A league of their own: Undergrads head to Brown for fourth annual Ivy Film Festival

by Rebecca Leffler | 4/6/04 5:00am

It's known for purple hair and blase attitudes towards grading. More recently, however, Brown University has become famous for its annual Ivy Film Festival dedicated to the pursuit of undergraduate filmmaking.

This student-run festival began in 2001 by Brown undergraduate students David Peck and Justin Slosky, who wanted to create a venue for the recognition of student filmmakers and for events allowing these burgeoning filmmakers to learn from industry experts. This year's festival, which will take place April 9 through 11 at Brown, will feature not only the original work of Ivy League film students, but also a panel of celebrity judges and various notable speakers such as Brett Ratner, Wes Craven and James Toback.

In addition to student pictures -- no longer limited to students of the Ivy League, but now open to all undergraduate and graduate students -- the festival will also feature screenings of the not-yet-released "Mean Girls," "The Girl Next Door" and Sundance hit documentary "Super Size Me."

And there's no need to wait for Cannes to see your favorite celebrities, either. Oscar-winner Adrien Brody and "American Splendor" star Harvey Pekar will both be in town to address festival-goers. Though the event began just a few years ago, each year Hollywood seems to be paying more and more attention.

Festival co-chairman Hrishi Desai '04 observed: "The increased attention the festival has garnered this year is a testament to the diligence, perseverance, and talent of the festival organizers, volunteers, and participants who together have helped put the festival on the map."

On Saturday, April 10, there will be a "Director's Panel Lunch" featuring Wes Craven ("A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Scream" ), Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour," "Red Dragon") and Jim Tobak ("Love and Money," "Two Girls and a Guy") in addition to a panel discussion on "Breaking into Hollywood" featuring Robert Friedman (chairman and COO of Paramount Studios), Matt Seigel and Roy Ashton. There will be an awards ceremony on Saturday night followed by a party, and the winning films will be screened on Sunday, April 11.

Not only was the festival most recently featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and in the April 2004 issue of Vanity Fair as one of the "30 Things to Do in April," but Dartmouth students can attend the festival at no cost thanks to the Leslie Center of the Humanities, the Committee on Student Organizations, the Programming Board and Veronica Savory '04, a Dartmouth Ivy Film Festival representative.

Dartmouth film students hope to be recognized as they were at last year's festival, where Snowden Wright '04's screenplay, "Pay the Queen," earned him semi-finalist honors in the "Short Form Screenplay" category and Brendan Bouzard '06's screenplay, "Chestnut," was a semi-finalist in the "Feature Length Screenplay" category. Veronica Savory '04's short film, "By Chance," was also accepted by the festival as an official entry.

So if you were too busy during Oscar season, head to Providence this weekend for the Ivy Film Festival and celebrate the art of filmmaking.

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