Erin: Yeah, I’ve been exploring queer studies…sexuality studies…and 1970s cinema. When I first came here, I had to reevaluate what I liked and was interested in. I’ve always been interested in 1970s cinema and the representation of sex on film. Right now, for my Research Methods class, I’m doing a whole project on John Travolta within 70s cinema.
In the last few years, the Film Division has been graced by the presence of three talented filmmakers from Iran. We introduce them to you here in their own words.
No one person makes a film. At the Film Division, Program Director Steven Ross, a cinematographer by trade, places great importance on the process of collaboration. He wants his students to acquire technical expertise, artistic confidence, and an ability to work with others in the creation of art. Steve thinks that “part of the challenge for me… is training and developing able-bodied camera people who can handle the job.”
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 alumnus 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.