Our History

Founded in 2010:

Sarah Jane Inwards (RTVF '13) created a club called Applause for a Cause during her senior year of high school. The goal: produce a feature length film and donate all of the ticket sales to charity. SJ wrangled all of her friends together and over the school year, she wrote, produced, and directed a feature, titledSpidersEverywhere. There was a huge premiere screening that raised $800 for the Rochester, MN Ronald McDonald House.

Flash forward to the spring of 2010. After working together on a Freshman Film Grant pitch, Sarah Jane and Alec Ziff (RTVF '13) became best friends. Sarah Jane, also known as "SJ," asked Alec if he wanted to partner with her the following year and start their own organization, Applause for a Cause. Once again, the goal: to make a feature for charity. Alec agreed, and Northwestern University's Applause for a Cause as you know it was born.

Alec and SJ began meeting in the fall of 2010, their sophomore year, writing the script for "RUSH," which they also produced and directed. That year, petitions were held for crew members, the organization became recognized by the Associated Student Government, funding was received from the Dean's Advisory Council. and Applause was off to the races.

Though they have since graduated from Northwestern, each year Alec and SJ still try to attend the premiere in May. They are proud to see so many students after them continue Applause's legacy. As of 2018, Applause will be in its 8th year of production with the film Vanishing Act, and as far as anyone knows, it will continue to grow and be a important member of the Northwestern and greater Evanston community.

Click here to learn more about our past productions!