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NYU ready to produce showbiz pros

MBA/MFA program to select 6-12 students

USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program will soon have competition. Beginning in fall 2008, NYU will offer a dual-degree, three-year graduate program for aspiring film producers.

NYU’s joint MBA/MFA program for producers will select six to 12 students to pursue degrees from NYU’s Stern School of Business and Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts simultaneously.

Program is supported by industryites including Paramount topper Brad Grey as well as producers Laurence Mark and Jack Rapke. All three producers are members of the Dean’s Council of the Tisch School of the Arts.

“Show business is in some ways a bit nuttier than most businesses, yet it is a business nonetheless,” said Mark, an NYU alum. “So it sounds to me like a godsend that with NYU’s new (producing program), there will soon be people out there who will actually have equal expertise in both the show and the business.”

Students who enroll in the program will take core and elective courses taught by Stern and Tisch Kanbar faculty. The first year will be at Stern, the second at Kanbar, and the third split between the two schools. Students will receive both degrees in one to two years less than if they completed the two degrees separately.

Stern dean Thomas F. Cooley said that the initiative for the program stemmed in part from New York City’s film industry, which is the second largest after Hollywood and contributes “$5 billion annually to the city’s economy.”

This is not the first partnership between the graduate schools. In 2004 the NYU Stern Promotion Pictures Film Competition was created, allowing Stern and Kanbar graduate students to produce corporate-funded branded entertainment films for major companies.

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