A headshot of Adjunct Associate Professor John Rotondo

Screenwriting (BFA)

John Rotondo is an adjunct professor of Screenwriting at UArts. He is also a New York/New Jersey–based screenwriter, director, and producer.


John Rotondo is a screenwriter, a director, and a producer who co-wrote the feature film The Garden Left Behind, directed by Flavio Alves, which premiered at SXSW in 2019 and won the Audience Award. The film is an IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) Narrative Lab project and has received support from GLAAD, PFLAG, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Council for the Arts, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Jerome Foundation, among other organizations. He is currently working on the novel adaptation for The Garden Left Behind and the screenplay for Bonita, his second collaboration with Alves.

Rotondo is a graduate of the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and works as a teacher of screenwriting, film, and creative writing.


  • Rotondo’s previous film work includes the screenplays for Resemblance and Mockingbird (Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinalist; Screencraft Semi-Finalist). 

  • He appeared as John in the TV pilot Dead John, which premiered at the New York Television Festival and won Best Writing.

“Watching a good film is an act of hope. Our goal as writers is to ignite that hope in the hearts and minds of our audience.”

Awards & Achievements 

Rotondo has been honored with numerous awards. 

  • Since its premiere at SXSW, The Garden Left Behind has won over 20 awards at festivals around the country and abroad, including in Nashville, Tennessee; Woodstock, New York; Indianapolis (HeartlandFilm Festival); Glasgow, Scotland; and Germany (Queerscope).

  • Rotondo and Flavio Alves won Best Screenplay at the 2019 Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida.