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Cinematographer Tom Ackerman to deliver Sara Driver ’77 Filmmaking Lecture

An acclaimed cinematographer with major motion pictures, music videos, commercials and documentaries to his credit will headline Randolph College’s Sara Driver Film Festival this year.

Tom Ackerman, whose work includes films such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Anchorman , will deliver a public talk titled “Cinematography Reinvented” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Leading up to his talk, the film festival will show four films with photography by Ackerman.

In addition to feature film photography, Ackerman has worked on music videos for artists including Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and the Pretenders, and documentary features in a career that spans four decades.

“With this diverse background, he will have an interesting perspective on how filmmaking has changed with the advent of digital technologies,” said Jennifer Gauthier, a Randolph communication studies professor who coordinates the Driver festival. “Tom will share behind-the-scenes insight into how visual messages are crafted and screen some of his work.”

All of the film screenings take place in Nichols Theatre. Film screenings in the festival include:

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. : Los Zafiros: Music from the Edge of Time , a 2007 documentary about a1960s Cuban musical sensation.

Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. : National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation , a 1989 comedy starring Chevy Chase as the father of the Griswold family, whose outrageous Christmas plans go awry.

Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m. : Jumanji , a fantasy adventure film starring Robin Williams and featuring a supernatural board game in which wild animals and other jungle hazards materialize upon each player’s move.

Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. : Ackerman will introduce and screen two Tim Burton films he worked on: Beetlejuice , the 1988 film starring Michael Keaton as an obnoxious un-dead exorcist, and Frankenweenie , a 1984 short live-action film that was made into a feature-length film in 2012.

Each event is free and open to the public.

The festival is named in honor of Sara Driver ’77, an alumna who built a distinguished independent film career. Each year, the festival brings filmmakers to Randolph to discuss artistry, issues, and development in film. It is part of the Sara Driver ’77 Digital Filmmaking Course and Lecture Series funded by her mother Martha (Lou) Miller Driver ’50.

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