Sadowsky will serve as the inaugural director of NYU’s LA program for students in the arts and creative professions
Nina Sadowsky—an educator, author, and filmmaker with extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries—has been selected as the inaugural director of NYU’s new study away program in Los Angeles, launching fall 2019. The LA program combines highly focused academic coursework in film and television, music, and emerging media with coveted internships at renowned companies within the West Coast entertainment industry.
As an educator, Sadowsky has taught both undergraduate and M.F.A. courses at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, encompassing creative collaboration in production, short film development, and screenwriting; she also served as a graduate thesis advisor. She is the author of two novels, Just Fall, and The Burial Society, with a third novel, The Empty Bed, slated for publication in early 2020.
Sadowsky served as the president of production for Signpost Films and as president of Meg Ryan’s Prufrock Pictures. Her producing credits include The Wedding Planner, Desert Saints, Lost Souls, Northern Lights, and Jumpin’ at the Boneyard. She’s written numerous original screenplays and adaptations and her Burial Society book series is currently in development for television. She also serves as the director of educational outreach for THE HUMANITAS PRIZE, overseeing the organization’s annual screenwriting competition for student writers.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Nina Sadowsky to NYU. As a dynamic educator with vast experience in all aspects of the creative arts, Nina possesses a nuanced understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration as well as industry connections that will illuminate and expand NYU’s elaborate network in LA. With her unmatched vision and energy, Nina is best placed to help prepare students for exciting and groundbreaking careers in the entertainment and media industries,” said Linda G. Mills, Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life.
The new program in Los Angeles further broadens NYU’s extensive global presence, offering expanded professional development opportunities and a rigorous academic experience that leverages partnerships with respected cultural institutions and strong community ties with the 14,000 NYU alumni living in the Los Angeles area.
“Los Angeles is a vibrant city at the forefront of the evolving, global entertainment landscape. Students have the opportunity to pair their experiences in New York—one of the cultural capitals of the world—with meaningful internships and coursework in every facet of LA’s media, entertainment, and music industries. It will be a life changing experience that will prepare them to not only hit the ground running after graduation, but also to be dynamic leaders and cultural innovators into the future,” said Sadowsky.
Students in the inaugural cohort have already been offered internships at Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, Untitled, Cartoon Network, E! Entertainment News, Mad Chance Productions, The Producers Guild of America, PatMa Productions, QCode Media, and Big Beach, among others.
In her new role, Sadowsky is focused on creating and expanding partnerships with local institutions including Young Entertainment Activists (Y.E.A.), Creative Future, Franklin Leonard’s ‘The Black List,’ The Humanitas Prize, Venice Arts, and the Writer’s Guild. Through these relationships, students in the inaugural cohort will have access to additional mentorship opportunities and organizational resources.
“Entertainment, media, and technology are rapidly evolving and changing the world socially, culturally, and politically—and we’re forging partnerships with vital institutions at the cusp of this transformational change. The Los Angeles program will be a center for discussions about the future and how to harness the power of entertainment media to explore crucial issues, fostering our critical engagement with the world and introducing new ways of thinking and doing,” said Sadowsky.
The academic center in the heart of the Fairfax district features light-flooded classrooms with views of the Hollywood sign and a rotating gallery space. The fall 2019 semester will boast a program of events at the center to further integrate the student and alumni communities, including a screening series of films created by recent NYU alumni which will kick-off with Eva Vives’ All About Nina.
The inaugural cohort of 30 students will choose from a tailored set of courses that provide a range of views into the entertainment and media industries while simultaneously taking part in an internship/professional development experience and attending an internship seminar.
Courses will be led by lecturers who are professionals working in the entertainment industry including studio and network executive Gerard Bocaccio; award-winning filmmaker and producer Anita Cal; television, film, and digital media scholar Tom Connelly; digital marketing executive George Dewey; film and TV producer Jane Goldenring; film music producer Bonnie Greenberg; Hollywood marketing executive Karen Hermelin; digital media scholar and artist Harris Kornstein; Academy Award-nominated film producer Chris Moore; television director, producer, and scholar Rachel Raimist; and leading entertainment lawyer Gene Salomon.
