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Jon Vickers
IU Cinema

Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011

'Funny or Die' producer, IU alumnus to speak, screen new film

Nov. 7, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University alumnus Mike Farah will be back in B-town on Sunday, Nov. 13, when he'll speak at IU Cinema about his role producing videos for Funny or Die, the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Mike Farah

Mike Farah

He'll be joined by members of the Funny or Die team, who will screen a program of short films, then discuss the process of creating short-form content for the Internet and how it's influencing popular culture.

"An Evening with Funny or Die" begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at IU Cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Farah recalled staring out the window of his McNutt dorm room and, seeing his fellow students playing Frisbee on the lawn, wondering how he'd make friends in a campus full of strangers.

"My whole family, my mom, my dad, my brother, went to Michigan," he said. "I went to IU and didn't really know anyone. And it was just a huge thing for me to step out of that comfort zone. It would've been so easy for me to go to Michigan. But in all those cheesy ways, that's where you're forced to find your identity and figure out who you want to be."

That experience gave him the confidence to move to L.A. after graduation, where he discovered a passion for entertainment, the movie industry and the Internet -- eventually combining all three into his work at Funny or Die.

Farah will be joined by brother Chris for a special screening of Answer This! at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at IU Cinema. Set in the competitive world of pub trivia at the University of Michigan, the film -- written and directed by Chris, and produced by Mike -- depicts the coming-of-age of a brilliant trivia whiz facing the biggest challenge of his life: a citywide tournament.

"When my brother first wrote the script, I thought, 'This is awesome,'" Farah said. "It will be like Michigan's 'Breaking Away.' That's really how I thought about it."

Answer This! will screen at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at IU Cinema. For free tickets, visit the IU Auditorium Box Office in person or reserve tickets online (a service charge will be applied to online orders).

The brothers will speak about the filmmaking process from both the producer and director perspectives at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at IU Cinema. No ticket is required as the event is part of the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series, made possible through the support of the Ove W. Jorgensen Foundation.

"These are all exciting opportunities for the IU Cinema," director Jon Vickers said. "Student filmmakers will relate well to these programs, as most student filmmakers are limited to making short films while on campus. The conversations should provide inspiration to our students, showing them alternative venues for screening their work."

The Indiana University Cinema is a world-class facility and program that is dedicated to the scholarly study and highest standards of exhibition of film in its traditional and modern forms. For more information on the facility or programs, call 812-856-2503.

About Answer This!
Set at the University of Michigan in the world of competitive pub trivia, Answer This! is the story of a boy finally coming of age -- when he's 30. A brilliant trivia whiz, Paul Tarson is great at answering life's little questions, but struggles with the larger ones, like what he'll do after graduate school. Now he and his friends will finally get a shot at beer, women and nerdy redemption when they take on the biggest challenge of their lives, a citywide pub trivia tournament. For more information, visit

About Funny or Die
Funny or Die is the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, bringing the world the "Between Two Ferns" celebrity interview series with funnyman Zach Galifianakis along with the High Five Guys and images of Princess Ke$ha gearing up for her day with a variety of cartoon animals guaranteed to give Walt Disney a heart attack. Funny or Die is an award-winning destination for comedy on the Web, averaging more than 12 million unique users per month and more than 40 million video views per month. For more information, visit