Welcome to a new year of Cinema at State.
Last year the faculty, staff and students made several changes that will, we hope, positively impact all of our students this year and on. We revised the Cinema B.A. core and foundation in an effort to better serve sophomores while easing the pressure on juniors interested trying to advance in the major. We also created four new areas of emphasis to complement our already strong emphasis in animation. They include: Documentary, Fiction Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and Media & Culture. Students are also allowed to propose an individualized area of emphasis. And we created several new courses, including master classes, documentary screenwriting, and the art of the short film, among many others. All of our new and existing courses should provide Cinema majors with more options and greater flexibility as they advance to graduation. Finally, in partnership with the College of Extended Education we created two online Certificate programs for non-matriculated students (international, out-of-state, commuters, etc.): Screenwriting and Film & Media Studies. Many of the courses that make up those Certificates are also available to Cinema majors and minors.
The faculty also expanded the opportunities for our graduate students to work in the Department as they pursue their educational goals. All of our graduate assistants received modest raises last year, and they are now eligible for far more teaching and research positions than in the past. For our undergraduates and graduates, we established three new scholarships in the names of faculty poised to retire: Bill Nichols, Karen Holmes, and Jim Goldner. In terms of our facilities, we redesigned the front office, the conference room, the student study center and the Coppola theater foyer. We also invested over $200,000 in new equipment, including a newly equipped Digital Cinema Lab, new animation workstations, classroom projectors and five DSL cameras. And most importantly, we hired a new Assistant Professor in Animation, Ben Ridgway, and an Associate Director of the Documentary Film Institute, Kiva James.
The year ended with the 52nd Film Finals, a presentation of a range of imaginative and beautiful, provocative and, in some instances, hilarious films from a wide range of undergraduate and graduate students. It was a terrific event, one which we will continue to showcase as our students continue to produce amazing works of cinema and scholarship.
This year we are offering 16 production courses for our undergraduates, the most in recent years, as well as several new film and media studies courses. We are building a Green Screen Studio and Teaching Lab, two new editing bays, and n library that will allow faculty and students to check out films, books and other media for teaching and study. The faculty is also looking closely at our two graduate programs, the Masters of Arts in Cinema and the Masters of Fine Arts in Cinema. It promises to be another exciting year in Cinema.
Soon we will have another town hall meeting where I can meet more of you and answer your questions. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, where we are announcing new scholarships, internships, and screenings almost every other day.
Daniel Bernardi, Chair and Professor