Julia Swift, assistant professor of Filmmaking, travelled to New York City on Nov. 9 for the Netflix premiere of Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA). A little more than a week later, she flew out to LA for the premiere of Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes.” Swift brought along Champlain College alumni on both trips.
The day after attending the “Marriage Story” premiere and a press conference, Swift attended the CCDA with Champlain Filmmaking alumna Erin Bailey (class of 2018). Bailey currently does grip and electric work on NYC film sets and has worked with Netflix, Showtime, and Buzzfeed. She’s even assembled an all-woman set for a Buzzfeed project.
Because Swift was on the nominating committee for the Critics Choice Association, she and Bailey sat with filmmakers and actors. They spoke to the producer of National Geographic’s “Sea of Shadows” documentary, as well as the director of “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable.”
In LA, Swift attended the premiere for “The Two Popes” at the Chinese Theater with Champlain Filmmaking alumna Alexa Tariff (class of 2017). Tariff is currently working toward her MFA in Directing from The University of Southern California, while also working on film sets.
Swift came back prepared to speak to her students about various filmmaking techniques she observed, but her students were especially fascinated by the film professionals she interacted with: publicists, agents, directors, producers, Netflix executives, etc. Swift told them about the wide variety of potential job opportunities in the field.
During her first Netflix premiere for The Irishman, Julia met many of her fellow critics for the first time. Aside from a Boston critic, she’s the only one from New England. When she arrived in NYC for “Marriage Story,” they referred to her as “Vermont.” Swift remarked, “It’s nice to have a bit of a community.” By the time she arrived in LA for “The Two Popes,” people simply referred to her as “Julia.”
“It’s wonderful to be with a group of people who love talking about and analyzing movies as much as I do,” said Swift.
Erika Skorstad ’21—Contributor