Film Studies

Film Studies UMass

Celebrating 20 Years of Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Welcome to the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Since 1991, the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies has been a dynamic center of interdepartmental and interdisciplinary activity. With active participation of more than twenty faculty members, representing fifteen departments from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the School of Education, the Program offers both an Undergraduate and a Graduate Certificate in Film Studies. [More...]

 

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Giving to Film Studies!

 

 

 

Trailer for the 21st Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, “Reality Narratives”

 

Must See!

See more Film Studies photos and videos on our Must See! page.

 

Featured:

Honoring the Roif Family

 

Waiting for Herzog

 

Interview with Catherine Portuges

 

More photos and videos...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

contact us

Contact Us

Interdepartmental Program in
Film Studies
129 Herter Annex
University of Massachusetts Amherst
161 Presidents Dr
Amherst, MA 01003-9312
E-mail: filmstudies@hfa.umass.edu
Tel. (413) 545-3659
FAX: (413) 545-0014

 

celluloid strip

MMFF Presents: To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter and If I Had 4 Dromedaries

Kristian Feigelson of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris introduces Emiko Omori’s To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter and Marker’s If I Had 4 Dromedaries, Weds, 4/16.

Chris Marker Colloquium with Kristian Feigelson

Kristian Feigelson of the University of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris will give a presentation, "Chris Marker Behind the Curtain: Letter from Siberia (1958) and The Last Bolshevik (1993)" Thursday, 4/17.

New Course, Fall 2014: "Cinema and Sound"

Andrew Ritchey film course, "Cinema and Sound" (TuTh 10:00-11:15) explores various aspects of film sound from historical and theoretical perspectives.

NESN Student Film Contest

Want to make sports docucmentaries? Learn about the NESN Film Contest. $20,000 award goes to the winner!

21st annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival — "Reality Narratives"

The 2014 season of the MMFF explores the blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction. Hosting nine filmmakers for discussion and Q&A. See this year's exciting lineup!

Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series

Revel in the stunning visuals and colorful stories of Italian cinema, introduced by Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Professor Emerita, UMass Amherst.

2014 Catalan Film Festival

Organized by Barbara Zecchi and Guillem Molla, the theme for the 6th annual Catalan Film Festival is "Identity/ies and Cinema."

MacArthur Grant to Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures

The MacArthur Foundation announces a $225,00 grant to Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures. (Photos: Dana Lixenberg and Daniel Hernandez-Salazar)

German Film Series at Amherst College

The Spring 2014 German Film Series at Amherst College runs from 2/13 through 4/24, Thursdays at 4:00pm & 7:30pm in Stirn Auditorium.

Bard Abroad: Apply for International Programs

Bard Abroad / Institute for International Liberal Education at Bard College has projects in regions undergoing rapid political and economic transformation (currently Russia, East Central Europe, Southern Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia).

Film Studies Alumnus Jed Winer wins at NoHoIFF

Congratulations to Jed, Film Certificate alumnus ('13), who took home the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2013 Northampton International Film Festival.

Film Series: The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe

The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies hosts this film series together with the release of The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe by Olga Gershenson, UMass film scholar and Associate Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.

Winners at the 13th Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies

Eileen Roif with the winners of the 2013 Michael S. Roif Awards: Tyler Clayton Appel, Mariah C. Muscato, Kadyrose Druar and Andrew J. Pollack.

Amat Escalante wins at Cannes

Amat Escalante wins Best Director at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his film, HELI. Escalante spoke about The Hanging Priest, his contribution to the film Revolución at the 2011 Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival "Migrations."


