Cherry Arnold ’87

Major: English, Minors in Art History, Political Science

Career: Media Producer, Independent Filmmaker

In independent film circles, Cherry Arnold is known for her story-telling abilities and passion for her projects. These are traits she said first helped years ago when she was a marketing and business development executive with technology start-up companies in New York City.

“Filmmaking is one of the coolest artistic processes because it has to be collaborative, and that’s not unlike working at start-up companies where you have to constantly pitch your idea and convince people of its merits to get them to invest in you,” said Arnold, who knows the value of making a spot-on elevator pitch.

Best known for her Emmy award-winning documentary BUDDY, The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor (2005)*, the 1987 alumna owns and operates Big Orange Films. The Rhode Island-based company produces feature-length films as well as videos for non-profits and schools. Her latest documentary is Bluebirds Fly: Love and Hope on the Autism Spectrum, which follows three Rhode Island families, each with a child on the autism spectrum. Arnold wants to shed light on the developmental disorder, increase understanding of individuals and families living with autism, and share some of the cutting-edge research underway. Part of her inspiration for the film was her twin brother’s undiagnosed Asperger’s traits.

“Whether it’s filmmaking, developing a web site, or writing a business plan, I’m passionate about telling a story in a compelling and effective way,” Arnold said. She added that students in any course of study should gain as much experience as possible effectively communicating across all mediums to better prepare for jobs.

“If you continue to practice, tell stories well and understand your audience, I believe you can do whatever you want to do. That’s my big idea,” she said.



*BUDDY, The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor, (Buddy Cianci, Providence, R.I., 1975-84, 1991-2002; Film 2005)


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