2021 Valediction Statements
Congratulations to the class of 2021! Here are some words that our students have shared as they graduate...
Acosta-Campos, Jose Luis ~ Cinema B.A.
I remember when I first transferred to SFSU, it was an exciting time for me and my family knowing that I was one of the first to pursue college. As I began my journey here, every semester was always filled with a new and exciting challenge. Going into 2020, I began to feel the adrenaline of knowing that this was my last and final year. Little did I know that by mid-spring our whole world was going to change. Having to live through the massive obstacles every single one of us had to face is something I will never forget. Despite all the new challenges I was facing, deep inside I knew I still had to finish what I started; a year later I can now say I did it! I would truly like to say thank you to all of my professors and my family who believed in me.
Afzal, Honna ~ Cinema B.A.
As a Muslim and woman of color, I’m honored to have been given the space and resources to create films that are important to me. I’ve learned how I can put my Cinema and Ethnic Studies degrees to use through better representation, inclusion, and give more opportunities to people who look like me to be in these productions. God willing, my passion for social justice work and filmmaking will become the foundation of my career in the future. I’m blessed to have met many incredible filmmakers during my two years at SFSU and know those connections will last a lifetime.
Ali, Omar Mohammed ~ Cinema B.A.
Being at SFSU was rejuvenating in many ways. I felt the benefits of living on your own and more importantly with like-minded individuals. I’m thankful for the detail the school took in deciding roommates because I’ve made a lifelong friend in a short time. Being a transfer student gave me a sense of confidence and responsibility as the campus energy required. I had a lovely couple semesters at school. I’m thankful for the academic and social experience with campus benefits like the wonderful gym, slightly forestry campus yet still being next to the beach. I’ve already been missing SF State!
Anoushian, Tatiana ~ Cinema Studies M.A.
This has been such a wild and unforgettable experience. An immense thank you to everyone at the School of Cinema for fostering a close-knit community atmosphere, even in this virtual mode. It has made all the difference! To my cohort, it's been so great working with and learning from you. I only wish we could have met at the campus pub one last time before we graduated!
Bandian, Daniel Brian Frankera ~ Cinema B.A.
It is quite an achievement to graduate during this pandemic. With COVID-19 affecting our daily lives, everything was surreal and I felt like I was in a movie. This change impacted my journey but I'm grateful for the Cinema professors who offered their support and guidance. Shout out to Soumyaa Behrens of the DocFilm Institute! I enjoyed working with you on projects including Pluralities, Essential Stories, and "The Dawn is Too Far." I'd like to give thanks to my family, friends, and professors for supporting me during this time. To my fellow SFSU graduates, I wish you all the best!
Bergt, Christopher Markus ~ Cinema B.A.
Eight years ago I moved from Hong Kong to the States with overly optimistic hopes and dreams. Six years ago, I graduated high school. Five years ago, I dropped out of community college. The dreams of my wide-eyed teenage years began to fade away. Four years ago, I decided to go back to school in search for a new aspiration. Two years ago, I began my new adventure at SF State. Now, I’m suddenly graduating. This eight year rollercoaster flew by in the blink of an eye. If my time here has taught me anything, it’s that life can change in an instant and that I have the power to make the best of it. And although I don’t know what the future holds for me, I’ll keep on dreaming. After all, what are we without our dreams?
Basa, Byron ~ Cinema B.A.
I had an amazing time as a student here at SFSU. The faculty and staff have all been wonderful and I am grateful for the people that I have met who have helped me succeed. Videography has always been a passion of mine, and I am glad to have been part of SFSU’s cinema program. I am excited for what the future has to offer me, and I am ready to take on any new challenges that come my way. Congratulations to my fellow classmates and good luck!
Bezerra, Will Kluver ~ Cinema B.A.
Sitting at the dining room of my parents' house, my makeshift office, it's very hard to put myself back into the mindset of the plucky high-school graduate packing up his belongings to attend freshman year at SFSU that I was in August 2017. College has been an incredible experience not just in the times I’ve had, but in how much I and those around me have grown for it. If it weren’t for Professors of the SFSU Cinema Department like Celine Shimizu, Scott Boswell, Laura Green, and Greta Snider, I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Buehler, Rebecca ~ Cinema B.A.
I want to first thank my mom and dad for believing in me. They’ve supported my passion for filmmaking since I was twelve years old. I would also like to thank my sister for being my movie star in my student films over the past few years. SFSU was a great place to be. I’m excited to embark on my cinema journey and aspire to become an editor.
Butiu, William Baluyut ~ Cinema B.A.
