News and Events

The Latest in Film & Media

On campus and in the community

Farewell Shawn Bell

The Film and Media Dept threw a farewell lunch with faculty and students to acknowledge the retirement of  office Manager Shawn Bell. Thank you for everything you have done for students and faculty Shawn! You will be missed!

Farewell Shawn BellShawn Bell Lunch Event 4Shawn Bell Lunch Event 3Shawn Bell Lunch Event 2Shawn Bell Lunch Event 1

Farewell Josefina Valenzuela Cerda

Josefina Valenzuela Cerda Farewell Event Graphic

Josefina Valenzuela Cerda BiographyJosefina Valenzuela Cerda Farewell

Ha’ahae Auwae-Dekker

Ha’ahae Auwae-Dekker, who is a Flaherty Fellow in a  roundtable with other fellows in the prestigious series curated by her and other indigenous artists in NYC.

Seattle Film Faculty appear on red carpet at Tasveer Film Festival Premiere

Dr Kirsten Moana Thompson and Dr John Trafton appeared on behalf of the Film and Media Department at the Tasveer (South Asian Film Festival) Oct 12 on the red carpet. Seattle U is an official sponsor of the Tasveer Film Festival. The opening night featured the premiere of the Sri Lanka film Munnell (Visakesa Chandrasekaram, 2023) with the filmmaker in attendance.

Dr Kirsten Moana Thompson and Dr John Trafton

Dr John Trafton farewelled by students

Dr John Trafton, much beloved faculty member of the Seattle U film department was farewelled by students at graduation ceremony earlier this year in Spring 2023. To express their gratitude and love for the mentorship and many fun classes Dr John Trafton contributed to the department (from LA on film to Japanese Cinema and Intro to Film), film and media students made a film which you can watch here.

Dr John Trafton

Seattle U student honored for Hispanic Heritage Month & Leadership

Seattle University Film and Media Major Isabella Trevino  was in the news recently. She was honored with her image included among eleven Hispanic leaders on an RTA Corpus Christi bus wrap   for her contributions to the community. Her inclusion was in recognition of her creation of “Bella’s Room Mental Health Resource Center” which is a special room on the Veteran’s Memorial Campus for students experiencing mental health issues, and has inspired high schools elsewhere to create “Bella’s Rooms”. Seattle University is very proud of you Bella!

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2022 End-of-Year Celebration

2022 Film Studies graduates grouped together during the end-of-year celebration.Film students, faculty, and families got together to celebrate the successes of the year! At the event, food was eaten, laughs were shared, trivia was asked, and awards were given! 

Awards were provided for different categories, ranging from group productions to film essays and screenplays. Films from the Filmmaking 3 course as well as winning films and honorable mentions were screened at the end-of-year celebration. 

Congratulations to all of the film majors and minors for all of their hard work this year! 

National Film Festival For Talented Youth 2022

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) is a great opportunity for Seattle University students to watch films and submit their work. The festival ran from April 28th - May 8th, 2022. To learn more about NFFTY, visit the website here: NFFTY 2022. In 2022, numerous SU Film Studies alum and current students' films were selected to be a part of the festival. 

Alumni filmmakers smiling for a photo with their awards.

From left to right: Seattle University Film Professor Alex Johnston, Hailey McGill ('21), Barb Hoffman ('19), and NFFTY Head programmer and SU Film alum, Amy Williams ('19) from this year's festival.

Ha-aheo Auwae-Dekker ('22) 

Ha'aheo's film Malihini (produced as part of an SU class) was chosen to screen as part of the festival's prestigious Closing Night program. 

Barb Hoffman ('19) 

Barb's winning music video, Rainy Days and Crooked Sheets, led to her selection by festival funder Scan Design Foundation, to participate (with full financial support) in a week-long young filmmakers' intensive at TheNextFilmFestival, which will be held in Norway in August 2022.

Barb's film What We See in the Clouds received an Audience Award for the Connected by More category presented by the AFI Conservatory.

Hailey McGill ('21) 

Hailey's film, Ode 2 Embarrassment, won an audience award at the festival.

Mary Lawrence ('21)

Mary's film, the waiting room, (produced as part of an SU class) screened at the festival.

Ocean’s Arrival by Seattle U Film Alum

Seattle University Film & Media alum, Barb Hoffman and Suzanne McAuley, both recently worked on a film, a 60-minute psychological drama called Ocean's Arrival. Suzanne was the Director of Photography on the project and Barb was the Gaffer. They express their appreciation of the project as well as the opportunity to grow through the process and connect with incredible people. Ocean's Arrival has screened at SIFF Uptown on May 5th, 2022. Congratulations to these two alumni and their continued work and successes!

