Vol. 6 No. 1 - Spring 2012
CUE Newsletter Re-launch!
Screenwriting Showcase, Actor's Showcase,
Event Recaps, GIMME THE LOOT and more!

Editor's Note
Hey Everyone, Welcome to the relaunched CUE newsletter! Over the next few months we will be revamping its content and layout in an effort to make it a more useful source of information. Please help us build a sense of our CUE community by emailing us and letting us know what you're doing, how it's going, and how we as a networking organization can help you. Have suggestions for programs, features, or events? By all means, let us know. Know friends, peers, and other alums who aren't aware of CUE or getting news of our events? Pass along their info – or ours – so we can spread the word. We want this newsletter and CUE, in general, to be a useful source of information and networking tool for all of our alums. Let us know how we can help you!

Austen Rachlis, SoA Film '08 and Kate Buhrmaster, SoA Film '08
CUE Newsletter Editors


Columbia University Entertainment is proud to announce its first annual Screenwriting Showcase. One evening in May, CUE will gather alums in writing and acting to present 5-8 page excerpts from the best scripts collected throughout the University network. We are inviting submissions from CUE members that meet the following guidelines:

1. Scripts must be either features under 120 pages or original TV Pilots under 65 pages.

2. Writers must have graduated from a Columbia University school.

3. Writers must live in the Los Angeles area and be able to attend the showcase.

4. Only one script is allowed per alum.

5. Script must be WGA registered with a registration number listed.

6. Script must be attached in PDF format.

Submissions that do not meet these guidelines will not be read.

The deadline for script submissions is Friday, April 6th. Please submit scripts to cushowcase2012@gmail.com and note your Columbia school, year of graduation, logline for your submission, and whether it is a feature or pilot.


The Columbia MFA Acting Showcase will be on Monday May 7th at the Matrix Theatre. Come watch this year's graduating class of actors perform scenes. You can find out more information here .

On Sunday May 6th, CUE will host a meet-and-greet for the actors to help them with their transition out of school and into the life of a working actor. More information to come!

TONIGHT! Young Alumni Karaoke Mixer

Join Columbians as we mix it up with a little singing, a little drinking and a little pizza. For $10 for Columbia SoCal members ($15 for non-members), you get free admission, one beer or well drink and pizza, but show up on time to guarantee your slices of pizza. No matter what it says on your drivers license (as long as it says you are at least 21), if you are young in spirit then come out and be a young alumnus with us!

TONIGHT! Thursday, April 5, 2012
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
(but you can stay longer if you want)

Drink Specials until nine

Click here to register.

2030 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 829-2382


The Film program is now on Twitter at @ColumbiaFilm. Follow them to get the latest info on your classmates' successes and interests. They'll also be tweeting about what is going on in our rapidly changing profession. Let them know who you are on Twitter, so they can follow you and re-tweet your successes to the world. Send your info to pln2105@columbia.edu.

As you all know, raising money for films has always been and remains a difficult challenge. It has come to our attention that many of you are using Kickstarter to raise funds. While we as a school or as individuals cannot make contributions to your Kickstarter campaigns without being put in the awkward position of having to choose among you, we have found a way to support you and hopefully to boost your chances. We have created a special Columbia page on Kickstarter that is intended to bring together any and all projects from current students and alums. By promoting the page, we can be promoting all of you equally, but also (we hope) tapping into the good will that Columbia alums have for their school. We hope that alums from the College, from the Business School and others will want to contribute to the projects of others who are affiliated with the school.

The page is at http://www.kickstarter.com/pages/columbia. If you have a project on Kickstarter, either now or in the future, just email ColumbiaKickstarter@gmail.com, and provide the following: a link to your kickstarter page and a short paragraph to introduce the film to the Columbia community.

This intro should include your year of graduation, what your role is on the film, if it is a short film, feature film or something else, and the names of other Columbia affiliated people who have key roles on the film. You'll see examples of the paragraph on the page to the right of the kickstarter widget. That's all. We'll immediately add you to the page and help you to promote your project.

