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NYU’s Carly Tennes Worked On A Film That Just Made It To The Sundance Film Festival, Is The Coolest 20-Year-Old Ever

Carly Tennes

At 20-years-old, I was struggling to make it through Intro to Film and barely knew my left from my right. Yet for Carly Tennes, she’s kicking major ass and making her dreams come true.

The 20-year-old junior at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study just found out that a film she’s been working on made it to the renowned Sundance Film Festival. As a self-described hippie, Carly is making strides to improve the environment through Divest NYU, an organization that calls for major universities like NYU to invest in renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuel. She also has goals of accepting a Pulitzer Prize within the next five years and wants to impact the world with her art. 

Damn. I don’t know about you, but I feel inspired AF. Carly is killin’ it at such a young age and is well on her way to earning that Pulitzer Prize.

Get to know more about Carly below, and be sure to check back daily as we get to know each of our Miss COED 2017 semifinalists a bit better.


If you could travel anywhere in the world for Spring Break, where would you go? 

Disneyland Shanghai. So far, I’ve been to three of the six Disney parks around the world and would love to someday visit all of them. Shanghai is the newest one and is supposed to be technologically astounding. 

What’s your favorite school tradition? 

This is NYU. We’re too cool for school traditions. 😎

Who do you look up to the most and why? 

Nadya Tolokonnikova, the lead singer of Pussy Riot. I greatly admire her perseverance – how despite the wrath of the Russian government, being arrested and imprisoned for nearly two years, she and the rest of her band bravely continue spread their messages of feminism, rights for members of the LGBTQAI+ community, and better education through music. I hope to have my art and writing be as impactful as hers – and maybe someday be even half of the punk-rock badass she is. 

Name one thing on your bucket list. 

To have a documentary I was an integral part of working on be nominated for an Oscar, Emmy, and/or Sundance Award. 

Which organization on campus are you most passionate about and why?

Aside from IEC, I’m very passionate about Divest NYU. As a self-described hippie, I greatly care about the environment and think that we desperately need to change our ways in order to keep Earth habitable.  If major universities, including NYU, were to take the money they’ve invested in fossil fuels and use it to instead to invest in renewable energy sources, it would be a huge step in the right direction. Just like with IEC, because I’m very busy between school and work, I contribute by reporting on their demonstrations for on campus news sources and making sure they get the media coverage they deserve. 

Cliché, but where do you see yourself in five years? Ready, set, go! 

Accepting my first Pulitzer Prize. ;)

Give your BFF a shoutout! What’s his/her name and how long have you been besties? 

Hi Chandler, Marcus and Steve! I jokingly call them Carly’s Angels. I met them all generally around the beginning of my freshman year, and we’ve been friends ever since. Thank you all for putting up with my horrific puns for so long. <3 

Do you have any secret talents? 

I’m a contortionist! I can jump into the splits, lick my elbow, and balance with both of my legs behind my head!

What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far? 

This year, I’m part of a documentary company, working on a film for a well known news outlet. I found out a few days ago that we made it to the Sundance Film Festival. Although I’ve only worked on small pieces of the film, finding old photos and postcards, logging videos, and fact checking, to see the influence of my work throughout the film has been so rewarding, especially knowing it will be seen by thousands of people. That is undoubtedly my biggest accomplishment so far.  

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  • Megan HeintzCOED Writer
    Editor. Writer. Traveler. Shoe obsessed. While judging people on how they use "their" vs. "they're" on social media, she enjoys eating anything (literally anything) with Sriracha and binge-watching HGTV.
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