Issue 76 | May 2011

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:


  • ***Harvardwood Film Festival & the LA Film School present: LAST NIGHT w/ Writer-Director Massy Tadjedin '99, Thurs., May 5
  • Harvardwood Heads To...The 4th Annual Artistic License Awards, Sun., May 1
  • HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Welcoming Jeffrey Deitch - New Director of the MCA, Thurs., May 12
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Alex Au Dio at LaBrie's, Thurs., May 12


  • Harvardwood Presents: Dinner & Screening of THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX w/ Director Dan Sturman '89, Sun., May 1


  • Harvardwood attends SPARK Discovery Night! Tues., May 10


  • Harvardwood Presents: Brook Hayward on HAYWIRE, Wed., May 4
  • Brown, Wellesley, RSID, Yale & Princeton Alumni Groups invite Harvardwood to ART THIRST 2011, Thurs., May 5
  • HCNY invites Harvardwood to: ALL ACCESS - A Short Film by Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, Wed., May 18


  • A.R.T. invites Harvardwood to STORIES BY HEART feat. John Lithgow, Mon., May 2
  • A.R.T. invites Harvardwood to MOUTH WIDE OPEN feat. Amy Brenneman (includes SPECIAL DISCOUNT for Harvardwood members), Tues., May 24
  • Harvardwood Reunion Mixer, Sat., May 28

* Harvardwood Dues Information
* Seeking participants for the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program
* Calling all Summer Interns!
* Seeking hosts for the 2011 HSIP in LA and NY
* Earn FREE Full Membership - 2011 Harvardwood Sponsorship Opportunities now available
* 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship listings now available (more opportunities added!)
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Helps Success!
* Don't forget to cast your HAA vote for Patric Verrone
* Featured Member Posting: Agent's Assistant (LA)
* Member Profile: Massy Tadjedin '99


Director's Notes

I am in awe of all the great films produced and written by Harvard alums that are being highlighted this month. In Toronto we celebrate Dan Sturman's documentary THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX, tonight, at HOT DOCS; in New York my pals Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle will be discussing their hilarious film, ALL ACCESS on May 18th at the Harvard Club; and of course, I am super excited for Thursday's event with Massy Tadjedin! I hope you all will join us for a special pre-screening of her film LAST NIGHT at the LA Film School, and celebrate Cinco de Mayo at our fun after party!

On the program front, we are looking for advisors to help us launch the Harvardwood Career Advisors program. If you are willing to meet with a member of Harvardwood for an informational interview, let us know! And for those of you that have secured an internship for the summer, be sure to fill out the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program participant form to be kept in the loop on all HSIP events and activities, and to find out how to sign up for our summer housing lottery.

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Hope to see some of you LA folks this Thursday, May 5 at our special sneak preview screening of LAST NIGHT, starring Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, and Sam Worthington. I'll be moderating the post-screening Q&A with uber-talented writer-director Massy Tadjedin '99, so come by and say hello!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Earth Day Fun in the Sun event last month -- your generosity of spirit was a great boost to Harvardwood's newly energized commitment to community service!

Finally, don't forget to send in your Harvard Alumni Association ballots this week -- as a reminder, Harvardwood member (and longtime supporter) Patric Verrone is running for elected director.

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood Film Festival & the LA Film School present: LAST NIGHT w/ Writer-Director Massy Tadjedin '99, Thurs., May 5

LAST NIGHT is about a married couple in New York who confront issues of fidelity and romance over one unanticipated evening. Starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet. Join us for a special pre-screening of LAST NIGHT prior to its theatrical release on Friday, May 6th. Following the movie will be a Q&A with Ms. Tadjedin ‘99…Full Members may obtain one FREE ticket with advance registration...To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...The 4th Annual Artistic License Awards, Sun., May 1

Join us as Harvardwood Heads To...California Lawyers for the Arts 4th Annual Artistic License Awards, Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at 4:00 pm at The William Turner Gallery, Bergamont Station, Santa Monica, CA. Honorees include The PEN Center USA, Segal Garcia, Musician Cathy, Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor, Frank Romero, Artist, Jay Cooper, Attorney, Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Artist & Chair of the CA Arts Council…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Welcoming Jeffrey Deitch - New Director of the MCA, Thurs., May 12

The Harvard Club of Southern California and the Williams Club invite you for an hors d'oeuvres buffet and cash bar reception to welcome Jeffrey Deitch MBA '78. Docent led tours will begin at 6PM followed by a reception. Space is limited, first come first served...To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Alex Au Dio at LaBrie's, Thurs., May 12

