This fall the students at the Ohio University Film Division were treated to a special screening – a Pakistani musical romance, filmed both in New York and Pakistan, and populated with the biggest Pakistani screen stars speaking Urdu. The film, Dobara Phir Se, was written and produced by Bilal Sami; an alumni of the Film Division, who received his Masters of Fine Arts in 2012.
“It’s an amazing experience,” says Bilal. “Steve, Tom, John, Rajko, David H., Shelly, [and] Jeannette meant a lot to me and seeing them again was amazing.”
Ohio University’s Film Division has been traditionally proud of having a wide-reaching array of international students. Out of the 102 countries which were represented by their national flags at the new President’s inauguration in mid-October, graduate students from sixteen nations study filmmaking and film studies at Ohio University. The MFA in Film and MA in Film Studies programs alone count first-year students who come from the Far East through Southeast Asia to Europe.
Julia: "I’m in my thesis year and doing a more creative process of writing a thesis since I’m not applying for a PhD. During my first-year review we were discussing doing something like a creative non-fiction. My thesis is looking at children’s cartoon during the post revision era of the Children’s Television Act in 1996 and into the early 2000s."
On Saturday, October 14th, thesis students at the Film Division in Ohio University had the opportunity to show their Second Year films to a full theater in Athens’ historic Athena Cinema.
Tom Hayes is a professor and resident Editor-in-Chief at Ohio University’s Film Division. He teaches and guides OU students through the post production process of narrative and documentary ﬁlmmaking. Also a ﬁlmmaker in his own right, he has spent nearly four decades traveling through Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel to ﬁlm and document the situation of Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
This past summer Tom took another step into that world; working with the LEAP Program (Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians,) to teach English and ﬁlmmaking to middle and high school aged children in the Bourj Al-Shemali refugee camp. For Palestinian children, this is important education. To get into high school the children need to pass the “Brevet” – a standardized test with an English proﬁciency component. As for the ﬁlmmaking education, that is important for a very profound reason.
Sophia is working on her comprehensive exam. Her topics are posthumanism, cybernetics, and sci-fi cinema.
This past Saturday, the First Year MFA students in the Ohio University Film Division participated in one of the most valuable opportunities offered – the chance to display their films on in front of an audience. The screening took place at Athens’ historic Athena Cinema. “These are learning filmmakers at the beginning of their career,” said Natasha Maidoff, professor at the OU film division, “these films represent a starting point to grow from.” The ten films screened were shot on 16mm black & white reversal film and covered a wide variety of themes including romance, loss, recovery, killing your boss, and others. “I am a much better filmmaker now than I was before, and I’m still getting better,” said student Bruno M. Viana while introducing his film The Wall Between Us.