Christine Vachon Featured on Cover of The Wrap’s College Issue

Magazine ranks Stony Brook 28th among Top 50 U.S. Film Schools

Christine Vachon, award-winning producer and artistic director of the Stony Brook University MFA in Film program, is on the cover of The Wrap‘s annual College Issue, in which Stony Brook is ranked 28th among the top 50 film schools in the United States.

Vachon was interviewed for the cover story, subtitled “An indie legend hits the classroom,” and discusses film schools, first-time directors and the changing face of the entertainment industry. Vachon, who founded Killer Films with producer Pamela Koffler, talks about her experience in the film world and working with directors like Todd Solondz, Celine Song, Paul Schrader and Todd Haynes, whose film May December premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews.

Vachon wrap college cover

“Over the course of 30 years and more than a 100 films, Christine Vachon has become one of the most impactful producers in independent film. And, as the artistic director at Stony Brook Manhattan, one of the most intriguing film educators as well,” the article states. “At Stony Brook, Vachon said that she and Killer Films ‘set out to build a new type of curriculum — a practical education in all forms of visual storytelling, and at state university prices.’ ”

“The Stony Brook program really did come out of my own experience,” Vachon said in the interview. “I’ve spoken at virtually every institution in America and abroad in teaching our young folks to be in the film business at the graduate and the undergraduate level… There are so many different ways to be creative in the film business.”

Stony Brook moved up eight spots on the list, with the magazine touting not only Vachon and the MFA in Film but also the MFA in TV Writing, run by Alan Kingsberg.

From the magazine:

“Unlike the BFA program, which is located on the school’s suburban Long Island campus, MFA students are housed at the school’s Lichtenstein Center in midtown Manhattan. Formidable indie producer Christine Vachon oversees the MFA film program, while Alan Kingsberg runs a touted MFA in TV Writing program that features an extensive 18-course offering and A-list guest lecturers (Ashley Lyle, Marti Noxon, Anya Epstein, Davita Scarlett, Erica Saleh). For grad students, tuition runs $13K in-state, $27K out-of-state, but the school has created 17 small scholarships designed to distribute aid more widely, which is helpful in a program that has doubled in size the last few years.”

Christine vachon bw 2023
Christine Vachon. Photo credit: Guerin Blask.

“Almost a decade ago, I approached Christine after an event in New York City — filmmakers had waited around two full city blocks to hear her speak. We obviously leapt at the opportunity to build a new type of film school with her and Killer Films,” said Magdalene Brandeis, executive director of the programs in Film and TV Writing. “No one could surpass Christine in her far reach, her extensive filmography, and her ability to bring the industry into the classroom. Nor could any of this have been done without the support of Stony Brook University former associate provost Robert Reeves, Dorothy Lichtenstein, and numerous friends of the arts. Nearly ten years later, we are now the Stony Brook Lichtenstein Center, with alumni and current students directing feature films, earning big international grants, and co-producing theses already under contract. Our faculty remains true to our early goal of turning the old film school model, which kept storytelling in the hands of a select few, on its head.”

Brandeis added, “Christine and I are equally proud of the stand-alone MFA in TV Writing developed by award-winning television writer Alan Kingsberg. We strongly believe in championing original voices in all forms of creative content, as well as all forms of distribution. Story is story is story is story.”

Vachon was interviewed by The Wrap at the 57th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, held earlier this year, when she was honored with a career tribute that included screenings of her latest film, the buzzy Past Lives, and You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder, starring Ewan McGregor.

Read the full interview with Vachon, as well as the list of the top 50 film schools, at The Wrap‘s online edition.

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