Director Spike Lee, Keynote Speaker 2010
Spike Lee grew up in Brooklyn and attended Morehouse College of Atlanta and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Television. Lee has starred in more than 25 commercials, beginning in 1988 with his famous Nike Air Jordan ads. He has also produced and directed numerous music videos for such artists as Michael Jackson and Tracy Chapman. Lee has received critical praise and box office success for such films as “Do the Right Thing,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Clockers” and “Get on the Bus.” His epic drama “Malcolm X,” starring Denzel Washington, received two Academy-Award nominations. The award-winning film producer, director and writer presented a stirring speech headlined by the phrase “Following Your Dreams,” encouraging students not to settle, but to pursue their dreams.
Director Jason Reitman, Keynote Speaker 2011
Jason Reitman majored in Creative Writing / English at the University of Southern California and directed numerous commercials and short films, making his feature film-directing debut with the 2006 hit, “Thank You for Smoking.” Based on the novel by Christopher Buckley and adapted by Reitman for the screen, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture. Director Jason Reitman has also received outstanding acclaim for “Juno,” and “Up in the Air.” Entertaining aspiring future filmmakers and film fans, Reitman voiced his inspirations in film-making from the days of his youth to the experiences and craft behind his emerging career as an established filmmaker.
Director Morgan Spurlock , Keynote Speaker 2012
Best known for his critically-acclaimed hit documentary Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock is a prolific, Oscar and Emmy-nominated film and television documentarian and campus speaker. He is the former host and creator of the popular reality program on FX, 30 Days. Spurlock now hosts Current TV’s 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die and produces the online series Failure Club, which follows seven people as they try to achieve their dreams. Spurlock’s latest documentaries are Comic-Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, which chronicles the madness surrounding San Diego Comic-Con, and Mansome, which features an all-star cast of commentators including Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Zach Galifianakis who opine on the grooming habits of the 21st century man.
In 2011, he also released The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, a serious yet tongue-in-cheek look at the ubiquity of branding in our daily lives.The Hollywood Reporter described it as “hilarious and sly,” and The Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed it “masterful.”