Film Program Alumni

('09SOA) - J.J. Adler is co-executive producer and director of the 2011 TV series The Onion News Network, currently airing on IFC, as well as The Onion’s Peabody Award-winning web-series of the same name.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, '06 - A former lawyer in Romania, Bogdan George Apetri moved to New York where he graduated from Columbia University's Film Program with a MFA degree in Film Directing. His student films screened and won awards at prominent short film festivals across the world (Clermont Ferrand, Rotterdam, Palm Springs, Cottbus, Montreal, Aarhus, Rhode Island, Woodstock etc). He was a National Finalist at the Student Academy Awards in 2006.
SOA Alumna -  Alice Arlen made her screenwriting debut with the 1983 film Silkwood, which she cowrote with Nora Ephron. The film, which received an Oscar nomination for best screenplay, starred Meryl Streep in the real-life story of a worker at a plutonium plant who is killed in a suspicious car accident when she takes too close a look into murky dealings at her job site. She also teamed up with Ephron to write the 1989 gangster comedy Cookie, which she also executive produced.
Albert Berger
('83SOA) - Albert Berger formed Bona Fide Productions with Ron Yerxa in 1993. Their producing credits include King of the Hill (1993), Election (1999), The Wood (1999), Pumpkin (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), Bee Season (2005), The Ice Harvest (2005), Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Little Children (2006). Bona Fide’s executive producing credits include the Wilco documentaryI Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002), Hamlet 2 (2008)and the documentary Chevolution (2008).
('95SOA and '94SOA) - Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are an award-winning documentarian and feature-filmmaking team. Their award-winning debut, Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen’s, depicted the closing of a Los Angeles restaurant and celebrity hang-out from the point of view of its staff. Both USA Today and CNN selected it as one of the 10 best movies of 1998. In 2003, their Harvey Pekar biopic American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Kathryn Bigelow
('81SOA) - Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, the BAFTA Award for Best Direction, and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Director, for her film The Hurt Locker, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture. She also directed Near Dark (1987), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).
Liz Chae
('09SOA) - Liz Chae is a writer/director committed to bringing stories of women and the Korean-American experience to the screen. Born in Jamaica to Korean parents, she and her family immigrated to New York City where she pursued her love of writing and photography before studying film in Paris. Liz began her career in film exhibition and then moved into film production, working on Tony Bui’s Three Seasons and Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool. This led to a career producing movie trailers for Paramount and Nickelodeon.  
('02SOA) - Efterpi Charalambidis received her Master of Fine Arts in Film from Columbia University (New York) in 2002. Her first short, "Niko´s Restaurant," won awards for Best Actor and Best Editing at the Columbia University Film Festival in 2001. Her second short, "El Chancecito" ("A Little Chance"), shot in Caracas and released in commercial theaters as pre-feature entertainment, won the New Line Cinema Award for Best Director, the Lifetime Television Award for Best Director and many other awards.
Lisa Cholodenko
('97SOA) - Lisa Cholodenko’s most recent feature film, The Kids Are All Right, garnered rave reviews, as well two Golden Globes and four Academy Award nominations. The film, which Cholodenko directed and co-wrote with Stuart Blumberg, stars Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. Cholodenko got her start in film as assistant editor on Boyz N the Hood and Used People, and after earning her MFA at Columbia, wrote and directed several acclaimed short films.
Deborah Chow
('03SOA) - Deborah Chow is an up-and-coming Canadian director and screenwriter whose debut film, The High Cost of Living, starred Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais. Released this spring, the indie drama probes both the guilt and the unexpected friendship that develop between a hit-and-run driver and a woman who loses her unborn child in the accident.
Kahane Cooperman
('91SOA) -  Kahane Cooperman is the co-executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She has been with the show since its inception in 1996, serving as field producer, senior producer and supervising producer before becoming the co-executive producer in 2005. For her work on the show, she has received eight Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. Kahane began her career as a documentary filmmaker.
('81SOA) - Richard Crudo is a veteran cinematographer and member of the American Society of Cinematographers. He served three terms as president of the ASC. He has done cinematography work on more than 20 films, including American Pie, Down to Earth, Out Cold, Outside Providence, Federal Hill, American Buffalo, Grind, Brooklyn Rules, and Music from Another Room. He did his first work as cinematographer with director Michael Corrente the 1993 film Federal Hill, a gritty black-and-white drama about young Italian men on the outskirts of the mob world.
Cherien Dabis
('04SOA) - Named one of Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” in 2009, award-winning filmmaker Cherien Dabis made her feature film debut with Amreeka, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious FIPRESCI award at the 2009 Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight. Prior to that, she was an accomplished television writer and co-producer on Showtime Network’s original hit series The L Word.
('91SOA) - Actor and director Adam Davidson has directed some of television’s most popular and acclaimed shows. He made his directorial debut with “The Lunch Date,” which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes and the 1991 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Since then, he has directed episodes of a number of TV shows, including Six Feet Under, Lost, Deadwood, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Big Love, The United States of Tara, Friday Night Lights, and Entourage.
SOA Alumnus -  Alfredo de Villa is an award-winning writer-director who lives in Los Angeles but makes many of his films in New York. He grew up in Puebla, Mexico. His most recent film, Adrift in Manhattan, was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Sundance Film Festival, and it won Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Indianapolis International Film Festival, Best Director Prize at the San Diego Film Festival and Special Jury Ensemble Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Sabrina Dhawan
('02SOA) - Sabrina Dhawan was born in England, raised in Delhi and lives in New York. She graduated from Columbia University’s film program in 2001 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Film. Sabrina’s student short "Saanjh – As Night Falls" was cited as "Best of the Festival" at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2000, won an award from New Line Cinema for "Most Original Film," won the "Audience Impact" Award at Angelus Awards and was nominated for a Student Academy Award.
('00SOA) - Sian Edwards has produced a wide range of topical, factual, entertainment and investigative programming. For Food Network, Sian executive produced Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis and Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. She also executive produced the Food Network's first original web series, Eat This with Dave Lieberman, which went on to become Dave Does.
('01SOA) - Meredith Garlick has produced the feature-length films The Secret of Moonacre, a children’s fantasy-adventure starring Dakota Blue Richards and Tim Curry, and The Underdog’s Tale, an Australian romantic-comedy. She has produced a number of shorts, as well, including “Scratch,” “Matrilineal” (as assistant producer), “Back Story,” and “The Rite.” She has also served as assistant to actor Russell Crowe on A Beautiful Mind and producer Richard Brick on Sweet and Lowdown. 
Anne Goursaud
('73SOA) - Anne Goursaud is an accomplished film director and editor. It was Francis Ford Coppola who first spotted Anne's talent, giving her the chance to edit One from the Heart. Since that time, she has directed and edited a wide range of projects, and she has worked with some of the most highly acclaimed professionals in the movie industry.
('91SOA) - Tala Hadid was born in 1974 in London to a Moroccan mother and an Iraqi father. She coproduced and directed her first full-length film while studying as an undergraduate at Brown University. In 2001, she directed Windsleepers, a film set in St. Petersburg. In 2005 Hadid completed her thesis film, Your Dark Hair Ihsan. The film, shot in Northern Morocco and in the Rif Mountains, was awarded the 2005 Cinecolor/Kodak Prize and in June 2005 received a Student Academy Award. In February 2006 the film won the Panorama Best short Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.