Pictured left to right: Lisa Thrasher, Taj Kokayi, Jada Salter, James Fedorko, Christian Druitt, and Alexander Hammett

Students and Alumni Screen Films at Washington West Film Festival 

This past weekend, the Best of Film at Mason Showcase traveled to Washington West Film Festival. Our student and alumni filmmakers presented their films on the big screen at the brand-new Showplace Icon Theater in Tysons Corner. Congratulations to Alexander Hammett (Stuck), Kenge B (Trini Girls), Christian Druitt (Jonesy), Taj Kokayi (Woken from a Dream), James Fedorko (Taking a Stroll), and Jada Salter (Behind the Notes). Special shoutout to Film at Mason senior Alex Purdy who interned at Washington West and Mat Ross and Luciana Ducceschi who worked as volunteers. Thank you also to Professor Lisa Thrasher for leading the Q&A.  

This Thursday! 

Visiting Filmmakers Series: Disclosure with Director Sam Feder and Editor Stacy Goldate

Visiting Filmmakers Series is bringing Disclosure to Mason!  On Thursday, October 28, director Sam Feder and editor Stacy Goldate will be speaking with Mason students, faculty, and staff about their ground-breaking documentary, Disclosure, which explores the media's depiction of transgender individuals. This film has been in the national spotlight recently due to controversial comments made by comedian Dave Chappelle in his film, The Closer, and Netflix executive Ted Sarandos in defense of the film. Read the Indie Wire article here.

This event is free and offered in a hybrid format. Registration is required. For more information, visit 

The IN-PERSON portion is available to MASON ID HOLDERS only. This starts at 7:00PM in the Johnson Center Cinema. Reserve your seat in Mason 360 today.  

The VIRTUAL portion is open to the general public as well as Mason ID holders. This starts at 8:45PM on Zoom. 

Mason Film Festival Changes

Starting this fall, we are changing when our advanced level and practicum/senior project classes will be offered. This curricular change allows more time for senior films and a structural change for a bigger celebration in spring with our Mason Film Festival. This fall semester, we will still recognize our winter graduates in a mini Senior Fall Film Showcase. Please read the below list for when your final films will be screened.  

Fall 2021: FAVS 496 Capstones, FAVS 498 Pitches, FAVS 499 Senior Films 

Spring 2022: FAVS 496 Capstones, FAVS 499 Senior Films, and work from both Fall and Spring for the following courses: FAVS 497 Reels, 475, 399, 365, 366, 300, 255.  

Film Practicum/Senior Project

For those with questions or concerns regarding the new curriculum structure, be sure to adjust your graduation plan with our Academic Advisor, Lori Yi, Please read the following information carefully as it pertains to your concentration. 

Screenwriting: These changes will not impact your course plans. FAVS 483 will continue in the fall and 380 will be in the spring with FAVS 496 Capstone offered every fall and spring semester.  

Producing: Take note of when FAVS 497 Producing will be offered and how that may impact your graduation plan 

Production/Post-Production: Take note of the next time your Advanced level course (i.e., FAVS 431, 433, or 460) will be offered. You must take that course before the FAVS 497 Cine/Edit/Sound Practicum.  

Directing: 2022-2023 will be the last year for the 2-semester sequence. Starting with Spring 2023, students will be on a 3 semester sequence with FAVS 498 in the spring, FAVS 499 in the fall, and a whole semester of preparation for the Mason Film Festival at the end of spring.  

The diagram below indicates how class offerings will be scheduled moving forward.

FAVS 399 Curating and Programming for the Moving Image Calls for Submissions 

The special topics class FAVS 399 Curating and Programming for the Moving Image is working on a class project to create their own unique student film showcases. The course, taught by Professor KJ Mohr, explores the rich and often overlooked history and current practice of independent exhibition of moving images. Student curators have spent the semester learning how to program, plan, promote, budget, and craft programs. Two student programs that are calling for submissions are the First Time Filmmakers Series (Deadline: October 31) and the Point of View Film Festival (Deadline: November 1). Click on the links to learn more information and submit your films! 

Upcoming Events 

Best of Film at Mason Showcase
Wednesday, November 10th | 7:00 PM | Sherwood Center 

Come watch the final screening of the Best of Film at Mason Showcase on Wednesday, November 10th at 7:00pm at the Sherwood Center in Downtown Fairfax. This year’s program of inventive short films captures the creativity and passion of Mason student filmmakers working during the pandemic. The program highlights a variety of genres, including drama, comedy, and documentary.  