About NYU Los Angeles
NYU Los Angeles, a new type of study away experience for undergraduates, will open in fall 2019, with approximately 30 students enrolled. Developed by faculty from Tisch, Stern, Gallatin, Steinhardt and Abu Dhabi, the interdisciplinary program provides an opportunity for students who seek careers in the entertainment and media industries to be immersed in LA’s artistic and business communities through hands-on experiences, while taking a full NYU courseload and continuing to progress toward their degrees. The program is based in the Fairfax/La Brea media neighborhood, with an academic center that includes two classrooms, a seminar room, and a small event space.
Learn more about the lecturers:
Bonnie Greenberg has been at the forefront of entertainment integrating music and film for over two decades. She has been integrally involved with over 80 films, from independent projects such as HAIRSPRAY and MENACE II SOCIETY to major blockbusters including MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING and SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE.
She has produced or executive produced numerous gold and platinum soundtrack albums and received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Album for her work on THE BEST MAN. In 2015, she co-produced and was the executive music producer of the documentary THE HUNTING GROUND, addressing sexual assault on college campuses. Most recently, she was executive music producer for the Academy Award nominated documentary, RBG. Greenberg is an adjunct professor at the MEIM graduate program at Carnegie Mellon. She is a member of the Recording, Television and Motion Picture Academys and one of the founding members of the Guild of Music Supervisors. She holds a J.D. in Entertainment Law from Southwestern Law School, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch College, and a B.A. from the University of Denver.
Over the course of 30 years, Gerard Bocaccio has built a diverse career as a studio and network executive, producer, media consultant, and educator. He recently joined 3311 Productions as Head of Television after 4 years at Entertainment One Television overseeing development and production of projects including SHARP OBJECTS, the Golden Globe-winning series for HBO. Earlier in his career, Bocaccio helped launch the first original programming slate for FX, which included groundbreaking and award-winning shows like THE SHIELD, NIP/TUCK, and RESCUE ME, among many others.
Bocaccio has held executive roles at The Bubble Factory, Silver Pictures Television, and Warner Bros. Television; launched his own firm, Bocaccio FilmWorks and Consulting; developed a number of projects as an independent producer; and served on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts — his alma mater — as an Associate Arts Professor.
Harris Kornstein works at the intersection of digital media, art, and activism, with particular focus on LGBTQ politics and culture. As a scholar, his research focuses on queer histories and strategies of countering surveillance in today’s digital media environment. As an artist, he works in video, installation, and creative intervention to explore technologies’ impacts on urban environments and social connections. He helped found the #MyNameIs campaign challenging Facebook’s “real names” policy and is a board member of Drag Queen Story Hour. Kornstein is an instructor and Ph.D. candidate in NYU Steinhardt’s Media, Culture, and Communication department.
He holds an M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media from the UC Santa Cruz and a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, Film and Media Studies, and English from Swarthmore College.
Chris Moore is a film producer with 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. After starting as a mailroom assistant at InterTalent Agency, he was promoted to literary agent and sold several scripts, then shifted to independent producing. His early projects included GOOD WILL HUNTING, REINDEER GAMES, and the AMERICAN PIE franchise. With Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Sean Bailey, Moore co-founded the multimedia company LivePlanet and served as its CEO, producing the series PROJECT GREENLIGHT as well as several films.
After leaving LivePlanet, Moore directed a feature film and produced several films and television series, including THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, PROMISED LAND, the Howard Zinn documentary THE PEOPLE SPEAK, and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, which won two Academy Awards. He is an active speaker and teacher on the business of the film industry. Moore holds a B.A. in American History from Harvard University.
Karen Hermelin has over 20 years of experience as a Hollywood marketing professional and is currently Executive Vice President of Marketing, Research, and Strategy for Paramount Pictures. Over the course of her career as a marketing executive at several of the major studios and as a Managing Director of MarketCast, an entertainment research and strategy group, she has been a key player in marketing hundreds of feature films, from independent pictures to some of the most commercially successful films of all time,
including recent projects A QUIET PLACE, THE BIG SHORT, INTERSTELLAR and the TERMINATOR, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and TRANSFORMERS franchises, in addition to helping design the launch strategies for the SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR franchises. Hermelin is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch.
