Experiential Learning & Collaboration


Program Producer, Sarah Lawrence Filmmaking Faculty

E-mail Jay

Cinema Sarah Lawrence provides vigorous experiential learning opportunities that are firmly grounded in the liberal arts and informed by education pioneer John Dewey’s inspired call for intensive learning “that enlarges meaning through shared experience and joint action.”

The program adapts recognized works of literary fiction and/or history in order to provide students with the maximum amount of material from which they can interpret, discuss, argue, and propose revisions, independent of our screenplay. Through this adaptation and script development we enlarge the platform for characterization, narrative construction, theme, tone, setting, and more. Adaptation also bolsters the humanities/liberal arts aspects of the learning program by providing literary, social, and historical dimensions rooted in the original work.  

Students on past productions have worked as actors, writers, script supervisors, unit directors, second unit cinematographers, 2nd and 2nd 2nd assistant directors, assistant editors, prop masters, production coordinators, producers, best boy grips and electrics, still photographers, wardrobe supervisors, set dressers, location managers, make-up artists, scenic painters, and many more.

A singular and enduring experience of collaboration characterizes our entire time together in Cinema Sarah Lawrence.

Past Projects

Students in the Cinema Sarah Lawrence program will produce Lost Nation (working title), an independent film that will craft an entertaining film narrative drawn from historical non-fiction, including Christopher Wren’s Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom and Gretchen Gerzina’s Mr. and Mrs. Prince.

Past iterations of this program have produced four films. Check them out below!

Martin Eden (2019)

Martin Eden is based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel of the same name. The film is set in 1909 and tells the story of a poor and unschooled sailor (Martin Eden) who unexpectedly meets Ruth Morse, a magnetic young woman of means and education. Their unconventional attraction upends both lives and propels timely themes of impossible love, pursuit of the American Dream, and the quest for a comfortable place in an inconstant world. Jack London’s novel inspired Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag, and Upton Sinclair, among others.

Cast includes Andrew Richardson (Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), Hayley Griffith (Law and Order, The Mysteries of Laura and Bull) and Annet Mahendru (The Romanovs and The Americans).

Also Missy Yager (Mad Men, Manchester by the Sea, Eighth Grade), Grainger Hines (Lincoln, The Ballad of Buster ScruggsBloodline), Phil McGlaston (Broadway’s Little Foxes and August Wilson’s Fences and The Piano Lesson), Michael Benz (Downton Abbey, Snowden, The Wife, Joker), Jo Armeniox (Boardwalk Empire), Myles Clohessy (Bull, The Blacklist), Ken Wulf Clark (Gotham, House of Cards, The Irishman), and Rebecca Faulkenberry (Madame Secretary, The Irishman).

Above trailer created by Cinema Sarah Lawrence students Zulema Young-Toledo and Akiva Henig.

Northern Borders (2013)

Northern Borders film stillStarring Academy Award nominees Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Genevieve Bujold (Dead Ringers) — and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Moonrise Kingdom). Set in 1956 Vermont, 12 year-old Austen Kittredge is sent to live with peculiar grandparents whose thorny relationship is called “The Forty Years War." Watch trailer

Peter and John (2015)

Peter and John film stillStarring Golden Globe winner, Jacqueline Bisset (Truffaut’s Day for Night), Christian Coulson (Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets, The Hours), Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin), Shane Patrick Kearns, and Emmy-winner Gordon Clapp (NYPD Blue, Glengarry Glen Ross). Set in 1872 Nantucket, Peter and John tells the story of two brothers whose relationship strains after the younger one receives word of a strange inheritance.  Then both brothers become attracted to a mysterious young woman who arrives on their island. Watch trailer

Wetware (2018)

Wetware film stillStarring Jerry O’Connell (Stand by Me, Jerry McGuire), Morgan Wolk (Miles Ahead), Cameron Scoggins (Nashville), Bret Lada, and Nicole Shalhoub. Genetic programmer Hal Briggs is sharp but impetuous, a socially awkward romantic in a transactional near future world. He keeps a genetically modified human clock at home and alters genes for advanced prototypes being developed to take on risky jobs in deep cover espionage and counterterrorism,  Then word gets out that his prototypes have escaped, before Briggs has completed his work. Where have they gone? And what do they know? Briggs scrambles to track his fugitive prototypes and, as he reexamines their codes, he makes a provocative discovery that will change everything. Watch trailer