Musical mania: film festival coming to Rider

Following the success of award-winning musical movies like “A Star is Born,” Rider’s film program is presenting a two-day film symposium featuring film movies through the decades.

BMegan Raab


Beginning on March 6 and spanning over the course of two days, a film symposium featuring film musicals through the decades is being presented by Rider’s film program.

The symposium comes following this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, in which “A Star Is Born,” a film musical, received multiple nominations.

The first event of the symposium on March 6, begins in the morning with a screening of the film “The Making of a Modern Movie Musical: The Adventures of Paul and Maria.” The film is directed by Rider professor and award-winning director Jay Stern. In his discussion following the screening of the film, Stern will speak about the differences between stage and movie musicals, as well as working with a composer.

The keynote speaker for the symposium is Desiree Garcia, who will be speaking on Wednesday evening. Garcia is a professor at Dartmouth University and is both a scholar and an actress.

She was featured in the film “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” in 2009, which was directed by Damien Chazelle. Her discussion will be focused on the contemporary musical as well as her work as a musical actor.

Another event on the first night of the symposium is the student presentations in which current Rider film students will showcase their research on movie musicals. Closing out the evening will be a reception open to all students and faculty.

On March 7, events will include featured speaker Margaret Schleissner presenting “Cabaret: German History & Culture As Seen Through ‘1960s’ American Eyes,” with a reception to follow, honoring her upcoming retirement.

There will also be a faculty round table with Cynthia Lucia, Mary Poteau-Tralie, Stern, professor Miriam Mills and Erica Rubine. The event will close with an award ceremony for student screenplays, films and presentations.

Sophomore radio, TV and film major and secretary of Rider’s Film Club, Laughing Rock, Victoria Grisanzio has been involved in the planning of the event. She believes events such as this are important opportunities for film students.

“Filmmaking is a complicated art and events like these give students the opportunity to test out their skills, allowing them to learn where they need to improve and what they have been successful with,” Grisanzio said. “Doing is the best way to learn in terms of filmmaking.”

Grisanzio has also participated in Rider’s 48-hour film festival, which, similar to the symposium, gives Rider students an opportunity to get hands-on experience in their field of study.

Sophomore musical theater major Jerome Manning said the symposium offers an opportunity for students to see the artistry that goes into making films.

“It’s always a good thing to make people look at film in more intricate, thought-provoking ways instead of just enjoying them,” Manning said. “That is exactly what this symposium intends to do. Encouraging people to discuss the making and impacts of these great works of art.”

All of the events of the symposium will take place in the William M. Rue Auditorium.

For those who cannot attend the symposium but are interested in learning more about film, Rider will be offering
a workshop, entitled “The Craft of Screenwriting,” with Steven Garvey on March 9 and 10 at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Mar. 6

1:10 to 4:10 p.m. — Faculty Filmmaker 4:30 to 6 p.m. — Student Presentations 6:30 to 8 p.m. — Keynote Speaker
8 p.m. — Reception

Thursday, Mar. 7

11:30 to 1 p.m. — Faculty Presentations

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Featured Speaker

7:30 to 8:15 p.m. — Retirement Reception

8:30 to 10 p.m. — Student Screenplays, Films and Awards

Published in the 2/27/19 edition.

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