School of the Arts Alumni Nominated for Emmy Awards

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28-Jul-16
Two television programs created by School of the Arts alumni, Making a Murderer and House of Cards, have received multiple Emmy Award nominations. Making a Murderer, a 10-part documentary series written and directed by Film Program alumni Laura Riccardi ’08 and Moira Demos ’07, was nominated for six Emmys, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series; and the fourth season of House of Cards, an hour-long political drama created by Theatre Program alumnus Beau Willimon ’03, was nominated for 13 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series. Both series are produced for Netflix and are available to stream on the service.

In addition to Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Ricciardi and Demos were nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program and Outstanding Directing for a Nonfiction Program for their series; Demos was also nominated for editing, and the series received additional nominations for sound editing and sound mixing.

Making a Murderer was an enormous success for the filmmakers and Netflix, and garnered tremendous public interest for its subject, Steven Avery, who was exonerated in 2003 of a 1985 rape conviction but subsequently convicted of murder in 2007, shortly after he had launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the county for wrongful imprisonment in the rape case; Avery’s supporters believe that the county police department framed him in both cases, and the film explores these allegations. Netflix announced on July 19 that it had ordered new episodes of the series, which will follow developments in the case since its 10th episode aired.

House of Cards, in addition to its Outstanding Drama Series nomination, received nominations for lead actor (Kevin Spacey), lead actress (Robin Wright), supporting actor (Michael Kelly), guest actor (Mahershala Ali, Reg E. Cathey and Paul Sparks), guest actress (Ellen Burstyn and Molly Parker), cinematography, sound mixing, production design and casting. To date, the series has received 46 Emmy Award nominations, of which it has won six.

Willimon announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down as showrunner of the series at the end of its fourth, and most recent, season; taking his place are two fellow Columbians: Film Program Professor Frank Pugliese, who chairs the TV Writing Concentration, and Melissa James Gibson ’91 GS.

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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.