Harvardwood Music member Alex Celemin (aka Alex Au Dio) will be performing a musical set at LaBrie's in Glendale (formerly The Scene Bar), 806 E. Colorado St., Glendale, CA 91205. There will be 3 other artists on the bill, hope you can make it!...To view full posting, please visit:

TORONTO - Harvardwood Presents: Dinner & Screening of THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX w/ Director Dan Sturman '89, Sun., May 1

Enjoy dinner and the Hot Docs World Premiere of THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX. Every spring, Hollywood hosts a very species-specific migration: kids. Thousands of aspiring child actors flock to Tinseltown for pilot season, the traditional casting period for new network and cable television shows. But unlike adult actors who pound the same star-lined pavement, kids come with their families. Many set up camp at the Oakwood, a temporary housing complex that caters to the showbiz flock. While their little Angelinas and mini Brads audition for armies of ruthless agents and TV executives, the parents must manage sky-high expectations and thin skins, including their own. Dan Sturman '89 and Dylan Nelson (Soundtrack for a Revolution, Nanking) follow a newly arrived crop of hopefuls over the course of one season as everyone navigates unexpected professional and personal obstacles in pursuit of ‘the dream.’ Dan will be available at the dinner to answer questions about the film…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood attends SPARK Discovery Night! Tues., May 10

Join us for free food and a fun introduction to Spark's engaging work! Harvardwood Helps has officially partnered with the Spark Program (, an innovative non-profit organization that connects disadvantaged middle school kids up with apprenticeships in their dream jobs. We’re really excited to connect our membership with some of Spark’s great kids next semester, as there are many of them who are really interested in careers in entertainment and the arts...Over the course of their semester apprenticeship, Spark students work on a project with their mentors, which they present to the community at "Discovery Night” graduation events at the end of the semester...Come to Discovery Night and also find out more ways to get involved with Spark...To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: Brook Hayward on HAYWIRE, Wed., May 4

First published in 1977, Brooke Hayward's HAYWIRE is a classic Hollywood memoir. The daughter of producer and agent Leland Hayward and the beloved actress Margaret Sullavan, Hayward's childhood seemed the perfect idyll. Family friends included Greta Garbo, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland. Rich, famous, and adored, the family seemed to have it all. But, beneath the surface, everything was spinning out of control…. Brooke Hayward will be interviewed by Brooklyn College Professor of Film Foster Hirsch. Hirsch is the author of the classic study of film noir, The Dark Side of the Screen, as well as 15 other books on film and theater, including his recent biography of Otto Preminger….To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Brown, Wellesley, RSID, Yale & Princeton Alumni Groups invite Harvardwood to ART THIRST 2011, Thurs., May 5

Why spend Cinco de Mayo wearing that same sombrero? Think private auction house downtown, swish contemporary art and a special wine-tasting featuring Michael Green, co-founder of Wine Down, America's Premier Wine Tasting Party and former wine and spirits consultant to Gourmet magazine, organized exclusively for you and your new non-sombrero-wearing friends. Be a young collector for an evening, and learn to swill and expectorate fermented grapes better than Robert Parker. Looking for a fun evening with art-minded friends from the alumni clubs of Brown, Harvard, Princeton, RISD, Wellesley and Yale? Join us for a private evening at Phillips de Pury & Company , one of the leading purveyors of contemporary art for a special preview of their spring contemporary art auction, just days before works are to be sold!...To view full posting, please visit:

NY - HCNY invites Harvardwood to: ALL ACCESS - A Short Film by Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, Wed., May 18

Writers Bashir Salahuddin '98 and Diallo Riddle '97 from NBC's LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON, co-wrote, starred in and produced an impressive short comedy film about the gentrification of New York City and ironically titled it ALL ACCESS. Mr. Salahuddin and Mr. Riddle along with Executive Producer Felicia Gordon, AB '98 will screen their film and host a discussion about the creative and production process. Additionally, Mr. Riddle and Mr. Salahuddin will share some of their experiences about their journey through Hollywood and writing for LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON...To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - A.R.T. invites Harvardwood to STORIES BY HEART feat. John Lithgow, Mon., May 2

Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award-winner John Lithgow offers a touching and humorous reflection on storytelling as the tie that binds humanity in STORIES BY HEART. He traces his roots as an actor and storyteller, interspersing his own stories with two classic short stories that were read to him when he was a child. Lithgow imparts the wonder and joy he felt when he first heard Wodehouse's "Uncle Fred Flits By" (1935), a funny story about a nephew taken on an afternoon's escapade by his mischievous uncle, and Lardner's "Haircut" (1925), a darkly comic tale told by the local barber about a small-town practical joker who gets his due...To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - A.R.T. invites Harvardwood to MOUTH WIDE OPEN feat. Amy Brenneman (includes SPECIAL DISCOUNT for Harvardwood members), Tues., May 24

