Higher learning is a bloodsport. At Victoria College, a group of desperate professors vie for control of the department, the curriculum, the students, and one another. They're willing to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Sophie
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Valery
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Revis (as James LeGros)
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Valentine
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Weldman
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Deborah
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Kronsky
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Bambi
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Professor Bruno Kopf
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Student
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Sweater Boy #2
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Student
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Joyce
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Board Member #1
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Sweater Boy #3 (as Kyle Russell Clements)
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Storyline

Higher learning is a bloodsport. At Victoria College, a group of desperate professors vie for control of the department, the curriculum, the students, and one another. They're willing to use all the weapons at their disposal, from the rhetoric of gender, race, and class to sex, money and raw power. A dark satire of the ensemble variety. Written by K Davis, Co-writer, Director

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Comedy

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Release Date:

2009 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A parable of power and politics, greed and sex, lies and revenge, and deceit and desperation in the halls of the fictitious Ivy League Victorian University
9 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writers Kirk Davis and Elzbieta Szoka deftly weave a parable of power and politics, greed and sex, lies and revenge, and deceit and desperation in the halls of the fictitious Ivy League Victorian University. "Academia" was masterfully shot digitally in the fall of 2008 on the Tulane University campus in New Orleans as well as at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Expertly directed by Kirk Davis using enchanting narration and haunting music (by Chris Hajian), it gives the viewer the foreboding feeling of "Desperate Housewives" meets "Mad Men" with a little "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" thrown in for classic Gothic mystery storyline and a similarly apprehensive soundtrack. But in the case of this film corruption and oppression in academia is revealed, destroying idealism and innocence—on both sides of the lectern.

"Academia" is a fairy tale gone badly because of disillusion and delusions, egos and eccentricities. Young and idealistic graduate student Sophie (Jess Weixler) is made all too aware of academic politics and pettiness while attempting to get approval for her PhD dissertation. But after losing her favored committee member Revis Williams (James LeGros) to a promotion, Sophie finds herself dealing with a pathologically vindictive committee called the Hydra where she learns hard lessons on how to get what you want from the masters of manipulation.

Sophie's remaining committee comprises a caustic collection of agenda-driven egocentrics: Deborah Hansen (Laila Robins), a frustrated but cunning Shakespeare professor; the sleazy and destructive professor Richard Valentine (Dan Bakkedahl); and the fake feminist and power hungry professor of Cultural Studies, Valery Villanueva (Callie Thorne) whose plan for vindication comes to a head with the appearance of ex-porn star Bambi Bazongas (Shanna Forestall).

With the dissolution of tenure on the line and grant funding being frivolously squandered, some cash-conscious students mount a protest while professors jockey for such powerful positions as University President and Dean of Students. Anyone who's ever been involved with higher education—whether as faculty or within the student body—may be able to relate to this dark satire that's strong on plot structure and character development.


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