APRIL 2022

Mason Film Festival  

Join us for the annual Mason Film Festival. This year will be our largest student film festival yet, combining films from Fall 21 and Spring 22 semesters into a four-day program. We’re also inviting alumni who were unable to screen their films in-person due to the pandemic. Our inverted career fair, Meet the Graduates – featuring alumni and graduating seniors -- will be on Friday, May 6th, and our Senior Showcase is on the last day of the Festival, Saturday, May 7th.  
Also on May 7th, we will host a special event in memory of 2015 FAVS alum Jason Cortez. Our celebration of his work and legacy includes a screening of Jason's senior thesis film, Northern Star, stories shared by Film at Mason alumni and faculty, and a photo and memory wall. Please bring a photo, past festival program, note, or card that reminds you of Jason. 
For the latest information, visit our Festival website.  
See schedule of events below.  

Mason Film Festival Schedule 
Wednesday, May 4, 2022   

4:00pm–4:45pm FAVS 300 (Global Horror)  
5:00pm–5:30pm FAVS 366 (Video Production for Social Change)  
5:45pm–6:45pm FAVS 399 (Music Video Production)  
7:00pm–7:45pm FAVS 375 (Fiction Film Directing)    

Thursday, May 5, 2022   
11:00am–1:00pm FAVS 255 Video Production  
1:15pm–3:45pm FAVS 496 Staged Reading  
4:00pm–8:00pm FAVS 365 Documentary Filmmaking 

Friday, May 6, 2022   
2:00pm–4:00pm Meet the Graduates in Horizon Hall (2:00-3:00) + Reception (3:00-4:00)    
4:30pm–6:30pm  Alumni screening block 

Saturday, May 7, 2022   
12:00pm–1:30pm FAVS 475 Advanced Fiction Film Directing 
1:45pm–2:30pm FAVS 497 Senior Film Practicum Q&A  
2:45pm–3:45pm Remembering Jason Cortez  
4:00pm–8:00pm FAVS 499 Senior Film Showcase 
8:00pm–10:00pm Awards Ceremony and Reception (in JC Bistro) 

Registration Reminders 

Registration started April 19th. Check your registration time ticket on Patriot Web. 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 377 Interactive Storytelling for Social Change 
Professor G Chesler 
Monday 1:30-4:10pm | Online

Students study the craft of interactive and transmedia storytelling while producing media projects for impact and action. Transmedia is a way of telling stories across media platforms, for both fiction and non-fiction. This allows creators to engage television and film audiences for greater impact. Students will study interactivity as a frequently used marketing tool in the film and television industry. 

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 and often overlooked history and current practice of independent exhibition of moving images. Through reading, writing, viewing, discussion and professional guest visits, students engage both critically and practically with ideas of venue and context, programming theory, curatorial ethics, distribution, and promotion for film and video. Student curators will learn to program, plan, promote, budget for, collaborate on, and host screenings, working with archives, distributors and artists, calling for submissions of work, and crafting 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. Mohr has served as the Director of Programming for the Tampa International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Programmer for the Maryland Film Festival's three-screen art house cinema, the Parkway; Film Curator for National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC; curator of the Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center; and she worked with Women in the Director’s Chair in Chicago for many years, in addition to three decades of international experience in microcinema production. This is a hybrid course, occurring online with some in-person meetings and events. 

FAVS 331 Tours DC Camera 

Professor Andrew Jorgensen's FAVS 331 Cinematography class recently took a field trip to DC Camera. Students met with Film at Mason alumni Kyle Van Dyke '16 (Operations Manager at DC Camera) and freelance filmmakers Nathan Taylor '19 and Valeria Verastegui '19. The field trip gave Cinematography students a look at the local industry, as they learned how rental houses function as hubs for working professionals and as a starting point for those interested in careers in Camera, Sound, and Lighting departments. Everyone had fun, and the students even got some filmmaking swag. Thank you to DC Camera and Kyle Van Dyke for facilitating this awesome experience for our students! 

Alumni Spotlight 

Mohammed Saffouri's ('20) senior thesis film Touchline (Khat At-tamass) will have its North American Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, June 8th-19th. Touchline is the first Jordanian film and the first film from George Mason University ever to be selected by Tribeca Film Festival. Touchline will also screen on May 7th at Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden. Earlier this year, it won the Jury Award at Franco-Arab Film Festival in Amman, Jordan, and was a semi-finalist at Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival. 