Soulful, transcendent, laugh-out-loud funny, Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Judging Amy, Heat) returns to her theatrical roots in this exuberant theater piece drawn from her own life experience that juxtaposes a hunger for the spiritual with the externalized pressures of celebrity. From a Tibetan temple in Kathmandu to an evangelical church in the Mississippi Delta, from the hype of the red carpet to the cold reality of a hospital room, Brenneman is our guide on an epic journey that takes us to the place where illness and spirituality collide...To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - Harvardwood Reunion Mixer, Sat., May 28

It's back again, our fifth annual Harvardwood Reunion Mixer! Join Boston-based Harvardwood members, folks in town for reunion week, and current students for food, drink, and general merriment! RSVP highly recommended...To view full posting and register, please visit:

Harvardwood Dues Information

As Harvardwood continues to grow and expand its offerings, we are humbled by the opportunities the organization continues to engender. In order to sustain our current level of growth, it has become necessary to institute a small dues increase of $5 across all paid membership types, effective on May 31 of this year. In advance of this date, we would like to offer all of our members the chance to renew or upgrade this month at the current rate for your next year of membership. This offer is available until May 31st. You may renew or upgrade at this link:

You may also choose to renew for 3 years at a discount rate of $110. This offer will be available until May 31st. You can renew or upgrade for 3 years at $110, here:

And don't forget, there are several ways to gain free months of Full Membership, including:

A) Bring us a fiscal sponsor! Harvardwood Sponsorship opportunities are now available online. If you refer us to a company that ends up sponsoring Harvardwood at any level, we will give you free years of membership (1 for Cum Laude, 2 for Magna, 3 for Summa). Learn more about this opportunity, here:

B) Stay tuned for more opportunities to volunteer in your area. Program and Chapter Heads, as well as some volunteers, have the opportunity to earn free Full Membership during their time of service.

Thank you for your continued participation!

Seeking advisors for the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program

We're pleased to launch the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program (HCA), intended to provide informational interviews for Harvardwood Full Members looking to learn more about different fields in the entertainment industry. Harvardwood considers informational interviews to be one individual conversation between the advisor and the member looking for career advice. The advisor is only expected to share their experience and provide knowledge which may be helpful to the member. Important to note, advisors can indicate on the application the ideal time to be contacted, and will be able to limit the number of requests. If you're interested to be a career advisor, please click here:

Calling all Summer Interns!

Calling all summer interns for this year's Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)! If you are interning and/or working in any facet of entertainment this summer let us know! Please fill out the HSIP participant form at the link below so we may stay in touch with you regarding HSIP events and activities. You do not have to have an internship that was listed on the HSIP list of opportunities. All summer interns affiliated with Harvard University can participate! In addition to being eligible for HSIP events and activities, you will also have the opportunity to enter our HSIP housing lottery for the summer. Fill out the HSIP participant form, here:

Seeking hosts for the 2011 HSIP in LA and NY

Harvardwood seeks accommodations hosts for the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP). The HSIP provides a list of summer internship opportunities in the arts, media, and entertainment to interested Harvard students…Because several of these internships are unpaid, many HSIP participants are in need of accommodations to help defray the costs of accepting these opportunities. If you have a spare couch, futon, sleeping bag, or room(s) you can provide to a student or students for an extended period of time this summer (most internships run from mid-June to early August) please let us know! In addition to our undying gratitude, you will receive a free year of Full Membership to Harvardwood and you will be invited to attend special HSIP activities including a thank-you event at the end of the summer. Hosts are NOT expected to provide transportation, meals, entertainment, etc. If interested, please email us at [email protected]

Earn FREE Full Membership - 2011 Sponsorship Opportunities now available

Harvardwood is currently seeking sponsors for the 2011 fiscal year. Harvardwood members that provide leads to companies or organizations with an interest in aligning themselves with the #1 brand name in education will have the opportunity to gain free years of Full Membership for their contacts. (Length of membership awarded will be dependent on sponsorship level obtained.) Companies or organizations that sponsor Harvardwood will have the opportunity to market products and services to Harvardwood's brand-conscious and taste-maker community, as well as gain the ability to recruit talented Harvard alumni - from recent graduates to top executives. To learn more about the sponsorship opportunities available, please visit:

2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Listings now available (more opportunities added!)

