News Archive

Columbia Faculty and Alumni Projects Among Gotham Award Nominees; Two Projects Take Home Awards

Two projects from Columbia filmmakers took home prizes at the 2022 Gotham Awards.

Here, we talk with Theatre Associate Professor María José Contreras Lorenzini about her career as an artist, the perks of blending theory and practice, and why we should aim to be rigorously undisciplined.

Kevin Cobb creates remarkable works on canvas, paper, panel, and the screen. An artist of many trades, to which he brings a tremendous amount of generosity of care and spirit, Kevin is also one of the Visual Arts Program’s student representatives. 

A new play by Acting alumna Liba Vaynberg, The Gett, will have its world premiere at Rattlestick Theater.

Film Chair and Associate Professor Jack Lechnerhas written three original songs that will be featured in Big Shot, a new dance narrative from The Chase Brock Experience.

Theatre alumni Benita de Wit ’16, Alison R. Simone ’19, and Robbie Armstrong ’22 work on Straight Line Crazy, currently running at The Shed.

The Changing of Keys, a debut novel from alumna Carolyn Jack ’16, is forthcoming from Regal House Publishing in 2024. 

Visual Arts alum Sophie Kovel ’22 has been accepted into the prestigious Whitney Independent Study Program for the 2022–2023 term.

Acting alumna Heather Alicia Simms ’96 will star as Mrs. Drinkwater in the New York premiere of Des Moines at Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

Coming next month from Common Consent Press is East Winds, a new memoir by alumna Rachel Rueckert ’21.

In this series, we catch up with Columbia filmmakers who have recently graduated to chat about their time in the Film Program, what they’re doing now, and their goals for the future. This week, we spoke with alumna Danielle Therese Dougé ’22.

Black Adam, the newest iteration in the DC Extended Universe co-written by two Columbia Film alumni, Rory Haines ('11) and Sohrab Noshirvani ('12)—opened in cinemas on the weekend of October 21, earning an estimated $67 million dollars at the domestic box office and $140 million worldwide.

Professor Bogdan George Apetri juggles teaching and making movies, and offers advice to budding auteurs.

Our Country Friends, by Associate ProfessorGary Shteyngart, is among the titles shortlisted for this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. 

La Personalidad de los Pelícanos, a debut work of nonfiction–written in Spanish–from alumna Teresita Goyeneche Perezbardi ’20, is available now from Tusquets Colombia.

The world premiere of Mindplay, a new play written by Playwriting alumnus Josh Koenigsberg ’09 and Vinny DePonto, opened on November 8 at Geffen Playhouse’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in Los Angeles. The show, for which DePonto is also the creator and performer, runs until December 18, 2022.

For the first directing thesis production presented at Lenfest this fall, Elena Vannoni presents The Sea Does Not Reach Naples, a play based on Anna Maria Ortese's 1953 collection Il mare non bagna Napoli, a lively representation of everyday life in post-WWII Naples, Italy. We sat down with director, Elena Vannoni, to discuss her acting process and the upcoming production.

Visual Arts alumnus Asif Mian ’18 has been awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. Established in 1997 to honor the memory of Rema Hort Mann, an art enthusiast and a founding member of the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Collectors Group, the Grant offers $10,000 of financial support and signals the promise of enduring artistic success. 

Alumna Katie Silberman ’12 is the writer and producer of Don’t Worry Darling, the new film directed by Olivia Wilde that has been making waves since its premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.

Seven Empty Houses, written by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin and translated from the Spanish by Assistant Professor Megan McDowell, has been awarded this year’s National Book Award for Translated Literature. 


Here, we talk to Fiction student Arya Roshanian  about grandiose personalities, humor and tone, and appreciating opera in the 21st century.

We talked about movement literacy, intimacy and fight direction, and choreography with Dramaturgy alumna Cristina ‘Cha’ Ramos ’21. 

Here, we talk with Film Professor and alumna Anocha Suwichakornpong '06about her career, the secrets behind a good character and the most overrated idea in cinema.

Essays, edited by Associate Professor and Head of Poetry Dorothea Lasky, was recently released by Essay Press.

Student Anika Benkov has been named as one of the finalists for the 2022 Sloan Student Prize. 

Enloquecer, a first-year film from Screenwriting student Hector Prats, has been lighting up the local festival scene and shows no signs of stopping.

The work "focused on these abstract, yet intertwined ideas of diaspora, common experience, and democracy,” said MFA candidate Aristotle Forrester.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Lloyd Suh’s play, The Far Country, will open at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater.

“My Gentile Region,” an essay by Associate Professor Gary Shteyngart, has been included in this year’s Best American Essays collection.

14 Columbia visual artists, including three faculty members and eleven alumni, will exhibit work this year at Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs from December 1-3, 2022. 

LGBTQ+ film and media organization, NewFest, and Netflix have teamed up and created a new initiative called the New Voices Filmmaker Grant in order to support emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers by distributing a total of $100,000 in funds to support projects in development. 

Film student Hongwei Wu has been awarded full production funding for her short film, FISHTANK, through the acclaimed Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program.

No One Left to Come Looking for You, the latest novel from Associate Professor Sam Lipsyte, will be released early next month by Simon & Schuster. 

Directing alumnus Michel Hausmann ’14and Miami New Drama were presented the 2022 Thornton Wilder Prize on November 14, 2022 at New York City’s American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Alumnus Ken Kristensen ‘08 has writing credit on Shantaram, a new series which premiered on Apple TV+ on October 28.

In a presentation at Columbia, his message about the environmental impact of plastic was loud and clear.

Three films by Columbia filmmakers screened at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (also known as PÖFF – Pimedate Ööde FilmiFestival), which ran from November 11-23, 2022.

2nd Chance is the latest film from acclaimed filmmaker Associate ProfessorRamin Bahrani (CC ’96).

Dramaturgy alumna Diana Fathi ’21 is the adapter and director of A Little Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet at Two River Theater.

Visual Arts Mentor Ralph Lemon was awarded the Whitney Museum’s singular Bucksbaum Award.

Two projects from Columbia filmmakers took home prizes at the 2022 Gotham Awards.

Here, we talk with Assistant Professor of Writing Matthew Salesses about writing myths, how to properly conduct a workshop and why successful writers are never the most talented.

A new book by Directing alumnus Colin Campbell ’96, called Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose, is set to be released March 14, 2023 by Penguin Random House.

Dog on Fire, the nineteenth book (and seventh novel) by Terese Svoboda ’78 will be released in early 2023 from Flyover Fiction, University of Nebraska Press. 

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