Filmmaker Peter Farrelly will be the featured speaker at the School of the Arts Presentation of Diplomas, to be held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. , Wednesday, May 19, at Miller Theatre.
The event takes place after the Columbia University Commencement Ceremony, and is restricted to ticket holders.
Farrelly graduated in 1986 from Columbia's School of the Arts Writing Division. He merged his very particular comic sensibilities with younger brother Bobby Farrelly and became one of the premiere auteurs of film comedy. While he and Bobby attempted to break into Hollywood as screenwriters, Peter also published his first novel, Outside Providence, in 1988. The brothers' first break came when Eddie Murphy took a shine to Peter's first script, Dust to Dust. The Farrelly brothers also sold two Seinfeld episodes and several screenplays.
Peter's directorial debut, Dumb and Dumber (1994) showcased not only rising star Jim Carrey's manic talents, but also the Farrellys' taste for combining grotesquely hilarious physical exploits with an affectionate love story. They continued their success with the Amish bowling comedy Kingpin (1996); the pair's third feature, There's Something About Mary (1998), also became a mega-hit.
Along with the New York Film Critics' Best Actress prize, There's Something About Mary won several MTV Movie Awards -- and spawned numerous imitators. Taking a step away from their signature “gross-out” comedy, Peter published his second novel, The Comedy Writer (1998), and the Farrellys co-scripted and produced Peter's coming-of-age story Outside Providence (1999) for
director Michael Corrente. The Farrellys returned to form when they resurrected an old script and retooled it into another Jim Carrey vehicle, Me, Myself & Irene (2000).
Peter and Bobby Farrelly kept busy, serving as producers on the comedy Say It Isn't So (2001) and began the summer movie season with the comedy Osmosis Jones (2001). Shallow Hal (2001), featuring Gwyneth Paltrow as the outwardly obese but inwardly willowy object of Jack Black's affection was a popular success with audiences.
The brothers are currently developing a project they have been coveting for years, a feature version of The Three Stooges. The Farrellys will also be also be wearing the hat of producer for upcoming projects with 20th Century Fox on both the big and small screen.