This showcase is free and open to the public. For more information and parking instructions, visit our website at
Visiting Filmmakers Series: Picture a Scientist with Filmmakers Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck
Thursday, November 4, 7:00 PM | Hybrid – Johnson Center Cinema and Online 

Picture a Scientist chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists, recounting the biases and abuses they've encountered. The film offers fresh perspectives on how to make science more diverse, equitable, and open to all.  

Hosted by: Visiting Filmmakers Series and Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Impact 

Sponsored by: School of Science, Film and Video Studies, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Education and Human Development, College of Engineering and Computing, Schar School of Policy and Government, School of Business, Women and Gender Studies, Mason Chapter of Sigma Xi, and Mason's 17 Rooms: Gender Equality Room 
Visiting Filmmakers Series: Astria Suparak: Asian Futures, Without Asians
Thursday, November 18| 2:30 PM | Online 

“What does it mean when so many white filmmakers envision futures inflected by Asian culture, but devoid of actual Asian people?” Part critical analysis, part reflective essay and sprinkled throughout with humor, justified anger, and acerbic observations, this one-hour illustrated lecture examines over 50 years of American science fiction cinema through the lens of Asian appropriation and whitewashing. Followed by a discussion with Astria Suparak.  

Highlighted Spring 2022 Course Offerings 

FAVS 399 Radical Camera  
(fulfills Authoring or Diversity of Perspectives) 
Prereq: FAVS 280, 260, 255, and 225

This theory and practice course explores experimental film practice in abstract film forms for personal, socio-political, and artistic expression. We focus on American experimental film traditions in LGBTQ, Black, and Feminist independent cinema. Students will also research a filmmaker and tradition aligned with their own interests. Creative assignments are designed to expand students’ voice and expression as cinematic artists. Projects include making several short films, film exercises, presenting a research assignment, and short writing exercises. The course is designed through anti-racist, feminist, trans, and queer philosophies. Course content includes some films and performances that are explicitly sexual, including nudity. Some films express moments of violence or trauma. 

Professor Giovanna Chesler (they/them) 
Monday | 4:30 - 7:10pm | Online
Photo: Dance Dance Evolution by Jules Rosskam
FAVS 300 Global Horror 
(fulfills Global Understanding and Diversity of Perspectives)

This course examines the prevalent and underlying themes and anxieties reflected in horror and science fiction films, as well as their social and political contexts. Such films grapple with racialized fears of the Other, anxieties about the social agency of women and “minorities”, the dissolution of the patriarchal family, the trauma of war, and anxieties over technology in our daily lives.  

Our critical study covers different historical, national, and transnational contexts, thinking about how they have been marketed and exchanged through global capital flows. We begin the course by focusing on the essence of genre cinema and why it has remained a major narrative form in many national cinemas. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper understanding of what the different, similar, and changing representations of these many themes tell us about how we imagine the world today and how it was imagined in the past. 
Professor Samirah Alkassim (she/her) 
Thursday | 1:30 - 4:10pm | MTB 1007 

Professor Maillim Santiago (she/her) 
Async Online 

Professor Samirah Alkassim (she/her) 
Async Online 
Photo: Get Out by Jordan Peele
FAVS 431 Advanced Cinematography  
(see your concentration or Academic Advisor)

Students in Advance Cine spend time refining their ability to view and assess light setups in classic and present-day films and learn how to use those techniques in their own work. Students practice using the latest lighting fixtures and grip practices. They're encouraged to apply what they learn in the classroom to their student productions. By using rented equipment, the course helps students decide how to best use the limited resources available on their student productions. Lastly, students conduct tests (sensor, lens, filter and post-production) to gain a better understanding of how to evaluate the gear they will encounter as cinematographers. 
Professor Hans Charles (he/him) 
Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:10pm | AB 1007 
Photo: Roma by Alfonso Cuarón

Faculty Achievement 

Professor Sara Barger hosted the DC Student Film Fest at The Wharf on Friday, September 17th. The Festival screened 16 short student films by student filmmakers in DC and had a full house. The event was sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and Women in Film & Video DC. Mason students Alex Purdy and LJ Garcia were in attendance. 

Film Opportunities and Resources 

Open Submissions 

Learning Opportunities and Workshops 
  • Logline Rehab Workshop - In this 30-minute pre-recorded webinar, you’ll learn what makes a great logline and how to compose one. Access to the webinar is free: visit the webpage to register.  
  • Creative Capital presents Inside a Grant or Residency Panel Process - Get an inside look at what panelists look for and consider when reviewing grant applications. Taking the form of a mock panel-room conversation, James ScruggsRodrigo Reyes, and Toccarra Thomas will review project descriptions and work samples from real applications to provide honest feedback and advice, with time for questions from the audience. This free virtual event will take place on November 4th at 7:00pm. Click on the link for more info and to register. 
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Film and Video Studies
College of Visual and Performing Arts
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