Alumnus Adam Salky '08 Directs Acclaimed Lifetime Movie 'The College Admissions Scandal'

BY Felix van Kann, November 7, 2019

Still from The College Admissions Scandal, a Lifetime film directed by Alumnus Adam Salky '08


Alumnus Adam Salky '08 directed the Lifetime TV movie The College Admissions Scandal which has earned great acclaim from The New Yorker Magazine and other outlets. 


The College Admissions Scandal follows two wealthy mothers, Caroline (Penelope Ann Miller), a sought after interior designer, and Bethany (Mia Kirshner), an owner of a successful financial services firm, who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer (Michael Shanks) offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, Caroline and Bethany willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads. But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers who risked everything for their kids, must face the consequences of their crimes and the loss of trust and respect from their families.


“The cold austerity of the film’s title nicely suits the bluntness of its style and content, which pummel the topic in an extremely gratifying fashion”, Troy Patterson of the New Yorker commented. “The movie knows a thing that is, apparently, rather difficult to say: that the system of higher learning in the United States is not just an adjunct to the class system or handmaiden of it. It is the class system, and the whole thing is a scam at its essence.”


The film was also positively reviewed in the Washington Post and USA Today. 


Adam Salky made his directorial debut with Dare, a Grand Jury Prize Nominee of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition Category. Dare was acquired by Image Entertainment, released theatrically that year, and distributed in dozens of international markets. His second feature film, I Smile Back, stars Sarah Silverman in her first dramatic leading role. The film premiered in dramatic competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was selected by the Toronto and Deauville film festivals, and is distributed by Broad Green Pictures in North America. In 2016 Adam was selected for the Warner Brothers Television Directors’ Workshop. He has since directed three episodes of NBC’s hit show, Blindspot. Adam has served as an advisor at the Sundance Labs, has guest lectured on directing at Columbia University, and taught directing at USC’s Graduate School of Cinematic Arts. A magna cum laude graduate of Emory University, Adam completed his MFA at Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts Film Division where he directed several award winning short films, and was the recipient of the James Bridges Award. Adam currently lives in LA.


The film can be found on the Lifetime streaming platform as part of the subscription and is also available on Amazon Prime.

Watch the trailer for The College Admissions Scandal