University News

Ivy Film Festival announces lineup, speakers

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 5, 2012

This year’s Ivy Film Festival will bring actress Laura Linney ’86, producer and director Barry Levinson and writer, director and actress Lena Dunham to campus next week to hold question and answer sessions for students interested in film, the organization announced Wednesday night. In addition to the sessions with industry professionals, the festival features screenings of more than 20 films from students around the world. The films are all finalists in the organization’s international film competition and were chosen from a pool of more than 300 film and screenplay entries. 

Travis Bogosian ’13, who directs the festival along with Caleigh Forbes ’13, said they tried to bring a mix of producers, directors and actors to campus so that all attendees can learn about an aspect of filmmaking. He said they plan the festival around the featured speakers. Given the busy schedules of most film professionals, finding people to bring to campus can be difficult, he said. But when the speakers are available, they express a “huge degree of enthusiasm,” he said. 

Linney, famous for her roles in movies like”Kinsey” and “The Savages” and her portrayal of Abigail Adams in the HBO miniseries “John Adams,” is “always excited to come back to Brown,” Bogosian said.

Diahndra Burman ’12 said one of her family friends was a professor at Brown who taught Linney and “shared very fond memories of when she was here.” He knew even then that she would be a star, she said. Burma said she is excited to see Linney speak because she loved her performance in “The Squid and the Whale.”

Levinson was also enthusiastic about returning to Brown, Bogosian said. He directed the films “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Rain Man,” and directed, produced and wrote the screenplay for the legal drama “Sleepers.” The festival will screen an advanced showing of his science fiction thriller, “The Bay,” set to be released in September. In the film, the town of Chesapeake Bay is subjected to the terror of a mutant parasite that takes over the bodies and minds of its residents.

Bogosian said he is particularly excited to bring Dunham to Brown to discuss the new HBO series “Girls,” of which she is the creator, producer and star. “Our first thought when we’re putting this together, is, ‘What is the freshest, most exciting thing we can bring?'” Bogosian said. Dunham, who graduated from Oberlin in 2008, will be able to impart her experience as a young up-and-comer in the industry to attendees who wish to follow in her footsteps, he said.

Joanna Poceta ‘12.5 said she was excited to hear Dunham would be coming because she loved her movie “Tiny Furniture” and has been reading about “Girls.”

Some students were less enthused. “I don’t know any of them,” Tanner Larson ’15 said, though he added that he trusts the people in charge and is “sure they’re great choices.”

The question-and-answer  sessions provide an opportunity for students to receive “almost a master course in filmmaking,” Bogosian said.

Bogosian said he is also excited about the student-made films featured in this year’s lineup. “The student screenings are actually going to be amazing this year,” Bogosian said. Each film will each be screened once on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and again on Saturday or Sunday to allow people to see many of them.

The week will culminate with a lunch with Colin Stanfield and Bill Curran, who will discuss what they do behind the scenes as executive director and operations manager of the Nantucket Film Festival.

In the past, the Ivy Film Festival, the largest student-run film festival in the world, has brought film professionals including Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese and Adrien Brody to campus.

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