Letter From Director

Welcome to Film and Media Studies at Georgetown University.

We are an undergraduate, interdisciplinary program in Georgetown College, offering a Minor in Film and Media Studies. Our curriculum and pedagogy focus on integrating creative scholarship with critical creativity. Our faculty teach and our students study histories and theories of film and media. At the same time as our students study histories and theories of film and media, our students learn to create original media projects, including documentary, narrative, and experimental short work.

In May 2015, we graduated 19 Film and Media Studies Minors.  Currently, we have 18 seniors and 18 juniors enrolled in the Program.  These students were selected via a rigorous selection process.

In spring 2015, we inaugurated “Long Story Shorts,” our first academically-framed Georgetown University Student Film Festival.  The festival is dedicated to showcasing excellence in short form cinema, produced by students and emerging professional mediamakers.  Led by Professor Sky Sitney, our students solicited short film submissions from around the world (more than 1500 submissions in total).  The students reviewed the submissions, curated a festival program, and promoted and produced a professionally-conceived film festival (a first for the University).  Please find more information at this link: http://www.gufilmfestival.com.

This fall, Film and Media Studies hosted a major symposium, Katrina@10, exploring the legacies of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans at the 10-year anniversary.  Funded by a Reflective Engagement Grant, we brought filmmakers, musicians, culture bearers, scholars, journalists, and activists to Georgetown for two days of screenings, panels, concerts and events.  Highlights included a screening and discussion of the Academy-Award nominated documentary Trouble The Water (2008) with filmmaker Tia Lessin; a concert by award-winning jazz musician Donald Harrison Jr.; and panel discussions on Media and Memory, Public History, and Social Justice and Action.  Please find more information at this link: http://www.katrina-10.com.

In addition, we hosted three Master Classes as opportunities for our students to explore questions of media and social justice and media industry studies with special guest experts.  In September, we hosted a screening and discussion of the documentary film Gideon’s Army (2013) with award-winning filmmaker and Georgetown alumna Dawn Porter (L’93).  Porter’s film explores the American criminal justice system with special focus on the vital role of public defenders.

In November, we hosted a Master Class with talent agent Eddy Yablans (C’88), a partner at ICM.  Yablans talked about the role of representation in a changing entertainment industry, using his client Chris Rock’s independent film, Top Five (2014) as a case study.

Also in November, we hosted a Master Class on the television show Breaking Bad (AMC 2008-2013) with Sony Pictures Television President Zack Van Amburg (C’92), show creator Vince Gilligan, and lead actor Bryan Cranston.   This very special Master Class was offered only to Film and Media Studies students, and our students were privileged to learn directly about the writing, production and reception of this seminal American television series.  Please find an article about the Master Class here: https://college.georgetown.edu/collegenews/behind-the-scenes-of-breaking-bad.

In Spring 2016, building on our Master Classes, we will offer a new course, FMST-151: Media Industry Studies (Immersive Learning Experience).  Through this course, our students will research, plan, and document a visit to Los Angeles to study the entertainment industry through on-site meetings with key figures.  Through FMST-151, our students will enjoy innovative opportunities to learn through site visits and in-depth exploration of film, television, and digital media, expanding our classroom to LA and beyond.

Sincerely,

Bernie Cook, PhD

Director, Film and Media Studies