Congratulations to our Winter Grads

We are so proud of our graduating seniors and cannot wait to see what you all do next. Best of luck to our winter graduates!
Moamen Ahmed

Brianna C Cabassa

Tamia K Edmonds

Summer Joy Fields

Courtney Grooms

Ali Jalil

James Joseph Lloyd

Marcus Yip Chun Phoon

Mohammed Saffouri

Jada Tenee Salter

Alyssa M Swaney

Gavin R Thibodeau

Connor Alexander Weitz

Film at Mason Fall Film Showcase

Thank you to all the friends, family, and community who supported our students during the Fall Film Showcase, a week-long celebration of our filmmakers and their work. Congratulations to all the students who made films and other work during this unusual semester. We are so proud of you!

A round of applause for our student award winners:
Capstone Awards

Screenwriting Capstone

Best Feature: Courtney Grooms

Best Pilot: Tamia Edmonds

Cinematography Capstone

Brianna Cabassa

Editing Capstone

Jada Salter


Showcase Awards

Best Short Screenplay

Award for Reframing History: Mohammed Saffouri

Award for Rethinking Art: Gavin Thibodeau


Pitch Awards

Best Digital Pitch: Stephen Gentry

Best Pitch Story: Kenge BaNikongo

Best Lookbook: Aaliyah Janay Williams

Joy Hughes Award for Best Documentary: Chloe Pignano


Outstanding Graduates (GPA 3.8+)

Mohammed Saffouri

Gavin Thibodeau

Marcus Phoon

Brianna Cabassa

James Lloyd

Student Spotlight: Jada Salter Goes Viral

Congratulations to Film major Jada Salter. For part of her capstone project, Jada made a short documentary, “Behind the Notes,” based on her grandfather, William (Bill) Salter.

William is a three-time Grammy award-winning songwriter, composer, and musician. Jada’s documentary includes an interview where he talks about his successful career and what his present day looks like. In addition, she received the Capstone Award for Distinction in Editing at the Film at Mason Fall Film Showcase.

Planning to expand the short documentary into a feature, Jada posted a Tik Tok video with her grandfather.  Within hours, it went viral. Now Jada has been interviewed by NY1 News and Inside Edition. She's making the feature, titled “Just the Two of Us,” with assistance from her producer and FAVS alumna Taylor Spears (’20). Jada has organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds to make the film.

See more information about Jada and William here.

Spring 2021 Registration: OPEN!

Registration is now open for Spring 2021 classes. If you have not done so already, be sure to register on Patriot Web.  If you have questions about registration, email the Mason Film program or make an appointment with Academic Advisor Lori Yi.

Some highlighted courses we are offering are listed below!
FAVS 377 Interactive Storytelling for Social Change
Professor Giovanna Chesler | Online, T 1:30-4:10

Interactive Storytelling for Social Change explores the craft of storytelling for impact and social justice. Often called “transmedia” this craft moves stories across media platforms while expanding the storyworlds of film and television series. Interactive storytelling is nothing new. Transmedia can include a book that extends the life of a character in a television show (like Laura Palmer's Diary connected to Twin Peaks). More recent examples use social media, including Facebook Twitter, Tubmlr, Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram to move stories and social justice causes forward in the hands of the audience.
We will consider a variety of projects and causes that employ this strategy, and the jobs available in this field – from Transmedia Producer to Impact Producer. Using a cause you care about, you will develop projects that test out strategies and platforms while exploring and expanding your creative voice and tool kit.

Questions? Ask Professor Chesler (they/them) at
FAVS 399 Afrofuturism and Their Kin
Professor Nikyatu Jusu | Online, T 1:30-4:10

Students will explore the history and contexts of Afrofuturism, which has roots in African-American science fiction and now refers more broadly to literature, music, and visual art that explore the African diasporas experience. The course will focus on creative aspects including short script-writing, filmic storytelling, and online discussion with working filmmakers. 