MMFF 2014 - Chris Marker evening

EVENTS

MMFF 2014: To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter and Chris Marker’s If I Had 4 Dromedaries

Wednesday 4/16 at 7:30pm
UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg SOM

Meet Kristian Feigelson of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. The 21st Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, “Reality Narratives,” presents To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter: This collective cinematic love letter to Chris Marker captures the notoriously private director, self-described as the ‘best known author of unknown works,’ through interviews with his colleagues and admirers, evoking a man whose preference for personal privacy made him cinema’s most famous enigma: a man who is his works. And... Chris Marker's If I Had 4 Dromedaries: Composed of photographs shot by Marker himself over the course of his travel in the form of a voiceover conversation, anticipating Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag, and revealing Marker’s understanding of the secret rapport between still and moving image. Introduction by Kristian Feigelson, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. [More...]

Chris Marker Colloquium with Kristian Feigelson

Chris Marker Colloquium with Kristian Feigelson

Thurs 4/17, 2:00-3:30pm
Herter Hall 301
UMass Amherst

"Chris Marker Behind the Curtain: Letter from Siberia (1958) and The Last Bolshevik (1993)" with Kristian Feigelson.

The legendary director Chris Marker (1921-2012) has been a source of fascination for a generation of documentary filmmakers and viewers.  Beginning in the 1950s, he wielded considerable—though discreet—influence on the documentary genre.  Through film clips and video extracts, with a focus on Letter from Siberia (1958), Marker's pioneering essay-film, and The Last Bolshevik (1993), his nostalgic gaze at Soviet experience after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this presentation analyzes relationships between history and memory articulated by Chris Marker's original approach as a cine-traveler and cine-writer at the crossroads of documentary and fiction.  

Kristian Feigelson teaches cinema at the University of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. His numerous publications on cinema, Russia and the Soviet Union include  Chris Marker (Prague, 2012, ed David Cenek);  Recherches sur Chris Marker (Paris, 2006, Théorème 6, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Chris Marker Inmemoria (Mexico, 2013, Ambulante).  [Event poster]

Liane Brandon

A Woman Filmmaker Tells Her Story

Tues 4/1, 4:30-6:30pm
South College 108

UMass Grad Film Certificate Colloquium with independent film pioneer, Liane Brandon. Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Emeritus. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the early Women's Movement. During that time, she was also a member of Newsreel film collective and of Bread and Roses, one of the first women's liberation groups in Boston. She was also a founding member of FilmWomen of Boston and Boston Film/Video Foundation. In 1971, she co-founded New Day Films with Julia Reichert, Jim Klein and Amalie Rothschild. [More...]

PVJFF 2014

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival 2014

The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents 2 weeks of award-winning films from around the world, plus speakers and special events. Through collaborations with educational and cultural organizations as well as businesses, the Festival provides audiences a multifaceted exploration of contemporary Jewish culture, secular and religious life, history and politics. See this year's festival schedule at pvjff.org.

MMFF 2014

Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival 2014

The 2014 MMFF “Reality Narratives” explores the blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction that have been present since the birth of cinema and that constitute a major conceptual force in contemporary filmmaking. Hosting nine filmmakers who will be present for discussion, our festival program observes the hybrid, amalgamated spaces between these genres, juxtaposing methodologies and narratives that blend the “factual” with the “fictional.” In so doing, the festival raises ethical questions about the “truth claims” and “reality principles” of a wide-ranging, eclectic body of international cinema, recasting conventional definitions and distinctions in a variety of works and styles. All events are free and open to the public. [More...]

Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series

Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series 2014

Revel in the stunning visuals and colorful stories of Italian cinema, at Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series Introduced by Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Professor Emerita, UMass Amherst (Sunday screenings only). This series made possible through the generous financial support of Fred and Edith Byron. [More...]

Catalan Film Festival 2014

Catalan Film Festival 2014

Tuesdays 6:30-9:00pm
UMass Amherst
Herter 301

Organized by Barbara Zecchi and Guillem Molla, the theme for the 6th annual Catalan Film Festival is "Identity/ies and Cinema."

