Vol. 3 No. 3 - December 2009
Cue Holiday Party, Alumni Updates and
An Interview With Director Robert O'Hara
Party Co-Hosted with NYUinLA! RSVP Required.

Reminder: It's here — the much anticipated 3rd Annual CUE/NYUinLA Holiday Party!

It was so successful last year (with over 400 guests), that we had to get a bigger venue! Come join us for what has become a CUE holiday tradition, ushering in the holidays with alumni from NYU, at one of the coolest new places in Hollywood: Capitol City Grille!


Tuesday December 8, 2009
Capitol City Grille
1615 North Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

For more information about this event, contact Hersch Faber, SOA, Film '00 at events@cue-network.org.

For technical help with the RSVP system, please contact Gabriela Sanchez, Columbia Socal's Technical Administrator (gsanchez@avirtualassistant.com).

cue summer party

Editor's Note
Greetings CUE Members,

Welcome to the latest installment of the CUE Newsletter. It's been a while since you last heard from us, but we hope you had a great summer and fall!

This issue marks the formal departure of Ricardo Acuña, SOA Film '96, and Ed McGinty, SOA Film '06, as CUE's inaugural founders and Co-Chairs, though they'll remain involved in CU Alumni affairs in other capacities, Ricardo, on the Board of Columbia SoCal, and Ed as a contributor to New York-based Alumni efforts.

Stepping into Ricardo and Ed's shoes as new Co-Chairs are current Board Members NaRhee Ahn, SOA Film '99 and Scott Foster, SOA Film'98. NaRhee is a writer/director who moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to promote her feature film "Purity." Her responsibility on the Board has been as the Newsletter Editor. Scott is a writer/producer who also works at UTA. He has been the Events Director for the Board since 2007. Read full article...

Mary Prendergast, SoA Film '98
Interim Newsletter Editor/CUE Membership/Outreach

Opening Nights with Director Robert O'Hara, SOA Theatre '96 (Directing)
By Chris Erric Maddox, SOA Theatre '03 (Acting)

On October 15, a group of Columbia and Tufts University Alumni gathered at the Kirk Douglas Theatre to view fellow Alumnus Robert O'Hara's premiere of yet another successful show, "Eclipsed." Going to the theatre in Los Angeles can be a little unnerving because one never really knows what to expect. "Will I be entertained? Should I have stayed at home and watched TiVo? Or, better yet, watched a movie on the treadmill?" As soon as the lights dimmed, however, I was reminded why I continue to go to the theatre, despite the occasional blunder: I might just buy a ticket for a show like Robert's, one of power, intrigue, and age-defying laughter.

I have known Robert for many years, as we both went to Tufts University for our undergraduate degrees, where I had heard about this mysterious up-and-coming director. Nonetheless, my first time actually meeting him was in New York City while I was still at Columbia, where he had already cemented himself in the theatre world directing critically acclaimed shows like "Insurrection" at the Public Theatre.

At that moment, I realized "this guy is special. This guy needs to be followed." And at that time, being a young actor as I was, this was an important epiphany; it was, and still is, important to create alliances with strong directors, writers, and producers.

So after all of these years, after accepting his Obie and traveling the world, it was reassuring to see this very unassuming young man mount a larger-than-life show. It made me think, yes we can. And he continues to do so. Read Full Interview...

Director Robert O'Hara

Director Robert O'Hara, SOA Theatre '96

Columbia University in Entertainment (CUE) is ushering in a new program in 2010 called The CUE Screenplay Reading Series. In April, six CUE Writing Group members will present 10 minute scene excerpts from their screenplay or teleplay, read by CU alumni actors. Afterwards there will be a networking reception where writers, directors and actors can meet agents, managers, producers and development executives. This program is free to the public. Venue in Los Angeles, CA and date and time TBD.

The SOA Film Alumni LA writing groups were created to provide a forum for developing original feature screenplays and television pilots in a casual environment among peers. Below is a list of the current LA groups and the contact information. Please feel free to get in touch, or to consider forming your own!

On August 29, 2009, CUE had its first ever co-hosted BBQ with our friends Brown University Entertainment Group. On a sunny, beautiful Saturday friends and families attended the meet and greet. Over steak, burgers, veggies, beer and homemade desserts, the two Alumni groups were able to network and have a chance to enjoy a great day for a picnic. We thank everyone who attended, and hope that you met other interesting industry folks at this casual daytime event. Let us know if you want more events like these, and if you have suggestions for venues, as well as other entertainment groups with whom to partner up.

Also a quick recap, in June, 2009 CUE co-hosted the CU Film Festival Networking Party for the third year after the Faculty Select screenings and the presentation of the Andrew Sarris Alumni Recognition Award to Kathryn Bigelow. It was a great night! (CUFF Los Angeles 2009 Photos).

During the Film Festival, CUE also co-hosted, along with Jamal Joseph, Chair, Film Division, Columbia University School of the Arts, and the SOA Office of Alumni Affairs, the Alumni panel "From the Producer's Perspective: Getting Your Film Made in LA," which was moderated by writer/director Amy Talkington, (Barnard '93, SOA Film '99), and which featured panelists Albert Berger (SOA Film '83), producer, Bona Fide Productions (and producer, Little Miss Sunshine, Cold Mountain), Lucas Foster, producer, Warp Films, Inc. (and producer, Law Abiding Citizen, Mr. & Mrs. Smith); Alli Shearmur, President, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group; and Simon Kinberg (SOA Film '03), writer/producer, Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: The Last Stand, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The engaging and informed panelists spoke about their experiences in the industry, and discussed the current state of independent film. We have a video of the evening that we'll be posting online within the next few weeks for everyone to check out.

