Press Releases

Film Alums Ilya Chaiken and Austin Chick Create Films Linked to Sept. 11

Date Released: 10/16/2007


Ilya Chaiken, a graduate of the film program in the School of the Arts, Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film, is making the film festival rounds with Liberty Kid, a film she wrote and directed about two friends who lose their jobs after 9/11 and the very different ways they cope when their worlds are turned upside down. The film won best feature at the New York Latino Film Festival this summer and has been shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival and the recent Woodstock Film Festival.

This is Ms. Chaiken’s second feature film. She wrote and directed the acclaimed Margarita Happy Hour which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001. She returned to Sundance in 2004 with the comedic short The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds. Among her awards is the Statue Award for artistic excellence from the Princess Grace Foundation, which honors the legacy of Princess Grace of Monaco, who was formerly the American actress Grace Kelly.

Film program alum Austin Chick is the director and co-writer of the feature film August, the story of an ambitious dotcom entrepreneur attempting to stay afloat as the stock market begins to collapse and the September 11 terrorist attacks loom ever closer. The film stars former Purchase acting student Josh Hartnett, Naomie Harris, Rip Torn and Adam Scott. The film went into production in April in New York and will be released in 2008.

Mr. Chick is best known for his film XX/XY which was nominated for the grand jury prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and starred Mark Ruffalo. He is the co-producer of director Sidney Lumet’s latest film Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead which will be released this fall and stars Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman.