New York, NY – February 6, 2018: NYU Tisch School of the Arts today announced it will honor notable alumni Academy Award nominated producer, director and screenwriter Chris Columbus (’80) and filmmaker Eleanor Columbus (’11) at its 2018 gala. The annual event will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018, at Capitale.
“Chris and Eleanor Columbus represent a unique father-daughter partnership, both influenced by their time at the Tisch School of the Arts, and now influencing one another as they create, promote, and support fresh and exciting work,” said Allyson Green, Dean, NYU Tisch School of the Arts. “This is the first time we’ve honored a father-daughter duo at the Tisch Gala, and we are thrilled. Together, Chris and Eleanor understand the importance of supporting and celebrating the next generation of storytellers, both through Maiden Voyage Pictures and also through their support of scholarships and production awards at Tisch.”
Academy Award nominee Chris Columbus is a graduate of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at NYU Tisch. He first gained prominence in Hollywood by writing several original scripts produced by Steven Spielberg, including the decade-defining back-to-back hits Gremlins and The Goonies. A masterful filmmaker, Columbus has written, directed and produced some of the industry’s most successful box-office hits, with production credits including The Help, Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, RENT and the Night at the Museum series. Columbus also directed the first two films and produced the second and third films in the classic Harry Potter series. In 2014, Columbus and daughter Eleanor Columbus launched Maiden Voyage Pictures, which premiered Little Accidents at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, The Witch at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and Mediterranea at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Most recently, Maiden Voyage’s Patti Cake$ became the breakout star of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Producer Eleanor Columbus is a graduate of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at NYU Tisch. After growing up on her father’s movie sets, Columbus attended NYU to further cultivate her gift for storytelling. She worked on several independent features and as an assistant to Peter Glanz and Neda Armian in New York before partnering with her father to launch Maiden Voyage Pictures in 2014. Maiden Voyage has premiered six pictures in the years since, including Little Accidents, The Witch, Mediterranea, Tallulah, Menashe and Patti Cake$, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures in the second largest deal of the festival. Maiden Voyage’s current projects include Yes, God, Yes, a romantic comedy directed by Karen Maine.
Since its founding in 1965, the Tisch School of the Arts has established itself as one of the leading arts schools in the country. It draws on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for artists, scholars and innovators, with course offerings in acting, dance, cinema studies, design for stage and film, dramatic writing, film and television, game design, interactive telecommunications, moving image archiving and preservation, musical theatre writing, performance studies, photography, public policy and recorded music.
Thousands of Tisch alumni have gone on to enjoy fulfilling careers in the arts. Tisch graduates include renowned artists such as Pulitzer Prize-winners Annie Baker (also a MacArthur Fellow), Tony Kushner, Doug Wright and Chang Lee; Academy Award-winners Mahershala Ali, Martin Scorsese, Marcia Gay Harden, Keiko Ibi and Ang Lee; Tony Award-winners Nina Arianda, Beowulf Boritt, Steve Kazee, George C. Wolfe, Michael Mayer, Idina Menzel, Stephen Spinella, Frank Wood and Paul Tazewell; Grammy Award-winner Lady Gaga; Emmy Award-winners Alec Baldwin, Sterling K. Brown, Billy Crystal, Vince Gilligan, Donald Glover (also a Grammy Award-winner), Camryn Manheim and Debra Messing; Golden Globe-winners Rachel Bloom, Rachel Brosnahan, Reed Morano (also an Emmy Award winner) and Gina Rodriguez; acclaimed filmmakers Spike Lee, Amy Heckerling, Dee Rees and Colin Trevorrow; Grammy nominee Elle Varner; entrepreneur Dennis Crowley; MacArthur Fellowship recipients Kyle Abraham, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (also a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Camille Utterback and Mimi Lien; visual artist Leo Villareal; and actors Danai Gurira and Corey Stoll.