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Sarah N

- Research Program Mentor

MFA at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)


Filmmaking (directing, cinematography), screenwriting, film analysis


Hi there! I’m Sarah - it’s nice to meet you! I’m a recent graduate of UCLA’s Film Production MFA program. The past year was a culmination of my time at UCLA, during which I wrote and directed a feature length film. Prior to that, I worked as assistant to the director on the recent Netflix film, Purple Hearts. I hold a BA from Cornell University in performing and media arts with a minor in creative writing. Outside of the film world you can find me hiking, sewing, or creating 3D models on my computer. I also love to travel to new places and spend quality time with my family and friends!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Write and Direct a Short Film

The best way to learn filmmaking is, of course, by making a film! Together, we’ll walk through the process of writing and directing a short. You’ll pitch your idea, draft the script, create shot lists, floorplans, and storyboards, and then shoot and edit your footage. Throughout the process you’ll learn about the job of a director at each stage of filmmaking!

Create a Video Essay

A fantastic way to learn about the toolbox of a filmmaker is through film analysis. Is there a specific aspect of filmmaking you’d like to learn more about? Perhaps how different shot sizes (close ups, mediums, wide shots) convey different meanings to audiences? Or maybe how television shows structure their pilot episodes to hook you into watching a whole season? We’ll pick a filmmaking technique that interests you, and analyze how one of your favorite films or television shows utilizes it. You will culminate the project in a video essay breaking down and explaining what you have learned!

Story Collection

One of the greatest challenges of writing is conveying a full story in short form. In this project you will write a collection of five or more pieces - poems, flash fiction, personal essays, etc - that center around a cohesive theme. Throughout the process you’ll break down other authors’ works to better understand their methods, and how to improve upon your own. Lastly, you’ll organize and design your finished pieces into a printable booklet with a polished and professional look and feel!

Teaching experience

I have served as a teaching assistant at UCLA for various undergraduate courses and summer high school programming. Through this, I have worked one-on-one with students on various aspects of their projects - from pitching their ideas and writing scripts, to prepping for and shooting short films. I have comprehensive knowledge of how to adjust project ideas so that they are both challenging and realistic for any level!


Work experience

Netflix Film (2021 - 2021)
Assistant to Director


Cornell University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2018)
Performing and Media Arts (Film/Theater)
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
MFA Master of Fine Arts (2022)
Film Production (Directing)

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