Attending San Francisco State was one of the best experiences ever. Looking back at my time attending this school, I am truly grateful for all the classes I took and all the teachers that made those classes a real helpful guide to my learnings, especially those that relate to my major. I have a lot of fun memories I’ll never forget such as meeting many nice people and making some very fun movies with some very cool and talented students such as David, Daniel, Tim, Baovy, Josh, etc. Thank you again to my professors and friends for making me become better in my crafts as a filmmaker/writer and for boosting my confidence along the way. Go Gators!
Caldwell, Shandaeya Renee ~ Cinema B.A.
The pandemic brought a lot of doubt to my journey as a student, but I can say that several of the amazing cinema professors and faculty at SFSU kept me from delaying my degree. I am so grateful to this cinema department because, as a BIPOC woman, the curriculum was so inclusive and taught me a lot about the history of film outside of a white/male lens. I hope my journey as a filmmaker can lead me back to education in some way so that I can impact young people’s lives through film the way this program has impacted me
Colcord, Alison Elaine ~ Cinema B.A.
I leave SFSU with knowledge, experience, and most importantly, the greatest group of friends anyone could ever ask for. Not only have I had many fun and wild times with my cinema friends, but they also proved themselves to be extremely talented and hardworking when they served as my crew members on the set of my thesis film. I am very lucky that I had professors who believed in me and allowed me to explore and develop my own style of experimental filmmaking. I would like to thank Joseph McBride, Greta Snider, Scott Boswell, R.L. Rutsky, and Pat Jackson for mentoring me and pushing me to achieve greatness. I cannot express my appreciation enough for these amazing professors and the friends I have met in the School of Cinema. Thank you all for helping to shape me into who I am as a person and an artist.
Cuevas, Vincent Joseph ~ Cinema B.A.
Blessed to have the opportunity to attend SFSU. I'll forever cherish the people I've met and the experiences I've had during my time here. Thanks to those who have been a part of my journey. Special thanks to professors Joseph McBride and Rosa Park for their encouragement and support.
De La Rosa, Fernando Jesus ~ Cinema B.A.
This journey has been interesting and I have not been able to grasp the whole picture. Before the pandemic, I was excited to begin a new path, learn about the universities Ideologies and grow as a filmmaker. The friends I made were always upbeat and excited to work as a whole group even if we weren’t the most popular in class, we still laughed and learned even sang with the professor as we created amazing memories with all. During the pandemic, the professors took a stand and empowered not only themselves to take a challenge, they were honest and created a sense of trust than things were going to be ok, a year later things are ok and those memories will live on, I'm about to exit San Francisco State with brand new tools under my belt and with the confidence that I can adapt to new situations, thanks to my professors. I'm an alligator ready to explore the world.
Del Rio, Genesis ~ Cinema B.A.
When Scott Boswell said, Its filmmaking not brain surgery, the first day of lecture inside Coppola Theater every ounce of fear left my body. I knew I was in the right place-- I love riding this new wave, the future excites me.
Duffy, Harrison Reno ~ Cinema B.A.
SFSU has shaped me into the adult that I am today. Growing into the filmmaker and man I am has been the result of so many teachers, friends, clubs, and resources the SFSU community offered me. I was very happy to make so many memories and form so many lasting relationships that I will carry with me through the rest of my life. I’m excited to continue to grow and develop into a better and more learned person. I’m excited for what the future holds!
Ellison, Sean William Robert ~ Cinema B.A.
Man, it’s been a long road to get here. After bouncing around multiple colleges and not knowing where to take my life, I am so glad that I eventually found the Cinema program at SFSU and headed down this path. Studying film made me genuinely excited to engage in my major, and it helped me discover just how much I need a life in the world of cinema. This program saved me, and while no one expected graduation to end up like this, I’m still grateful for the semesters I’ve spent here.
Elzy, Ailish ~ Cinema Studies M.A.
It’s difficult to find a word that sincerely reflects this once in a lifetime school experience.
“Bananas” comes to mind.
However, I will say that this is my absolute favorite school and while I’m enormously sad to leave, I’m forever grateful for all my experiences here. Shout out to my cohort, I’ve got mad love for you all.
Escalante, Shiela Marie Ocampo ~ Cinema B.A.
These last years have come by so quickly. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be graduating from college at my age. None of this would be possible without my friends, family and professors who have supported me throughout the years. For me, cinema has allowed me to learn about different art forms and stories that I may not be used to seeing on a daily basis. It is truly a way of connecting with one another. SFSU's Cinema Department has given me the environment to push myself creatively and expose me to films that have broadened my horizons. Cheers, class of 2021!
Esslinger, Forrest Michael ~ Cinema B.A.
