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‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart A. Lyons, ‘First Cow’ director Kelly Reichardt to appear at DePaul University

Visiting Artists Series brings award-winning directors, writers, producers to Loop Campus


Give Me Liberty
DePaul's Visiting Artists Series will bring filmmakers to campus this winter, including director Kirill Mikhanovsky of “Give Me Liberty." (Image courtesy of Music Box Films)
CHICAGO — Creators of award-winning television shows and movies will appear at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts for its Visiting Artists Series this winter. The events feature screenings and onstage discussions from leading talent in the entertainment industry, including producer Stewart A. Lyons of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.” 

Other featured filmmakers in the series are Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow,” “Wendy and Lucy” and “Certain Women”); Kirill Mikhanovsky and Alice Austen (“Give Me Liberty”); and Jennifer Reeder (“Knives and Skin”). 

“We are thrilled to feature directors, writers and producers who have been recognized by the Emmys, the Independent Spirit Awards, and elite film festivals,” said Wendy Roderweiss, chair of the series and a professional lecturer in DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts. “DePaul’s highly regarded Visiting Artists Series is a unique forum that features in-depth conversations with today’s best filmmakers,” Roderweiss said. 

All events are held on DePaul’s Loop Campus in the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building at 247 S. State St., in the CDM Theater, Lower Level Room 105. Events are free to the public but seating is limited, register at

The events will also be live-streamed and posted at

Conversation, screening with “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” producer Stewart A. Lyons
Feb. 21
6-9 p.m.
Stewart A. Lyons has served many roles in the film and TV industry, including co-executive producer, line producer and production executive. He has worked with companies including Netflix, Warner Brothers and HBO on 33 television series and 27 pilot episodes, of which 20 were ordered to series, and numerous feature films and TV movies. His most recent and notable work was as the co-executive producer for the premiere season of “Better Call Saul,” and as line producer for “Breaking Bad.” 

Screening of “Give Me Liberty” with Kirill Mikhanovsky and Alice Austen
Feb. 28
Movie screening: 5:30 p.m.
Onstage discussion: 7:30 p.m.
From director Kirill Mikhanovsky and co-writer and producer Alice Austen comes “Give Me Liberty,” a movie about how the protagonist’s derailed day ends up revealing a hilarious and compassionate intersectional portrait of American dreams and disenchantment. Born in Russia, Mikhanovsky’s passion for film began at an early age and drove him to film school before travelling the world to make award-winning films like his first feature, “Sohnos De Peixe,” which won the Critics Week award at the Cannes Film Festival. Austen grew up in the Pacific Northwest and studied law before producing award-winning plays for theaters around the U.S. and Europe. She brings her background as a former international lawyer to the table when producing movies. 

Screening of “Knives and Skin” with director Jennifer Reeder
March 6
Movie screening: 5:30 p.m.
Onstage discussion: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Jennifer Reeder’s “Knives and Skin” follows the unfolding events when a wave of fear and distrust breaks out in a small Midwestern town after the disappearance of a high school student. Reeder’s narratives focus on relationships, trauma and coping, and take cues from amateur music videos and magical realism. Her films have been shown around the world, including at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and the London Film Festival. 

Screening of “Certain Women” with director Kelly Reichardt
March 11
Movie screening: 5:30 p.m.
Onstage discussion: 7:45-8:30 p.m.
Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women” is based on three short stories from American writer Maile Meloy, in which the lives of trailblazing women cross paths in small town America. The film stars Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristin Stewart and Lily Gladstone. Hailed as one of America’s greatest independent filmmakers, Reichardt’s other feature films include “First Cow,” “Night Moves,” “Wendy and Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff.” In addition to directing, Reichardt is an artist-in-residence at Bard College. Following the screening of “Certain Women,” Reichardt will take the stage for a discussion with the audience. 

DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts has been ranked a top film school by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Faculty are award-winning filmmakers, and the school offers students a place to learn their craft, develop a creative voice, and a filmmaking career. The Second City and DePaul together offer comedy filmmaking degrees with courses in Chicago’s iconic center for improvisational comedy. And the soundstage is a classroom at DePaul’s 35,000-square-foot facilities at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which include three professional soundstages, green screen cycloramas, a 3-ton grip truck and high-end editing suites and mixing studios. 

For more information, visit

Wendy Roderweiss 

Media contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews​