The Kenyon College film major is included in the Department of Dance, Drama, and Film, with a curriculum that encompasses both the analysis of film (what some colleges call film studies) and also a robust offering of courses in the practical aspects of cinema production, including directing, editing, cinematography, screenwriting, and more.
Film at Kenyon is primarily focused on fictional narrative filmmaking but offers opportunities for documentary filmmaking and analysis as well. The study of film at Kenyon is open to all students at the college at all levels and is housed in the newly renovated Kenyon College Wright Center. We welcome visitors to our facilities and inquiries about our program.
View recent student films through the Kenyon College Film Vimeo account.
The Wright Center, located in downtown Mount Vernon, provides a home for Kenyon's state-of-the-art film center, featuring a two-story film studio, classrooms with 75-inch screens, a 30-seat screening room and a room devoted to teaching post-production editing.
The first film classes were held in the Wright Center during the spring of 2017 following a $6 million restoration of the historic 1910 warehouse. A shuttle runs regularly between campus and the Center.
On the second floor, a two-story sound stage and studio space has already hosted multiple student films and class demos for cinematography, lighting and directing actors on screen. A color and mixing suite allows for industry standard finishing using DaVinci Resolve for color grading and Protools for sound-mixing. The audio recording studio allows students the freedom to record high quality voice over, Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) or music for film scores.
The screening room on the third floor seats 35 and is an excellent venue for film screenings and class critiques. The Senior Seminar meets there to review and give feedback on thesis projects. Directing and cinematography courses also meet there to discuss student films, hear director presentations and discuss other aspects of the production process. Three soundproof editing suites are also available for students to use, and the second and third floor hallways provide space for students to work or meet in production teams.
Local Casting Directory
Kenyon students looking to cast non-student actors in their films may use our community casting directory to locate local talent. View the local casting directory.
Local Music Directory
Kenyon students in need of original music for their films can solicit the help of the many talented musicians, bands and composers in the Kenyon and greater Knox county community. View the local music directory.
Our film students work in many areas of the film industry. See below for a sampling of news about our young alumni.
Claire Buss '12 is a filmmaker and writer living in Seattle. She is the host and head writer for a nihilist television game show called "The Future is 0." She has varied experience in narrative, commercial and experimental spaces. Claire currently works as a producer for the video production studio cut.com. Find out more about Claire at www.claire-buss.com.
Ryan Drake '14 is a writer and casting assistant based in Brooklyn. His webseries "Sensitive" is available on Amazon Prime, SeekaTV and Canada's OutTV, where it was featured in their "Best of the Web" series. He just wrapped a short film that he wrote, directed, produced and assistant edited titled "Eden, The Clown," and he directed the upcoming webseries "JILL n DILL." In casting, Ryan has worked on films for Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, M. Night Shyamalan, James Gray and Kenneth Lonergan.
In television casting, he has worked on HBO's "Fahrenheit 451," Amazon's "Mozart in the Jungle," USA's "The Sinner" and the upcoming HBO series "Succession."
Laura Goehrke '10 is currently a producer at Hogarth, an advertising agency in New York City. She works specifically in post production and leads campaigns from the initial briefing to final delivery. She works with editors, sound engineers, colorists, animators, and flame artists on a daily basis. Before Hogarth, Laura worked at a entertainment branding agency, loyalkaspar, and her first job after Kenyon was working for the Travel Channel as a production coordinator, back in 2010 (though she also did an unpaid ABC 7 News internship in Washington, D.C., the summer after graduation, which she found through a fellow Kenyon alum of '97!).
Outside of work, Laura began studying improvisation in 2012 in D.C. Since then, she's trained and performed at D.C. Improv, Upright Citizen's Brigade, and the People's Improv theater and has participated in a summer intensive at Second City in Chicago and performed in two Moth StorySlams in NYC. In 2017, Laura teamed up with Becca Roth '10 and co-created a short film, "Lenses," a satiric look at how women in the film industry are portrayed. "Lenses" was accepted into over ten film festivals across the country.
Laura was an anthropology major at Kenyon, played women's basketball, and she would like to give a shout out to the Freshman Quad, specifically Gund. If you want to learn more or chat about the in's and out's of producing, ad agency life, NYC after Kenyon, improv, or creative storytelling in general, please reach out!
Since graduating from Kenyon in 2010 as a history major (big ups to Sylvie Coulibaly), Maria Krovatin has done some work. She co-founded Calliope Theater Company, producing large scale stage plays, readings and concerts at NYC venues like The Flea Theater, Judson Church, HERE Arts and Medicine Show Theater. She associate produced at ABC's "The Chew," wrote and performed on house sketch teams at The People's Improv Theater and Upright Citizens Brigade, and starred in "Re:Verse," a comedic pilot named the 2014 New York Television Festival's Best of the Fest and Audience Award winner.
Maria's films have been included at Inside Out Toronto, LA Shorts, The Beverly Hills International Film Festival, The Women's International Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortsFest, the IFS Independent Filmmakers Showcase, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Filmmatic's Short Screenplay Competition, and the American Gem Literary Festival's Screenplay Competition. Most recently, her film "Matter & Manner" — a period comedy about modern love in an antiquated era — won the SHOUT LGBTQ Jury Award at Alabama's Sidewalk Film Festival. In its 20th year, this is the first time Sidewalk has awarded the SHOUT prize to a short film over features also in contention.
