Once again, Columbia filmmakers dominate the Sundance lineup. This year's festival, which will take place January 17 - 27, 2013 in Park City, Utah, features work by an astounding number of School of the Arts students, alumni and faculty.

December 06, 2012

Of the 16 films selected to screen in the prestigious U.S. Dramatic Competition, an amazing three were written or directed by Columbia Film alumni. "Toy's House," written by Chris Galletta ('10 SOA), "The Spectacular Now," directed by James Ponsoldt ('05 SOA), and "May in the Summer," written and directed by Cherien Dabis ('04 SOA), will compete. Incidentally, "Toy's House," produced by Big Beach Films, was written by Galletta while at Columbia as part of his thesis work. Also impressive is the fact that James Ponsoldt is returning to Sundance so soon after his last appearance; his film, "Smashed"—currently in distribution—was in the Dramatic Competition only last year.

"Dirty Wars," co-written by David Riker (Adjunct Faculty), God Loves Uganda, edited by Benjamin Gray ('07 SOA) and Richard Hankin ('92 SOA), and "Valentine Road," on which Yana Gorskaya ('10 CC) was Consulting Editor, will all compete in the U.S. Documentary Competition.

Four of the films selected for competition in shorts categories were also written and directed by Columbia students or alumni. "Skin," a first-year Columbia film, was directed by student Jordana Spiro—the film was co-written by Spiro and fellow student David Pablos, and produced by students Alvaro R. Valente (4th Year) and Ben Rubin (3rd Year). "Social Butterfly," written and directed by Lauren Wolkstein ('10 SOA) and edited by Wolkstein, Chris Radcliff ('10 SOA) and Jeff Sousa ('10 SOA) was also chosen to compete in the Dramatic Shorts catgeory. Several more Columbia filmmakers collaborated on both "Skin" and "Social Butterfly." "Boneshaker," a short film written and directed by Frances Bodomo ('10 CC) will also compete in this category. "The Roper," produced by Apryl Richards ('10 SOA), will compete in the Documentary Shorts category.

Other Columbia filmmakers will have work premiering in a variety of sidebar categories. "Prince Avalanche," screening in the Premieres category, was written by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigur∂sson ('08 SOA) with director David Gordon Green—Tobias Munthe ('08 SOA) is the Executive Producer of the film and Craig Zobel (Adjunct Faculty) is a producer. "Very Good Girls," written and directed by Barnard alumna Naomi Foner and produced by Mary Jane Skalski (Adjunct Faculty) and "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman," produced by Albert Berger ('83 SOA), were also selected to screen in Premieres. "On The World According to Dick Cheney," which was directed by R.J. Cutler and Greg Finton and chosen for the Documentary Premieres category, Khary Jones ('10 SOA) was an additional editor and the assistant editor. "It Felt Like Love," co-produced by Shrihari Sathe ('09 SOA) and Milkshake, co-produced by Kristie Lutz ('10 SOA) will screen in the Next <=> portion of the Festival. Lawrence Levine ('08 SOA), writer/director of the indie hit "Gabi on the Roof," acts in "S-VHS," slated for the Park City at Midnight section. Ian Olds ('06 SOA) edited "kink," which was produced by James Franco and will also premiere during Park City at Midnight.

The Sundance Film Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute, started by Robert Redford in 1981. Each year the Sundance Festival selects 200 films for exhibition from nearly 12,000 submissions. More than 50,000 people attend the screenings. The Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades.

Below is a complete list of Columbia University School of the Arts filmmakers who worked on films selected for this year's Sundance Festival.


"Toy's House"
Chris Galletta ('10) - Writer

"May in the Summer"
Cherien Dabis ('04) - Writer & Director

"The Spectacular Now"
James Ponsoldt ('05) - Director


"Dirty Wars"
David Riker (Adjunct Faculty) - Writer

"God Loves Uganda"
Benjamin Gray ('07) & Richard Hankin ('92) - Editors

"Valentine Road"
Yana Gorskaya ('96 CC) - Consulting Editor


Frances Bodomo ('10 CC) - Writer & Director

Jordana Spiro (Student) - Director
Jordana Spiro and David Pablos (Student) - Writers
Alvaro R. Valente (4th Year) & Benjamin Rubin (3rd Year) - Producers
Judah-Lev Dickstein (4th Year) - First AD
Minji Kang (4th Year) - Production Designer
Lucy Brydon (Student) - Hair / Make Up & Wardrobe
Jamie Sisley (4th Year) - Grip