The Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts has announced the addition of four new faculty members to the producing side of the curriculum beginning in fall 2010. In addition, it has named Peter Newman as new department head of its MBA/MFA Dual Degree program, an innovative partnership, now in its third year, with NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Tisch School’s Kanbar Institute. The appointments all support and enhance the emphasis the program is also placing on teaching entrepreneurship to graduate film students at NYU.
“We’ve always been very good at teaching our students how to make films,” said John Tintori, chair of the Graduate Film Program. “Now we’re also placing an emphasis on how to get the films made. And with the addition of Ted Hope, Peggy Rajski, John Sloss, and Christine Vachon, combined with our present producing faculty, we can honestly say that the Kanbar Institute has some of the most innovative and prolific independent producers in the field. Dual MBA/MFA students, producing majors, as well as all directing students will benefit from this phenomenal team.”
The new faculty appointments are:
Peggy Rajski (visiting associate arts professor) is a veteran producer with many years of experience bringing provocative, groundbreaking films successfully to screen. Her producing credits include Towelhead, Home for the Holidays, Little Man Tate, The Grifters, Matewan, Eight Men Out, and The Brothers from Another Planet, among others. Her collaborations with iconoclastic filmmakers like Jodie Foster, Stephen Frears, Alan Ball, and John Sayles have garnered over 40 award nominations. Her most recent collaboration is with writer/director Stephen Gyllenhaal on the film Grassroots, which just completed principal photography. Rajski’s own directorial debut, Trevor, won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short in 1995. She will teach Producing the Short Narrative Film; Directing I: The Silent Film; Festivals, Marketing & Financial the Short Film; Producing the Independent Feature; and a Feature Film Packaging Workshop.
John Sloss (adjunct instructor) is one of the most influential entertainment lawyers in independent film. He is a founding member of Cinetic Media, as well as the managing partner of Sloss Law Office, LLP. Sloss has also acted as executive producer for over 35 feature films including The Fog of War (2004 Academy Award winner, Documentary Feature), Pieces of April, and Far From Heaven. He serves as a partner in InDigEnt, a low budget production company for high-level filmmaking talent that has become the gold standard in digital film production. He is frequently featured as a lecturer and moderator at major international film festivals, conferences and universities. He will teach Structure & Management of an Independent Film Company.
Christine Vachon (adjunct instructor) has been nominated for an Emmy, a PGA Award, and nine Independent Spirit Awards, winning for Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven. She received a Gotham Award nomination for Hayne’s I’m Not There and has received numerous accolades from the National Board of Review. Her many credits include Savage Grace, A Dirty Shame, A Home at the End of the World, The Company, One Hour Photo, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Boys Don’t Cry, among others. She has also published two bestselling books on independent film producing. She will teach Structure & Management of an Independent Film Company
Ted Hope (industry mentor) is a producer, and co-founder of the New York production company This is That. He previously co-founded and ran the feature production and sales company Good Machine. He has produced over 60 films including three Sundance Grand Prize winners and the first features of Alan Ball, Michel Gondrey, Hal Hartley, and Ang Lee, among others. His notable films include 21 Grams, American Splendor, Happiness, and In the Bedroom.
Returning faculty in the producing area:
Peter Newman (adjunct instructor) has been named the new Department Head of the MBA/MFA Dual Degree Program for the Tisch School, and shares responsibility for the Program with his Stern School counterpart Samuel Craig, Catherine and Peter Kellner Professor of Entrepreneurship and Arts and Media Management, and Director of Stern’s Entertainment, Media and Technology Program.
Newman has produced over thirty films, including Wayne Wang’s Smoke and Blue in the Face; John Sayles’ The Secret of Roan Inish; Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia; and Nancy Savoca’s Dogfight and Household Saints. Peter Newman Productions has received a total of 21 nominations for Spirit Awards—the leading honor in American independent film. His films have played in competition at the Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, and Venice Film Festivals, where they have won numerous awards. He will teach a Master Series: Exit Strategies and Film from the International Perspective.
Robert F. Nickson (associate professor) is a producer of independent feature films and a founding partner of Orenda Films, an independent feature film production company engaged in production and global distribution of independent feature films. He has been credited as a producer or production controller on eighteen major theatrically released features in the last 20 years. He teaches Introduction to Production Management and Producing the Short Narrative Film.
Rosalind Lichter (adjunct professor) is a business lawyer specializing in entertainment law, executive employment compensation, and corporate transactions. Her entertainment practice involves all aspects of film, television, copyright, licensing and the Internet. She has served as production counsel for films distributed by both major and mini distributors, such as Miramax, Sony Pictures Classics, Paramount, and Warner Brothers.