Since 2018, she has been lucky enough to work for Kristin Burr's BURR! Productions, Laura Lewis's Alice Pictures, and — primarily — at Level Forward. Formed in January 2018 through a partnership between Killer Content and Abigail Disney, Level Forward is a new breed, story-driven, impact-minded entertainment company. Maria has a low voice, high hopes, and detests avocado.
Drew Lewis '10 is an actor, filmmaker and playwright based in New York. His plays have been developed and produced by Tiny Rhino (NY & LA), Rule of: 7x7, Calliope Theatre Company (of which he is a founding member), Crowded Outlet and Dixon Place. His play "Front Lines" was a semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2016. His play "Registered" was a finalist in the 2017 Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.
Drew has acted off-Broadway, frequently with the Ensemble Studio Theater, and also regionally. He has helped develop new work at Soho Rep, The Lark, Bushwick Starr and HERE Arts Center. He was an early and often performer with online sketch comedy group Good Cop Great Cop (creators of Comedy Central’s New Timers). His television work includes "Blue Bloods," "Mozart in the Jungle," HBO’s upcoming "Succession" and Dr. Hack on Tru TV's "Hack My Life." Find out more about Drew at thedrewlewis.com.
Phoebe Lewis '16 is currently an associate producer at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, which focuses on first and second-time filmmakers. Since graduating in 2016, she has worked on regional and international festivals in the United States including Green Mountain, Mill Valley, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, and she was an establishing member of the BZN international Film Festival in Bozeman, Montana. She also screens submissions as a member of the programming team for several festivals around the country. As associate producer at MNFF, she directs press and marketing efforts, coordinates festival operations and organizes volunteer activity.
Nick Loud '11 is a filmmaker who has spent several years in Los Angeles producing, shooting and editing multiple short and feature documentaries. During his time there, Nick worked on two documentaries for ESPN films, including one that premiered on ESPN’s "30 for 30" digital platform about the obscure sport of Jai Alai. He was a co-producer on the feature documentary "Finding Oscar," executive produced by Steven Spielberg, about the search for justice in the case of the 1982 Dos Erres massacre in Guatemala. The documentary premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and is now available on Amazon Prime.
Nick recently started a regional print and digital magazine based in Northern Michigan called The Boardman Review. The publication includes travelogues, photography, short fiction writing, music and documentaries. He also recently shot footage for an upcoming feature documentary, directed by Erin Lee Carr, based on the current USA gymnastics scandal involving Larry Nassar.
Mike McMahan '04 is a writer and producer on "Rick & Morty" — three seasons so far on [adult swim]. He is in development on a couple of his own shows, one with Hulu and another with CBS. Mike is working with a feature production company pitching new movies and punching up their existing scripts, rides and marketing materials (radio ads, trailers, fun stuff like that). He has also written a book for Simon & Schuster poking fun at "Star Trek." Follow Mike on Twitter @mikemcmahanTM.
Kenny Polyak '12 is a director and cinematographer living in New York. He works on documentary, narrative and branded films, and you can find out more about him at http://www.polyakproductions.com and follow him on Instagram @ponzidream.
Becca Roth '10 is an award-winning documentary and narrative filmmaker who has written and directed five independent films that have screened at film festivals and in communities nationwide. Her debut documentary feature, "One: A Story of Love and Equality" (2014), delves into the personal stories of people on both sides of a heated political debate and strives to understand differences and build bridges.
After traveling the country with her documentary, Becca created short form docs for HLN, and she also worked for the Emmy-award winning production company, Mead Street Films. In 2017 she and Laura Goehrke '10 co-directed and co-starred in two award-winning narrative short films, "Lenses" and "Workout Gaze," currently screening in film festivals. She also directed three documentary shorts for the Oscar-winning documentary company Shine Global and an episode of an upcoming documentary series about the 2016 election for a major TV network. At the end of 2017, she became the director of a two-year project featuring long term survivors of pancreatic cancer for an organization called Let’s Win. At the beginning of 2018, she wrote and directed a comedy short film, "Boy Genius," which is now beginning its festival run.
Becca is also an actress and improviser, starting her third year as a resident house team performer at The People’s Improv Theater. She is now busy at work revising the first draft of her first narrative feature screenplay. You can find out more about Becca at beccaroth.com.
Justin Shipley '11 is a TV writer, producer and director living in Los Angeles. Along with his brother Jordan, Justin created the half-hour comedy "WRECKED," currently in its third season on TBS. He and Jordan serve as showrunners. They recently signed an overall deal with TBS, where they are developing new shows.
Said Zagha '11 is a film director from Ramallah, Palestine, where he currently lives. His first short film, "Five Boys and a Wheel" (2016), was funded by the Royal Film Commission of Jordan and screened at over 30 film festivals worldwide, winning top awards in Algeria, Mexico, and Oman. It was shot on location in Jordan and starred Ali Suliman ("Paradise Now," "Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan"). His second short film, "A Settler in Our House," currently in pre-production, is a recipient of the Palestinian Culture Fund and will be shot in mid-2019. Said is currently developing first feature film, "The Girl," a political thriller set in the West Bank. The project is expected to be featured at the Torino Film Lab’s Up & Coming section.