Before coming to SFSU I felt anxious about what the future would hold in the coming years. Looking back, I feel absolutely silly for worrying for even a second. My instructors, their lessons and their spirit will carry on with me into my professional career. The friends and memories I’ve made are ones I will cherish for the rest of my life. And now that I am finally moving on, I no longer feel anxious, but excited for what the future holds. So in the words of the great Douglas Adams; so long everyone, and thanks for all the fish.
Fukushima, Tae ~ Cinema B.A.
Graduating from San Francisco State University is the greatest accomplishment I have made in my life. I want to thank all of the people who supported me for four years, especially my parents and sister. I wouldn’t have made it without them. Sadly, we cannot celebrate our graduation in person, but I am very proud of my friends, fellow graduates, and myself because we worked so hard during this crazy time. Thank you all so much!
Gray, Spencer Bryant ~ Cinema B.A., Animation M.N.
These past three years at SFSU have been a strange but wonderful experience. My time here has allowed me to see things that I never would have thought I’d see and participate in events that I didn’t think I would. Graduating as a Cinema Major isn’t how I thought it would go, but in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being in this department has allowed me to meet new people who shared my interests and helped me enjoy my time here, who gave me fair critique and opinions. If there is one thing that I can say as a final send off it would be this, no matter what anyone says, as long as you do your best, you should feel proud of what you make.
Godfrey, Grace Joy Gray ~ Cinema B.A.
I don’t think any of us were prepared to live through so many devastating historical events in our lifetime let alone just this past year. Although we are all saddened that we are unable to celebrate such an accomplishment together in person, I must congratulate myself and every one of my peers for not only coming out of this with a degree but alive as well. I know many of us have suffered greatly during this time, but as we part ways, let’s move forward with the knowledge that despite the entire world coming to a standstill, we can still persevere by supporting one another and not letting our academic career be the end of our career for learning.
Goldstein, Harry Joseph ~ Cinema B.A.
Let’s be honest, these last 4 years had their ups and downs, but the amount I’ve learned and grown as a person has made it all worth it. I’d just like to thank my parents for helping through this time of my life and, of course, all the friends I’ve made along the way.
Gueits, William A ~ Cinema B.A.
Coming into San Francisco State as a transfer student, I didn’t know what to expect. There were so many things to learn, so many things to try and so many things to fail at. Despite the circumstances of being remote, it has been interesting to see the growth and changes in the work that I create. This past year has forced us all to see, think, and create in a whole different way and I’m excited for what’s to come. Lastly, Thank you to my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my professors, and anyone who has ever been a helping hand in my educational journey.
Gunter, Madison Herman ~ Cinema B.A.
My name is Madison Gunter and I have been attending SFSU for the past four years and let me tell you, it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have met so many different people that love film just as much as I do. This is reassuring to me because before then, I never really met anyone that had that same love and passion in watching and creating films. As we end on this journey, I look back at all of the friends, mentors, and to the city of San Francisco itself and I say: “Thank you.”
Hahn, Kaeden Mikkel ~ Cinema B.A.
San Francisco state University has given me plenty of room to grow, and find myself as a person both professionally and mentally. The film program was a positive space that allowed myself to pursue different aspects of cinema, and guide myself towards what I wanted out of my studies. The most influential experience was the abroad program through the University that allowed me to live and study in Germany at a film university for a year. Without these amazing programs, I would not be the person I am today, doing work that I not only look forward to, but I am passionate about.
Hagen-Aguirre, Camille Alexandra ~ Cinema B.A.
Upon reflecting on my time in the Cinema program at SFSU, I have found that I gained so much more than I expected when I arrived. As a transfer student, I was apprehensive about meeting my peers and what I would experience within the program. However, my fears were dashed upon having met some of the greatest folk--as well as having some wonderful professors who steered me in the right direction. Aaron Kerner, Joseph McBride, Katharine Mahalic, and Alex Nevill all left profound impressions on my education in filmmaking and film analysis. Not only have my critical thinking and writing skills improved vastly, but my passion for filmmaking has grown immensely. For this, I say thank you to all within the Cinema department, as well as my fond friends I’ve made at SFSU.
Hoang, Ying Wencie Trung ~ Cinema B.A.
The film industry has not been written for women of color. Yet here I was, a Chinese American woman pursuing directing and documentaries. It is for the matriarchal figures in my family of immigrant and refugee backgrounds who taught me to keep your eyes on the prize and to never let go of your dreams. It is for the women and the allies in the School of Cinema whose works have enlisted a deep passion for duty to put women on the silver screen.
Haworth, Bailey Michael ~ Cinema B.A.
I came to San Francisco State with the intention of being someone who made entertaining movies and called it a day. I thought having the degree made me official. As I leave now, I find myself being more than just my career choice. I became an artist who no longer just creates, but creates with the influence of the heart. I'm an individual, someone with his love on his sleeves, a best friend, and a dreamer. I’m proud of who I’ve become and I'm forever grateful for the special people in my life who helped influence this wonderful transformation.
