Andres Rosende Wins Gold Prize

Andres Rosende Wins Gold

Andres Rosende (Left) with Catalina Aguilar Mastretta (Center) and Pau Brunet (Right)

Congratulations to Andres Rosende, a longtime member of the Institute’s teaching staff, on being awarded the Gold Prize for Best Pitching Project (shared with Carlos Lechuga’s Havana: Vampire Territory) in the Fantastic Market section of the Fantastic Fest held in Austin, Texas, September 18-24, 2014, for his directorial project, The Turned, inspired by his short film Escape that won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for Best Latin Short in 2010.

The aptly-named Fantastic Fest, open to movies world-wide, is America’s leading horror, fantasy, science fiction, and fantasy genre gathering. Running for a week, hundreds of dedicated fans attend myriad screenings as well as being given the chance to meet and interact with filmmakers. Describing the experience as “an awesome adventure,” Mr. Rosende had the opportunity to meet Eli Roth (Hostel), heard Keanu Reeves on Karoake Night, and viewed the premiere of Kevin Smith’s new work, Tusk.

In the Fantastic Market section, works under development are evaluated for viability and marketability. After being presented, and with a boost from its first place award, a number of production companies and international agencies, in Mexico, Spain, and the United States have expressed interest.

The Turned was presented by Rosende (and his co-developers Catalina Aguilar-Mastretta and Paul Brunet) as both a multi-layered, socially conscious comment on the immigrant experience within the entertaining framework of a future setting in which survival has devolved to a vampire existence. Can the elders find a cure and spare their children from a similar fate? Is there, in short, a way out of the shadows and into the sun.

Andres Rosende, was born and raised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, graduated summa cum laude from Universidad Complutense of Madrid with a B.A. in film studies and communications, won the prestigious Fundacion Barrie de la Maza scholarship, moved to New York, and is currently a MFA candidate in Film Directing at Columbia University. His film Snapshots premiered at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival. The recipient of over 50 international awards for his latest short, Mr. Bear, he recently was awarded the James Bridges Award for excellence in working with actors.

In developing The Turned, Mr. Rosende has worked with writer Catalina Aguilar-Mastretta, whose Echo Park premiered at the LA Film Festival and was the winner of the Critics Award at the last Guadalajara Festival for her debut film Las horas contigo in addition to producer Paul Brunet, of LA Panda, responsible for 10,000 km that has been successful at festivals and with critics and will be released in coming months in North America.

One Week Filmmaking Seminar July 2014


This summer we had over 30 students (young and old) from Ukraine, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Montreal, Idaho (to name a few) participate in our 5 Week Filmmaking Intensive at Sarah Lawrence College. We enjoyed helping these filmmakers make their vision (sometime crazy) a reality. Check out our Vimeo page to view some of the films that were produced this summer.

Even though our summer filmmaking intensive course takes place on campus at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY students do have the option, when possible, to shoot in New York City. Check out “Magic Hour” which was shot in Central Park, a great example of what can be done in the 5 week period.

We are very proud to mention that another one of our students, Victor O’Frank from Nigeria, produced a trailer for his final project. Since then he has started the process of producing the feature.

Also, in our One Week Intro to Filmmaking Seminar students recreated a scene from “No Country For Old Men” in their lighting/directing class with Misael Sanchez and Kyle Wilamowski. See pictures below.

We had the pleasure of meeting a fantastic filmmaker from India, Dilip Sood, who is currently busy releasing his current horror feature, Bhaanagarh. He came to our program to begin the process of producing his next feature, which will be set in New York City. We look forward to providing support when he starts preproduction.

We are gearing up for some exciting new course offering and will be announcing those soon. Stay tuned…