Ivory Tower
U.S. Documentary


2013, 97 minutes, color, U.S.A.

Ivory Tower questions the purpose of higher education in an era when the price of college has increased more than for any other service in the U.S. economy since 1978. While many college graduates struggle to find menial employment waiting tables and cleaning toilets, new student loans over the next 10 years will total $184 billion. Even the once-heroic, tuition-free holdout Cooper Union in New York City now charges students, thanks in large part to hedge fund loans and flashy facilities costing more than $170 million.

Filmmaker Andrew Rossi reveals the moment in history when the United States, long regarded as the epicenter of higher education, embraced a business model promoting property expansion over quality learning. Through interviews with Andrew Delbanco, Anya Kamenetz, and Internet education pioneer Daphne Koller, cofounder of the revolutionary online platform Coursera, Ivory Tower exposes the instability of traditional college education as it searches the country for alternative forms of cost-effective learning, ranging from concepts of self-governance taught at Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California, to the unofficial hacker houses of northern California.

Director: Andrew Rossi

Producers: Andrew Rossi, Josh Braun

Editors: Chad Beck, Christopher Branca, Andrew Coffman

Executive Producers: Vinnie Malhotra, Amy Entelis

Cinematographers: Andrew Rossi, Bryan Sarkinen, Andrew Coffman

Composer: Ian Hultquist

Coproducer; Associate Producer: Kate Novack; Andrew Coffman

About the Director

Andrew Rossi returns to the Sundance Film Festival following his last film, Page One: Inside the New York Times, about the crisis in the newspaper industry. Distributed by Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures,Page One was nominated for two news and documentary Emmy Awards as well as receiving various critics’ awards. Rossi is also the director of Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, which screened on HBO, and was an associate producer on Jehane Noujaim’s Control Room.


1/18/2014 6:00 pm
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/20/2014 9:00 am
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/21/2014 9:00 pm
Broadway Centre Cinema 6, SLC
1/23/2014 5:30 pm
Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
1/25/2014 12:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre, Park City