Hensley, Samuel Ariston ~ Cinema B.A.
Looking back on my time at SFSU, I think immediately to all the wonderful people I’ve met and memories I’ve made during my 5 years at SFSU. Although graduation is nothing like I expected, and last 3 semesters being fully online weren’t the best for me, I finished. Despite all the odds, I’m graduating. I’m proud to say I did it, I showed a lot of people it’s possible, easy if you put your mind to it. Anything is possible with hard work and determination. And it helps a lot to have a supportive family, wouldn’t have made it this far with out my family. Love you Mom and Dad, thank you grandpa Mario.
Houston, Nikki ~ Cinema B.A.
When I graduated with my A.A, I decorated my cap to say "I'm Gonna Be..." So that this year, it reflects the rest of the lyric "...Even Better Than I Was!"
But in the meantime, I've found a line more suited to my situation, and something I think anyone can relate to. "I can't see the future, but I know it's watching me."
Hurtado, Jonathan ~ Cinema B.A.
There have been many cherished and wonderful memories created here at San Francisco State University. The extremely supportive culture that is well established by faculty, staff, and students made the undergrad journey worthwhile. Go Gators!
Japzon, Aaron Marvin ~ Cinema B.A.
As this chapter comes to a close, I can’t help but feel sad and happy at the same time. I wish I got to experience the classes I wanted to take and I wish that college never ended. I want to keep learning new things, new techniques, and new ideas. Although my time here at SF State has ended I’ll never stop learning. Everything that I’ve learned here I’ll definitely put to good use as I head into the real world, making sure that I continue to grow as a person. Thank you SF State, thank you to all my professors that I’ve had, and to the new friends I’ve made.
Jenkins, Kate Marie ~ Cinema B.A.
My time at SFSU is one that will forever cherish. I am so grateful for the wonderful memories and the people that I have met in my years here. This department has created such an open and safe space for its students to grow. I would like to thank all my wonderful professors, especially this year for making the transition to online so easy. I’ve learned so much from them and can’t wait to move forward on my cinema journey. I would also like to thank my friends and my family; I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for your encouragement. Though I will miss San Francisco and that foggy weather so much, I am forever grateful for the experiences that SFSU has given me, and I look forward to my future. Congrats class of 2021! Go Gators!
Kagayutan, Romar John ~ Cinema B.A.
From being a biology major to cinema has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. From taking a variety of production classes such as Directing Visual Style, Directing actors, Sound Design, and other classes that lead me to take my thesis class I can gladly say I learned a lot about many aspects of filmmaking. I want to say thank you to Scott Boswell, Pat Jackson, Tracy Ward, Greta Snider, and Julian Hoxter for giving me the confidence that I need to be successful and to thrive creatively. I also want to thank my family and friends and anyone I’ve met along the way for supporting me throughout the 4 years leading to this moment. I am forever grateful and for impacting my life!! I wish everyone nothing but the best of success, love, and happiness.
Karimi, Milad ~ Cinema B.A.
Although life on campus was short lived, I really enjoyed my time spent at SFSU. Everyone did an amazing job shifting to zoom and making the best of a difficult situation. The courses were thought evoking, informative, and were made fun and interesting by the professors. My classmates were great to work with and collaborating on the few projects we had were most memorable. Hopefully our career paths will cross in the future.Thank you for all the laughs and learning SFSU.
Kottayil, Sunanda Santosh ~ Cinema B.A.
There are not enough cheesy clichés in the world to describe the level of gratitude I have for being given the opportunity to spend the last four years as a Cinema student at SF State. I am especially thankful for the friendships I have made and the guidance and mentorship I have received from faculty. Every class I attended, project I completed, and film I was exposed to has shaped me into the person I am today. None of the experiences I had would have been possible without the love and support of my mom and dad.
Kristapovich, Suzanne Pauline ~ Cinema B.A.
From the bus stops and school cafes incorporated into my mornings to the on-campus opportunities and the late hours spent finishing assignments, I cherish the time I had at SF State. I deeply appreciate the cinema and theater professors that collectively guided me through my film school journey both in-person and later, virtually, through a life and world-changing time in history pressed with uncertainty and grief. There are too many to name, but not a single professor is forgotten. I’m undeniably grateful for everyone I met and the connections I’ve made as a student, and even as a new alumnus.
Kumar, Nithin ~ Cinema B.A.
When first beginning school at SFSU, I was disappointed to find out that the main campus bus was the 57, an inconsistent, troublesome wreck of a muni route. However, I soon discovered the 28/R, a regularly speedy and efficient transportation establishment. My commute to school became immensely more enjoyable. Everyday, I would look forward to boarding the 28, and enjoying the incredible journey to school. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, I was left bussless, no longer allowed to commute. As the zoom classes commenced, I now find myself missing the thrill of riding the 28, the backbone of the sunset.
