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About FMA Department

Welcome to Temple Film & Media Arts

Welcome to the Department of Film and Media Arts. In the fifteen years since its inception, the Department has emerged as one of the leading academic and creative programs in the country. Our talented and energetic student body, comprised of approximately 850 undergraduates and 60 MFA graduates, has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and accolades. Our graduate student population reflects the diversity of the contemporary global film and media environment and our highly skilled undergraduates exemplify the best talent in the region. The faculty and instructors of FMA are internationally recognized filmmakers, writers and scholars. They are the recipients of prestigious creative achievement and research awards by foundations such as the Guggenheim, MacArthur, Jerome, Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and many others. Their areas of interest are broad, representing a plurality of approaches, cutting edge work and research, experimentation and exploration. The faculty shares a commitment to teaching and a dedication to the mentoring of students to help them achieve their full potential.

This past year has been an exciting one, as our program continues to grow and develop. We have added several new full time professors including Chris Cagle, Rodney Evans, Franklin Cason and Rea Tajiri. With the support of the SCT Study Away office and the assistance of Allan Barber, we have expanded our Summer Los Angeles internship program to a fully integrated academic Fall and Spring semester study away program—“LA Away.” David Parry served as the first faculty director for twenty-two Temple students in Spring 2011 and will stay on as director for Fall ’12 and Spring ‘13. In Los Angeles, students have the opportunity to take courses in film studies, history and culture, production, as well as pursue internships in the entertainment industry. Our faculty and staff in LA includes several FMA MFA graduates.

This year’s 2011 Diamond Screen Festival, under the guidance of LeAnn Erickson, was a huge success attracting a diverse and highly competitive roster of participants. Winners included Ziggy Bauman, Antonio Jiminez, and Oliver Beyer. Next year’s 2012 Diamond Screen Festival and the Freese Festival will be overseen by Mike Kuetemeyer, see our website for submission details.

Once again, our faculty has been extremely active in their research and creative work. To highlight but a few notable projects: Warren Bass completed VAN GOGH’S GARDEN– an experimental animation exploring the details of a landscape through a painterly post-impressionist eye, based on Van Gogh’s palette and his juxtaposition of colors. In addition, he has been actively at work on two other films: the animated NEW BIRD WALTZ, based on a musical composition from 1838 by Francis Johnson, a noted composer and free black man in Philadelphia, and the documentary, ALL THE WORLD IS URBAN, on tens of thousands of poor being displaced by massive urban renewal in India.

Rodney Evans shot his new feature film The Happy Sad in July. Several FMA undergraduates and graduate students had the invaluable experience of assisting on the production set. Rod Coover’s volume Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts came out with the University of Chicago Press. Switching Codes is an important contribution to the field of New Media and brings together an impressive array of international scholars on this timely topic. LeAnn Erickson’s Top Secret Rosies, a groundbreaking documentary on the role of female mathematicians contributing to the war effort during WWII, was released earlier this year and continues to be toured throughout the country.

I look forward to the upcoming year. Please join me in welcoming back all of our students, faculty and staff. You may now follow our news on Facebook.

Nora Alter
Department Chair and Professor