I'm rooting for Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, I really am. For those not from Georgetown, Marling and Batmanglij are Hoya alumni who have gotten a big break in the independent film scene with two Sundance breakout hits, 2011's "Sound of My Voice" and this year's "The East". It's cool to have recent alumni from my school, not traditionally known for producing big creative types in the entertainment industry (though we are responsible for Mitch Hurwitz and, indirectly, Arrested Development—you're welcome).
I also happen to be in the lucky position of going to Georgetown while these young filmmakers are gaining ground. Two years ago, I got to attend an advance screening of "Sound of My Voice" followed by a Q&A with Marling, Batmanglij, and classmate Mike Cahill. Not only have I gotten to hear them speak very personally and openly about their experiences making short films at Georgetown and how they ended up on the path to Sundance stardom (Zal's journey was a pretty straightforward case of going to film school to improve his directing chops and making progressively larger-scale films with regularity since graduating Georgetown; Brit on the other hand, after graduating as valedictorian of her class, bowed out of a lucrative position at Goldman-Sachs to pursue acting and screenwriting), but I've also been able to connect with them as recent graduates of this school. I know the professors they had in their screenwriting classes, I currently run the television studio/film club that Brit Marling used to preside over, etc etc. I've gotten invested in these kids' careers as filmmakers, and I'm pulling for them to succeed and make it big—without sacrificing their Georgetown-education-grounded convictions...more on that later.
All that being said, they've still got a long ways to go.Read More