Photo credit, Al Young
A special thanks goes out to staff member Joel Rakowski, who is leaving SAC after five years of service in our studios. Best of luck to you, Joel -- you will truly be missed!
An Introduction to the Ann Arbor Film Festival
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
2435 North Quad 
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
(Still from the film Please Say Something, by David O’Reilly)
The Ann Arbor Film Festival Membership & Outreach Committee presents an introduction to the Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Committee will show several short films, including Please Say Something (Director David O'Reilly), and talk about the Festival's screening process. Additionally, SAC's Senior Lecturer Terri Sarris will discuss the special winter 2017 SAC production class (SAC 304: Experimental Media Production: the AAFF)  that she is teaching about the festival in connection with the University Bicentennial Theme Semester. Please join us to learn more about this beloved Ann Arbor tradition and Sarris's unique plan to celebrate and honor it with a community of students. 
Iranian Film Festival 
Sundays - Sept. 18  to October 23, 2016

Rackham Amphitheatre
4:00 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public 
The Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Iranian Graduate Students Association is proud to announce the first Annual Iranian Film Festival of Ann Arbor, showcasing the work of a new generation of Iranian filmmakers. Please note that film scholar Amir Ganjavie, who will introduce Parviz on October 2, will also deliver a lecture on October 3 entitled "Utopia and Censorship: Iranian Cinema at the Crossroads of Love, Sex, and Tradition" (4:10–5:30 p.m., 2022 STB). For further information, visit our festival site (above) or email us at

This festival is sponsored by Arts at Michigan, the Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies; the Depts. of Near Eastern Studies, Screen Arts & Cultures, Anthropology, and Women's Studies; the Iranian Graduate Students Association; the Islamic Studies Program; the Language Resource Center; and the Persian Students Association. 
Screening and Discussion of The Lies of Victors
Monday, September 19, 2016

Location - To Be Announced 
8:00 p.m. 
Screenwriter Ulrich Peltzer will be joined for the discussion by Bastian Obermayer, Knight-Wallace Fellow from the Süddeutsche Zeitung who helped break the Panama Papers. Johannes von Moltke, Chair of German and SAC, will moderate. The Lies of Victors (2014; Die Lügen der Sieger) by Christoph Hochhäusler, is a tight-knit thriller that takes place at the intersection of politics, finance capital and the world of journalism. Told in stunning images captured by Reinhold Vorschneider’s roaming camera, the film follows the exploits of investigative journalist Fabian Groys as he becomes sucked into a story of corruption and manipulation that threatens to devour him and his career.

Christoph Hochhäusler, whose previous films include Milchwald (This Very Moment, 2003), Falscher Bekenner (Low Profile, 2005) and Unter Dir die Stadt (The City Below, 2010), has been at the forefront of contemporary German cinema as member of the “Berlin School” and co-editor of the influential journal Revolver. With Lies of Victors, Hochhäusler joins a trend of many fellow Berlin-School-Filmmakers who have begun to explore the and revise the conventions of Hollywood and genre filmmaking – which receive a cinephile nod in Lies when we see Bogart making a phone call in the Hollywood reporter film Deadline USA (1952) declaring “That’s the Press, Baby!”
Sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, and the Screenwriting Program. For questions, please contact Gitta Killough (
New Writings from Germanic Languages and Literatures
Friday, September 23, 2016

Literati Bookstore 
7:00 p.m. 
Please join us at Literati to celebrate the new work by the esteemed faculty of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures: Johannes von Moltke, Helmut Puff, Scott Spector, and Silke-Maria Weineck. Authors will be presenting and discussing their work -- and will have copies available for purchase. For a full list of works to be discussed, please click here
Little Stones Test Screening and Q & A 
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Michigan Theater 
6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Free, but registration required (see link below)
Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and former PBS producer Sophia Kruz (SAC '11) along with cinematographer Meena Singh, will host a test-screening of their upcoming 90-minute documentary Little Stones, which explores the role of art in the global empowerment of women and girls. From a graffiti artist in the favelas of Brazil raising awareness about domestic violence, to a choreographer in India using dance to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking, Little Stones profiles four artists who have found innovative ways to use their art to tackle the most pressing issues facing the women in their communities.

Click here to register. 
SAC 423 Students Screen Films at Traverse City Film Festival 
- photo credit for above photo grid, Mary Lou Chlipala 

On July 28, 2016, two SAC 423 films screened at the Traverse City Film Festival: Present Day, a film about a recovering alcoholic, directed by Ryan McDonough and written by Carly Keyes; and The Dejects, a tale of a student rejected from her dream college, directed by Claudia Fuentes and written by Danielle Jacobson. Jim Burnstein, Russell Fraser Collegiate Lecturer and Director of the Screenwriting Program, advised festival attendees on how to turn their ideas for screenplays into fully-fledged scripts, and Robert Rayher, Senior Lecturer, teamed up with casting director and actress Pamela Guest to present a workshop on acting for the camera. For more detailed information on the events of the festival and UM's involvement, please click here

