About Susan Kouguell
Since 1990, more than 1,000 international clients—writers, filmmakers, agents, production companies, and studio executives, work with award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Susan Kouguell on their projects.
Author of SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! A comprehensive guide to crafting winning characters with film analyses and screenwriting exercises and THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out!.
Kouguell writes for Indiewire/SydneysBuzz, The Script Lab, Screenwriters Utopia, Script Magazine,NewEnglandFilm.com, and more. Her work was featured in NOW WRITE! Screenwriting: Exercises by Today’s Best Screenwriters, Teachers and Consultants (Tarcher/Penguin) and MovieMaker Magazine’s Complete Guide to Making Movies.
Teaches screenwriting at SUNY College at Purchase, Prior screenwriting and film lecturer positions include Tufts University, the Prague Film School, Czech Republic Summer Program, Harvard University Extension School, and the School of Visual Arts.
Grants and Fellowships
Grants and fellowships include the MacDowell Colony, Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS), Edward Albee Foundation, Art Matters, Inc., Artist’s Space, Cummington Community for the Arts, and five Brooklyn Arts & Cultural Association film production grants.
And the Pursuit of Happiness – Production Coordinator/ Research/Crew/Voiceover Narration Consultant. Feature documentary directed by Louis Malle; Rum & Coke – Associate Producer and Script Consultant. Feature directed by Maria Escobedo; and Where the Rivers Flow North – Associate Producer and Script consultant. Feature directed by Jay Craven, starring Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal and Michael J. Fox.
Susan’s internationally award-winning short films are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and archives, and were included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Screenings at over 50 international museums and festivals include Hirshhorn Museum/Smithsonian Institution and Salle Beaubourg, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France presented by the Museum of Modern Art: “Cinema Experimental American 1905-1984” where Kouguell was a guest speaker.
Awards include top prizes at the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, Marburg International Film Festival, Bucks Country Festival, Berlin Interfilm International Festival, and the Baltimore International Film Festival.
Film Studio Work
Warner Brothers – sought directing talent and acquisitions; Paramount Pictures – worked in Story and Casting Departments; Miramax Films – Writer, story editor and story analyst for Harvey Weinstein; Republic Pictures- consultant/acquisitions buyer at the Independent Feature Film Market; Punch Productions (Dustin Hoffman’s Company) – Story Analyst; Viacom – Story Analyst.
A nd More Screenwriting & Film Work
Created and developed the Independent Feature Film Market Screenplay Section. Su-City Pictures offered consultations to hundreds of script directory registrants as part of the Film Market for five years.
Independent Feature Film Market Buyer Liaison: Worked with filmmakers and international film buyers/distributors/producers, looking to buy/sell feature films/videos for all markets.
Served as a judge on many film festivals and script competitions, including the American Film Festival and ACE Awards (National Academy of Cable Programming).
New York Women in Film, Television and New England Women in Film and Video, and ASCAP
A classically trained violist, Kouguell played with the New Amsterdam Symphony and other New York Symphonies. Orchestral concert Tours to South America and the Far East.
Kouguell wrote the choral text for “Praisemaker” a commissioned chorus and orchestra piece for the 1997 Cincinnati May Festival Chorus for composer Alvin Singleton with performances in 1997 and 2003 under the direction of James Conlon, and in 2002 under the direction of Richard Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. 2009 CD recorded with Atlanta Symphony and Chorus. Susan also wrote the choral text for “The World is Here With Me” music by Alvin Singleton, which premiered at Spelman College 1990 commencement. “Braver Than the Other” music by Jonathan Elliott, choral text by Kouguell, premiered at St. Mark’s Church, New York City.
Susan received her Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Purchase, and was a fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program – Studio Program – Film/Writing. Taking a gap year, she studied music therapy and psychology at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.