Sacred Heart University announces details of annual film fest

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Sacred Heart University’s film and television master’s of arts program (FTMA) will honor writer/director Rebecca Miller (“The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” “Maggie’s Plan”) and actor Dominic Chianese (“The Godfather Part II,” “The Sopranos”) during its third annual FTMA Film Festival on Sept. 22-25.

The festival’s Opening Night Awards Gala will take place at the Avon Theater in Stamford on Sept. 22, when Miller will receive the Joanne Woodward Award for Excellence. The evening will include a screening of “Maggie’s Plan”, which premiered at last year’s New York Film Festival, after which Justin Liberman, co-program director of FTMA and executive director of the festival, will moderate a discussion with Miller that will explore her influences, approach to film and advice to young filmmakers.

Presented the same night will be four award-winning student films (best director, best screenplay, best producer and best picture).

Student screenplay readings and a tribute to stand-up comedian/actor Nick Di Paolo (“Louie,” “Inside Amy Schumer”), who will also perform, will take place Sept. 23 at the Frank and Marisa Martire Business and Communications Center on SHU’s Fairfield campus.

Breakfast will be served at a 10 a.m. screening of 1954’s “Journey to Italy” on Sept. 24 as part of a retrospective of director Roberto Rossellini’s work, hosted by Prof. Sid Gottlieb. A conversation with ESPN personality Molly Qerim will take place later that day, followed by a screening of all the FTMA student films.

The festival will close Sept. 25 with “A Conversation and Maverick Award Presentation” honoring Chianese.

The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Paul Rychlik at 203-365-4804 or


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