Now Playing at FIT

While FIT is known for its design and business programs, as well as its connections with industry, the college is now becoming a hub for New York City’s thriving film culture, too. This fall, a number of screenings and seminars, open to the public, provide opportunities to see great movies, meet noted directors, and learn the craft and business of filmmaking from experts.

Director Jennie Livingston will introduce and answer questions about her legendary documentary Paris Is Burning at FIT on November 10.
Director Jennie Livingston will introduce and answer questions about her legendary documentary Paris Is Burning at FIT on November 10.

Two of The New York Times’ TimesTalks, a celebrated series of live, online, and streamed conversations between journalists and thinkers, are being held at FIT. Téa Leoni and Tim Daly, stars of the hit CBS television drama Madam Secretary, discussed the show and how it relates to international diplomacy and national politics, with the series’ creator and executive producers. The conversation was moderated by New York Times contributor Bruce Fretts on September 29. On October 10, actors Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford will discuss their new film, Truth, with journalists Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, in a conversation moderated by New York Times Magazine writer Susan Dominus. More events in the series will be announced soon; check for details. Though both events are sold out, tickets for future events will be on sale at the site, and the Times is offering some free tickets to FIT students.

FIT also is the educational partner for the 2015 Chelsea Film Festival. Held October 15-18, this year’s theme is Women in Film and Media. A jury, led by Oscar-winning actor Estelle Parsons, has selected 19 films representing 13 countries, including Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom, to be screened. Many are directed, produced, and written by women. Highlights include the award-winning Valley, set in Israel and directed by Sophie Artus (, and the world premiere of the American film A Solitary, directed by Sasha Krane ( For a full schedule, featuring locations of individual screenings, and to purchase tickets and festival passes, visit Students from FIT’s Film and Media program can attend all festival events and screenings for free.

The festival includes a daylong series of industry professional panels called Reel Magic Hour, held at FIT. Filmmakers from around the world will discuss such topics as how to fund your film, building strategic partnerships with emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, the changing landscape of on-demand distribution, and how independent filmmakers get their films into mainstream marketplaces. One panel will discuss the value of financing independent films by women. Attendees (except students from FIT’s Film and Media program) must purchase a festival pass for this event.

Additionally, each month this fall, FIT’s Film and Media department will screen films by award-winning directors, who will be on hand to introduce their work and answer questions. On October 20, Venezuelan filmmaker Mario Pagano will present his feature Backseat Fighter. Director Jennie Livingston will introduce a screening of her legendary documentary Paris Is Burning on November 10. The final screening of the semester, on December 1, will be a series of innovative short films by Jennifer Reeves. All screenings begin at 6:30 pm in the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, Room D207. For more details, visit


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