News & Events

FMA alumna joins library Board of Trustees

Leslie Esdaile Banks, FMA ’98, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has been named to the Board of Trustees at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Banks has written more than 40 novels and 12 novellas in a wide range of genres, including romance, women’s fiction, suspense and paranormal. Recently featured as a guest on HBO’s special prelude to the True Blood premiere, Banks received the 2008 Essence Magazine Storyteller of the Year Award and was named one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business. She has written for a variety of major publishers, such as St. Martin’s Press, Simon and Schuster, Harlequin and Harper, and has contributed to magazines and newspapers, as well as the Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul anthology.

Before devoting herself full-time to writing, Banks worked as director of marketing for Milligan and Company and director of the Competitive Edge loan Program at Ben Franklin Technology Partners. She has also worked as an independent grant consultant, serving clients within the Milken Young Entrepreneurs Program at the Wharton School.

Banks completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School before earning her master’s degree at Temple. She is a member of the Philly Liars Club, a group of Philadelphia-based authors, and writes under several pseudonyms, including L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile and Leslie Banks. Her bestselling series include the Vampire Huntress and Crimson Moon novels.

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FMA master’s student sends film to two festivals

Seen/Unseen, a short animated film by MFA candidate Sara Suleman, FMA, will appear in two festivals in April 2010 , the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and San Francisco Women’s Film Festival.

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April 2: Water, Food, Shelter

6:00 pm

Friday, April 2
6 p.m. to midnight
Media Bureau Networks
725 N. 4th St., Philadelphia

Termite TV’s Life Size Action Pictures: A three-ring circus of three dimensional life-size action.

1. Screening room: Termite Triple feature with three showings of Water, Food, Shelter at 6p.m., 8p.m. and 10 p.m.
This screening features Termite’s latest series of shows based on basic human essentials water, food and shelter. It features work by Associate Professor Michael Kuetemeyer, FMA, and FMA alumni Meg Knowles, ‘02; Sara Zia Ebrahimi, ‘04, ‘08; Sarah Christman, ‘06; Anula Shetty, ‘97; Dorothea Braemer, ‘97; and Carl Lee, ‘00.

2. Café lounge: “Human Essentials,” spoken word performance by students from the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts’ Creative Writing Department.

3. Gallery: “The Basics,” photography and painting exhibition by Caroline Savage, Jim Brossy, Collette Boylan and Gralin Hughes

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Directors Guild honors former RTF student

Ross Katz shows off his DGA award.

Ross Katz shows off his DGA award.

Ross Katz, a former Radio, Television and Film Department student, won a Directors Guild of America Award Jan. 31 for his HBO film Taking Chance.

Last year, the film won and Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie. The editors were Lee Percy and Brian A. Kates. The story of a marine who escorts the body of a soldier killed in Iraq, Taking Chance was nominated for 10 Emmys, including Outstanding Director, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Made for TV Movie, Outstanding Art Direction and Outstanding Lead Actor (Kevin Bacon).

The film also was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Bacon won the Golden Globe for his performance in Taking Chance.

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Professor Coover publishes work on link between visual research, documentary

“On Verite To Virtual” by Professor Roderick Coover, FMA, has been published in the Journal of Visual Studies. The publication features conversations on the evolving relationship between visual research and documentary filmmaking.

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FMA student examines divorce through The New Year Parade

An MFA candidate in the Film and Media Arts Department is returning to Temple’s School of Communications and Theater this semester after being sidetracked in some very good ways.

Tom Quinn, who wrote and directed The New Year Parade, has been kept busy by the numerous honors the film has earned over the past several months. Its honors have come from the Slamdance Film Festival, the IFP Gotham Awards, the Philadelphia Film Festival and the Bend Film Festival, among many others.

Set against the backdrop of the Philadelphia Mummer’s Parade, the film follows Jack and Kat McMonogul over the course of a year as their parents divorce. It features real members of the South Philadelphia String Band. While the band initially agreed to let Quinn film them for two weeks, the members embraced the production, resulting in a two-year collaboration.

Quinn was recently interviewed about the film on NBC10’s The 10! Show. Here’s the video:

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FMA student, alumna earn Leeway Foundation awards

Heidi Saman, FMA ’07, and student bex* Lawrence, FMA, have been named 2009 recipients of a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award.

The Transformation Awards are granted annually to women and trans artists who have a demonstrable practice of art and social change. The 2009 awards were made to a diverse group of artists working in a wide range of disciplines including printmaking, folk art and documentary filmmaking. The $15,000 award is unrestricted—no project is required. The goal of Leeway’s Transformation Award is to recognize women and trans artists who create art for social change that impacts a larger group, audience, or community; and have been creating art for social change for the past five years or more, indicating a long-term commitment to this work.

bex* Lawrence

bex* Lawrence

bex* is primarily a graphic artist, filmmaker and photographer.  In 2005 and 2006, bex* helped bring together a group of artists to form the queer/leftist Searing Images Collective [sic] responsible for numerous local artist-driven social change campaigns.

Heidi Saman

Heidi Saman

Born in California to immigrant parents, Heidi has written and directed several successful short films including Pears (2006) and The Maid (Il Shaghala) (2008); the latter premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to screen at the Dubai International Film Festival, Slamdance and other festivals worldwide. She is currently working on a feature-length script about an Egyptian female flight attendant.

A national panel consisting of artists and cultural workers convened to review applications and work samples in two stages. The 2009 panel consisted of writer, curator and multimedia artist Dara Greenwald; theater director, performer, and music producer D’Lo; vocalist and composer Imani Uzuri; dancer and choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; and multimedia performance artist Michelle Posadas. Distinguished writer, singer and organizer Adrienne Maree Brown facilitated the second stage.

bex* and Heidi are the latest in a series of SCT students and alumni who have earned this award. The others include: Amanda Whittenberger, FMA ’00; Ursula Rucker, JOUR ’91; Anula Shetty, FMA ’97; former student Sara Felder, THEA; Maori Karmael Holmes, FMA ’05; and Zilan Munas, FMA ’85.

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Tom Quinn awarded Slamdance Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature

new year parade

The New Year Parade by MFA student Tom Quinn was chosen as the Grand Jury Narrative Feature winner at the 14th annual Slamdance Film Festival. Website

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A Trip to Swadades

Daniel Kremer’s film A Trip to Swadades was screened at the WildRivers 101 Film Festival in Eureka, California and the Iowa Independent Film Festival. It has been invited to screen at the Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal, and has been submitted to a great many others, many of which are in Europe. The film picked up a Best Feature Film prize and a quick review in an INDIEwire Magazine article. To see a trailer of the film click here.

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God of Tears

FMA alumni Max Margulies and Naoko Masuda have been screening their film “God of Tears” at various festivals around the world. So far, it has received the award for Best Short Film at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Best College Animation at the Bucks Fever Film Festival, and will be screening at the Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival in Brazil and Montezuma International Film Festival in Costa Rica in November. Some of their other shorts, including “Fish” have also been making the festival rounds, having played last month at Fantastic Fest 2008. Please check out their website for info on upcoming screenings and news:

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