverse new voices in cinema and providing students a pipeline to the industry. Feirstein is backed by a star-studded advisory council, which includes producer Steven Soderbergh, director Darren Aronofsky, producer Celia Costas and actor Ethan Hawke. The school offers specialized programs in: Screenwriting, Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Post Production, Media Scoring, Sonic Arts, and recently announced the addition of a program in Digital Animation & Visual Effects starting next fall. Feirstein will graduate its inaugural class in May 2018.

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