Women perform alongside male counterparts for first time in group’s 171-year history Coed Hasty Pudding makes its debut Harvard Film Archive to screen famous director’s silent-era films Related Hitchcock’s silent side ‘While other kids were going out for sports teams and trading ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ cards, I was already a 40-year-old, fedora-wearing film snob’ From the Everglades to Tribeca When the Sundance Film Festival begins Thursday, Harvard’s artistic talent will be well represented. “Beast Beast,” starring Shirley Chen ’22, and “Some Kind of Heaven,” directed by Lance Oppenheim ’19, will premiere in NEXT, the category for young filmmakers. In interviews, Chen, a history and literature concentrator, and Oppenheim recounted the paths they took toward filmmaking.Chen’s journey began when she landed role of Krista in the short film of the same name in 2017. The story of a teenage girl who experiences harassment and uses theater to express emotions she doesn’t know how to process, “Krista” had such a small budget that the cinematographer used a skateboard as a dolly for action shots. Chen, then a junior at a public arts high school in Los Angeles, had to leave the South by Southwest premiere early to get back for classes, and missed collecting the winning prize for best acting in a narrative short.“I had been excited to visit Texas for the first time, and I knew ‘Krista’ was a pitch for a larger feature, but I thought, ‘Maybe they’ll replace me,’” Chen recalled.Instead, Alec Baldwin signed on to executive produce, and Chen became the lead in the feature-length “Beast Beast” about three teens growing up and facing tragedy.,Recently, the Quincy House resident reflected on her journey as an Asian American actress, from initial typecasting as the “quirky best friend” or “type A student” to stronger female parts (among them Molly in “Peter and the Star Catcher” during senior year of high school, and as one of the first women cast in the Hasty Pudding show last year). Last fall, she co-directed “M. Butterfly” at Loeb X with Eric Cheng ’20.“At Harvard, I’ve been able to explore artistic sides of myself that are assertive. I studied acting in high school and always wanted to do more creatively, but I always doubted myself. Particularly in directing, you can’t doubt yourself,” Chen said. “The industry is moving toward telling universally powerful stories, and I hope I can help tell those stories, whether on the creative side or in front of the camera.”For “Beast Beast,” which was filmed in Peachtree City, Ga. (the “golf cart capital of the world”), Chen knew they were onto something unique.“We’re telling a story that moves people in certain ways that are new and not in traditional film-making, like exploring modern-day relationships with gun violence and today’s internet culture,” she said. “It’s filled with so much passion. I feel like I was making something powerful.”,Oppenheim took a different route. He turned his senior thesis, a 35-minute documentary, into a full-length documentary film just six months after graduation — with help from some Harvard experts.“I basically convinced Ross McElwee, Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti, and Lucien Castaing-Taylor to basically edit the film in each of their respective classes,” said the 23-year-old, who now lives in New York City. “Each professor brought such different perspectives to the material. … It almost felt like being in an intensive artist residency for the year.”For the film set in his native Florida, Oppenheim and his team spent 18 months following four seniors living at The Villages, the largest retirement community in the U.S. The “Truman Show”-type world, a themed development designed to simulate the American yesteryear, appealed to the young filmmaker, whose work has explored how people create homes in “nontraditional places and spaces.”“I heard a lot about The Villages while growing up. The media always like to focus on the most outrageous stories — stories about The Villages supposedly having the highest rates of STDs in Central Florida. I wanted to see what it was really about for myself, and headed down to the community during the summer of my junior year. For 30 days, I lived in a rental room in The Villages with retired rodeo clowns and tried my best at living The Villages lifestyle. Once I got past how surreal the place was, I realized it was the people who lived there, especially those on the margins of the place, who were far more interesting.”,“Some Kind of Heaven” was a both Harvard and a family affair for Oppenheim. His sister Melissa Oppenheim ’12 produced the film; Daniel Garber ’13 edited it; and Oppenheim’s classmates Christian Vasquez ’19, Austin Weber ’19, and David Shayne ’19 served as co-producer, still photographer, and assistant editor, respectively. Oppenheim later teamed with producers Darren Aronofsky ’91 (“Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream”), Pacho Velez ’02, and The New York Times in one of its first ventures as a production company.“The thing about VES [the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, [now the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies] is that it equipped me with a language of how to get in sync with my other collaborators. Even with someone like Darren who’s been at this for a long time, there was a certain familiarity and ease to working with him,” Oppenheim said. “He was almost another professor in a way.”Oppenheim was struck by how similar the lives of his documentary subjects felt to his own life as College student. “For a lot of people who live in The Villages, it’s like going back to college again. Despite being three generations removed from many of the people featured in this movie, I was surprised at how relatable I found many of their pursuits. In the popular imagination, the elderly transcend their youthful passions to lead lives informed by hard-won wisdom. That may be true for some people, but that stereotype ignores the reality for most older people, especially those in this film, who are no less crazy or complicated or full of desire than anyone I know,” he said. “In my mind, this is like a coming-of-age story, just one that takes place nearing life’s final chapters.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
