So very bittersweet

Hello all,

I have some news to share. As some of you already know, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in New York City these past few months, but I’ve been very careful with sharing what exactly I’ve been up to. Now however, I can finally tell you that I’ve gone through a long and complicated application- and interview process at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

I was first introduced to the NYU program at a Cinema Falls event in 2015, when the Oscar-winning filmmaker and Chair of the film department, Barbara Schock, was in Sioux Falls.

NYU has been in the back of my head ever since.

Their graduate film (Masters Degree) program is consistently ranked top 3 in the WORLD, which also makes it one of the most competitive film programs out there. When I first heard that they receive about 3000 applications, and only accept 38, I was, strangely enough, even more intrigued, and I gave it a shot.

So, last fall I wrote a personal statement, a mini script, a concept, a short story and sent in my film work, just “because it was worth a try.” Then, in February, I was invited to an interview with the faculty before a long wait followed, and —

— I GOT IN!

To say that Barbara’s phone call “schocked” me, would be an understatement. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world, and I couldn’t believe I got to be one of those 38 individuals who would get to learn the craft of filmmaking at one of the best film schools in the world. I could suddenly see this golden path shining right in front of me, and becoming a filmmaker seemed easier than ever before.

Photo: Mike Shafer

 

But, there’s always a but.

Even though I got their maximum scholarship, I can’t afford to go.

If I include the financial aid and loans I get from Norway, I’ll have most of the tuition covered, but I’m still $30.000 short each of the three years because living expenses are crazy on Manhattan.

I honestly don’t know what to feel right now. I’m proud to have gotten in, but I’m also heartbroken to see this slip right through my fingers when I was so close.

But I try to tell myself that just getting in is an accomplishment in itself, and I give God, my family, Augustana, my professors Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Janet Blank-Libra, my friend Sarah Kocher and Julie Anderson Friesen at Cinema Falls credit for helping me get there. This would not have been possible without their help and support, and the journey has been fantastic.


I choose to trust God’s plan, and I’ve told him all along that I want to walk on His path, with or without NYU. I want to tell stories, and I want to honor Him with my work. Now I just have to find another   the   way to do it.

If I was put on this earth to be a filmmaker, I’ll be a filmmaker.

Photo: Mike Shafer

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

 

Now let’s see what He has in store.

Bless you all,
Maria

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