2015 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival

A Master Builder

Directed by Jonathan Demme | 2013 | USA | 130 min.

A Master Builder

"Gregory and Demme have turned A MASTER BUILDER into... a dream play, and have made it once more madly, bitingly, chillingly alive. Brings the genius of Ibsen to the screen in a way I never thought was possible." David Edelstein, New York Magazine

For spectators, there’s a particular fascination to the stories of ego-maniacal artists, businessmen or political figures who achieve their aims at no matter what cost to themselves and others. But what happens after the curtain comes down or the film credits roll? Jonathan Demme's A Master Builder raises the curtain to reveal a final scene. He brings Henrik Ibsen's 1892 play, The Master Builder, through a contemporary lens, in which Wallace Shawn, as the film's protagonist, architect Halvard Solness, is haunted by scenes from his personal and professional life as he approaches his own death. But he is not entirely the villain; the women around him – his wife, his mistresses – are, in their own ways, as ruthless as he. A film about mutual exploitation and seeking and preserving power, told in dreamlike sequences.


Thursday, March 19 | 4:30 pm | Chosky Theater,
The Purnell Center for the Arts at CMU

The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival and the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama are proud to present "Face to Face with Jonathan Demme," a Q & A session with the world-renowned film director of the 2015 "Faces of Work" Opening Night film A Master Builder. The world-renowned film director's repertoire spans documentaries, such as The New Yorker Presents; Hollywood favorites, including Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, and Silence of the Lambs; and more. Mr. Demme will answer attendee questions regarding his experiences in filmmaking in Pittsburgh and beyond.

This event is open to the public, but space is limited. Purchase tickets at the Purnell Box Office or call 412-268-2407. $10 for general admission and free of charge for CMU Drama students.


  • Rome Film Fest, CinemaXXI Award nominee


Jonathan Demme Academy Award-winning screenwriter, director, actor, producer and political activist Jonathan Demme brings passion to all his projects. While he’s most widely known for mega-hits The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, his work includes documentaries on subjects ranging from Haiti to President Jimmy Carter, a trilogy on singer-songwriter, Neil Young, and a film about Italian multicultural musician, Enzo Avitabile. Another music documentary, on Justin Timberlake, is upcoming, as well as a feature film, Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. The New York Times wrote: “Demme invested his characters with unusual depth and humanity...unafraid to take on challenging subject matters in his films.”

Buy Tickets Watch Trailer Film Website

Opening Night!
Thursday, March 19
7:15 pm
Regent Square Theater
1035 S. Braddock Ave.

  • Event Includes: Special appearance by Jonathan Demme, Film Director + Opening Night Reception
  • Co-presented by: The Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama
Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: Faces of Work