At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category went to Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River. Helping to make the film become a reality were four graduates from the same film school: Burlington College. Graduates Nathan Beaman, Adam Lukens, Justine Bennett and Georgia Pantazopoulos, along with Matt Tanner who also took classes at Burlington, all worked as members of the camera and lighting crew on the prize-winning film. Additionally, Beaman and Lukens also worked on two other Grand Jury Prize-nominated films, Clark Gregg’s Choke and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Sugar.
To director of communications Maria Delia Zamora-Crosby, this comes as no surprise, as she says the school is set up to provide such opportunities. “Because Burlington College is small with a great deal of emphasis on each individual student,” remarks Zamora-Crosby, “we can do a lot of networking for graduating students. Students also have to do internships, so many of them have already worked on professional crews before they graduate.” The small size of the student body, a little fewer than 200 undergraduates, doesn’t hurt either. As Zambora-Crosby puts it, “Because our students are tight with each other, they help each other get work once they’re out of school. We stay in touch with our graduates.”
But Burlington’s Sundance success is not simply a result of individual attention or the school’s networking possibilities, but also the simple fact that they have an impressive film program. “Our production faculty is made up of industry professionals and independent filmmakers. The curriculum is thorough—there’s a nice balance between history, theory, production courses and courses that emphasize creative work,” notes Zamora-Crosby. “Because we’re a liberal arts school with rigorous requirements in other subjects besides filmmaking, they also know how to think—something that’s often overlooked by more technical film programs, and it’s really important.”
For more information, visit www.burlington.edu.