Leskur, Jakov ~ Cinema B.A..
I came a long way from Split, Croatia to be part of School of Cinema, while having barely any language skills or cultural understanding. But when I look back, I realize how much this school has taught me to be a better individual but also a more genuine filmmaker. Since I moved to San Francisco, this school gave me endless opportunities to express my creativity and involve with other filmmakers. I can’t express how proud I am of everyone who believed in themselves and completed this journey during the worldwide pandemic. I have huge amount of appreciation for my fellow cinema classmates and professors who shared their passion and commitment for filmmaking. School of Cinema is legendary and no one can say otherwise. Big love to everyone who were supportive and positive. In this great future, you can’t forget the past!
Loie, Adam Isaac ~ Cinema B.A.
When I first started college, I was still under the high of overzeal for my major and future life. I was moving too fast and I stumbled too far and too often. The following years at SFSU were slow in developing my major and film knowledge and studies, but they helped in developing my people skills and bringing me out of my shell and into the world, where I have made the best of friends and even worked on sets with them. I absolutely cannot wait to see the rest of my life. I would like to thank all the teachers and all my friends in the School of Cinema as they taught me everything I know, have used and will continue to use in my future.
Lozoya, Rosaura Noemi ~ Cinema B.A.
For me, my time at San Francisco State University was a dream come true. I would have never imagined myself a college graduate much less a cinema major. From so much pondering and life planning, I am truly grateful for my experience and work at SF State. Many years ago, when my mother was just a teenager and migrated to the United States, she found herself in Daly City and always had hopes of going back to the city. I feel so much closure and excitement being a first-generation college student, being an example to my family, and returning to the city where my mother first planted her feet allowing me to grow. I will always be a proud gator.
Maätita, Bailey Paris ~ Cinema B.A.
I came to SFSU with an interest in production design and a big ego.
The School of Cinema provided me with the tools necessary to view myself as a versatile artist and make the projects I need to survive. The emphasis on race and gender representation altered how I could see myself as a filmmaker.
I began experimenting and expressing through cinematic language. I created Productions in Enthalpy, a collection of 5 experimental shorts where I cinematically abstract to interpret the phases of matter while coming into my identity.
I leave here, still with an ego, but now with direction.
Martinez, Eric Jordan ~ Cinema B.A., Animation M.N.
The SFSU journey has finally come to an end. After five long years, I am proud to say I am a Cinema graduate with a minor in animation. I had a difficult time deciding what interested me most, as most young adults do, so I dabbled in a little bit of everything while at SFSU. From journalism to film to finally animation, I was ultimately able to find my home and surround myself with peers I now consider family. I am also proud of being able to keep up and finishing the school year strong despite these unprecedented times.
McFall, Keila Marie ~ Cinema B.A.
My four years at San Francisco State University have been a wonderful learning experience. I came into college not knowing what my passions were. Through the Cinema Program, I was able to rekindle my love for storytelling. The cinema department made me view films through a cinematic lens, something I didn’t know existed until I entered the School of Cinema. I have met very kind and friendly people through collaboration and through our love for film. I very much appreciate the memories I have made while at state. Thank you to the professors that have provided their knowledge and expertise. Thank you to my family and friends that have been there throughout this whole time, especially through my last years at college. It’s been a wild ride. Congrats to the Class of 2021!
McGregor, Evan Spencer ~ Cinema B.A.
Thank you SF State for welcoming me from Tampa, FL. I look forward to using the skills I've learned towards a career in the near future.
McNiell, William ~ Cinema B.A.
My time at San Francisco State has been filled with ups and downs, I didn’t start off as a Cinema student, my first academic avenue was Sociology. Deep down I knew I wanted to tell stories about my personal experiences, and cinema was the best avenue for me. I remember walking into the department head’s office and requesting to add Cinema as second major. Then sitting in Pablo’s 204 class and just witnessing how passionate he was about film and writing; at that moment I knew I had made the right decision. I’ve worked hard and I have done everything in my power to make it to the finish line. The only thing left for me to do now is to keep moving forward.
Mendoza, Ryan ~ Cinema B.A.
My time at San Francisco State was my home away from home. College is the time in your life to try new things and take risks. And I did just that. I joined Reslife, the on-campus living association. This experience made me grow as a college student and gave me a sense of belonging to the community. The professors in the Cinema department are dedicated to helping their students and they made a positive impact on my education. It was a pleasure working with cinema students who encouraged me to keep going with my work. Thank you and farewell!
Miller, Kayla Brianna ~ Cinema B.A.
