Seattle U Film Studies Sponsors Major Conference

Written by Karen L. Bystrom
January 22, 2019

The Film Program and Seattle University are official sponsors of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, the largest international conference devoted to the research and teaching of film and media studies. More than 3,000 scholars and practitioners will be in Seattle March 13 through 17 to present and hear new research; network, mentor, and collaborate; and promote the field of cinema and media studies among its practitioners, to other disciplines, and to the public at large.

“This is just one example of how Seattle U Film Studies connects our students to different film and media communities, from practitioners and studios who make media to the curatorial and academic communities who study and preserve them,” says Chair Dr. Kirsten Thompson. “Our students will be volunteering at the conference, meeting industry professionals and making local and national connections that will help move their careers forward.”

Seattle University faculty presenting at the conference:

  • Kirsten Moana Thompson, PhD, Chair, Animation and Advertising Panel, with her paper, “Disney for Hire?: Sponsored Disney Animation, from Bucky Beaver to Ludwig Von Drake.”
  • John Trafton, PhD, “Dunkirk and The Revenant: Panoramic Vision and History as a VR Experience”
  • Ben Schultz-Figueroa, PhD, "‘Interesting and Curious’: Representing the Dissected Body on Film"

Benjamin Schultz-FigueroaSeattle U Film Studies’ sponsorship also includes, "Reframing Ethnographic Media: Edward Curtis, Franz Boas, and the Kwakiutl First Nation” on March 13, coordinated by Dr. Schultz-Figueroa. This screening and roundtable discussion will feature archival restorations of Boaz's ethnographic films, a new documentary on Curtis, and a roundtable discussion with Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, director of the Bill Holm Center of Northwest Art at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Kaleb Child, Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations educator, and Coreen Child, Kwakiutl Nation.

On March 14, Seattle U Film Studies is also helping produce two public events related to the conference:

“Evergreen Media: Film, Television, and New Media in Seattle" will be presented at the SIFF Egyptian Theater from 7 to 9 p.m.  Tickets are free and available online.

Image of Seattle skyline with text about event.Though overshadowed by filmmaking in Los Angeles, New York, and other U.S. cities, Seattle boasts a vibrant, progressive filmmaking community and cinephile culture. With issues of the environment, homelessness, gender equality, and queer identity often at the forefront, filmmaking in Seattle and the larger Pacific Northwest region provides a unique site for cinema and media scholars to engage with relevant and emerging cultural trends. This event will feature a panel of Seattle and Pacific Northwest filmmakers and industry professionals whose work highlights the contributions of the region to broader discourses.

Panelists confirmed include*:

  • Lacey Leavitt (film producer)
  • Beth Barrett (Artistic Director of SIFF)
  • Amy Lillard (Executive Director of Washington Filmworks)
  • Rachel Price (Director of the Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound)
  • Gretchen Burger (Co-founder of Fearless 360 -- Seattle-based virtual reality company)
  • Sam Berliner (Programming and Operations Manager for Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival)
  • David Drummond (Film and Television Location Manager for Seattle)
  • Tony Fulgham (Director of All is Well - Seattle-based commercial production company

Sponsored by Urbanism/Geography/Architecture (SIG), Television Studies (SIG), Media and Environment (SIG), Women in Screen History (SIG), Media Industries (SIG), Women’s Caucus, Seattle University Film Studies, Auburn University School of Communication & Journalism, University of Iowa Communication Studies, and Seattle International Film Festival.

A screening of Evidence of the Evidence, a documentary by Alex Johnston, PhD, will be presented at 8 p.m. in a program at Northwest Film Forum called “Experiments in Resistance: Experimental Media in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” This documentary has just won Best Documentary Film in the London Short Film Festival.

*Panelists subject to change.