Film and media are crucial and pervasive dimensions of contemporary culture. The development of formal understanding, historical knowledge, and critical literacy about media texts, technologies, and practices is central to a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. The Department of Film and Media Studies offers classes that explore the history, theory, aesthetics, and social and cultural aspects of media forms including cinema, television, online video, digital games, and media art. The program teaches research and analytical methods as well as digital production skills and approaches and encourages cross-cultural comparisons as well as attention to audiences and institutions. Our hybrid curriculum blends critical studies with critical making, often within the same course.
Film & Media Studies
How is the shrinking Salton Sea affecting people's health?MA Thesis Documentary by FMST Alumnus Martin Froger Silva '16
After working in immigration and criminal justice reform as a multimedia producer in San Francisco from 2017 to 2020, I decided to pivot the focus of my work to climate change impacts. I moved to San Diego to study climate science and policy solutions at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There, I learned about the ongoing environmental catastrophe at the Salton Sea, and decided to focus my thesis project on covering the human health impacts of this disaster through a documentary film. The Salton Sea today is shrinking at an unprecedented rate due to reductions in water availability, which itself has many causes. The shrinking of the lake has, among other things, created a massive health crisis for the people living near the lake as toxins and dust end up in their lungs. In "Out of Breath: Salton Sea", I look at why this is happening and how people on the frontlines of this crisis are dealing with it.
- Martin Froger Silva '16
WUSS (dir. Rubing Zhang '22) Reviewed by Short Films Matter
FMST alum Rubing Zhang's short film, WUSS, has received a 5 star review from Short Films Matter! Synopsis: "Nine-year-old tomboy Xiaoyu always wants to hang out with a group of boys in her neighborhood, but when her chance to join the 'boys squad' would be at the cost of a girl that she just made friends with, Xiaoyu has a hard decision to make."