Newsletter 2010

2010 Film Studies Program Annual Update

by Edwin Weihe

In 2009-2010, more than 170 students were enrolled in film classes, including Art of Film, History of Film, Woody Allen, Global African Cinema, Westerns, Screen Adaptations, Film & History, and Chinese Cinema. 

We ended the year with 22 majors and minors, mostly freshmen and sophomores. (Thirteen new students, arriving in the fall, have indicated Film Studies as their major; that number should double during the academic year. We can anticipate 55-60 Film Studies majors and minors by next spring.) 

Several students have worked as volunteers at SIFF (Seattle Int. Film Festival), where Dr Edwin Weihe is on the Board of Directors; and several will intern this summer on the Hollywood film Grassroots, in production here in Seattle.  A program goal is to place most Film Studies majors in academic year or summer internships.

The B.A. in Film Studies was an official sponsor of SIFF, NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth), and NWHSFF (Northwest High School Film Festival). We will continue these sponsorships, and perhaps also sponsor Irish Reels and other festivals.

In 2010-2011, fourteen faculty will offer sixteen critical studies film courses, including: History of Film, Documentary, Screenwriting, Global African, Coen Brothers, Film & History, Horror, Shakespeare in Film, Japanese Film, Film & Religion, Silent Film, Films of the 60s, Art of Film, Sci Fi Cinema, International Film, and possibly Women & Cinema.  Five of these courses originate and are x-listed outside of the English Department.  Currently, an average of 17 students are pre-registered for fall film classes.

The Film Arts Series will offer six events next year, two per quarter, created and hosted by film faculty.  We are also co-sponsoring a visit by a South African filmmaker in November, and the Matteo Ricci Celebration week-long film festival in winter.

The focus of Film Studies planning is on film production courses, beginning next year with a digital media 200-level course offered by CMJR in winter and spring, and possibly a 300-level production course also offered in spring and in summer. We may offer at least one critical studies course in summer.

Currently, Film Studies and NWFF (Northwest Film Forum) are exploring a partnership, one important product of which will be a set of film production courses, taught by teaching film professionals at NWFF and other off-campus studio venues, that Seattle University students, and possibly non-Seattle University students as well, can take for Seattle University academic credit.

In addition, we are exploring, and hope to formally propose late next fall, a two-year M.F.A. in Social Documentary Filmmaking.  The degree program would be implemented both on and off campus and would begin modestly, Fall 2012, with a cohort of 7-10 students.

Beginning Fall 2011, Film Studies majors and minors will be able to join Loyola Marymount University’s undergraduate semester of film production courses in their study abroad program in Bonn, Germany.  Prof. Glenn Gehbert, who is director of Film Production at LMU, has asked if our anticipated MFA might partner with LMU’s MFA to provide an international film production dimension to both graduate programs.