St. Peter’s Announces New Film Institute to Debut in 2015

On the heels of a red carpet weekend at the Golden Door International Film Festival and the announcement of a new film ordinance for the city, another declaration was made with the hope of further expanding the field of filmmaking in our community.

At the closing ceremony of GDIFF, Saint Peter’s University announced the creation of The Sorvino Film Institute, which will host a non-credit bearing, certificate program at the campus May through August each year beginning in 2015. The program is expected to be delivered in one intensive course over 16 weeks, said school officials.

Actor and creator of the Golden Door International Film Festival, Bill Sorvino, his mother, Roberta Sorvino, and other members of the Sorvino family will be developing the program alongside the University. Renowned actor, Paul Sorvino, will serve as the Institute’s Chairman Emeritus.

“I’m a Jersey City kid, born and raised,” said Bill Sorvino. “I’ve dreamt about developing a film institute for a long time and now I’m just so excited to be able to do it with Saint Peter’s, the University that’s always been in my backyard.”

With the close proximity of Saint Peter’s to New York City, a major center for independent filmmaking, the University is in a unique position for potential students with an interest in the highly desirable filmmaking industry. Over the course of the next several months, the University will be working to create a series of lectures and seminars with renowned artists, directors and producers to build interest in the growth of the Institute.

“I am truly inspired by the work of the Sorvino family with the Golden Door International Film Festival and their passion for the arts,” said University President Eugene J. Coracchia, Ph.D. “Saint Peter’s shares this same passion as a liberal arts institution, serving Jersey City for more than 140 years in the Jesuit tradition. Through our collaborative efforts we plan to develop an institute that sets a new standard for filmmaking programs in the area.”

While it is designed to be intensive, the program will also be flexible with modules in screenwriting, directing, producing and editing. Students of the program will have the ability to create a complete professional film, discuss the components of a screenplay, competently use Final Cut Pro X editing system and identify the necessary steps to start an efficient and successful production. Approximately 300 hours of class time will be required.

School officials stated that initial plans for admission requirements will include some experience related to filmmaking and the ability to articulate what drove the candidate to learn filmmaking in an academic environment, as well as a strong desire to attain professional skills in the art and science of filmmaking. An application and personal statement will also be required.

Photo courtesy of Saint Peter’s University

Lana Diaz

is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Hudson Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, 07030, Palisade Magazine, and other publications. As a Wordsmith, she currently hosts various events around the area. For more information, visit