Alum's ambition leads her to Russia and worldwide film festivals
RELEASED: August 30, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—When Catherine Mattingly '88 left her lucrative position as a corporate executive to make a movie, she lacked one very important thing: experience in filmmaking. But the essentials she did have—passion, faith in her own intuition and a very supportive husband—led her to the success she's now experiencing with her first film.
After graduating from Centre in 1988 and from law school in 1995, Mattingly, a Somerset, Ky., native who now lives in Bethesda, Md., decided in 2004 to produce the documentary KHORISTORIA: The Story of the Yale Russian Chorus. (Click here for the trailer.)
"I thought the project would be a good starter film, a chance to get some experience quickly," she said. "I'd be in and out in six months."
Three years later the completed documentary recently had its world premiere at the Woods Hole Film Festival on Cape Cod. Mattingly's film was also part of the Globians Film Festival in Potsdam, Germany.
Mattingly's film examines the impact a group of enthusiastic college students had on the Cold War. In 1953, Denis Mickiewicz made his way from the refugee camps of Europe to Yale University, where he encountered the Yale Russian Club. Passionate about his native music, Mickiewicz inspired the club to become a chorus. In addition to their musical accomplishments, chorus members engaged in some of the first private-initiative, person-to-person cultural exchanges of the Cold War. KHORISTORIA follows Mickiewicz as he whips nearly 200 singers from five decades, most of whom he has never met, into a cohesive unit for their 50th anniversary concert.
"I hope to have the film broadcast on public television stations and screened at colleges and universities this fall," Mattingly said. Her film will also be shown at the upcoming Bluegrass Independent Film Festival in La Grange, Ky. Showtime is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Oldham Escape 8 in LaGrange. After the screening, Mattingly will conduct a question and answer session.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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