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'21 Jump Street' Director Named Head of Bklyn College's New Film School

By Janet Upadhye | June 27, 2013 9:06am
 Jonathan Wacks, a noted director, producer, screenwriter, and educator, will join the Brooklyn College faculty as Founding Director of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema located at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Jonathan Wacks Named Director of Brooklyn College's School of Cinema
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NAVY YARD — Brooklyn College's Graduate School of Cinema now has a celebrity director to go with its big name new digs.

The new Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema named Jonathan Wacks, director of popular TV show "21 Jump Street," founding director of the school earlier this week. The graduate level film program will be located on the Steiner Studios lot at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and starting classes this fall.

“Feirstein is the first film school conceived, designed, and built in the 21st Century. As such, it will be free of old ways of thinking about filmmaking. We will offer an education that is responsive and relevant to the contemporary, global media environment,” said Wacks in a statement. “Movies are not just for movie theatres anymore; as filmmakers we are developing new ways of creating, distributing and understanding media content.”

Wacks is also notable for directing 90s classics "Mystery Date" and "Ed and His Dead Mother." But it was his directorial debut "Powwow Highway" that won the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, Best First Feature nomination at the Independent Sprit Awards, and Best Picture and Best Director awards at the American Indian Film Festival.

He currently chairs the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College.

Brooklyn College's Feirstein School of Cinema is the only film school in the United States to be located on a working film lot.

Blockbusters like "Revolutionary Road," the "Sex and the City" movies and "Namesake" plus television series "Girls," "Boardwalk Empire" and "30 Rock" were filmed at Steiner Studios.