Questions? Ask Professor Jusu at
FAVS 460 Advanced Editing
Professor Amanda Kraus | Hybrid, R 1:30-4:10

This course will instruct students on the theories, techniques and technologies pertaining to video editing for fiction and documentary films, as well as commercials. The course will combine lectures, discussions, and demonstrations with hands on projects.

Questions? Ask Professor Kraus at

Alternative Grading Modes for Fall

As an ongoing response to the COVID-10 pandemic, alternative grading modes have been approved for Fall 2020. For guidance on the alternative grading modes and to submit a change of grade mode request, visit the Registrar’s website. Contact Lori Yi with further questions.

The deadline for selecting the alternative grade mode is Monday, January 25, 2021, the first day of spring classes.

Save the Date: February 5, 2021

Virtual Winter Warm-up and Production Fair 

Get cozy at home while sipping on some hot cocoa in your favorite mug. Chat with Film at Mason faculty and staff, learn about campus resources, welcome back new and current students, and join in for fun games and prizes.

If you are directing a senior film, please come prepared to pitch your project. Sign-ups will be provided for virtual student crew positions.

This event is open to all film, music, theater, and art students. The schedule of events and Zoom link are coming soon.

Young Alumni Commissioning Project

The College of Visual and Performing Arts just announced the third iteration of the Young Alumni Commissioning Project. The program will provide grants to up to three CVPA alumni (from the class of 2010 and after) for the creation of original work. Applications are due on Friday, February 5, 2021.


For more information and to learn how to apply, visit CVPA’s website here.

Television Academy Foundation 

Summer Internship and Fellowship Programs
Applications are open for 55 remote opportunities for students interested in careers in television. These remote internships include full-time paid positions in directing, animation, casting, interactive media, and more.

Students can now apply to the 2021 summer program at Applications will close on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST.

If accepted to the program, students may count this opportunity for FAVS 450 Internship course credit.

Faculty Achievement

On December 6th, Professor Samirah Alkassim moderated a panel on Asian Futurisms as part of the program "Alternate Realities: Science Fiction from Across Asia" at the Freer Gallery.

Filmmaker Fridays x
Native American Heritage Month

Last month was National Native American Heritage Month, where we recognized the contributions and accomplishments of the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States. We continue to acknowledge and support these wonderful artists of Native American heritage.

Discover some of the top films from the past 30 years made by Indigenous people (Native American, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) from across Turtle Island.

Support a Student

After dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, many students have faced financial burden. Some lack the funds to pay for rent, tuition, and food. University Life has established a Student  Emergency Assistance Fund aimed at providing students with immediate assistance. Please consider giving to this fund. Financial assistance is a major part of our students’ well-being and every donation helps!

Film Opportunities and Resources

  • Willamette Writers invites college students to submit their web series pilot script to FilmLab.  The winner and eight finalists will take part in an online writers’ room in early 2021. Submission deadline: January 1, 2021.

  • Apply to the new DC Video Consortium Mentorship aimed to strengthen filmmakers’ creative voices and help move their careers forward by facilitating relationships with established Directors, DPs, Editors, Producers, and Animators in the Mid-Atlantic. Submission deadline: December 15, 2020, 11:59 PM.

  • The Columbia Film Festival aims to introduce Howard County audiences to the best in world, national, and local cinema, and is dedicated to inspiring and reflecting the diverse community it serves. Students may apply in the student short film category. Early bird deadline: January 4, 2021.

  • The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival is open for submissions. Student narratives and documentaries are accepted from current undergraduate or graduate students and emerging filmmakers up to three years post-graduation. Regular deadline: January 5, 2021.

  • For a LIMITED TIME ONLY, get a free pass to the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival! A virtual pass gives you access to their full film program with over 100 films—including 20 feature film world premieres, international short films, filmmaker Q&A's, jury and audience awards presentations, and workshops and panels with notable alumni, all through their virtual platform.

  • Acclaimed auteur-director, Spike Lee, offers a list of 95 essential films all aspiring directors should watch.

To see the latest creative digest and archives, visit the Film at Mason Student Blackboard page. You must be a Film at Mason student to login.
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