Sag Harbor Cinema Launches Education Initiative

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Justin Long as Bartleby in a scene from the 2006 film "Accepted," written by Sag Harbor screenwriter Bill Collage.

On Monday, August 16, at 7 p.m., Sag Harbor Cinema will present a special fundraising screening of Steven Pink’s 2006 film “Accepted,” featuring an introduction and Q&A with the film’s screenwriter, Bill Collage. The film is the story of a high school student who, after failing to get accepted into any of the schools he applied to, creates a fictitious technical institute with his friends in an attempt to fool his parents. Starring Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively, and Lewis Black, the film was the second feature by Collage, who is also the chair of SHC’s education committee. Special ticket prices are $25 with all proceeds funding the cinema’s education initiatives.

“’Accepted’ began with a simple premise: Learning can happen anywhere. So in a way, it’s the perfect film to launch the Sag Harbor Cinema’s education program — SHC – EDU,” said Collage, who is currently working with Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith on “Emancipation.”

“I love the idea of bringing attention to the subject of education by screening a film that appears to be irreverent to that very subject. From ‘Zero En Conduite’ to ‘Animal House,’ school has historically been the theater of great cinematic anarchy,” says the cinema’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.

Since its founding, Sag Harbor Cinema firmly placed an education program within its mission. Prior to opening its doors, it hosted a series of film screenings which included talkbacks and Q&A sessions with directors, writers, actors and visual artists. These efforts have continued as the cinema opened its doors. Moving forward, filmmaker discussions hosted by Vallan will remain an integral part of SHC – EDU.

“We’re excited to officially launch SHC – EDU and bring even more opportunities for the community to engage in life-long learning through the unique medium of film,” said acting executive director Genevieve Villaflor. “With Giulia’s and Bill’s enthusiasm, creativity, and stewardship we will continue to bring a robust program to Sag Harbor Cinema.”

Upcoming programs in SHC – EDU include a workshop in the fall with New York University Tisch screenwriting professor John Warren, Cinema Salons, which will offer writers a place to workshop new material in front of fellow writers, and ongoing curricula partnerships with Pierson High School, including a filmmaking class with unique showcases and a film analysis class. SHC – EDU also plans to continue its children’s education programs, such as the stop-motion animation workshop which it hosted on the third floor workspace of Sag Harbor Cinema earlier this season. Film clubs and special talk-backs targeting youth audiences are also being considered.

Lastly, in the coming months, SHC – EDU will formally announce a partnership with the University of Michigan to bring Sag Harbor Cinema members access to the University’s digital screenplay library, which contains thousands of scripts. With access to screenplays of all genres, Sag Harbor Cinema hopes this partnership will bring inspiration and learning from hands-on reading of professional scripts from decades of films.

Sag Harbor Cinema is at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor. Tickets for this special event will be available on Sag Harbor Cinema’s website, sagharborcinema.org.

A scene from the 2006 film “Accepted,” written by Sag Harbor screenwriter Bill Collage.

“Accepted”

Dir. Steve Pink

USA, 2006; 93 mins, in English

Rated PG-13

Bartleby, a high school student who has failed to get accepted into any of the schools he applied to, creates a fictitious technical institute with his friends in an attempt to fool his parents. When other students begin to fall for this elaborate deception, Bartleby must keep up the pretense of running a school, all while vying for the love of the girl next door. With courses such as “Slackin 101,”  “Men: The Weaker Sex” and “The Decline and Fall of Chevy Chase,” the South Harmon Institute of Technology (note the acronym) is a heaven for the underdog. An anti- (school) establishment comedy in the vein of “Animal House” — albeit gentler in its anarchic spirit than John Landis’ masterpiece — “Accepted” stars Justin Long (Bartleby), Jonah Hill, Blake Lively and Lewis Black as the fake dean of the fake college.

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