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Film & Media Studies

Department Overview

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.

Swarthmore Student Film Highlights

John Cameron Mitchell answers student questions after film screening.

Director, actor, screenwriter, and playwright, John Cameron Mitchell, answers student questions after a screening of his cult classic creation, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Alumni Teddy Pozo '09 and Claudia Lo '16 present to students during FMST's Queer Game Day event.

Alumni Teddy Pozo '09 and Claudia Lo '16 present to students during FMST's Queer Game Day event.

FMST department decorated for the Halloween season.

We love to celebrate the spooky season in scary style.

Photo by FMST department decorated for the Halloween season.
A poster from our 2nd annual screening of a selection of films from Philly's own BlackStar Film Festival.

A poster from our 2nd annual screening of a selection of films from Philly's own BlackStar Film Festival.

Tayarisha Poe and Lauren McBride answer questions over Zoom.

Director and writer, Tayarisha Poe '12, and producer, Lauren McBride '10, joined FMST students and faculty for a Q&A Zoom session after the Amazon Prime premier of their film Selah and the Spades.

Students and Faculty Zoom together to celebrate graduation.

FMST Seniors join the FMST Faculty for a socially distanced graduation celebration!

Director, actor, screenwriter, and playwright, John Cameron Mitchell, answers student questions after a screening of his cult classic creation, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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Grace Dumdaw ‘21 went behind the scenes this summer as a part of the Television Academy Foundation Fellowship! Congratulations—what an exciting experience!

In a time of anti-racist protest and global social upheaval in the midst of a surging pandemic, filmmakers of color center characters of color and grapple with the current moment. How do isolation, reflection, collective struggle and chosen families impact the road that lies ahead? Filmmakers of color shine a light on their present truths to let us ponder potential futures. Check out Woodstock Film Festival’s TELLING OUR STORIES shorts program, curated by our very own Rodney Evans alongside Yoruba Richen and Lacey Schwartz Delgado! This program streams tomorrow, September 30th, so make sure to visit the @woodstockfilmfest bio to buy tickets!

Congratulations to Rubing Zhang ‘22! Her short film WILD BOAR, RUNNING ON THE HIGHWAY will be featured at this year’s Woodstock Film Festival as part of TELLING OUR STORIES. More information to come on how to stream the film upon its release! 

Can anyone guess this Movie Tagline for 500 question from last night’s FMST Jeopardy at our welcome back party? It stumped our participants!

Join us today, ‪Tuesday September 15th at 5PM‬ for a live conversation with filmmaker Xiaolu Guo and Swarthmore College Professor Patricia White, author of Women’s Cinema/World Cinema: Projecting Contemporary Feminisms. 
Two films by award-winning Chinese-British filmmaker, novelist, and memoirist Xiaolu Guo, whose work explores alienation, memory, personal and physical journeys, feminism, translation and transnational identity.  She is the author of Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China, recipient of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Grace Dumdaw ‘21 went behind the scenes this summer as a part of the Television Academy Foundation Fellowship! Congratulations—what an exciting experience!

In a time of anti-racist protest and global social upheaval in the midst of a surging pandemic, filmmakers of color center characters of color and grapple with the current moment. How do isolation, reflection, collective struggle and chosen families impact the road that lies ahead? Filmmakers of color shine a light on their present truths to let us ponder potential futures. Check out Woodstock Film Festival’s TELLING OUR STORIES shorts program, curated by our very own Rodney Evans alongside Yoruba Richen and Lacey Schwartz Delgado! This program streams tomorrow, September 30th, so make sure to visit the @woodstockfilmfest bio to buy tickets!

Congratulations to Rubing Zhang ‘22! Her short film WILD BOAR, RUNNING ON THE HIGHWAY will be featured at this year’s Woodstock Film Festival as part of TELLING OUR STORIES. More information to come on how to stream the film upon its release! 

Can anyone guess this Movie Tagline for 500 question from last night’s FMST Jeopardy at our welcome back party? It stumped our participants!

Join us today, ‪Tuesday September 15th at 5PM‬ for a live conversation with filmmaker Xiaolu Guo and Swarthmore College Professor Patricia White, author of Women’s Cinema/World Cinema: Projecting Contemporary Feminisms. 
Two films by award-winning Chinese-British filmmaker, novelist, and memoirist Xiaolu Guo, whose work explores alienation, memory, personal and physical journeys, feminism, translation and transnational identity.  She is the author of Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China, recipient of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award.