02/25 El bosc (Óscar Aibar)
03/04 Herois (Pau Freixas)
03/11 Mercado de futuros (Mercedes Álvarez)
03/25 Catalunya Über Alles (Ramon Térmens)
04/01 Lo mejor de mí (Roser Aguilar)
04/08 Una pistola en cada mano (Cesc Gay)
04/22 53 dies d’hivern (Judith Colell)

[Festival poster]

German Film Series Amherst College

German Film Series Spring 2014

Thursdays 4:00pm & 7:30pm
Stirn Auditorium
Amherst College

The Spring 2014 German Film Series from 2/13 through 4/24. [More...]

MacArthur Grant for Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures

MacArthur Grant Goes to Alumna Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures

January 15, 2014:  The MacArthur Foundation has announced a $225,000 grant to Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures for production of 500 Years, a documentary film on the 2013 genocide trial of former Guatemalan president Efraín Ríos Montt, and its aftermath. [More...]

The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe
by Olga Gershenson

The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe Film Series

The Film Series at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies together with Olga Gershenson's new book The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe. See the article in the journal Tablet on Olga Gershenson's book. Olga Gershenson is a film scholar and Assistant Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at UMass. [More...]

See the Events page for more UMass, Five College, and Local film events.

Film Studies

PROGRAM

Undergraduate Certificate

The Undergraduate Certificate Program in Film Studies offers undergraduates a comprehensive interdepartmental course of study in the history, criticism, theory, and aesthetics of the moving image. Film Studies faculty from a broad spectrum of departments offer courses exploring the dynamics of screen representation in topics such as media and culture; race, nation and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; film styles and genre; production and distribution; technology and new media. Graduates go on to prestigious film schools and graduate programs; positions in film and video production; employment in film and video distribution and exhibition, digital and new media, and as editors, producers, actors and independent filmmakers. [More...]

Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Film Studies offers graduate students the opportunity to cultivate their work and interest in film studies as an important part of their graduate training. Certificate students have the opportunity to benefit from advanced study in a growing field, mentored by internationally-renowned, award-winning faculty specialists in the arts, humanities and social sciences. [More...]

Faculty

Faculty from fifteen departments from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the School of Education teach courses in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies and participate in film events and programs at UMass and in the Five Colleges. The Director of Film Studies, Catherine Portuges, is a professor of Comparative Literature specializing in French and East-Central European cinema. [More...]

Publications and Projects

See recent books, films, and other projects by faculty in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. [More...]

Five College Interchange

Expand your undergraduate experience with courses at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges. Registration for a Five College course is easy, and the Five College Interchage Office is there to assist you. [More...]

New Course, Fall 2014
COMP-LIT 391CS: Cinema & Sound

TuTh 10:00-11:15
Instructor: Andrew Ritchey

Explores various aspects of film sound from an historical and theoretical perspective. The course is divided into four main sections: historical and theoretical questions; the voice in cinema; music in cinema; and contemporary sound design. The historical scope of the course will include the entire history of cinema sound, from the so-called “silent” era to the present; but we will focus on two particularly salient turning points: the introduction of synchronous sound film in the late 1920s, and the deployment of Digital Surround Sound (DSS) systems in the 1990s. Assigned readings and case studies will provide a strong foundation for audio-visual analysis by equipping students with a critical vocabulary for communicating effectively about sound in cinema. As a means of further developing our critical ears, we will also be audio-viewing and discussing a group of self-reflexive films that take sound technology as their subject. Such films may include Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952), The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974), Blow Out (Brian De Palma, 1981), Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012), and Hacked Circuit (Deborah Stratman, 2014). Examining the ways in which these and other self-reflexive films narrate or express certain potentials and anxieties particular to sound recording and representation will help us to better understand the social and cultural meanings associated with mediated sound and listening in various contexts.

Andrew Ritchey is a teacher, film curator and sound designer currently based in Amherst, MA. His research and teaching interests include film and media theory, sound studies, and European experimental cinemas. His publications have appeared in SubStance and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, while his creative work has screened at numerous festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, CPH:DOX, the Internationales Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, and Los Angeles FilmForum. His most recent curatorial project was “The Secret Society,” a five-day program of historical 16mm American experimental films held in conjunction with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2013 Time-Based Art (TBA) festival. Mr. Ritchey is currently completing a PhD in Film Studies at the University of Iowa. He received his MA in Film Studies from Iowa, and a BA with honors in Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Review the Courses and the Five College Interchange page for more information about the program in film studies.

