Claremont McKenna College

February 15, 2014

Vol. 29 , No. 09   

View Entire Issue (Vol. 29 , No. 09)

A True Story Talk: Some Thoughts on Writing Screenplays Based on Real Events

Andrew Bienen is a screenwriter and professor of screenwriting. He cowrote the Academy Award winning and culturally significant Boys Don't Cry (1999) with Kimberly Peirce, the director of the film. Boys Don’t Cry dramatized the real-life story of Brandon Teena, who was beaten, raped, and murdered by his male acquaintances after they discovered he was transgender. When it premiered in 1999, the film was met with widespread critical acclaim. Writing for The New York Times, Janet Muslin described the film as, “Moving inexorably, and with great innate suspense, toward disaster, it still savors the visions of transcendence and escape that Brandon Teena offered. Unlike most films about mind-numbing tragedy, this one manages to be full of hope.”

In addition to his career as screenwriter, Bienen is also an Associate Professor of Screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School. Previously, he also taught at La Femis (Paris), New York University, and the New School.
Bienen has an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia, and an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia. He has written screenplays for Dreamworks and New Line Cinema, and served as a story consultant at Miramax Films. He lives in New York City.

Andy Bienen’s visit to campus and Athenaeum talk is sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at CMC.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum was conceived as a place where students and faculty could gather for intellectual discourse in an intimate and relaxed setting and integrate their academic and social lives. Public programs are scheduled Monday through Thursday during the academic year and are publicized through the bi-weekly newsletter, The Fortnightly.

While events are primarily for students, the Athenaeum hosts lunches, dinners, and receptions for academic classes, student organizations, and official functions of the College.

Upcoming Speakers View Full Schedule

Make a Meal Reservation Weekly Dinner Menu

The Fortnightly

The Fortnightly contains program news of the current speakers and topics for the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College.

Read Current Issue

Speakers Database

A searchable archive of past Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum speakers with information on topics and links to related Fortnightly issues.

Search the Speaker Database

Follow M.M.C. Athenaeum


Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8244
Fax: (909) 621-8579

Campus Location

385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711