Screenwriter and Filmmaker
Murray Robinson (seated) and actor Alan Arkin on the set of "The Novice"
Filmmaker and screenwriter Murray Robinson lives in Los Angeles, but his roots are still firmly embedded on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and in the Catholic faith in which he was raised. One of five siblings, Robinson attended boarding school in Rhode Island where Benedictine monks gave him "double doses of Latin and Greek." After that high school experience, he was eager to find a college that was small and closer to home. Millsaps turned out to be the "ideal small liberal arts college."
"Millsaps is a very unusual place in many ways. A wonderfully eclectic group of men and women from all over attended the College. From Mississippi, it held the best and the brightest that the state had to offer. I just loved the place," Robinson said.
For a time, Robinson considered becoming a Jesuit priest. After some discernment, he decided not to join the order. He spent a year abroad after graduation, helping to set up a study program in Venice, Italy for a Jesuit college in Mobile. He decided to go to film school when he got back to the States and went to New York University. While in New York, Robinson paid his dues. He worked a stint with CBS news, made commercials with screaming car salesmen, and eventually, headed back to Mobile to work on local productions.
For years he wrote scripts and dreamed of making his own independent film until a friend told him, "Murray, you have to write what you know."
The next script Robinson wrote became his first independent film and was a portrayal of the human side of Catholicism. Shot entirely on the Gulf Coast, the beautiful and sensitive film, "The Novice," portrays a young Jesuit just out of seminary who confronts the tensions between the call of faithful service and worldly concerns. The film depicts men of faith as fully realized and complicated people instead of clichés. Starring Alan Arkin, Amy Acker and Jacob Pitts, "The Novice" has screened at numerous film festivals and won Best Feature Film at the Crossroads Film Festival in 2007 in Jackson.
Robinson remains close to the friends he made at Millsaps including fellow alumni in Los Angeles and in the Mobile area.
"The relationships I had at Millsaps are presently the most enduring relationships I have."