Five College Student Film and Video Festival 2014

OPPORTUNITIES

NESN Student Film Contest

Want to make sports docucmentaries? Learn how NESN is developing a new television series for Fall 2014 that offers New England film students the chance at cash, prizes, exposure and bragging rights. Weds 4/2. Winner awarded $20,000! [More...]

Bard Abroad

Bard Abroad

Seeking UMass applicants for study abroad through the Bard Abroad programs with the Institute for International Liberal Education. Programs in St. Petersburg, Russia; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; and Budapest, Hungary have grown in the last year and now all offer academic year, semester, and summer programs. During the summer in St. Petersburg, students can participate in our intensive RSL program for either four or eight weeks, gaining the equivalent of one year of Russian language study, while in Budapest students participate in internships that are paired with a credit-bearing seminar on the third sector in Eastern Europe. This summer we will also begin a new internship program in Bishkek: Development, Sustainability and Conflict: Contemporary issues in Central Asia. As with all Bard Abroad's programs, these offer rigorous academics, language study, and cultural excursions.
We have had applicants from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the past and we are eager to continue to support your students in their explorations of other cultures and languages. [More...]

Film Studies Internship

Apply for the Film Studies internship for Spring 2014. The Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies seeks creative,  energetic, detail-oriented, dedicated film students with excellent  communication and teamwork skills for 3-credit internships during the  2014 spring semester. Students with strong skills in videography,  photography, and film editing are especially encouraged to apply. The  internships will support the 21st Annual Massachusetts Multicultural  Film Festival as well as other aspects of the Film Studies program. [More...]

Roif Award

2013 Michael S. Roif Award

Announcing the winners of the Thirteenth Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies for Exceptional Creativity and Accomplishment! [More...]

Manhattan School of Music

Manhattan School of Music Film Scoring for Student Films

Manhattan School of Music has been collaborating with film schools so that student composers taking a film scoring class get to work one on one with a student film maker scoring a short film in the Spring semester. This has been a great, "real world" program with many benefits for students on both sides. In an effort to provide our students with a larger pool of films to choose from, and also to offer this opportunity to more film schools nationally, we are currently engaged in attempting to expand the base of film schools and students who may be interested in participating in this program. [More...]

Publish Your Work!

Call for undergraduate student submissions to the journal Film Matters. [More...]

American Pavilion student programs

Internships

Students in Film Studies each year benefit from internship opportunities with such world class programs as the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the L.A. Intensive program, and also with local film organizations such as the Media Education Foundation, the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, Amherst Cinema, ACTV, and our own Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at UMass. [More...]

Michael S. Roif Award

The Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies is a competitive annual prize awarded to students in the Undergraduate Film Studies Certificate Program. Nominate your outstanding film students for the this year's award. [More...]

Film Festivals

Students are invited to submit work to film competitions at UMass, in the Five Colleges, locally, and internationally, such as the UMass Undergraduate Film Festival, the Five College Student Film Festival and other competitions announced on the Film Studies website. [More...]

Film Schools

Certificate students go on to pursue programs in filmmaking and advanced degrees in film and media studies. Listings on our Film Schools page offer a starting point for exploring options for further study. Representatives from programs such as LIU's innovative M.F.A. in Writing and Producing for Television meet with our students for in-depth informational and Q&A colloquia. [More...]

UMASS AMHERST IPO

Study Abroad

Take advantage of the enriching experiences of studying abroad, including unique film studies opportunities that fulfill certificate course requirements. [More...]

Explore other resources such as film groups, research tools, and career building tools.

 


University of Massachusetts Amherst Film Studies Celebrating 20 Years of Film Studies