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NYU Film School Networking Crisis

Cinematographers unite!

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The NYU graduate-student strike, now a month old, isn’t shaping up to have a happy ending, and now the city’s most promising young filmmakers are part of the mess. Last week, the International Cinematographers Guild abruptly severed ties with the university’s film school. “I was very sad to hear this—it’s a nasty situation,” says Jeremiah Newton, the film-industry liaison at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Guild’s protest, says Newton, means the country’s most prestigious and progressive film school (Spike Lee is the artistic director) will lose out on the lectures, seminars, and networking opportunities with professionals to which it has become accustomed. John Amman, a business representative of the ICG, says it’s a matter of solidarity. “We’re not doing this to punish the students. But not doing it would be the equivalent of crossing the graduate students’ picket lines,” which his group—many of whose members graduated from Tisch—feels obligated to support. “NYU is known as a progressive organization, which is why this is such a great shock. When they no longer recognize the graduate students, it’s caused us to rethink the definition of progressive.”

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