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The Latest in Film Studies

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SU has award-winning showing at 2019 National Film Festival for Talented Youth

Films by Seattle University students Barb Hoffman ('20) and Hailey McGill ('21), and by recent alum Mathew MacDonald ('19) screened at this year’s prestigious National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), a Seattle-based international film festival for filmmakers under the age of 25.

Based on the quality of “Melons,” McGill was also invited to apply for, and won, the T-Mobile Foundation's "T-Mobile Uplifting Voices Challenge." The challenge award includes a $2,500 cash prize for McGill's next film project, and mentorship from T-Mobile Content Studio producers and creatives. It also guarantees that McGill's next film (or a work-in-progress) will screen at NFFTY in 2020.

Hoffman's film “Keys,” McGill's film “Melons” and MacDonald's film “Mormor,” were all produced in SU Film Studies courses. Selected from a pool of more than 1,200 submissions, they were screened among the 265 films by filmmakers from 24 states and 24 different countries.

Mathew MacDonald, Hailey McGill, Suzanne McAuley, and Barb Hoffman on the NFTTY red carpet.

Photo, left to right: Mathew MacDonald, Hailey McGill, Suzanne McAuley, and Barb Hoffman on the NFTTY red carpet.

Film Studies Program Annual Update

By Dr. Kirsten Moana Thompson, Director of Film Studies

Director of Film StudiesFilm welcomed two new tenure track faculty Ben Schultz-Figueroa and Alex Johnston joining the team, offering new classes in Science and Film, Animals and Film and Found Footage, joining other new classes in Sound Design, James Bond, Film Festivals and Pacific Cinema. Both Dr. John Trafton and Dr. Schultz-Figueroa announced that they had secured publishing contracts for new books. Dr. Trafton's research is on Southern California visual culture at the turn of the century and L.A. as a film capital, and Dr. Schultz-Figueroa works on experimental scientific films.

Student talking to Danny GloverFilm hosted 39 events over the year, including campus screenings with our partners the Tasveer Film Festival and the Social Justice Film Festival. Highlights included the two time Academy Award winning Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's screening and discussion of A Girl in the River. In March the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference was hosted in Seattle with over 3000 scholars attending. Three special conference events were organized by Seattle U film faculty including a panel of Northwest film practitioners moderated by John Trafton at the Egyptian Theater,  a screening of one of Dr. Johnston's films at Northwest Film Forum and a discussion of ethnographic film at the Burke Museum with Dr. Schultz-Figueroa. Film started a new Professional Development series called 'Movie Bites' featuring filmmaker and producer Dan Merlino and Washington Filmworks CEO Amy Lillard in conversations with students about career pathways. Spring saw two sponsored films (Lynch, Good Kisser) and one industry panel at the Seattle International Film festival, and Danny Glover, the Executive Producer of Lynch, a documentary on race and sports turned up at one of the screenings! Finally, the large graduating class celebrated with the first awards ceremony for Film Students with new prizes and trophies given out. One of our alumni Brandon Bassler has already secured a job as a Publicity Assistant at Lifetime Television!

Photo: Film Studies student Kevin Cobb with Danny Glover at SIFF

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