Back to the Big Screen welcomes Poly’s inaugural Filmmaker-in-Residence Cole Swanson ‘19 who will present his recent short film, Baby (2021), alongside an advanced screening of Betty & Blue (2024). As part of his residence, Cole will also be on campus visiting classes, hosting film directing workshops, and offering critiques to film students.
Cole stands as an acclaimed luminary, a screenwriter and film director celebrated not only for his prowess in crafting narratives but also for his illustrious collaborations with industry titans. Cole has worked in the realms of storytelling and the dynamic arenas of collaboration, where he has lent his visionary touch to the likes of Converse and Universal Music Group, sculpting visual opuses for renowned artists including James Blake, Selena Gomez, The Beatles, and Lana del Rey.
Cole's creative educational journey culminated in 2023 where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television Production from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In pursuit of artistic mastery, he was selected as a director at England's National Film and Television School, where the nuanced craft of directing and storytelling was further developed.
Cole's narrative tapestry weaves threads of innovation and artistry, illuminating the creative landscape with each endeavor all while further cultivating a new genre he has coined as "New Wave Black Naturalism." His new film Betty & Blue shot on 16mm film and starring Keith David will start its festival run in 2024. Cole is also developing his debut feature film Bloom, a coming-of-age drama/romance set in the gorgeous landscape of Tuscany, Italy. This is in collaboration with Pineloft Entertainment and 1PLUS1Productions, UK artist Skepta’s production company.
Back to the Big Screen, a monthly screening series, provides the opportunity for the greater Poly community to experience a selection of cinematic titles in a big screen format in our very own Garland Theater over the course of the academic year. This chance to revisit titles that we may have never seen on the big screen will encompass the screening of a select film of relevance followed by moderated discussion among those in attendance at each evening event.