The Showtime Network and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts are teaming to broadcast a series of short films that will explore the effects of the Sept. 11 attacks. Films selected by the network could air as early as next September.
The project originated in a producing strategies class taught by Julie Corman, master teacher in the Kanbar Institute’s graduate film division. Corman’s class had met only once prior to Sept. 11, and when classes reconvened in the week following the attack, a number of students approached Corman with the suggestion that they address the tragedy as part of their course work.
“They came to me and said they could not go forward with their original treatment ideas,” Corman said. “As artists, they had a need to reach out and connect with the victims in the only way they knew how.”
The Showtime project is open to alumni up to five years out of Kanbar’s program who wish to submit a treatment of no more than two pages in length and one visual statement. Entries may be either documentary or narrative with a running time of from one to 20 minutes.
Narrowing the field
A panel of three judges from Showtime will choose 20 projects to advance to the storyboard stage of development. The judges will then select up to ten projects to receive production assistance and cash awards to help cover expenses. The network hopes to finish all films by Aug. 1.
“Since Sept. 11, we at Showtime have been looking for a way to help make sense of what happened,” Showtime Networks programming president Jerry Offsay said. “When Julie approached us with her idea for the project, we immediately knew we found what we were looking for.
“Our goal is to get a variety of points of view from fledgling filmmakers whose worlds have changed as a result of the tragedy. This is a wonderful idea, and we can’t wait to move forward.”