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2007, Not Rated


This IFC original docu-series from Academy Award nominee Nanette Burstein seems like a cross between the HBO-Miramax series Project Greenlight and the Fox reality series On the Lot. Fortunately, it deviates from the reality-programming premise of using challenges to remove contestants and simply invests in the story of several (initially four) young NYU filmmaking students attempting to complete their films in time for the semester-ending shorts festival that can make or break their burgeoning careers. Over 10 episodes, the students (two women, an African-American man and a thirtysomething Italian man) deal with casting and location snafus, various funding issues and personal tragedies that nearly derail the completion of their films. But the intriguing complaint that emerges from this rather compelling series is why is there so little interaction between the perpetually driven students. More of their shared experiences might have unified and humanized them further (and possibly even created a bit more drama). Each episode begins with interview snippets from famous film school alums like Spike Lee and Oliver Stone, but Film School wisely sticks to capturing the school daze of these dreamers. (tts) Grade: B+