Department of Theatre alumna and actress/singer/writer Leah McKendrick’s film M.F.A. made its debut this week at the SXSW (South by South West) Festival in Austin, TX (March 10 – 19, 2017).

The film follows the aftermath of a vicious campus rape, including the violent death of the attacker, and the revenge campaign engendered by the attack.

McKendrick ’08 drew partly from her own personal experience as well as current news and social media headlines. She began writing the screenplay in 2015, and filming, some of which took place on the Chapman University campus, took place in the summer 2016. Professor John Benitz, chair of Chapman’s Department of Theatre served as a creative producer on the project and appears in the film as the campus Dean.

Read more about a recent CNN interview with McKendrick here.

In addition to her work on M.F.A., Kendrick has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Criminal Minds on CBS and the feature film Bad Moms.

(McKendrick head shot by Dustin Walker Photography.)