Just days after the anticipated “Succession” Season 4 premiere will air on HBO, marking the final season of the highly acclaimed show, award-winning filmmakers and producers Michael Kantor ‘83 and Scott Ferguson ‘82 will be visiting Cornell’s Campus March 28-29.
This “From the Big Red to the Red Carpet” event, which is open to the public. is part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Arts Unplugged series. This series aims to provide outreach events to discuss creative works across all backgrounds with the community.
Kantor graduated from Cornell with a bachelor’s degree in theater studies and is now an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning executive producer. His credits include the PBS series “American Masters” and the new documentary, “Dr. Tony Fauci,” focusing on Fauci’s response efforts during the COVID pandemic. Ferguson also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater and has since become an executive producer on the show “Succession.” He has won an Emmy, Producers Guild, Golden Globe and Critics Choice award for his lauded work, along with receiving the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America for “The Normal Heart.”
The event will kick off at Cornell Cinema on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m., giving attendees the chance to hear about Kantor and Ferguson’s producing experience through their four decades of work. Austin Bunn, associate professor of performing and media arts, will moderate the discussion. For those who cannot attend in-person, the talk will be livestreamed, with no cost of charge to register. Following this discussion, a reception will be held in the Memorial Room of Willard Straight Hall, offering an exclusive opportunity to meet the producers and enjoy some food.
On Wednesday, March 29, two screenings will be held at Cornell Cinema to cap off the visit; at 5:30 p.m., footage from Season 4 of “Succession” will be shown, and at 7:30 p.m., the documentary “Dr. Tony Fauci” will be screened. Both sessions will be followed by Q&As from Ferguson and Kantor, respectively, as they share insight into their creative endeavors.
Molly Ryan, director of Cornell Cinema, is co-organizing the event along with the Department of Performing & Media Arts and the College of Arts & Sciences. Ryan said that the team is delighted to welcome the two producers, formerly classmates together, back to Cornell. She especially praises their willingness to not only present their work, but share their wisdom with current students.
“During this two-day visit, Ferguson and Kantor will offer an inside look at the complex and often mysterious role of a television producer,” Ryan said. “We can expect behind-the-scenes scoop on some of their favorite projects, honest insights about what it takes to ‘make it’ in the film industry, and thoughtful reflections on the formative experiences of their careers.”
In addition to the chance to hear from “Succession” production designer Stephen Carter about his work creating the world that the Roy family inhabits, Ryan said fans will have a chance to ask Ferguson their burning questions about the final season, how the show will conclude, and what its impact has been on television.
“In addition to these exciting, public-facing events, the filmmakers will be joining Cornell classes and meeting with student filmmakers during their visit,” Ryan said. “We may even have a few special guests ‘zooming’ in on Wednesday evening, so stay tuned!”
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