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Kate Berlant '05 and Samy Burch '05 Return to Alma Mater for Archer Film Festival

Emmy-nominated comedian and actress KATE BERLANT '05 and Oscar-nominated screenwriter SAMY BURCH '05 will make a triumphant homecoming to The Archer School for Girls. The talented Archer alumnae will participate in the thirteenth annual Archer Film Festival on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Writers Guild Theater at 7:00 p.m., using their success to inspire young, underrepresented voices in the world of film.
During their time at Archer, Berlant and Burch forged a powerful creative bond. Berlant said, "I met the genius Samy Burch '05 at Archer, and she was my first deeply creative friendship. We continue to collaborate, and I continue to be endlessly inspired by her." Both have since established themselves as trailblazers in the entertainment industry.

Berlant, an Emmy-nominated comedian, actress, and writer, recently concluded her fourth sold-out run of her one-woman off-Broadway play, “KATE,” directed by Bo Burnham, to overwhelming acclaim. Her comedy special, “Cinnamon in the Wind,” is now streaming on Hulu. Additionally, her sketch comedy special "Would It Kill You to Laugh?" created with collaborator John Early, has received Critic's Choice and Primetime Emmy award nominations. Berlant has also made notable appearances in films such as "Dream Scenario" directed by Kristoffer Borgli, Olivia Wilde's "Don't Worry Darling," and Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

Burch earned an Oscar nomination for her screenplay “May December" (2023). Directed by Todd Haynes and starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton, the film premiered in competition at the 76th Cannes Film Festival and served as the Opening Night Film of the 61st New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Burch studied screenwriting at NYU's Tisch in the Department of Dramatic Writing, where she studied closely under Sabrina Dhawan and the late, Tony-nominated playwright Leslie Lee. "May December" is her first produced screenplay and has garnered critical acclaim, winning the Best Screenplay Award from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Screenplay.

The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University has studied gender disparities in the top 100 grossing films since 2002. This year, they examined the 2,200 characters appearing in the top performers in 2023. Only 35% of the speaking roles in 2023 films were held by women. And that’s down from 37% the previous year. In an industry where the gender gap and lack of diversity remain significant challenges, The Archer Film Festival aims to bridge these divides by providing a platform for students with unique perspectives to showcase their work. The festival strives to empower young creatives and advance the art of filmmaking.

The Archer Film Festival, organized and led by students, seeks to empower and showcase young, underrepresented voices in the world of film. In addition to the Q&A panel featuring Berlant and Burch, the festival will screen a selection of finalist films. Last year, the festival received over 300 student-produced film submissions from more than 50 countries worldwide. Esteemed sponsors of the event include The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Mark Gordon Pictures, Paramount, and Intrepid Pictures.

For more information about The Archer School for Girls and the festival, visit www.archer.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or TikTok at @ArcherSchoolforGirls.
The Archer School for Girls admits students of any race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status in its hiring or in the administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, financial aid programs or other school-administered programs. 

The Archer School for Girls’ mission is to educate students in an environment specifically designed for girls. As such, the school will consider any candidate for admission who identifies as a girl. Once admitted to Archer, all students in good academic standing who abide by Archer’s code of conduct and who meet requirements for graduation will be eligible to receive an Archer diploma, regardless of any change in sexual identity or other legally protected status.