We are happy to announce that the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) list of opportunities is now available, and more opportunities have been added since last week! To search the list of opportunities, please visit:

Industry Successes...

Cole Wiley has recently won the prestigious SPIKE LEE PRODUCTION FUND AWARD for his script, AFTER THE STORM!!! Iconic director Spike Lee handpicked the project out of an "astounding” number of submissions for the 2011 application cycle. The award includes continuing mentorship and advisement with Mr. Lee, as well as a sizable grant for production expenses. Also, AFTER THE STORM has been selected as a WINNER of the NEXT 15 MINUTES SCREENPLAY COMPETITION sponsored by FINAL DRAFT!!! As a result, Cole Wiley will direct a professional cast as they perform a staged table reading of the opening act of the film in front of a New York audience! Please visit for more details!

William August has a daughter working in Santiago, Chile with a chef and sommelier as head of PR. The upcoming tour in August sounds especially juicy: a special one-time deluxe tour for an intimate group in Buenos Aires and Mendoza, Argentina from August 6-12, 2011, including a stay at Mendoza’s exclusive Relais & Chateaux hotel Cavas Wine Lodge. Highlights include: multi-course food and wine pairing dinner at a closed-door wine and food society, a private luncheon with one of the city’s most innovative chefs, a colloquial city tour with a visit to Recoleta cemetery, private tango lessons and tickets to the city’s hottest tango show, visits to vineyards and wineries to participate in barrel tastings, and much more. Visit:

helps2.jpgHarvardwood Helps Success!

To celebrate EARTH DAY 2011, Harvardwood Helps volunteers collaborated with the Los Angeles Audubon Society on the California State Parks Foundation’s Habitat Restoration Project at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.

The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a truly unique and captivating new urban park set on a 511 ft. peak from which visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views from the Pacific Ocean, across the Los Angeles Basin, to the distant San Gabriel mountains. A former oil field, this once-exploited and contaminated land is now a California State Park, and has become a symbol of hope for those who care about conservation in our city, with hiking trails, a nature center, a serious set of workout stairs and a picnic area. Hundreds and hundreds of Angelenos already use this new park every day to get closer to nature and get a great workout as well!

helps.jpgTeams of volunteers spent much of the warm, sunny southern California day removing non-native invasive plants that were allowed to populate the steep hillsides for decades while the land was neglected in favor of the black gold underneath. They braved the heat, insects and hayfever-inducing pollen to remove hundreds of pounds of such aggressive plants as euphorbia, wild radish, fennel, mustard and yellow star thistle, which choke off native species trying to grow along the slopes.

Additional teams spent time planting native plants such as ceanothus, hummingbird sage, white sage and California fuchsia, all of which will help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion and slope failure during heavy rains.

By the end of the event, volunteers were fired up knowing they had made a real difference right in their own community.

Don't forget to cast your HAA vote for Patric Verrone

A quick reminder to all Harvardwood members - don’t throw out your Harvard ballot! The Harvard Alumni Association director’s ballot is due back soon and we ask that you please consider voting for longtime Harvardwood member and supporter, Patric M. Verrone '81. An Emmy award-winning television writer and producer, and elected President of the Writer's Guild of America West, Patric has been an active member of the Harvard alumni community -- he co-founded the Harvard Club of Southwest Florida, is an active member of Harvardwood, and is a member of the Harvard Club of Southern California. "Between student interviews, career advisory and mentor programs, reunion functions, and frequent campus visits just to buy stuff at the COOP, I already feel deeply entwined in the fabric of the Harvard alumni world. Serving as a director of the HAA would only encourage me further.”

Featured Member Posting: Agent's Assistant - LA

Talent Agency representing writers/directors/producers seeks responsible, smart, dedicated assistant to two agents in film & tv. Position involves heavy submissions, scheduling, filing, phones, research and script reading. Attention to detail is paramount. No writers, directors, actors please; position is best for those who want a career in development at Film or TV Producer/Studio/Network…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Massy Tadjedin '99

by Cristina Slattery

Tadjedin.jpg"I've always wanted to make movies," Massy Tadjedin '99, the screenwriter and director of LAST NIGHT, a movie about relationships starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes, says brightly -- the rhythm and cadence of her speech sounding very all-American "Valley Girl." And, as she did grow up in Southern California, this isn't surprising. "Directing is what I have always wanted to do," she states authoratatively, like the daughter of a Hollywood mogul. Yet, although she grew up near Hollywood (in Yorba Linda, Orange County), Tadjedin, is the daughter of Iranian immigrants who brought her to America after the revolution in her country of origin. She thinks that this "outsider" status that she experienced growing up gave her the perspective of an observer early in life. This distinct perspective, along with the hours she spent watching the films of John Wayne, John Ford, Don Siegel, Coppola, Scorcese and John Huston with her dad, helped her to fall in love with film as a medium for storytelling.

