Newhouse-Athletics partnership provides students with hands-on filmmaking experience

University at Buffalo women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack began her sports career in the Syracuse City School District and went on to graduate from Syracuse University as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in program history.

Her story is chronicled in “FLJ: Rise to the Rafters,” released Feb. 23 from 44 Films, a new project born of a partnership between the Newhouse School’s Sports Media Center and Syracuse University Athletics.

Focused on short form, non-fiction narrative filmmaking, the project allows students to work on every aspect of production.

“The launch of 44 Films marks an important step in our growing collaboration with Syracuse University Athletics,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “This is a wonderful example of the quality work our students can produce, and I’m grateful to our faculty and their counterparts at Athletics for championing this important initiative.”

Up to eight documentary shorts will be produced this semester, plus possible supplemental content. Stories—from ideation to distribution—will be developed by students, who will also create trailers and promotional materials. The cinematic style documentary shorts will range from three to five minutes and showcase the diversity of Syracuse University Athletics from student-athlete, coaching staff and history perspectives.

“This collaboration continues the excellent partnership with Newhouse and further supports our efforts to create the best learning experiences for our students while sharing the inspirational stories of our alumni, students, coaches and staff,” says Director of Athletics John Wildhack.

Athletics will support the project through story ideation, access to archives, scheduling of staff and student athletes and access to distribution platforms.

A team of five Newhouse master’s students worked on “FJL”: Hayley Fedor, director and editor; Annika Boos, editor; and Nic Fiorelli and Brett Rood, cinematographers.

At Newhouse, the project is being shepherded by Olivia Stomski, director of the Sports Media Center, and Jordan Kligerman, visiting assistant teaching professor of television, radio and film. Andrew Goodrich, deputy athletics director and chief marketing officer, will serve as the main point of contact for Athletics.  

44 Films can be viewed at and the Syracuse University Athletics YouTube channel.