Director BIO: Jacob Langsner (LIFE OF DEATH DEBATES)

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Jacob Langsner is a Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Langsner is currently a student at Stanford University. Beyond filmmaking, he studies ethical philosophy, creative writing, and political science. He is a published poet, having pieces in the “Stanford Daily Magazine”. Langsner also participates in the Stanford Storytelling Project. Langsner is considering an “Ethics in Society” Honors thesis, which will explore morality, ethics, and justice in the context of modern storytelling.

To date, Jacob Langsner has directed and produced over twenty short films. These projects range from experimental to documentary and dramatic narrative. Langsner’s films have received critical acclaim from multiple festivals and competitions. His documentary “Going Home” premiered at the 2018 Sonoma International Film Festival, where it was selected to open the festival. That film also received an IMPACT Documentary award. Langsner’s experimental film “How to Ride a Bike” also premiered in 2018 at FilmOneFest. That same year, his experimental film “Touched” was exhibited at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center. Five of Langsner’s dramatic shorts have been selected to premiere at the All-American High School Film Festival (2015-2018), and one at the Scout Film Festival (2017). Langsner also received two Gold Medals at the Skills USA Digital Filmmaking 24-hour competition (2015 & 2016). In 2016, Langsner was selected for the Harvard Prize Book Award for academic excellence in concert with his artistic pursuits.

As an emerging filmmaker, Langsner participated in the “Motion Picture Producing and Directing” program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (Summer 2018). This program was held in partnership with Universal Studios; Langsner was one of the youngest people to direct a short film on Universal’s New York Backlot.

In 2018, Langsner also spent time managing the Instagram page for the Scout Film Festival as an invited filmmaker. Other film and writing endeavors include: participation in the Cherubs National High School Institute for Film and Video at Northwestern University (2016); participation in the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio at the University of Iowa (2016), and the study of speculative fiction and media psychology at Brown University’s pre-college program (2015).

Langsner began his artistic career with a major in Theatre at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts: a nationally acclaimed Grammy-winning arts magnet high school in Nevada. Langsner acted in over 10 plays and musicals, including leading roles as Orpheus in Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice”, and as Lee Baum in “The American Clock”, by Arthur Miller. Early in his high school career at the Las Vegas Academy, Langsner pioneered the creation of a new “Video Production” major. He graduated as Valedictorian, and as the first double major in Theatre and Video Production.

 

Director Statement

 

I wrote, directed, and shot “Life or Death Debates” at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Summer production program. This film is a final testament to the breadth of knowledge I acquired at USC. It is an exercise in drawing the most impact from the fewest resources: one stark location, three actors, and six hours to shoot.
The content is inspired by my studies in philosophy during my freshman year at Stanford. As I begin to cement a plan for establishing a college major, I intend to marry my passions for filmmaking and philosophy, ultimately examining the crucial intersection between storytelling and ethics. As “Life or Death Debates” is a heartfelt goodbye to the brilliant professors and fellow filmmakers at USC, it is also an excited hello to the coming years of artistry and intellectual engagement.

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