Movies from Marlboro Spring 2016

"A premium learning experience" - NY Times

Are you ready to make a dramatic feature film? The Movies from Marlboro program offers the unique opportunity for students from Marlboro or any other college to gain both college credit AND professional film credit. Organized as the equivalent to a semester abroad, Movies from Marlboro combines the best of liberal arts education, professional preparation, and cultural immersion. 

I have been trying to find words these past few months to describe my love for this program, and I still cannot do it justice. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I grew more in this film intensive than any other time in my life, academically, professionally, and even socially. I think this opportunity is revolutionary for college film students. I feel that beyond my technical skills, I have developed wonderful professional relationships as well as many new friendships." - Lilly Tyson, 2014 participant, visiting from Wellesley College

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Press and More

Curious about our work? Northern Borders is now available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

“The stubborn old mule Bruce Dern played in “Nebraska” was a pussycat compared to the grudging old goat he portrays in “Northern Borders.” Dern made the movies back to back and is magnificent in both.  The movie’s a charmer with sense of integrity.” – Graham Fuller, NY Daily News

Peter and John premiered to a soldout audience June 27, 2015 at the Dreamland Theater as part of the Nantucket Film Festival. Link to a podcast from Nantucket's WCAI radio station to hear Jay talking about the project. 

"Jay Craven’s new film "Peter and John” is a sumptuous Romantic film of family intrigue in 19th-century Nantucket.  And it sizzles underneath its beautiful island scenery and authentic 1800s propriety. Think “Masterpiece Theater” — but with simmering emotions percolating beneath." - Rutland Herald

Program Overview

During this innovative hands-on film practicum, a team of college students and professionals will produce a feature film using professional actors, working under a Screen Actors Guild contract.

Our first Movies from Marlboro production, Northern Borders (filmed during winter/spring 2012) starred Academy Award nominated actors Bruce Dern and Geneviève Bujold, along with Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Moonrise Kingdom, The Omen) and 2010 Tony nominee Jessica Hecht (Sideways). Northern Borders has played 103 towns (and counting) and negotiations are taking place now for broader distribution.

Our second Movies from Marlboro film, Peter and John, based on the 19th seaside story by Guy de Maupassant, was filmed on location in Nantucket in March, April and May 2014. Peter and John stars 2014 Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Truffaut’s Day for Night, Chabrol’s Le Ceremonie), Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets, The Hours), Shane Patrick Kearns (Blue Collar Boys), Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black) and Emmy winner and Tony nominee Gordon Clapp (NYPD Blue, Matewan, Glengarry Glen Ross). Peter and John will premiere in Nantucket in June 2015.

The next semester-long program will take place in spring 2016. Students will convene at Marlboro College (in southeastern Vermont) mid-January, followed immediately by an expedition to the Sundance Film Festival. Back at Marlboro, seven weeks of study, training, and pre-production work on the Vermont campus will be followed by seven weeks of pre-production and production on location (TBA) that will fully immerse students in the culture and practice of an ambitious film shoot. Filming and coursework wraps by May.

Visit the courses page for more information about college credit and the filmmaking team page for more information about student roles on set.

Ready to learn even more? Visit the Application Process, Schedule, Costs and Financial Aid page.

Questions? Contact film director and professor Jay Craven.



Take 4

The Movies from Marlboro program is open to any current college undergraduate with a serious interest in independent feature filmmaking. We are particularly seeking students majoring in film production, film studies, theater, photography, studio arts, fashion design, marketing and communications.

Recent college graduates and film professionals, click here for information about opportunities for participation.

“This has been without a doubt the most unique educational experience of my life. Once we started shooting, it was completely different from any normal college class. Instead of reading, writing, and talking, everyone was doing things. Instead of talking about films, we got to make one. I was surprised by the quality of the professionals, the quality of the equipment, and the seriousness and scale of the whole project.” - Zebuolon Goertzel '14, Marlboro College

2016 Picture - Wetware

The 2016 Movies from Marlboro production will be based on Wetware—a noir thriller set in the near future, based on the novel by Craig Nova.

The Story

As a programmer for Galapagos Wetware, Briggs is responsible for writing the genetic code for simple, efficient creatures to be employed in menial jobs–sweeping streets or washing dishes. But the demands for “wetware” are changing, and Briggs is given a project that calls for more sophisticated models: clients are demanding more human appearance and behavior.

As the project progresses, Briggs starts to endow the new models with more than the specifications dictate, giving them distinct personalities and talents and highly developed acumens. When two of Briggs’ pet projects, Jack and Kay, escape, Briggs reexamines their codes and makes a terrifying yet provocative discovery.


“A haunting, heart-stoppingly exciting, brilliantly structured novel of suspense, ideas, and subtle characterization. . . . You can’t stop reading.” –Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Dealing with issues as hot as today’s headlines, Wetware explores the essence of what it means to be human.” –St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“There are three elements in a Craig Nova novel that you can rely on.  First there is the indelible atmosphere.  The second element is that there are characters who know they’re in trouble, but they have underestimated how much trouble they’re in and they are unsure as to which of the other characters they should fear most.  The third and most important element is that these characters, and their entwined stories, are on a meticulously plotted collision course.”  –John Irving 

Making Peter and John

Peter, John and their Mother

Pierre et Jean is widely credited for changing the course of narrative fiction. The book introduced intense psychological complexity into its naturalistic depiction of a family brought to the breaking point through startling revelations. The film is set during the mid-1800's, just before the start of Nantucket’s “ghost period”—after the demise of the whaling industry and before the rise of tourism. A team including 32 students worked with professional crew department leaders and mentors to shoot the film on location in Nantucket in the spring of 2014. The film will premiere in June 2015 on Nantucket.