Student Achievement 

Taj Kokayi ('22) recently won Next Wave Initiative's Spike Lee Directing Award, a project focused on amplifying emerging Black artists in theatre. Taj can use this scholarship to support his senior film. 

Faculty Achievement 

This past year, Professor Russell Santos worked as editor on Jon Batiste’s music video “Freedom,” which won Best Music Video at the 64th GRAMMY Awards on April 3rd. Other nominees in the category included Justin Bieber’s “Peaches,” Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero.” 
Professor Nikyatu Jusu won a Motion Picture Association Creator Award for her feature film, Nanny. The Award recognizes Jusu’s “expert display of her craft behind the camera and her contributions to moving and shaping culture, helping audiences see the world in a different light.” Upon accepting the award, Jusu stated, “I am honored to accept the first ever MPA Creator Award on behalf of a global community whose work inspires positive change and growth... Creators make more than movies. They create jobs. They inspire cultural movements. They generate empathy machines, tackling socially resonant topics in entertaining ways. Being part of this community is among my life’s proudest achievements, and I am grateful to the MPA for shining this spotlight on us all.” 
Nanny just screened last Friday, April 22nd at the New Directors New Films 2022 presented by Film at Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art. 
Professor Samirah Alkassim participated in the 2022 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference Roundtable, “Publishing on and Around the Middle East - Contemporary Directions and Challenges,” on April 3rd. She discussed the increasing focus on Arab cinema within film studies, anthropology, and area studies, and her experience writing about the region’s different modes of film (including experimental, documentary, and horror film). 
Professor May Santiago will be participating on Cultural Studies Student Organizing Committee's student panel titled “Society in the Time of Covid.” This event takes place on Thursday, April 28. There will be two different panels that reflect on the experiences of living through the Coronavirus pandemic. The 12pm panel focuses on “Covid in the Carribeean.” The 4:30pm panel highlights “Chronicling and Coping in the Pandemic.” Guests are welcome to attend in person in Horizon Hall room 6325 or online here.  
Pictured left to right are pitch scholarship recipients from the 2021 Fall Film Showcase: Charles Grass, Mat Ross, Taj Kokayi, and Kate Kinkead.

Support Student Scholarships  

As part of our initiative to increase scholarship funds for next year, we are offering sponsorship opportunities to companies and individuals who want to support the Mason Film Festival and Mason’s Film and Video Studies Program and its students.  All monies will go to the Film at Mason Scholarship Fund to support 2022-2023 scholarships and tuition assistance for Film and Video Studies majors. The fund offers several tiers and benefits at the Mason Film Festival. For more information, visit here

Make your gift by Monday, April 25th for public recognition at this year's Mason Film Festival, running Wednesday, May 4 to Saturday, May 7, 2022. 

Thank You Sponsors

Clara Kelly, Class of 2012 

Red Zeppelin Productions 
Rick Davis and Julie Thompson 
Jack Kehoe 

Film Opportunities and Resources  

Open Submissions   

Scholarship and Grant Applications 

  • Elena’s Scholarship for Student Well-Being - Deadline: May 20, 2022 
    For the 2022-2023 school year, $1,000 scholarships will be awarded, designed to enhance student well-being. Any student who will be full-time (at least 12 credit hours) for both the fall and spring semesters next academic year is eligible.  A current minimum G.P.A. of 2.0 is also a requirement. 
  • The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant – Deadline May 18, 2022 
    The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, administered by Creative Capital, supports emerging and established writers who write about contemporary visual art. Ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, the grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from short reviews for magazines and newspapers and in-depth scholarly studies, to art writing that engages criticism through interdisciplinary methods and experiments with literary styles. 

Internship and Job Opportunities 

  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival is looking for videography and writing interns this summer. For those who need to take FAVS 450 Internship, this is a great opportunity. For more information, reach out to Charlie Weber, media internship supervisor, at Make sure you specify you are from George Mason University’s Film and Video Studies program. 
  • Awesome Con 2022 Crew Positions – Paid crew positions are available at this year’s Awesome Con in June. There is currently a waitlist, but they are still looking for crew members and are encouraging anyone interested to join the waitlist. Click on the link above to fill out an application to join the waitlist. 
  • Arlington Independent Media Summer Camp Lead Instructor (temporary position) - Arlington Independent Media is looking for a creative and energetic educator with a passion for media to help us develop and teach our refreshed slate of media summer camps for kids ages 10-14! Camps run from July 11th-August 19th, 2022. Submit a resume and introductory cover letter conveying your interest and qualifications to:
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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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