A court has forced the €424bn asset manager APG to pay former board member Adri van der Wurff an initially agreed severance payment of €1.1m. The court ruling came after APG’s supervisory board (RvC) back-tracked on an agreement from early 2014, in order to moderate the severance payment in Van der Wurff’s employment contract, according to APG spokesman Hans ten Brinke.He said the RvC unilaterally changed its initial decision after the passage of new legislation on remuneration policy at financial companies (Wbfo) in the Netherlands.The Wbfo came into force on 1 January, limiting golden handshakes to a single year’s salary. “Given current circumstances, with, for example, hardly any perspective for indexation following the stricter rules of the new financial assessment framework, the RvC deemed the agreed severance payment no longer reasonable,” APG’s spokesman said. “Therefore, it limited the amount to €506,000, including a compensation for pension rights Van der Wurff would have missed.”In its annual report, APG’s board said the severance payment consisted of more than €250,000 for redundancy and more than €256,000 for pension loss, adding that the sum of these amounts equated to a year’s salary.According to the Wbfo, the cap on a golden handshake applies to all financial enterprises but not to pension funds.APG is the asset manager and provider for the €373bn civil service scheme ABP.Van der Wurff could not be contacted by IPE for comment.However, Dutch broadcaster RTLNieuws, which broke the news, said he had confirmed the facts of the story.Van der Wurff served as executive chairman at Cordares – the provider for BpfBOUW, the industry-wide scheme for the Dutch building sector.Cordares joined APG and was fully integrated into it in 2012.From then, Van der Wurff subsequently served as chief operational officer, chief client officer and board adviser at APG.Both parties agreed his departure was the result of “differing opinions about policy”, as well as personal reasons.In 2007, the severance payment of Joep Schouten, Van der Wurff’s predecessor at Cordares, also raised eyebrows.Schouten, who was 59 at the time, decided to hold on to the financial package – agreed in 1994, at the start of his chairmanship – of a full salary until his official retirement at 65, as well as early retirement benefits, despite having been asked by the RvC to “considerably limit” the financial arrangements.As a result, delegates of the Dutch pensions sector, including union representatives, boycotted Schouten’s departure reception.
LONDON, CMC – The Commonwealth Secretary General, Dame Patricia Scotland says a new study has shown that small member states could be losing out on US$4.5 billion of overseas development assistance.Need strategies to help small states She said as a result of the study conducted by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat she is urging the development of strategies to help small and vulnerable states improve their ability to effectively access and use development assistance.Dame Patricia will be among delegates attending an International Monetary Fund (IMF)/ World Bank conference on Building Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change in the Caribbean on Monday. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be the featured speaker.The Commonwealth Secretary General will participate in a discussion on incentives and financing to build resilience.“The Caribbean has been through testing and distressing times in recent years, with storms and hurricanes of unprecedented intensity causing widespread devastation. We commend the international community for rallying to provide support, and the affected countries for their practical resolve to build back better and stronger.Much work to do“But we have a lot of work to do to address inherent and systemic barriers to building resilience, such as debt, limited private financing and capacity constraints,” she said, adding that “one key area we need urgently to improve is coordination among organizations and donors so countries are able to access and utilize financial assistance more swiftly through processes that are more streamlined.Missed out on $4.5 billion of aid“It is of great concern that a preliminary Commonwealth study shows that small and vulnerable states failed to utilize $4.5 billion of development assistance made available between 2010 and 2016,” she said ahead of the conference in Washington.Plans for building resilience to disasters The Commonwealth Secretariat said that at the conference it will present its plans for working alongside member countries to build resilience to disasters and climate change.It said these include the Commonwealth Finance Access Hub, which is helping developing states make successful applications for projects related to climate change, the new Disaster Risk Financing Portal, which will give countries open, 24-hour access to key information on financing facilities and a proposed Universal Vulnerability Index to build global consensus on the definition and measurement of the factors that combine to render countries vulnerable to environmental and financial challenges.Head of Economic Policy and Small States at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Travis Mitchell, said the issues of development finance for resilience building and disaster risk were upmost in the minds of Commonwealth finance ministers during their annual meeting in Bali last month.“We have a clear mandate to come up with innovative and effective strategies to address this issue. So in January we are going to hold the first ever Annual Research Conference on Small States in Malta under the theme “Building Resilience Through Disaster Risk Reduction”.“This will bring together experts and academics to explore new and emerging developments in disaster risk reduction.”