Jane Goldenring is a film and TV producer with over 30 years of experience. She started out producing documentaries for Turner Broadcasting, then worked as an executive for 12 years at Walt Disney Pictures, supervising over 40 films including THE ROCKETEER, WHITE FANG, and PHENOMENON. She has produced numerous TV movies for Disney Channel, Lifetime, Hallmark, and Freeform and has developed pilots for Warner Bros., A&E, SyFy, and Fox TV. Recently, she set up the fantasy YA project THE GRIMM LEGACY for Disney+, and she has several films in development.
Goldenring is co-head of the Independent Film Committee of the Producers Guild of America, a member of the Television Academy, and a former board member of Women In Film. She has taught for several years at USC Cinematic Arts and is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Before coming to Los Angeles, she worked for 5 years as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Chris Dodd.
Tom Connelly is a scholar of television, film, and digital media. He is the author of CINEMA OF CONFINEMENT (Northwestern University Press, 2019) and CAPTURING DIGITAL MEDIA: PERFECTION AND IMPERFECTION IN CONTEMPORARY FILM AND TELEVISION (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). Both books draw upon psychoanalytic concepts to investigate current developments in cinema and television. In addition to his scholarly work, Connelly is a musician and filmmaker.
He grew up in New York’s tri-state area and played drums and guitar in several underground bands in the 1990s. His short film, NO DEPOSIT NO RETURN, screened at a number of film festivals. He also writes prose and screenplays and has independently published two novels, THE POSTCARD and THE BELLS, which focus on his hometown in the Hudson Valley. Connelly holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University, an M.A. in English from the University of Vermont, and a B.F.A. in Film from Long Island University.
Gene Salomon is the managing partner of Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc., one of the leading entertainment law firms in Los Angeles, and practices law in the firm’s music department. Before joining the firm in 2000, he spent 13 years at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, where he headed the music practice. Throughout his career, Salomon has represented major record companies and music publishers, along with numerous multi-platinum and GRAMMY Award-winning recording artists. He has also advised technology companies in connection with music industry rights issues and other clients in connection with potential acquisitions of sports franchises in the United States and Europe.
He currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games. Salomon holds a J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Anita Cal is a writer, filmmaker, producer, and educator, specializing in independent productions. After beginning her career as a print reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Cal returned to graduate school to study screenwriting, where she won Women In Film’s Best Screenplay award and landed her first development deal with Showtime for her film KINFOLKS. For two seasons, she was a writer for Tyler Perry’s TBS series HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS.
In 2015 Cal published her first historical novel, EIGHTH WONDER, based on the story of Thomas Bethune, a slave virtuoso born blind and feeble who began playing Mozart at the age of three. She is currently developing new television projects. Cal holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University; an M.A. in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge; and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Washington.
Rachel Raimist is a television director, producer, and scholar. She recently directed episodes of QUEEN SUGAR and GREENLEAF for the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her previous work includes numerous documentary and narrative films, music videos, and live event projects. Raimist spent 10 years as a professor of media production at the University of Alabama, where she developed an immersive summer program in LA and served as Co-Director of the UA Creative Campus. She is a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective as well as the Directors Guild of America, where she participates in the Women’s Steering Committee and the Latino Steering Committee. Raimist holds a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies and an M.A. in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Minnesota, an M.F.A. in Film Directing from UCLA, and a B.A. in Film Production/Directing from UCLA.
George Dewey is an industry leader in digital marketing and President of Maximum Effort Productions, Ryan Reynolds’ production company. Dewey spent 16 years at McCann-Erickson, where he rose from a copywriting internship to Executive Creative Director, responsible for accounts including Verizon, Weight Watchers, and the U.S. Army. After taking on senior communications and digital roles at SpaceX and Moxie, Dewey became Head of Digital Marketing at 20th Century Fox, where he created digital campaigns for films such as LOGAN, DEADPOOL, HIDDEN FIGURES, and THE MARTIAN. He was then President of Digital at Annapurna Pictures before moving to Maximum Effort in 2018. Dewey earned an M.B.A. with a concentration in Management from NYU Stern and also holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University.