Lionel Jeffries ’22

Lionel Jeffries graduated in 2022 with a double major in English and Film. Now, he is finishing up an independent feature film after a lot of hard work. Learn about the connections Lionel made with his professors and the path he took after graduating.  

Tell us about a favorite memory from your undergrad days. What do you think of the Honors Programs and your time at URI?

My best experience with the honors program by far was taking both of Dr. Thomas Zorabedian’s film seminars. He is a wonderful professor and a great man in general, and his seminars impacted me on a deep level– I carry his lessons and lectures with me to this day.

Tell us about the work you are doing today. What is your job, title and responsibility?

I’m an independent filmmaker and run a modestly successful YouTube channel (250k+ subscribers.) My debut indie feature film was a project that one of Dr. Zorabedian’s classes helped me very much to develop.

What did the path to your current role look like? What are some interesting jobs or experiences you had along the way?

Immediately upon graduation, I took it upon myself to produce my first feature film. The production of this project was war-like at times, extremely challenging and a testament to not only my education, but my entire character. The film wrapped production in October ’22 and is currently being edited.

What would you like to highlight about your post-grad experience that you feel URI and the Honors Program uniquely prepared you for?

Fighting hard for myself and putting deep thought into my artistic works.

Have you maintained connections with URI through alumni networks? Are you involved in any mentorship or outreach programs through URI? If so, please describe. If you are open to students reaching out to you, please indicate your contact preferences in your response.

Yes, I maintain personal contact with the professors I was closest with during my time at URI, namely Keith Brown (film dept.), Dr. Zorabedian (honors program/film) and Ashish Chadha (film.) I feel very lucky to have had these excellent mentors and would go to bat for them anytime.

What advice do you have for current students?

Identify your objectives in life and make them happen– who’s gonna stop you?