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Christopher Nolan, Edgar Wright Surprise NYU Students with Epic Graduation Speeches

Edgar Wright and Rian Johnson joined the "Tenet" director to see off the 2020 NYU Tisch Cinema Studies graduating class.

Christopher Nolan on Zoom

Christopher Nolan on Zoom

Eric Kohn

The Cinema Studies students at New York University got the graduation of a lifetime when filmmakers Christopher Nolan, Edgar Wright, and Rian Johnson made surprise appearances during the Zoom video chat festivities. The A-list directors all dropped into the video chat to send well wishes to the graduating class of 2020. “Dark Knight” and “Tenet” director Nolan reminded the students that cinema needs the fresh new voices they can offer as they head out into the world with film school behind them.

“Congratulations on your magnificent achievement,” Nolan said. “I know how hard all of you worked and I would just like to say the world you’re going out into is one in which the value of stories, storytellers, and those who care passionately about the history of storytelling and its future…we need your voices, we need new voices, and we need your passion. I, for one, am very excited to see where you will go and what you will do. Congratulations and I wish you all the best.”

Edgar Wright also sent along his congratulations, adding, “I know this has been a long, hard journey to get here and I know you’d all love to celebrate with each other and I’m sorry you cant do that, but this is still a milestone in your lives and you should all be very, very proud of yourselves for what you’ve done. If it makes you feel any better, I never got to graduate either because I never went to film school. You’re already doing much, much better than me. Another positive thing you can get out of this coronavirus situation is you’ve never had a better excuse to stay at home and watch tons and tons of film. I genuinely am watching at least three movies a day…There’s never been a better time to be a shut-in film geek.”

Several of the world’s biggest filmmakers have taken time out of their respective quarantines to surprise film students with words of wisdom on video chat. Both David Fincher and Denis Villeneuve teamed last month with the United Kingdom’s National Film and Television School to give directing masterclasses to over 400 film students each. The 2020 graduation for NYU Tisch Cinema Studies was held May 21 on Zoom.

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