Welcome Back

Welcome back to school. Everyone at the Film and Video Studies program is looking forward to seeing you in all kinds of ways.

As we think about what it means to be an artist at this unusual time, let's remember how we can affect and reflect the world around us. Many filmmakers have ideas about this. Here's one of my favorites:
"[I]t goes back to this idea of the sort of cinematic challenge of trying to allow things to feel as they do in the real world. Context, history, and multiple dimensions are so intrinsic to that… We have our individual lives, but we’re a part of a larger system. And depending on who we are and how we’re moving through space, that can become oppressively clear or something that one has the privilege to forget." -- Garrett Bradley (director of Naomi Osaka 2021)

We're all moving through space; artists make our multiple dimensions visible to others. Doing this in the coming semester will be exciting and also challenging. Our space is changing and so are our contexts: many of us are back on campus, meeting in classes, and working on sets.  We also following Mason's Covid-19 protocols, including vaccinations and face coverings (see updates here).

Film at Mason is offering a mix of in-person and online courses across a range of topics, from fiction filmmaking and documentary to editing and sound, cinematography, producing, screenwriting, and career development. And we've got wonderful events planned, including the Visiting Filmmakers Series.

We welcome new staff members, Anjuli Singh (Exhibitions and Office Coordinator), Evan Bowen (Technical Assistant), and Becca Stevenson (Admissions and Program Assistant), as well as three new facuty members, Justin Plakas (FAVS 255), Harold Jackson (FAVS 375), and LaDawn Manuel (FAVS 331). One more note: Lori Yi, our incredible Student Advisor, now has a second role: Interim Associate Director.

As you plan your semester, please check out our resources: in addition to our Film and Video Studies website, you'll find information, forms and forums, and events on our FAVS Blackboard site.
Please save these early semester dates.

9/3 Film at Mason Welcome Back Ice Cream Social and Production Fair 
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, South Plaza | Open to Film, Art, Music, and Theater Students - sign up to work on films,
9/17 Visiting Filmmakers Series, Green Machine, Student Involvement, and Center for the Arts present: Shaolin Jazz: Can I Kick It?: Black Panther
7:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Mason Pond Lawn | Free and open to the public (students must register at Mason 360). 
An outdoor screening of Black Panther will be scored scene-by-scene with a blend of Hip Hop, Soul, Funk and more, mixed live by DJ 2-Tone Jones. Plus, the Green Machine will perform before the movie. 
9/23 Best of Film at Mason Showcase
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Johnson Center Cinema | Free and open to the public 
10/7 Visiting Filmmakers Series and Women and Gender Studies present: Really Love with Angel Kristi Williams
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Online | Free and open to the public. 
Set in the DMV, Williams' debut feature delivers a poignant look at the sacrifices we make for careers and life-changing relationships.

More events will be announced throughout the semester. Keep up to date with these and other opportunities by checking your Mason email, visiting our website and Blackboard, and liking us on social media: 
Film at Mason Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Visiting Filmmakers Series: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 


Cynthia Fuchs
Interim Program Director and Associate Professor
Director, Visiting Filmmakers Series

Upcoming Festivals

Double Exposure, the first and only film festival in the United States dedicated to the burgeoning intersection between investigative journalism and visual storytelling, returns October 13-17 with a new virtual edition! Home delivery of industry panels, masterclasses, workshops, and networking events focused squarely on creative storytelling powered by the investigative instinct, alongside a slate of top-tier films. FILM AT MASON special: Get 10% off your Pass using promo code MASONDX. For more information and to buy your pass visit and follow @DX_IFF.  
Middlesex Film Festival
Film at Mason alum Lucas Muratore (’18) is organizing the 2nd annual Middlesex Film Festival. The student-focused event will be held in Chelmsford, MA on November 5th and 6th. Film at Mason students are encouraged to submit films. For more information, visit the Middlesex Film Festival website, Facebook, and Instagram.  

Regular deadline: August 31, 2021

Late deadline: September 20, 2021

Notification date: October 1, 2021

Festival: November 5 - 6, 2021

Submit now:
*Use entry fee waiver code: Middlesex2021

The Heritage Film Festival is a community-based, volunteer-driven, free event that brings together short films of all genres from novice and seasoned filmmakers to celebrate independent media. Screenings, which are usually in Prince George's County, Maryland, are now virtual. This year's Festival is one month long (October 21 – November 17, 2021). Admission to all events is free. Film at Mason students are encouraged to submit their films by the August 31 deadline. For more information, visit Films should be submitted via FilmFreeway at

Faculty Achievements

Professor Sara Barger's short film "Little but Fierce" won a 2021 Bronze Telly Award in the Social Issues category. "Little but Fierce" tells the story of 9-year-old Madison Davis and her fight to beat a rare form of brain cancer. Madison's mother, an ER nurse, does everything in her power to save her daughter's, including buying cannabis off the black market to treat Madison's pain and seizures. The film is now streaming on Amazon

Professor Sara Barger is the newly elected President of Women in Film and Video DC (WIFV DC). 
Professor Heather McDonald's "An Almost Holy Picture" was one of the first plays to be fully produced nationally since Covid. This production, by Baltimore's Everyman Theatre. This included a complete rehearsal period, built set, and full tech: the performance was also filmed. In July, the New York Times recommended this new production as one of the best theatre pieces to stream. From NPR's review: "Heather McDonald's writing is exquisite; aout half of the script is laid out as poetry." This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play has been widely produced since 2002, including on Broadway with Kevin Bacon. The new production is streaming for ticketed patrons until August 22nd. Visit the Everyman Theater's website for more information and tickets. 

Professor Maillim Santiago recently participated in a Slasher Theory, History, and Practice panel as part of The Slasher Studies Summer Camp. She discussed her paper, "Queer Slashers, Sensibilities, and Spectatorship." The online international conference was held August 13-15.

Film Opportunities and Resources

Open Submissions
  • The Directors Guild of America's application period for the 27th Annual DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women Directors is now open. Visit the DGA website or clicking HERE. Application deadline is October 8, 2021.

  • WarnerMedia Narrative South Pitch Open Call is accepting both short and feature-length projects from narrative filmmakers across the American South. Up to 6 finalists will be selected to present their projects at a live, virtual pitch event to a panel of industry judges, scheduled for Wednesday, October 13 and will receive $1000. Applications are now open and will close on September 3rd at 11:59pm CST. For more information on how to apply, visit

Employment Opportunities
  • University Career Services is hosting a Part-Time Job Fair on August 25th located on Merten Lawn outside Merten Hall. The fair includes 50+ on-campus employers and local companies with immediate part-time positions to fill! RSVP:

Film Contest
  • The Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge is a two-week Challenge designed to reward filmmakers for hard work and creativity. This year, the Challenge will run from August 25th through September 8th. Filmmakers need to submit a short film inspired by the theme released at the start of the Challenge. In addition to cash prizes and equipment, three development deals with Hollywood production companies will be awarded. Visit the website,, for more information and to sign up (for a fee).

For Alumni
  • The College of Visual and Performing Arts presents Arts Emerging on Saturday, September 25 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm to celebrate Mason’s return to in-person arts events and CVPA’s 20th anniversary. The family-friendly festival will feature student work and a marketplace of freelance CVPA alumni artists including photographers, videographers, dance studio owners, music instructors, and more. Registration to have a table at the Arts Emerging Alumni Marketplace is free! Learn more and register today:
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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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