About the Festival

Our Mission Statement

The Ivy Film Festival encourages the creative efforts of undergraduate and graduate student filmmakers by acting as a quality venue for their work and by creating opportunities to learn from one another and talented professionals. The festival strives to garner recognition for student filmmakers by means of a panel of celebrity judges including: directors, producers, writers, and agents who will view the top films from the festival.

History of the Ivy Film Festival

The 2008 Ivy Film Festival was the most successful and widely attended to date, capped off by an unforgettable Spotlight Address by legendary director Martin Scorsese. A packed audience (which included Sir Ben Kingsley and the mayor of Providence) watched as Scorsese shared clips from some of his most well-known films, and shared insight into topics such as working with actors, his earliest attempts at breaking into the industry, Robert DeNiro’s improvisation skills, and much more. Tom Rothman, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, gave a powerful Keynote Address at our Awards Ceremony, and the festival featured an eclectic range of guests on its numerous panels, including producer Michael Costigan (Brokeback Mountain, American Gangster), writer/directors Michael Corrente (Outside Providence), Jonathan Levine (The Wackness), Ari Gold (Adventures of Power), and Tao Ruspoli (Fix), documentary filmmaker Hart Perry (Sex: The Revolution) and screenwriter David Arata (Children of Men). Advance screenings included the Rolling Stones documentary Shine a Light and the celebrated British comedy Son of Rambow. A program of 35 superb student films, chosen from well over 300 submissions from all across the U.S. and dozens of foreign countries, reflected the festival’s growing quality and preeminence. The festival partnered with valued sponsors such as Paramount, Mastercard, and Current TV, among others, to draw a crowd of over 4000 to Brown’s campus.

The Ivy Film Festival celebrated its sixth anniversary with the most diverse and international festival to date. Welcoming student filmmakers from as far away as India, the 2007 Festival displayed a unique variety of talent in its official selection. Festival goers from all over New England enjoyed a range of engaging workshops and panels during the Festival Weekend, including a business workshop with former vice-chairman of Paramount Robert Friedman, a screenwriting workshop featuring Jon Land (Dirty Deeds) and Laurence Andries (Alias, Six Feet Under), and panel of leading documentary filmmakers hosted by Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes). The 2007 Keynote Address was delivered by Doug Liman (Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Swingers). The Festival also featured an advanced screening of the 2007 Sundance favorite Eagle vs. Shark and a discussion with Dito Montiel following a private showing of his award-winning film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. The Festival was also proud to welcome actor John Cho (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle) and renowned Korean cult director Chan-Wook Park (Old boy, Lady Vengeance) to Brown University. The 2007 Festival partnered with major industry sponsors, including Variety, The Weinstein Company, William Morris Talent Agency and Current TV, in order to establish the Ivy Film Festival as the largest student film festival run entirely by students.

The fifth annual Ivy Film Festival was a tremendous success, attracting our largest crowds yet, and featuring screenings of Sundance gems "Brick" and "Half Nelson", the latter of which featured a Q&A with the filmmakers. Michael Showalter, writer and star of the cult film "Wet Hot American Summer" and Brown graduate gave the keynote address, while panel discussions included "Doing Business in Hollywood", featuring Richard Heller, Keith Marder, Mark Ross, Jim Stark and Gregory Smith, and "Breaking In: An Alumni Panel", featuring David Courier, Lisa Gossels, Doug Imbruce, Ross and Showalter. An Official Selection of over 30 films highlighted the festival weekend, showcasing some of the greatest student filmmaking from around the world. Other screenings included Black Gold, Occupation: Dreamland, The Children of Chabannes, Water, Kinky Boots, Take the Lead and Iraq in Fragments.

The April 2005 event was perhaps the most comprehensive IFF experience yet. The festival played host to exclusive screenings of both "The Aristocrats" and "Murderball"--and presented the filmmakers of the latter for a Q&A session. In addition, John Hamburg, writer of "Zoolander" and "Meet the Parents," gave a keynote address, while Luke Greenfield ("The Girl Next Door") and his producing partners held a private seminar on working in Hollywood. Finally, Ellen Kuras, cinematographer of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "25th Hour," hosted a private workshop at the end of the weekend.

The third annual Ivy Film Festival, held in April 2004, was the largest to date. More than 200 films were submitted for the student competition, while the weekend event also played host to exclusive advance screenings of such films as "Mean Girls" and "Supersize Me." Director Wes Craven and Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody spoke and accepted awards, and a business panel featuring Paramount Studio Vice Chairman Rob Friedman was a resounding success. Overall attendance for the weekend was at an all-time high of 1,500.

The second festival, held in April 2003 due to its growth development, attracted yet more attention. The additions of an international student film section and a screenplay competition broadened interest. Guests such as Tim Robbins and Julia Stiles spoke and accepted awards; director Dylan Kidd shared his film "Roger Dodger," and panelists from across the country shared their advice and experiences with students.

Originally conceived by founders David Peck and Justin Slosky, the inaugural festival, held in December 2001, was a great success. A product of collaboration between the organizers, the Brown Modern Culture and Media Department, the Brown Film Society and students at other Ivy League universities, the festival weekend screened 46 student films from over 150 entries, and featured speakers such as Oliver Stone and Henry Bean while hosting the U.S. premiere of James Toback's feature "Harvard Man." Throughout the weekend, over 300 people from other universities and hundreds more from the Providence area attended IFF events on College Hill. The atmosphere was friendly and productive, a remarkable gathering of people who love and support film.

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