Building on its mission to connect students to established cinematic storytellers, the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema is thrilled to announce that award-winning producer Bruce Cohen will serve as filmmaker-in-residence during the spring semester.

An Oscar- and Tony-winning and Emmy-nominated producer of film, television, theater, and live events, Cohen won an Academy Award for Best Picture for American Beauty and earned additional Best Picture nominations for Milk and Silver Linings Playbook. He is currently serving, along with Lady Gaga, as co-chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Cohen recently brought his latest film, Rustin, to the Graduate School of Cinema and engaged in a master class with students and alumni.

“Bruce is a wonderful creative producer,” said the school’s executive director, Richard N. Gladstein, “and for him to bring his vast and unique experiences to our students is a great gift. It enhances our students’ education in many ways.”

Cohen will lead students in a variety of formats, including:

  • “Make Your Day” workshop: Cohen will meet with a group of students and use a call sheet from one of his recent films to walk through why scenes were scheduled the way they were, and the difficulties, considerations, and priorities of the day for all concerned, including the lighting /camera, VFX, cast, script content, location, coverage, time of day shooting challenges, and more. He will also discuss the role of the creative producer in helping make sure each day gets made in the best possible way for both creative and budget/schedule considerations. He will share the script pages for the day, the call sheet, the schedule, etc. A good event for producers, directors, and cinematographers, it will include two hours on a big stage and is open to all students and alumni.
  •  Set Visits: Cohen will visit and observe several thesis film shoots, and then meet with producers, directors, and assistant directors to discuss recommendations and observations. About five films will be selected, and Cohen will spend one to two hours on their sets, meeting with students for an hour for each film.
  • One-on-One Mentoring: Cohen will meet with students who sign up for one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Other filmmakers-in-residence who have worked with students at the Graduate School of Cinema include Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), producer Ross Katz (In the Bedroom, Lost In Translation), and the filmmakers behind the award-winning HBO series Random Acts of Flyness—Terence Nance Kelly Rowland, and Jamal Washington—among others. This unique program is made possible through a generous grant provided by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.