About Cornell Cinema
Cornell Cinema has been cited as one of the best campus film exhibition programs in the country, screening close to 150 different films/videos each year, five nights a week in the beautiful Willard Straight Theatre. Each calendar includes an array of classic Hollywood and foreign films, independent titles, documentaries, experimental work, recent international cinema, silent films with live musical accompaniment, cult classics and recent Hollywood and arthouse hits, in addition to guest appearances by visiting film and videomakers.
Cornell Cinema began in 1970 as a university film society, but has evolved into a media arts center with a national reputation. Cornell Cinema's primary purpose is to expose Ithaca and regional audiences to alternative forms of cinema (such as documentary, classic, and experimental films) as well as alternative voices not usually heard through the mass media. Its secondary purpose is to provide affordable, second-run commercial entertainment for the Cornell community. In fulfillment of its educational goals, Cornell Cinema encourages audiences to reflect critically on commercial and other media by supplementing its over 300 annual screenings with occasional faculty introductions, guest filmmakers, panel discussions, and more.
Educational and Exhibition Services
Film and Video Exhibition
Over 150 films/videos are screened annually in series such as Classic Cinema, Doc Spots, Film Faves, Art Docs, Silent Films with Live Music, director and actor retrospectives, overviews of national and minority cinemas, and themed series.
Visiting Artists and Speakers
Over thirty guest filmmakers and speakers attend Cornell Cinema screenings and workshops each year, introducing and discussing their work. Previous guests have included Todd Haynes, Kelly Reichardt, Alex Rivera, Scott Ferguson '80, Will Gluck '93, Tim Squyres '81, Ernie Gehr, So Young Kim, Jennifer Reeves, Brent Green, Serge Bromberg, Howard A. Rodman '71, Sam Green, Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Vincent Grenier, Chantal Akerman, Craig Baldwin, Irit Batsry, Stephanie Black, Robert Beavers, Sadie Benning, John Cleese, Ximena Cuevas, Su Friedrich, Miranda July, Lewis Klahr, Ang Lee, Sharon Lockhart, Anne Makepeace, Anand Patwardhan, Leighton Pierce, Daniel Reeves, Jay Rosenblatt, Thelma Schoonmaker, Roshan Seth, and Yvonne Welbon.
IthaKid Film Fest
Cornell Cinema's showcase for alternative children's media, the IthaKid Film Fest presents a total of ten Saturday matinees in the late fall (November/December) and early spring (February/March). The festival features high-quality children's programs, including feature-length international films, animated and live-action short films and videos, experimental and documentary works for children, silent classics with live piano accompaniment, and special hands-on workshops with guest artists. Previous workshop guests have included children's filmmaker Michael Rubbo, animators John Canemaker and Stephanie Maxwell, and Toronto-based experimental filmmaker John Porter.
Cornell Cinema accepts a limited number of proposals from faculty members, campus departments and programs, student organizations and community groups for incorporation into Cornell Cinema's schedule. As of academic year ’12-13, fewer proposals will be accepted than in the past due to a reduction in the number of days per week Cornell Cinema presents programs. Proposals most likely to be accepted are those with broad audience appeal, where work is available in a higher quality format than DVD, and when being requested for a class, enrollment is at least 40 and students are required to attend the screenings. Proposals that come with the offer of financial assistance stand a better chance of being accepted. Proposals typically need to be submitted a semester in advance. Inquiries can be sent to Cinema Director Mary Fessenden at email@example.com.
If your proposal is not accepted for inclusion in Cornell Cinema's schedule, you may still be able to have the work shown in Willard Straight Theatre at a time when Cornell Cinema is not presenting its own programs (primarily Monday and Tuesday nights) for a reasonable rental fee. These events can be scheduled with less lead time, but typically no less than three weeks. For details on these special rentals, contact Cinema Manager Railey Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A program of the Department of Performing and Media Arts. Cosponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students. Cornell Cinema receives major support from the Undergraduate and Graduate and Professional Student Assemblies and Public Funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Photo: Willard Straight Theatre. Image from Pandora's Box inserted. Photo credit: Michael Roman