Tadjedin says her parents were strict in an immigrant way, and that she wasn't often allowed to go to parties and sleepovers while she was growing up. But, what she really enjoyed, in fact, was staying home and reading and watching movies. She loved the Brontes, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton and Henry James, and she and her father watched films such as GOODFELLAS, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, and THE STING, together, to name just a few.

At Harvard, Tadjedin found herself surrounded by a diverse population with incredible stories. Everyone has a story and everyone's life is interesting," she states. "There's no shortage of incentive to climb out of yourself and hear them," she says. She lived in Grays freshman year and later Eliot House, and concentrated in English (with an emphasis in modernism and modernist poetry) which helped her hone her writing and also gave her "a love a language." Some of her favorite writers included T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, Joan Didion, Alice Munro, Chekhov, Lorrie Moorie, Jonathan Franzen and Ann Beattie. Tadjedin took some VES classes, including a documentary class with Richard Rogers and film classes that introduced her to the work of Bergman, Stayajit Ray, Tarkovsky and Godard, and participated in the Institute of Politics.

After graduating, Tadjedin initially worked as an assistant to a literary agent and wrote at night when she moved to Los Angeles. Her first script, LEO, went to Sundance, and, from there, she got another project called THE JACKET, a psychological thriller about a Gulf War veteran that starred Adrian Brody, for which she wrote the adapted screenplay. Tadjedin says that "one of the best things about 'Hollywood' for writers is that, certainly, at first, they are judged by nothing other than the words on the page. There's no photo on the title page of a screenplay. There are just the words that follow." She indicates that even her first name, Massy, did not brand her as male or female, and this fact helped her writing stand by itself even more. LAST NIGHT is the first film she has written and directed, and she admits to being a little nervous as the film is about to be released in select theatres in several U.S. cities. She says that she is grateful that she had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of actors, and that she "learned a dozen things every day" during the twenty-eight days of filming. "Trying to achieve what we had to achieve and still maintaining the calm that I think was necessary for the actors to deliver their best work was a constant challenge," she emphasizes. LAST NIGHT is a film about relationships and presents the audience with the opportunity to judge its characters (or not). She sounds positive about the entire process and reiterates that it was a learning experience.

"I genuinely like a variety of stories and genres," Tadjedin concedes. "I love to be entertained so thrillers and science-fiction as genres are often a draw - but over the years I've found that the ones I kept returning to personally are realist fiction. There's a connection I really feel and chrish there. Sometimes they can shed some light on my own life but often they just reassure me that my own life belongs to a greater, shared experience." LAST NIGHT falls into this category, it seems, and perhaps moviegoers will be relieved or at least provoked to talk about their own lives and how they fit into the larger scheme of a collective experience as a result of going to see this film.

As a writer, Tadjedin says she tends to overwrite her characters and then she needs to go back to the draft and edit them down by changing their dialogue, for instance. But, as a director, she can do this "editing" process visually. She says that she thinks that "because you're collaborating with so many different people, you're exposed to so many different processes as you're trying to harness all that towards one end."

The filming of LAST NIGHT taught her the most about "cinemotography -- how to cover scenes, where to feel the camera, where, and how, to 'disappear' into the camera, how the camera movement can be a narrative pace -- and editing."

Although Tadjedin may have successfully "disappeared" into the camera in order to let her actors (and their characters) come to life in LAST NIGHT, it will be interesting to see what Tadjedin's own unique imprint will be. The enthusiasm that Tadjedin has for film-making and writing and the entire creative process is contagious -- one cannot help but wish her success with LAST NIGHT and her future projects. Hollywood has "found" her and film lovers are the lucky recipients of her creative talents!

Don't miss a special pre-screening of LAST NIGHT before its theatrical release on Thursday, May 5 at the LA Film School! After the film, join us for a Q&A with Ms. Tadjedin. Click here to register.

cristinaslattery2.jpgCristina Slattery is currently living in Barcelona, Spain where she teaches English to adolescents, university-age students and adults, writes freelance articles and reviews English-language fiction manuscripts for the Spanish-speaking market for Viceversa Editorial.



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