In July, MovieMaker Magazine listed BYU Media Arts as a top film school for Outstanding Theory and Criticism Training. You can see the full article here. The college did a great article on the significance of this recognition, which can be accessed here. From the college article:
The BYU Media Arts Program was recently recognized as one of 40 top film schools in North America by MovieMaker Magazine. MovieMaker calls the BA in Media Arts Studies a top pick for the programs in North America. It also highlights BYU for its international focus and a “worldview [that] extends to its approach to film theory.” “We are pleased to have been recognized for the strengths of our film program,” said Professor Darl Larsen, an associate chair in TMA. “We offer a robust series of critical studies courses designed to complement production experiences, the goal being rounded, thoughtful, and motivated graduates who can excel in the industry and/or in academia.”
On August 30, Brad Barber launched his long-term documentary series States of America with the first 3 episodes at www.StatesFilms.com, Nevada, Iowa, and Wisconsin. After that, Brad will be releasing one episode a month. So far, 20 TMA students and recent grads have worked on the project with him, and many more will in the future as the project continues. Brad began in 2009 mostly making the films while traveling to a new state for conferences or vacations, but has gradually enlisted the collaboration of students and recent grads and received generous support from IFP (the Independent Filmmaker Project), the BYU Film Committee, the BYU Film and Digital Media Fund, and the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts. Here’s a synopsis of the project:
What is it that connects us to the state we call home in the United States? How does place affect who we are and how we identify ourselves? In an increasingly fragmented nation, where belonging and heritage are either celebrated or suspect, States of America asks these questions through the lens of 50 short, lyrical documentaries. Each features one person in every state of the Union as they explore a sense of connection to their place in America’s famously emerging identity. While the films are portraits of distinct people and landscapes across the United States, ultimately a mosaic emerges of what Americans have in common during a divisive and divided time. Created and Produced by Brad Barber. Made with TMA students and recent grads.
Follow the project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
University and College Awards: Information taken from – http://cfac.byu.edu/byu/cfac-faculty-honored-at-byus-2017-university-conference/
Thomas B. Russell | General Education Professorship
Russell, teaching professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA), received the General Education Professorship as recognition for his work with the “Introduction to Film” general education (GE) course. This award is given to faculty who give “outstanding contributions to undergraduate general education” and put their scholarly interests toward serving the university community. More than 350 students enroll in the Introduction to Film course taught by Russell each semester. He focuses on student learning through thought-provoking lectures and discussions that help students ponder the influence films have on their thinking and actions. Russell has also been working to make the Intro to Film course available as an online course.
Jeffrey L. Parkin | Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship
Parkin, teaching professor in the Department of TMA, received the Randall Morgan Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship recognizes “the sacrifice and efforts by the university’s support service.” Recipients receive a “transfer of positions and budget to enhance teaching and learning,” as explained by the University Conference Committee. Parkin prepares film production students for their future vocations by engaging students in practical production work. The fellowship will continue Parkins’ effort to improve teaching and learning, especially efforts designed to achieve the Aims of a BYU Education, according to Dean Adams.
Rodger Sorensen | CFAC Excellence in Citizenship Award
Sorensen, professor in the Department of TMA, has served in several leadership roles in the university throughout his career, including service as associate dean and department chair. As associate dean, he served on several university committees and helped clarify hiring policy and implemented other instrumental changes in the college. Sorensen has a sincere desire to work together with others and recognize their gifts. As a teacher, he shows deep enthusiasm for the topics and individuals he teaches. He is a talented director and has several credits for writing, directing and acting on the stage and on the screen in academic and professional venues. Recently, Sorensen was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Gold Medallion on behalf of Region VIII, the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF.
- Media arts graduate Mark Leavy (2017) will attend the University of Edinburgh for critical studies graduate work.
- Media arts alumna Marissa (Rissa) Beatty (2015) has finished at Trinity (Dublin) and begins an MFA (Comedy Writing) at Emerson soon.
- The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that (BYU alumna) Rebecca Thomas (2009), who was one of our guest speakers at the Spring Writers’ Conference, “has been hired to direct Amblin Entertainment’s sci-fi film Intelligent Life.” The Tracking Board says, “Thomas is clearly red hot right now due to her work on Stranger Things, as she was recently signed to helm a movie based on the James Wan graphic novel. She was also in talks to direct the John Green novel Looking for Alaska for Paramount and is attached to direct a live action remake of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid for Universal and Working Title Films.” To read the complete articles, go to hollywoodreporter.com and tracking-board.com.