VCFA film faculty chair wins grant from Film Independent

NEWS RELEASE — Vermont College of Fine Arts
Feb 6, 2013

For more information:
Lyn Chamberlin
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Vermont College of Fine Arts Film School Chair Laura Colella honored by Film Independent and Offered Special Screening of Her New Film

February 5, 2013, MONTPELIER, VT – As part of the run up to this year’s American Spirit Awards, Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) Faculty Chair in Film and 2013 American Spirit Award nominee Laura Colella won a $50,000 grant from Film Independent in Los Angeles to help support distribution of her nominated film BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS. The award was presented to her by actors Jeremy Renner and Salma Hayek at a nominees brunch for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards on January 12.

Unrelated to the grant and award nomination, Colella’s film will also be presented in a special screening by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (THE MASTER, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, MAGNOLIA, PUNCHDRUNK LOVE, BOOGIE NIGHTS). The screening will take place on February 21 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA, and Anderson will introduce the film and conduct a Q&A with Colella following it.

“We are extremely proud to have Laura as our founding faculty chair and to see her work honored in such a way,” said Thomas Christopher Greene, VCFA’s founding president.

Founded in 1984 and part of Film Independent, the Independent Spirit Awards celebrate the best in independent film. The award show will take place on Saturday, February 23 (one night before the Oscars), and will be broadcast on the Independent Film Channel. LA-based Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization championing independent film.

Colella’s film is one of five nominated for a John Cassavetes Award for best film made for under $500,000.

“I look forward very much to working with film students at VCFA – sharing a passion for the art of filmmaking, and finding ways to push cinema in exciting new directions,” said Colella.

Colella is both an acclaimed filmmaker and an experienced teacher. BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS, Her third and most recent narrative feature film, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2012. Laura was a Sundance Institute Directing and Screenwriting Fellow, and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Laura studied filmmaking at Harvard and Brown. She has taught film production and directing at Rhode Island School of Design since 1996, and currently also teaches screenwriting at Brown.

The MFA in Film at VCFA is uniquely designed for independent filmmakers and screenwriters. Unlike traditional models, VCFA’s low-residency format allows students to attend weeklong, on-campus residencies in Montpelier before returning to their home communities to complete the semester’s work. Throughout the two-year program, comprised of four semesters of study, students take an active role in shaping their own curriculum while participating in a sustained dialogue with experienced filmmakers of national reputation. Each residency features workshops in writing and production, screening/discussions, collaborative exercises, and a chance to share work and ideas.

Students may focus on live action narrative or documentary projects, animation, screenwriting, or a combination of these forms. The diverse and highly accomplished faculty of working artists offer guidance towards the development of students’ individual artistic vision, craftsmanship, creative practices, and audiences.

Information on admissions criteria and requirements may be found here.

The MFA in Film at Vermont College of Fine Arts joins a distinguished portfolio of fine arts graduate degree programs. VCFA offers degrees in Music Composition, Graphic Design, Visual Art, Writing, and Writing for Children & Young Adults. With its highly regarded faculty and smart, engaged students, VCFA seeks to balance its historic strengths while establishing new standards for graduate education in the twenty-first century.

About Vermont College of Fine Arts …

Vermont College of Fine Arts is a national center for education in the arts, fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists while advancing the arts to create a more humane world. Founded in 2008, VCFA is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. VCFA offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Visual Art, Music Composition, and Graphic Design. NEASC approval for the MFA in Film is pending. www.vcfa.edu.

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