Scott Thompson



February 15, 2006

For over a decade, the Redstone Film Festival has been growing into one of Boston's most spectacular film events of the year. This is all thanks to the generosity of Viacom Chairman and CEO, Sumner M. Redstone. As a native New Englander, Mr. Redstone graduated top of his class at Boston Latin and went on to receive a degree from Harvard in just five semesters. Amongst other

 local colleges, he has served on the faculty at Boston University, where he eventually received an honorary Doctor of Laws. Today, Mr. Redstone's endowment to Boston University has helped many of our local filmmakers follow their dreams. On Wednesday, February 15th, the 2006 Redstone Film Festival will showcase the next generation of Boston's filmmakers.

In the words of Sumner Redstone, "The outstanding and varied films presented at this year's festival underscore Boston University's growing importance as a training ground for bright and innovative filmmakers. I am proud to support the festival and have been privileged to watch it grow and prosper as an important outlet for creative minds."

The Redstone Film Festival is Boston University's unveiling of their top student films, written and directed by graduate and undergraduate filmmakers. Over the years, Redstone winners (and finalists) have turned out to be some of Boston's most successful Directors, Screenwriters and Producers. Many of these same films have been nominated for and won awards in film festivals all around the world. Two have even earned Academy Award nominations. Redstone winners include such big names as Gary Fleder (RUNAWAY JURY), Joe Roth (CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRANKS), Director, Lauren Ivy Chiong (TESTAMENT) Producer Richard Gladstein (FINDING NEVERLAND, CIDER HOUSE RULES), Producer/Director Robert Patton-Spruill (SQUEEZE), Screenwriters Scott Rosenberg (CON AIR, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS) and Steve Brill (MIGHTY DUCKS).

Viacom Chairman and CEO, Sumner M. Redstone’s endowment to Boston University has helped many of our local filmmakers. He has enjoyed watching it grow and views it as an important outlet for
creative minds.An AP photo by Douglas C. Pizac.

Although this year's Redstone lineup has been kept a secret from the public, the finalists have already been chosen by a group of industry professionals. Past judges have consisted of well known industry professionals such as Producer Laura Bernieri (Saint Aire Productions) and local critic Joyce Kulhawik. This year, judges include Boston Globe film critic, Wesley Morris; head of the film program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Bo Smith; and award-winning Director, Maureen Foley, whose film HOME BEFORE DARK aired on Showtime, Lifetime and PBS.

All the nominees will be screened on the night of the film festival, at which time the winner will be announced - along with the winner of the Fleder-Rosenberg short screenplay contest. This event is open to the public and admission is free. It's really just about these talented, young filmmakers and a great way for Boston to support their work. If you're interested in seeing entertaining short films and supporting local talent as they follow their dreams, then follow the searchlights on February 15th. The event starts at 7:00 at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Please come early, nearly 200 people were turned away last year.

Many thanks to Sumner Redstone and the 2006 Redstone finalists.

Scott J. Thompson is a Visiting Professor of Screenwriting at Boston University.