In March, UMD students and alumni attended an advance screening of the new film, Chappaquiddick. Produced by university alumnus and member of ODK, Mark Ciardi, Chappaquiddick tells the story of Ted Kennedy and the tragic car accident that claimed the life of campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne. The resultant scandal threatened to derail Kennedy’s political career and forever altered his political legacy. The events surrounding what happened at Chappaquiddick are examined anew in the thought-provoking film and is certain to spark conversation and debate.
The screening at the University’s Hoff Theater was filled with students, faculty, staff, and alumni interested in the new movie and who wanted to hear directly from Ciardi. Ciardi, who has previewed his films on campus in the past, participated in a Q&A where he shared his thoughts on the movie-making process and how the film came together.
Ciardi is an American film producer and former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Apex Entertainment. Prior to Apex, Ciardi was the co-founder of Mayhem Pictures that had an overall first-look deal with Walt Disney Studios for twelve years. At Mayhem, Ciardi produced films including The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, The Game Plan, Secretariat, and Million Dollar Arm.
Ciardi played for the University of Maryland baseball team and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration here at Maryland. He was drafted in 1983 by the Milwaukee Brewers organization and was called up to the major leagues in 1987. He retired the following year due to an injury.
This event was an exciting part of our ODK Leadership Lecture Series.