Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Announces Spring 2010 Knott Filmmaker-in-Residence 

Award-Winning Director Richard Benjamin

ORANGE, Calif. (February 18, 2010) — Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts announces the appointment of Richard Benjamin as the school’s Spring 2010 Marion Knott Filmmaker-in-Residence.  Mr. Benjamin joins a list of leading industry experts such as John Badham, Martha Coolidge, David Foster, Carl Franlkin, Bill Kroyer, Tom Mankiewicz, Peter Medak, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Mace Neufield, Polly Platt, and David Ward, all who have previously served as Filmmakers-in-Residence at Dodge College.

“Benjamin’s distinguished reputation and years of experience in the industry make him a natural for our Filmmaker-in-Residence program,” says Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett.  “His unique perspective—as both actor and director, on both stage and set—will give our students a multi-leveled look into the inner workings of directing actors in a film.

Richard Benjamin is a Golden Globe winning actor and film director, with a distinguished 30-year career that spans Broadway, television, and film. Since his acting debut, Benjamin has appeared in more than twenty feature films, and received a Golden Globe for his performance in The Sunshine Boys in 1975. In 1982, Benjamin made the transition from actor to director with My Favorite Year, a film that brought Peter O’Toole an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.  Benjamin has since directed Racing With The Moon with Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage, City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, Little Nikita with Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix, Made In America with Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson and many others. Throughout his career, he has received several Emmy, Golden Globe, and Golden Laurel nominations for his work. He most recently starred with George Segal at the Geffen Playhouse in the American premiere of Heroes, adapted and translated by Tom Stoppard. 

In discussing his appointment, Benjamin noted, "It’s fun to work with young people, listen to what they have to say, and share what I have to offer." 

The 15-week Filmmaker-in-Residence program includes screenings of the filmmaker’s own work followed by Q-and-A sessions, guest filmmaker screenings and discussions, and student mentoring.  Additionally, the Filmmaker-in-Residence interacts with the larger Dodge College community by participating in weekly dinners with students, providing them with the unique opportunity to hear directly from Hollywood’s elite about their experience in the business.  

The unique program, which consists of the Marion Knott Filmmaker-in-Residence and the Pankey Chair in Media Arts, spring semester programs, and the Hayde Filmmaker-in Residence, the O. L. Halsell Filmmaker-in-Residence, and the Tom and Joyce Tucker Filmmaker-in-Residence, all fall semester programs, is funded by endowment gifts from Chapman trustee emeritus Marion Knott, and Libby Pankey, widow of trustee Ed Pankey and a long-time Chapman supporter, as well as annual gifts from philanthropist Michael Hayde and his wife Lynette, who serves on the President’s Cabinet for Chapman University; the O.L. Halsell Foundation and philanthropists Tom and Joyce Tucker of Newport Beach. 

Press Contact: Elizabeth Hinckley 
Rogers & Cowan 
310 854 8199

Press Release PDF Available Here