(PART 1)

Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: 

Black Lives Matter

The Visiting Filmmakers Series (VFS) is online in Fall 2020. Since 1995, the Series, curated by Interim Program Director Cynthia Fuchs, has featured a variety of films and guests at the Fairfax campus. This semester, the Series is focused on social justice, racial equality, and Black Lives Matter. 

Monday, October 19, 11:30am
Chico Colvard and Black Memorabilia, with host Kevin Sampson (Director, DC Black Film Festival)

To screen the film and read more about the event, visit our site here.
Tuesday, October 20, 7:00pm
The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices with Bree Newsome, with moderator FAVS student Taj Kokayi

To read more about the event, visit our site here.
Monday, October 26, 1:30pm
Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! with host Professor Hans Charles (cinematographer on Mr. SOUL!)

To screen the film and read more about the event, visit our site here.

Student Spotlight

Film majors Nathan Ridings and Sierra Thompson are interns for the City of Fairfax. They have been working on a series of videos called City Flix which cover public initiatives and performances.

Checkout Nathan’s video on Mason’s public health protocols and watch Sierra’s video on her perspective of Fairfax City.

Faculty Achievements

Adjunct Professor Monica Lee Bellais was re-elected to the Writers Guild of America, East. Read about her election in The Hollywood Reporter.

Professor Samirah Alkassim participated on a panel at the Middle East Studies Association on October 6th. Her paper "Gaza and the Found Footage Film: Expanding Temporalities and Aesthetics" was presented on the panel called Political Aesthetics of Modernity in the Contemporary Arab Cinemascapes. At the end of the month, Professor Alkassim is participating in a workshop to develop an edited book titled Gaza on Screen (University of California Press, forthcoming 2021) edited by Nadia Yaqub, for which she is contributing a chapter "Gaza and Experimental Ethnographies." Although a private and closed Zoom workshop, before Covid this was going to be hosted, by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University.
Professor Tommy Britt's script Lab Partners won Best Short Screenplay at the Sidewalk Film Festival and Best Short Screenplay at the Magic of Horror Film Festival and advanced to the Second Round of the Austin Film Festival Script Competition. He also presented "Spectral Space in Fictional Film Narratives" at Mapping Space, Mapping Time, Mapping Texts, an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Chronotopic Cartographies project in partnership with The British Library. Additionally, he contributed a chapter, "Death in Modern Film" to the new book The Routledge History of Death since 1800, edited by Peter N. Stearns.

Alumni Achievements

On Saturday, October 24th, Film alumna Alicia Rodriguez (’20) will be serving on the panel for the Middlesex Film Festival, organized by Film at Mason alum, Lucas Muratore (’18).

Congratulations to our other alumni who have films selected for the festival: Will Sidaros (FIVE), Christopher Malone (Harra and the Donkey), Jackson Harvey (Goodies), Jalal Reha (Thanks, Friend), and Matthew Vargas (Clementine.)

We are very proud of our Patriots. Keep up the great work. For those interested in attending, the online film festival is free and open to the public. For more information, keep up to date on the Middlesex Film Festival Facebook page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month x Filmmaker Fridays

During this time, we reflect thoughtfully on US history and challenge our belief systems. As Mason Patriots, we're lucky to be part of a diverse, global and multicultural community. We can all work together to enrich our educational environment, promote mutual respect and civility, and develop as global citizens. We can take advantage of the technologies that grant access to a wide range of art and experience: educate yourself and become active in struggles for justice.

Sep. 15 - Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, where we recognize the contributions and the important presence of Hispanic and Latin Americans in the U.S.

Follow us on social media for a new filmmaker spotlight every Friday. See our recent suggestions, below.
Patricia Cardoso is a Colombian-American director, writer, and producer, who has directed a wide range of acclaimed films and episodes for the screen. She was the first Latinx woman to receive a Sundance Audience Award and a Student Academy Award. Her feature film, Real Women Have Curves, is a beloved story of a first generation Mexican-American girl and her passage to womanhood in lieu of cultural expectations which conflicts with her own desires. In 2019, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry "as a cinematic treasure and worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony."
Cecilia Aldarondo is a Puerto Rican award-winning documentary director-producer whose work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Firelight Media, Field of Vision, IFP, the Jerome Foundation, and many others. Her debut feature documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart had its World Premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and her latest feature, Landfall, recently screened at Black Star Film Festival. She is a 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow and was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of 2015’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Film Opportunities and Resources

Apply to Megan Thee Stallion’s Don’t Stop Scholarship. Two $10,000 scholarships will be awarded to female students of color pursuing an Associates, Bachelors or Postgraduate Degree in any field.

The Telling Our Stories film competition seeks short films by female filmmakers of color, narrative or documentary, highlighting themes relevant to womanhood, community, and representation. FREE to submit. Submission deadline: October 29, 2020.

Adobe MAX—The Creativity Conference is a uniquely immersive and engaging digital experience, guaranteed to inspire. Three full days of luminary speakers, celebrity appearances, musical performances, global collaborative art projects, and 350+ sessions — and all at NO COST. Register and join the virtual event starting October 20, 2020, 9 AM PDT.

Black Warrior Film Festival is an annual student-run film festival that looks to showcase the unique talents of student filmmakers within the United States. In order to submit, you must be a student at a registered United States University or College. FREE to submit before December 18, 2020. 

The student-body of Humboldt State University invites independent filmmakers (working in traditional and experimental modes) to enter their short films. Regular deadline: February 12, 2021.

View the New York Times’ The American Latino Experience: 20 Essential Films Since 2000. In Hollywood, Hispanic stories usually mean ones from other countries. The features and documentaries on this list explore U.S. lives that deserve the spotlight, too.

As part of Through Her Lens, a program celebrating women’s artistic voices, Tribeca and CHANEL are hosting a series of conversations between leading women in film. Conversations include actor/producer, Yara Shahidi in conversation with her business partner and mother, Keri Shahidi, discussing the business of film and setting your own career path. Cinematographers Rachel Morrison and Ellen Kuras will exchange thoughts on visual storytelling, and actor/director Kristen Stewart and actor/writer Jenny Slate will be weighing in on creative collaborations with actors.
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