EVENT RECAP: Success at Shangri-LA

A full-capacity crowd of alums from four schools (and two continents) gathered poolside earlier this winter for some networking with an international angle. CUE co-hosted the evening with alumni groups from University College London, London School of Economics, and Harvard. The mixer, held at the lovely Shangri-LA Hotel in Santa Monica on January 24th, was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new connections with alums from all four schools.

Last call came too soon (doesn’t it always?) and left attendees eager for the next event. If you missed this mixer, watch for news of future gatherings via the CUE newsletter, emails, and facebook page.

EVENT RECAP: Book Signing brings Film Faculty member Jamal Joseph to LA

Columbia’s own Jamal Joseph, a screenwriting professor in the School of the Arts and the former Chair of the Film Division, visited Los Angeles last month to promote the release of his book, PANTHER BABY: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention. The event packed every available seat at Eso Won Books, and including those claimed by the roughly two dozen Columbia alumni in attendance. At the request of the crowd, Joseph kicked the evening off to an electrifying start with the spontaneous recital of one of his poems. A moderator then asked questions about his life as a Black Panther and the genesis of the book.

Capping off their conversation by reading excerpts from the book, Joseph graciously met with alums and other attendees after the event to sign books, take photos, and catch up. You can listen to an interview with Jamal here


Sixteen Columbia filmmakers headed to Sundance this year. Their films playing in prestigious sections of the festival, including the U.S. Dramatic Competition, The World Cinema Dramatic Competition, American Short Film Competition, NEXT, and Premieres. Despite a heavy snowstorm outside, The annual Columbia at Sundance Party thrown by the Columbia Alumni Association was a lively, packed-to-the-gills event.

Bright blue knitted Columbia Alumni snow hats were on offer, a much-needed article of Alumni swag. New Chair, and longtime Producing Faculty, Ira Deutchman, rallied the troops, welcoming all alumni and friends and congratulating the filmmakers. You can see photos from the event here.

GIMME THE LOOT, directed by Adam Leon and produced by Jamund Washington (Film '10) and edited by Morgan Faust (Film '11), won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. The film follows Malcolm and Sofia after their latest graffiti masterpiece is buffed by a rival gang. These two tough Bronx teens must hustle, steal, and scheme to get spectacular revenge and become the biggest writers in the City. GIMME THE LOOT was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects and received a rave review in Variety, which you can read here.

Jamund was gracious enough to answer a few questions from CUE about his experience working on the film.

How do you describe GIMME THE LOOT?

Jamund Washington: 'Gimme The Loot' is a new york urban adventure. It's a fun film, with some heavy moments.

How did you get involved with the project?

JW: I worked with Adam Leon, on his previous short film 'Killer'. We hit it off and worked really well together. He sent an early draft of 'Gimme The Loot' to me, I loved it, and here we are.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned about producing? Any early habits you’ve learned to let go of or handle differently now that you have more experience?

JW: You can't micro-manage. Particularly as the projects get bigger. It's very important to have people around you that you believe in and trust.

What was the best thing you got out of your time at Columbia?

JW: Amazing people. Both my classmates and instructors. I made real connections with people who I'll know and work with for many years to come.

What’s next for GIMME THE LOOT?

JW: IFC/Sundance Selects will be distributing the film in North and Latin America. There will be a limited theatrical release in the fall.

What's next for you?

JW: I'm in development for my feature directorial debut with plans to shoot in late summer.

What’s the hardest thing about filmmaking in today’s climate? The best thing? Any advice to other filmmakers trying to get their projects off the ground?

JW: The hardest thing is that it's easier now than ever to make a film, so the market is saturated with no-budget films. The best thing is that it's easier now than ever to make a film. You just have to somehow separate yours from the rest. My only advice would be to work on projects you believe in with people you believe in.

You can follow all the developments with GIMME THE LOOT on their official website.

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

Gimme The Loot


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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