Kickball Game 

The Film & Media department is more than just lights, cameras...action! Led by Student Representative, Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker, a kickball game was planned to connect film faculty and students. Each inning brought tough competition, with the winning team receiving a Kiwi prize from Dr. Thompson. More exciting activities to come!

A group of Seattle University Film Studies students grouped together on the field before a kickball game.

A group of Seattle University Film Studies students on the field during a kickball game.A professor handing a blow-up kiwi bird to the winning team of a kickball game.


Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker's Malihini

Amazing work by the talented filmmaker, Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker! Their 2021 short film, Malihini, was created for a SU Film & Media class. Malihini has been selected as a part of the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, the Hawai'i International Film Festival, the Local Sightings Festival, and most recently, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. Read about their experiences in an article from NW Asian Weekly. Congratulations to Ha’aheo and their continued success!

Seattle Asian American Film Festival 

Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker’s Malihini, (2021, 6 minutes) was selected as a part of the 10th Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival. Their film was available for online viewing from March 3rd - March 13th, 2022 with information on the website: SAAFF 2022. In addition to online screenings, Malihini was shown at an in-person drive-in theater event on March 12th at the Stone House Cafe. 

Local Sightings Film Festival

Malihini, (2021, 6 minutes), created by Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker, was accepted to the Local Sightings Film Festival. To learn more about the film festival, visit the website here: Local Sightings Film Festival.

Hawai'i International Film Festival

Film Major, Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker’s film, Malihini, (2021, 6 minutes) was accepted into the Hawai'i International Film Festival. The film looks into the director's relationship with Hawaiian identity and living on the mainland through a conversation with their mother. The film was available for viewing from November 4th - November 28th, 2021 at the Hawai'i International Film Festival.

Still from Ha'aheo Auwae Dekker's Film Malihini of their motherPortrait of film major Ha'aheo Auwae Dekker

Gabby Robinson's Earth Talk 

Gabby, an Environmental Studies and Film Studies double-major, found the perfect connection between these fields through an internship with the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) here at Seattle University. Gabby’s year-long internship was client-based and allowed her to grow both personally and creatively. She explored her different interests while playing a major role in Seattle U's 2022 Earth Month. Gabby's film "OUR HOME?: What is Home? ft. Gabriella Robinson" screened at the 2022 Earth Talks. Learn more about Earth Talks and Gabby's internship experience here:

Film Faculty Win Prizes for Research

Dr. Kirsten Moana Thompson received the McLaren-Lambart Award Runner-Up Award for Best Scholarly Book in Animation Studies from the Society for Animation Studies, and an Honorable Mention for Best Edited Collection from the British Association for Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), for Animation and Advertising, eds Malcolm Cook and Kirsten Moana Thompson (Palgrave, 2020), Oct. 2021. Cover of Kirsten Thompson and Malcolm Cook's Book Animation and Advertising

Film Noir class experiments with Lighting

Dr. Thompson’s FILM 3220 Film Noir Class got some hands-on practice this Fall Quarter with a demonstration of lighting equipment by Instructor Craig Downing. They then tried their hands to reproduce some of the beautiful chiaroscuro lighting they have been watching in American classics like Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947) and The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941).Student Katrina Marro demonstrating the classic chiaroscuro lighting style

Film Faculty Celebratory Sail

Celebrating their formation as an independent Film Program, the Film Faculty and staff went out together for a late summer sail, under the trusty captain Craig Downing and joined by John Trafton, Josefina Valenzuela Cerda, Program Director Kirsten Moana Thompson and Office Manager Shawn Bell. It was a beautiful day to celebrate! 

Film Faculty members on celebratory sailing tripKirsten Thompson, John Trafton, and Craig Downing on Film Faculty sailing tripView from the Film Faculty sailing trip

Cannes Film Festival 2021

Film graduates Nils Gollersrud and Anthony Bowmer attended the Cannes Film Festival 2021, where they checked out some of the new films, including Palme D’or Winner and horror film Titane (Julia Ducournau, 2021), described by the BBC as the “most shocking film of 2021” as well as new films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria), Sean Baker (Red Rocket) and Hong Sang-Soo (In Front of your Face). They had a ball!

Film graduates Nils Gollersrud and Anthony Bowmer  in the center, venues at Cannes on left and right

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