Brooklyn College’s Ben Snyder Wins Best Screenplay at Tribeca Festival

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In Ben Snyder’s feature film Allswell, three Puerto Rican sisters from New York City face the challenges of single motherhood, career and family. Photo courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival

Brooklyn College Film lecturer and writer/director Ben Snyder won Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival for his feature, “Everything is fine.”

Enrolled in the Narrative Feature category, the film was co-written and based on real-life scripts by lead actress Elizabeth Rodriguez. The film is an emotionally charged comedy-drama chronicling three Nuyorican sisters navigating the challenges of single motherhood, career, and family, while finding humor and solace in the bonds of sisterhood.

The film follows Snyder’s acclaimed 2016 directorial and feature debut, 11:55which was co-written with Ari Issler and military veteran Victor Almanzar and tells the story of a U.S. Marine returning to his hometown, where he struggles to escape his violent past.

“As a filmmaker, I’ve grappled with the extractive nature of narrative storytelling and explored how we can democratize story development and ownership,” Snyder said. “11:55for me, was a look at late capitalism through an anti-Western. Everything is fine is a family comedy-drama about trauma and redemption. Both films were developed with the actors and inspired by real life events.

Brooklyn College film lecturer and writer/director Ben Snyder. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn College

A review of the film on the entertainment news site The envelope said: “Describing the plot of Everything is fine does not faithfully convey the impressive and completely natural experience of the film. The actors struck no false notes, interacting with each other with an unmistakable aura of shared experience. Humor and pathos blend seamlessly, so even life’s little moments are at least a little captivating.

Snyder has taught screenwriting at Brooklyn College since 2018. His shorts have screened at film festivals including Cannes, Aspen, and Austin, as well as on PBS. He was a story consultant for the award-winning Sundance documentary The pack of wolves and developed television for BET, Channel 4 and Lionsgate Entertainment. Snyder was also a writer for the Netflix series Grand Army and a producer for the HBO series Betty.

Brooklyn College has been an important institution in the borough for more than 90 years. Today, it has approximately 16,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, education, and business. It is part of the CUNY system.

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