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Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Tribeca Film Festival Debuts Three Films by Pratt Faculty and Alumni  

Film fans await tickets at the Tribeca Film Festival; film still from Josh Koury's and Myles Kane's new feature-length documentary, Journey to Planet XThree films by Pratt faculty and alumni premiered at the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival last month. The festival, which celebrates New York City as a major filmmaking center, drew an audience of 380,000 people during its 12-day run and hosted nearly 400 screenings and panels with entries from 46 countries.

“We've attended Tribeca since 2002, yet this is our first movie to screen in the festival,” said Ashley Sabin (B.A. History of Art ’05), who, with co-director David Redmon, debuted their new documentary Downeast. “We're honored that Tribeca accepted Downeast, Sabin added. “We think it's an exceptional festival that discovers, values, and highlights true gems. And the Tribeca audiences are energetic and engaging.”

Downeast, the first of a four-part series, follows 18 months in the life of a small lobstering village in Maine that faces tough times because of the economic crisis; it shows how the American Dream was turned upside-down for an entrepreneur and a town full of hard-working people. Sabin credits her art history studies at Pratt with helping her craft the film’s “nuanced portraits of people navigating tricky situations.”

Journey to Planet X, a film by Josh Koury, assistant professor in the Department of Film and Video, and Pratt alumnus Myles Kane (B.F.A. Film '01), director of media production at The New Yorker, follows two scientists as they embark on creating a no-budget science-fiction film. The real film, which was made with support from Pratt Faculty Development and Jerome Foundation grants in 2011, was praised by ScreenCrave movie blog as skillfully done, hilarious, and inspiring,” and received considerable outstanding critical attention, much to the delight of the filmmakers.

Koury, who has taught at Pratt since 2008, is co-founder and former programming director of the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival. “Attendance was great at all three screenings,” said Koury, “and practically everyone stayed for the Q&As. The film is doing really well, and we've already received a number of invitations to film festivals.”

Graceland, a film co-executive produced by Joshua Sobel (B.A. Critical and Visual Studies '10), tells the story of the long-time driver of a corrupt Filipino congressman, and deals with moral issues such as child sex slavery and dishonest politicians. “We had four sold-out screenings and took second place in the Heineken Audience Awards,” said Sobel a Brooklyn-based video director and independent film producer. “Critically we did really well, too, with great write-ups by national and international press outlets and a ton of press in the Philippines. People are going to trust us to make another movie now, and that's the most exciting part.”

Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Photos: Courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival, Courtesy of Brooklyn Underground Films

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