My time at SFSU has been life-changing. Filmmaking has always been a dream of mine, but I never thought that it could be a reality. However, during my time at SFSU, I realized how possible it was to live out my dreams. These past few semesters being in a pandemic has been challenging but with the help from our amazing Cinema Department, I was able to achieve my goal of graduating and learned so much along the way. I am grateful to say that I will be a San Francisco State alumnus and that I was a part of an award-winning Cinema department. I can’t wait to see the things that I achieve. I am proud to be a Gator and I am proud to have a bachelor’s degree from SFSU School of Cinema!
Murray, Noelle ~ Cinema B.A.
When I began this journey I wasn’t expecting to have my entire understanding of cinema challenged and deepened to this extent, but I have been pleasantly surprised again and again. I’m so lucky to have had the chance to come here and gain so much knowledge, meet so many amazing instructors, work with so many talented students, and be able to walk away with a degree signifying my accomplishments. SF State has played a part in shaping who I am and how I interact with the world and I will always have a special fondness for my time here.
Ramsay, Corina Jade ~ Cinema B.A.
Grateful for my time at SFSU. Big love to my professors and friends I met along the way. Can't wait to get out there and continue creating!
Reinero, Sophia Elizabeth ~ Cinema B.A.
San Francisco State University has provided me with rewarding experiences and relationships. My professors have encouraged me to think outside the box and view the world through new lenses. My time with my fellow students was all the more fulfilling, especially through the student-organized club the Cinema Collective. It’s been an honor to serve as an officer for multiple years and gain lifelong friendships, build professional connections, and experience the highs and lows of the filmmaking process. Hosting the end-of-the-year film events always showcased to me that we’ve poured our hearts and souls into what we love. Onward and upward!
Revera-Lopez, Andres ~ Cinema B.A.
These last two years have been the craziest times of my life. Not only was I able to attend such an amazing school but I was able to study what I love. Unfortunately, a pandemic hit in the middle of my first year of SFSU. However, it was fine because even through a pandemic I was able to get the necessary help to continue studying my career choice. I entered an internship, and I was able to have amazing teachers to help out with these difficult times. I would like to thank my parents and sister for supporting me throughout the years. I am grateful that I was able to graduate, and I hope I can reach the stars.
Reynolds, Spencer Jonathan ~ Cinema B.A.
During my time at SFSU I have learned not only the subject of cinema, but what it means to express one’s self. Coming from Honolulu, I can say with certainty, that there is no other city like San Francisco. Furthermore, there is no other school like SFSU which embraces not only who you are as an individual but brings you in as family and hopes nothing but the best of you. I hope that my time reflects that statement and I strive to be the brightest individual I can be, expressing every part of me.
Richardson, Hannah Elizabeth ~ Cinema M.N.
Within the two years I spent at SFSU, my life and many others changed drastically. Going through this experience was tough but pushed me into greater unknowns. These unknowns, although scary, brought me some of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences of my film career yet. It was the fire that I and so many of my classmates needed to enter one of the most daunting industries in the world. Adaptation, collaboration, perseverance, and consistently being forced to think outside-the-box made me and my peers even stronger. I am forever grateful for my experience at SFSU and those who supported me throughout.
Rivera, Nickel ~ Cinema B.A.
Comparing your artistry and creativity to others is like comparing your lived experience to theirs. You can't. Sure, someone may have more technical editing skills or the latest Canon DSLR camera, but that has nothing to do with your story and the way you tell it. The sooner you grasp that the sooner you will feel liberated in your process of creating and story-telling.
Rockwell, Ryann Paige ~ Cinema B.A.
As a small town girl who transferred to the big city to pursue her dreams and immediately had to navigate online learning, the last couple of years at SFSU have made for an empowering experience.
To those in the cinema department who have helped me to become more confident as a creator.
To those who’ve encouraged me to believe in my strengths.
To my brothers and sister for reminding me to laugh.
To Pops for teaching me that E.C.C. is all you need.
To Mama for being my Jiminy Cricket.
Roger, Sophia Alina ~ Cinema B.A.
Attending San Francisco State University provided more of a community than ever anticipated. The encouragement of becoming involved in student organizations was incredible advice given to me as a freshman, for it really has really broadened my network being in a major where collaborating was essential in order to succeed. I have met so many different voices within the Cinema department and within the LCA, as it has really opened up my eyes to how far the power of storytelling can expand.
It was a great pleasure to step out of my comfort zone within the classes offered at the SFSU School of Cinema. I am grateful for the people I have met and for the trust, my peers have established in me to be a part of their sets and passion projects.
Rojas, Kayla ~ Cinema B.A.
