JUNE 2022

Young Alumni Commissioning

Project Winners Announced 

We are pleased to report that three entries from Film at Mason alumni are winners of the Young Alumni Commissioning Project this year. Big congratulations to Kyle Finnegan, Mohammed Saffouri, Meagan Arnold, Hannah Looney, and Mike Rose.  

Kyle Finnegan (‘17) received the Creative Development Award in the amount of $3000 for commissioning support. Finnegan’s award will support his new documentary, which explores the history of MSG (monosodium glutamate) in the United States, including the pervasiveness of misinformation and the patchwork of food cultures that makes up Northern Virginia. 

Mohammed Saffouri (‘20) received the Artistic Development Award in the amount of $2000 in unrestricted support. The award will support the development of his first narrative feature film, a deeply personal story about the experience and perseverance of a Muslim-American immigrant woman in the United States.  

Meagan Arnold ('18)Mike Rose ('16), and Hannah Looney ('18) also received the Artistic Development Award in the amount of $2000 in unrestricted support. These alumni, who became close friends while in the Film at Mason program, will use the award to support the creation of Momentum/Memoriam, an experimental music video that explores and contextualizes their grief over the loss of their late collaborator and fellow Film at Mason alum, Jason Cortez (‘15)
To learn more about these alumni, other CVPA winners, and the Young Alumni Commissioning Project, visit  

Pictured: Kyle Finnegan (top left), Mohammed Saffouri (top right), Meagan Arnold, Hannah Looney, and Mike Rose (below).

Virginia Film Festival 

The Virginia Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its 2022 festival.  The deadline to submit is June 27, 2022

The Festival is waiving entry fees for all current VA-based students. For more details (including the waiver code), visit 

Registration Reminders 

Registration for Fall classes is still open! Be sure to check your registration time ticket on Patriot Web and if you have not done so already, meet with your Academic Advisor, Lori Yi, to discuss scheduling questions. Book your appointment here.
Below, see some of our highlighted classes for Fall.  

Featured Fall 2022 Classes 

FAVS 204 Ways of Seeing
Professor G Chesler 
Monday 1:30-2:45pm | Online

This course looks at how visual images shape and are informed by cultures, how artists affect and are affected by their environments. We consider and create multiple media forms and study films from around the world. 

FAVS 366 Video Production for Social Change 
Professor Rebekah Wingert-Jabi
Wednesday 1:30-4:10pm | AB 1007

This course reflects a professional production environment where student teams, under the instructor’s supervision, produce effective pieces for local community based non-profit organizations. Students will learn the business of working with a real-world nonprofit client and storytelling skills that advance the client mission. Beginning with the discovery process, students will engage the client in assessing their needs and goals for producing a video. They will develop a creative concept/strategy, a budget, and a statement of work/contract. Small teams will then produce their client project as they learn the storytelling strategies that engage by connecting with an audience. 
FAVS 399 Curating and Programming for the Moving Image
Professor KJ Mohr
Thursday 1:30-4:10pm | Hybrid RSCH 201 and Online 

This undergraduate seminar explores the rich history and current practice of independent exhibition of moving images. Student curators will learn to plan, promote, and budget film festivals. They’ll host screenings, work with archives, distributors, and artists, and craft programs that explore themes and subjects of interest to them. Events will include off-site screenings, on-campus programs, and virtual presentations. This course is created and taught by KJ Mohr, a festival programmer and moving image curator. This is a hybrid course, occurring online with some in-person meetings and events. 

Film at Mason

Summer Hours

Over the summer, Film at Mason office hours are virtual, from 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday. If you need to speak with staff in the office, please reach out to Samantha Sinagra ( or Anjuli Singh ( with your questions. 

Advising appointments will also be virtual. To schedule an appointment, book here or email Lori Yi at

The equipment cage and Film at Mason labs are closed for the summer and open by appointment only. Contact to schedule an appointment. 

Faculty Achievement 

Professor Samirah Alkassim served as a mentor for the spring 2022 Masaha Residency program at the Misk Art Institute in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Over the course of thirteen weeks, in this residency cycle, she held six individual mentorship sessions with five young Saudi artists, helping them develop their ideas for their final showcase projects that will be exhibited from May 29-June 15 at the Misk Art Institute. The art projects range from multi-media installations and photography exhibits to new media pieces that use compositing and digital scanning. All respond to the theme of “Archival Aesthetics” through lens-based media, and many address a changing Saudi society that seeks to preserve its heritage while undergoing rapid globalization.   

Alumni News

The latest feature film from Hand Me Down Films, Harmony, is directed by Virginia-based filmmaker and Film at Mason alum Zack Gross (‘14) and written by Micah McFarland (‘13). The film has been a five-year journey for the alumni and their team; it is independently financed and entirely produced in the DC/VA area. 

A psychological sci-fi horror thriller, Harmony stars Marili Mejias as Sophia, a wounded soldier in the very near future who discovers that her medical facility isn't interested in soldiers' recovery, but instead, seeks a more ominous end. After she suffers weeks of frightening dreams and sees patients go missing, Sophia sets out to uncover the true purpose of the facility that is codenamed "Harmony.”  

Harmony premieres on iTunes and all major VOD platforms on June 24th, from Gravitas Ventures
Congratulations to Alaa Zabara (‘19). This Film at Mason alum’s film Selahy was included in the New Filmmakers of Los Angeles’ Middle Eastern, Arab, and Dutch Cinema program last month. Watch Alaa and other selected filmmakers’ interviews featured in MovieMaker magazine. 

Film Opportunities and Resources  


  • Howard University is hiring a skilled person to help build the very first Videography Department within the new creative and multimedia team in the Talent Acquisitions Unit. This is a full-time position. Degree is NOT required. Skill IS required. To learn more about the job and apply, visit Howard's website here
  • Shenandoah University is hiring a full-time staff position as a Photo and Video Specialist in Winchester, VA. The position is responsible for all aspects of media production including video, photo, editing, and distribution what highlight university programs. If interested, email Suzanne Smith at for a full job description and how to apply.  

Open Submissions   

Grants and Fellowships 

Film and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • BlackStar Film Festival is looking for volunteers: apply for this year's Festival, to be held August 3-7.  
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival is still looking for videographer volunteers to join their media team. If interested, email Charlie Weber at  
  • ScreenCraft is hosting a Writers Summit, from June 25 to 26, for screenwriters who want to connect with other writers, showrunners, and more. Speakers include Sofia Coppola and Jeymes Samuel.  
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We want to hear from you! If you have news you would like to contribute, please send it to We are looking for regional film events and updates from Film at Mason alumni. Keep up-to-date on all the current Film at Mason news at

Film and Video Studies
College of Visual and Performing Arts
4400 University Dr. MSN 5D8
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-993-3287 |
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