CUE plans to keep working closely with the School of the Arts and Columbia SoCal in 2010 to bring you relevant, compelling, and entertaining events, and we appreciate your participation and continued interest!

Noel Arthur, SOA Theatre '04 (Acting): Noel can be seen in Werner Herzog's recently released, surreal, Bad Lieutenant Port of Call: New Orleans, alongside Nicolas Cage. In December, he will also appear in Herzog's revisit of the horror genre with My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done? starring Michael Shannon and Chloe Sevigny. Both films will open in limited nationwide release. Noel is repped by Hervey/Grimes Talent Agency.

Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, SOA Film '97: Writer/director Bertha Pan just wrapped principal photography and is in post-production on her second feature, Almost Perfect, a romantic comedy about finding puppy love at 34. Starring Kelly Hu, Edison Chen, Ivan Shaw, Christina Chang, Tina Chen, and Roger Rees. Check out: www.slewpictures.com and on facebook.

Ian Fischer, SOA Film '99: Ian's experimental short film "Magritte Moment", a surreal, existential film about an artist searching for his muse, starring Tom Noonan ("What Happened Was") and Mizuo Peck ("Night at the Museum 1&2"), has played in 40+ festivals to award-winning acclaim. His film "Foet", a horror/fashion satire short, has also gotten renewed festival interest, winning two awards for Best Horror Short. Ian is currently shooting a feature documentary on Comic Book artist Steve Rude (Nexus). www.ianfischer.com

Rick Gifford, SOA Theatre '03 (Acting): Rick recently shot a National TV Spot for Subaru called "Dirty Guy" and is presently performing in a John Patrick Shanley play called Where's My Money at the Open Fist Theatre Company. He also just wrapped a lead role in the AFI Film "Lobsters".

Stuart Halperin, Business School, '89: Stuart launched the "Ultimate Movie Site" -- a new destination for movie fans which combines deep aggregated content (trailers, tickets, photos, credits, merchandise, etc.) with social networking and engaging games. Stuart previously co-founded Hollywood.com.

Chris Petrovic, CC '91: Chris left Playboy earlier this year as VP, Digital Media, and joined video game retailer GameStop as GM of their Digital Ventures division, responsible for strategic planning, investment and acquisition efforts for the company in the digital space.

The Sundance hit, Dare, by director Adam Salky, SOA Film '08, and writer David Brind, SOA Film '08, opened in mid-November in LA at the Laemmle Sunset 5, and in NYC at The Village East Cinemas. It's also slated for release in other cities this month, including Philadelphia. Dare was produced by Mary Jane Skalski (SOA Film Faculty.) For the trailer, tickets and show times, go to: www.darethemovie.com. (also on facebook)

Aaron Woolfolk, SOA Film '98: Aaron's first feature film The Harimaya Bridge had a nationwide theatrical release in Japan over the summer, and is now on the film festival circuit, with a U.S. theatrical release due next spring. Upcoming showings include a Gala Screening on December 6th at the New York African Diaspora Film Festival, where there will also be a regular festival screening on December 13th. More info can be found here.

Aaron has additionally been nominated for an Ovation Award from the L.A. Stage Alliance for his first play Bronzeville (co-written with Tom Toyama) in the category "Playwrighting for an Original Play."

Chris Young, SOA Film ’98: Chris’s feature film Homeland, which he wrote and directed, continues the festival circuit with screenings at the Phoenix Film Festival, the Connecticut Film Festival, and the Bend Film Festival in Oregon.

Director/writer Suzi Yoonessi, SOA Film '07, producer Jonako Donley, CC'05, associate producer Mary Prendergast, SOA Film'98: Dear Lemon Lima, was featured last month in the CMJ Film Festival in New York, and it also garnered the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival. The film was a Finalist, Bandeira Paulista, at the Sao Paulo Film Festival, and Winner, Spirit of Independence, at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. A free screening is upcoming in NYC at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, on Tues, December 8th, at 7:00pm. To RSVP, email: rsvptaa1@tribecafilminstitute.org

Chuck Zigman, SOA Film '93: The Second Edition of Chuck's book, World's Coolest Movie Star: The Complete 95 Films (And Legend) Of Jean Gabin, with forewords by Brigitte Bardot and Michele Morgan and an appreciation by David Mamet, was released in October by Allenwood Press. This biography-filmography is the first book in the English language about the great star of such internationally renowned classics as "Pepe Le Moko," La Grande illusion," and "La Bete humaine" and won First Place (Gold) in the 2009 USA Book News Book of the Year Awards, in the category of Performing Arts.

Congratulations to all Alumni for their accomplishments, and please keep us posted by sending updates here: editor@cue-network.org

Noel Arthur and Werner Herzogg

Ultimate Movie Site

The Harimaya Bridge



Dear Lemon Lima

Jean Gabin Cover Two

Submit Your Announcements!

Having a screening, show, reading or other event planned in Los Angeles? Let us know! Email editor@cue-network.org, be sure to include the event name, date(s) and times, alumni involved, a short description and a hyperlink to your website (if applicable).We will be posting event information on our website and including condensed announcements in our newsletters.

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