School was never my strong suit and it took me a while to get through college. But nonetheless, I am so grateful that I was able to spend my last semester of college here at SFSU. I have no one to thank but my family for supporting me through my journey, and all the professors who have given me a chance here. And for the rest of us graduating in 2021, we’ve really been through a lot this past year; we should be proud! It took an extra push to do well in our final classes, and our hard work is finally showing. Thank you so much for the experience I’ve had here in the cinema department, and revitalizing my drive to pursue my goals to be a professor!
Romero, Abigail Marie ~ Cinema B.A.
I arrived at SFSU as a transfer student ready to just put my head down and finish my BA in 2 short years. My journey up until that point had been tedious and stressful, so I was looking to just be done with it all. Instead, what I found at State was a group of students who, while also eager to graduate, were even more excited to be a part of the film process. I made friends excited to share their projects, experiences and even a little bit of the stress. While classes weren't always the most engaging and I wrote more analytical papers than I ever care to write again, I gained more skills and connections than I ever thought possible. I'd like to thank my family for their constant support and the friends I made along the way for including me in so many amazing projects.
To my fellow graduates, keep creating!
Rones, Frances ~ Cinema B.A.
Graduating during a pandemic helped me reflect on two things. The first one is how I feel such a loss of control with all the changes I experienced in the recent year. But as helpless as I feel, being a Cinema major, a storyteller, reminded me that I am wired to be creative. My peers and professors, specifically the Directing Actors and Feature Screenwriting classes helped me tapped into my inner creativity during a hopeless time for a hopeful tomorrow. Thank you SFSU Cinema!
Saephan, Ricky ~ Cinema B.A.
These past three years have been an interesting experience. Spring 2020 was the best experience because of my favorite subject: directing actors. Covid did cut it short but it did give me a wakeup call to do whatever it takes to network with others. For the past year, attending online seminars have been so helpful. They taught me to keep applying for positions even if you don’t qualify. To my counselor and to all faculty/students I have encountered, I am grateful to have met you and thank you for the advice you’ve given me.
Sleet, Derek Ryan ~ Cinema B.A.
I want to thank all the professors I had over my two years at SFSU. They were all incredibly inspiring and wise teachers whose guidance I will remember forever. Even though my time here was short, I will never forget the creative atmosphere that SFSU inspired and the friends I made along the way. Thank you.
Stafford, Nathan Carter ~ Cinema B.A.
Here’s a secret they don’t tell you: “Cinema” is really just fancy talk for “movies.” That is one of the many amazing, good, neat, and cool things I learned at SFSU’s School of Cinema. Now it’s time to become a cinema maker.
Sternkopf, Nolen Arik ~ Cinema B.A.
Cinema? More like Enema. Lol! Haha Jk. Go San Fransco State Alligators!
Su, Adrian ~ Cinema B.A.
These past four years at SFSU have had a huge impact on my life. Here I’ve had a place to experiment with film, art, and myself. I feel like a completely different person from when I first stepped onto campus; this great community of talented filmmakers and artists have given me a place for growth and development. With the support of this great community, my peers, friends, and family in these unforeseen times has been immeasurable and made graduation possible. They’ve also helped find a new creative voice and way to express myself that I couldn’t have found alone. FInally I want to thank the professors, while far from perfect they have had an overall positive impact on my time here and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Taylor, Nicole Ann ~ Cinema B.A.
I transferred to San Francisco State as a junior and the first step I took onto campus, I knew I belonged. I feel grateful that every single one of my professors and classmates have been extremely supportive and creative. Transferring to SFSU with a major in cinema, one of the most impacted majors, was intimidating I cannot lie…BUT, everyone in the cinema department has had a positive impact on me. I can proudly say that I feel confident, or as confident as one can be, graduating and taking the first steps to my film journey.
Tien, Annie M ~ Cinema B.A.
Through triumphs and hardships, I am forever grateful for the time I had at SF State. I’ve learned so much from my professors and have grown so much as a creative.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me from the start as well as those that have really helped me through the end — my family, my friends, Johnny for being the best advisor ever, Dr. Shimizu for vouching for me, Pablo and Scott for always knowing the answer.
I wish everyone in my class the best of luck in their future endeavors. And with that, see ya later Gators! Peace and love.
Tolentino, Katean Asuncion ~ Cinema B.A.
My 3 years at SF State campus will be one of my greatest memories, and while I’m sad that my on-campus experience was cut short, I am still very much grateful for the memories made. I want to express my gratitude for the exceptional courses, staff, and colleagues of the cinema program that challenged and unveiled the deeper aspects of my creativity. Thank you to my parents for supporting and allowing me to pursue this education. I will gladly represent SFSU as I continue my filmmaking journey and hope to lead a trail for future As-Am filmmakers to come.
Tomboc, Alexces Danielle ~ Cinema B.A.
I cannot express how much gratitude I have towards my professors and colleagues for making my experience at SFSU unforgettable. Thank you so much to all of my family and my friends who supported me throughout my time in the Bay Area. Every experience shaped who I am as a person today, and I would not be here without you!
Trill, Elizabeth ~ Cinema B.A.
My college experience was such a ride. From UC San Diego, Laney College, to SF State University. I wouldn't trade any of it. Each institution taught me many things. My Bachelor's Degree is dedicated to my mother and father. They left their country for me to have this moment. A moment of celebration for my whole team which includes my parents, brothers, boyfriend, grandparents, mentors, and friends. I will always remember 4 years ago when all grandparents gave me their blessing. God tell my abuelita Victoria y Papá Emilio que lo hice. ¡Gracias Diosito!
Verwiel, Ash ~ Cinema B.A.
I’m incredibly appreciative of the people I have met here & the person this school has allowed me to grow into these past 4 years. In ways, San Francisco State is a home to me and it always will be. I’ve never felt more seen by any faculty & students of any institutional space. I had no idea those ambitious phone calls across the Atlantic Ocean at 3am would lead to a degree, and so much loving support to look back on. I am beyond grateful.
Villanueva, Andrew ~ Cinema B.A.
During my 4 years at SFSU School of Cinema, I was able to learn an abundance of important information regarding filmmaking and film history. Most importantly, however, I was able to grow as an artist and become the person that I am today through a variety of experiences in and outside of class. I am grateful for my time at San Francisco State and am looking forward to the future with open arms.
Wagner, Trey Grayson Fitt ~ Cinema B.A.
“The first thing you make is a story … then you finally think about how you take something from the setting and use it, how to depict it, and how to make the setting beautiful … so the story always comes first.” – Makoto Shinkai. My time as a Cinema major at SFSU has taught me the practical aspects of filmmaking so that I can bring my love of storytelling to life on film.
Yan, Boyu ~ Cinema B.A.
I came to SFSU as a transfer student, being an international student, I am feeling involved with so many communities in the school. Although there were so many things that happened in the year 2020, and we are still suffering. But I do appreciate the experience of taking classes in the cinema department. Those courses were truly meaningful and will impact my life significantly. I want to send my gratitude to the faculties. Not only did I receive so much academic support, but also educating me to be a better person. I do believe the graduation is not the end of my journey at SFSU, but a meaningful memory in my life.
Youkhana, Keden Ashur Zia ~ Cinema B.A.
I transferred to SFSU and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time as a student. It's almost surprising to think how worried I had been just before starting at SFSU because I lacked one of the minimum requirements to get in. I managed to overcome this hurdle, as I was able to make up for it during my time here; and my time at SFSU has been great ever since. I've enjoyed all my classes and I couldn't have asked for better teachers. I'd like to thank everyone who helped me along the way, far too many people to name, and most of all my family. Thanks everyone.
Zonic, Pia ~ Cinema B.A.
To explain my experience at SFSU is like trying to explain In the Realm of the Senses: crazy. I’m forever stunned whenever I hear “palette cleanser” and “French New Wave”, I can’t even watch movies with my friends without them shutting me down with my super fun movie facts. I’m thankful for the professors who have turned my tough skin into scales, who truly prepared me for the scary world of "adults with movie hobbies". Now, I can go forth and eat critics for breakfast and still have the confidence to continue to do what I love.
Reflections from Student Leaders:
Feminist Filmmaker Fellowship President Ying Wencie Trung Hoang
Serving as the President of the Feminist Filmmaker Fellowship has been an honor. My term would not have been the same without the support from the Executive Board, our faculty, and our members. Our programs aimed to build community and strength through various workshops to highlight the topic of job searching during such an uncertain time. The premise with such a focus was to ensure students have a strong foundation to go out into the real world. I wish the absolute the best for the future of F3. I hope that with the foundation we have built during these unprecedented times that our organization will only grow stronger as the years go by. Thank you to F3 for challenging me to become a more intuitive advocate for our communities as we as women continue to break the glass ceiling and rewrite the film industry as our own.
Delta Kappa Alpha President Sophia Roger
Within my four years in Delta Kappa Alpha, this term was like no other. Our community felt distant as our purpose to make films was restricted with the pandemic. We took a step back to focus on our internal workings, as the usual year never provided enough time. We proactively focused on items outside of film such as DEI training and recognizing racial biases in our org and industry, alongside the process of proposing further amendments to all chapters of DKA at different schools. We also won third place at our National DKA film festival and had members working on COVID-safe sets. I hope our incoming council continues the goals we have set, alongside the encouragement of networking and further film opportunities within the community we have built. I believe in this organization and what it can grow to become.