Above information extracted from Rachel Reed's "Students, alumni take U-M to 2016 Traverse City Film Festival": (U Record, 22 July 2016).
SAC Faculty Spend Summer Publishing, Presenting, and Producing 
Associate Professors Giorgio Bertellini and Matthew Solomon recently published essays in a special issue of the journal Early Popular Visual Culture devoted to “Cross-National Encounters.” Bertellini's essay, entitled, “Dramatizing the Italian-Turkish War (1911-1912): Reports of Atrocities, Newsreels, and Epic Films Between Italy and the U.S,” examines the Italian-Turkish War's (1911-12) remarkable and yet often understudied media currency in newspapers and film periodicals across the Atlantic in relationship to conflicting news about Italian crimes against local populations. Solomon's essay, entitled "Negotiating the Bounds of Transnational Cinema with Georges Méliès, 1896–1908," examines the respective possibilities and limitations of silent cinema’s transnationalism – its ability to cross national borders – through a case study of some of the ways the films of French filmmaker Georges Méliès circulated internationally between 1896 and 1908.
Over the summer, Associate Professor Colin Gunckel served as a member of the curatorial committee for the forthcoming exhibition, Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943–2016 (running dates October 15, 2016- February 25, 2017, Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College). Tastemakers and Earthshakers is a multimedia exhibition that "traverses eight decades of style, art, and music, and presents vignettes that consider youth culture as a social class, distinct issues associated with young people, principles of social organization, and the emergence of subcultural groups." ( 
Professor Amanda Lotz gave two invited talks this summer: a talk entitled, “What Can Seriality Do for Constructions of Gender In Television Storytelling?” at the Popular Seriality Conference in Berlin, Germany (June 22-24, 2016), and the Keynote Address, entitled “From Distinction to Noisy: Creativity and Change in 21st Century U.S. Television,” at the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association Conference in Newcastle, Australia (July 6-8, 2016). She also published “The Paradigmatic Evolution of U.S. Television and the Emergence of Internet-Distributed Television” in ICONO 14Journal of Communication and Emergent Technologies. 

In the summer months, Terri Sarris focused on shooting and editing several new short projects that are part of a series of films she began with her films Ziegler, Drive-In, and Last Hurrah.  Shot on Super 8 and 16mm, the films use “legacy” technologies to capture moments of “yesterday’s world” - a county fair carnival, a sunflower farm, and a puppet film adaptation of a 1940 Jorge Luis Borges short story (stills above courtesy of Terri Sarris).
With the musical trio Little Bang Theory, Sarris also performed live accompaniment to silent films at the Flint Free City Festival and at the Leelanau “Un-Caged” Festival.  Finally, Sarris served as an adjudicator for the Detroit Dance on Camera Festival, which took place in late August.

On Sunday, August, 21, Associate Professor Matthew Solomon gave the opening presentation, entitled “L’illusionnisme incohérent,” at the Machines, magie, médias colloque at the Centre Culturel International de Cerisy in Cerisy-la-Salle, France. 

SAC Alum Matt Stinson and lecturer Oliver Thornton received an Emmy at the 38th Regional Emmy Awards for "Get Smart with Your Money," a series of shorts about financial literacy sponsored by Ally Bank. Created by the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the Michigan EMMY® represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Michigan's 11 television markets. Winners were announced at the 38th EMMY® Gala on June 18, 2016, at the MotorCity Casino Sound Board Theater in Detroit. Based on Ally Bank's Wallet Wise Program, each of the vignettes for the PSA focuses on a basic money skill or concept for DPTV's young audience. Stinson and Thornton were also nominated for two other Emmy awards for their work on Oakland Basketball All Access (with Jim Grassle, SAC '11) and for their short documentary feature on Conant Gardens, created for DPTV's Detroit Neighborhoods project. 

SAC Doctoral Student Joseph DeLeon Stewards at Detroit City Study and Presents Paper at Visible Evidence Conference
From July to mid-August, Doctoral Student Joseph DeLeon was a steward with the Detroit City Study, a new co-learning space in Detroit, renovating the social and spatial relations of urban research and education. As part of the mission to open up academic knowledge production through sharing and collaboration, Detroit City Study hosted an Academic Incubator, called City Study Stewards, made up of twelve University of Michigan PhD students, working on collaborative projects in three different research clusters: Learning in the City, Place-Making, and Sustainable Humanities. Together, they stewarded the space, incubated interdisciplinary projects, and worked to translate their research into more publicly accessible forms. DeLeon's cluster, entitled  Place-Making explored the diverse elements that make, unmake, and remake place and was motivated by the question, "What constitutes “place” and what does it actually hold together?"
DeLeon also presented a paper at the 23rd Visible Evidence Conference in Bozeman, Montana, in mid-August. DeLeon's paper, entitled "Resonant Surfaces: Water and the Anthropocene" focused on the 2015 Patricio Guzman film The Pearl Button and its veiled discourse on climate change.
Hena Ashraf (SAC '08) will be entering UCLA's MFA in Film Directing program in September 2016. After graduating from UM, Ashraf moved to New York where she worked for various media institutions such as Black Public Media and the Tribeca Film Institute, amongst others. Her films, such as Small Delights (Best Emerging Filmmaker, Queens World Film Festival) feature characters whose multiple identities characterize them as outsiders and who thus struggle to fit in. These themes have been developed from her own personal experiences as a young Muslim woman growing up in the U.K. and America. Ashraf is also the 2016 recipient of The Farah Tahir Scholarship from the Islamic Scholarship Fund. Congratulations, Hena!
SAC Doctoral Candidate Josh Morrison (left) welcomes first year Doctoral Student Sean Donovan (right) to the program during the SAC Graduate Student Orientation, Sept. 1, 2016. 
Professor Johannes von Moltke Assumes SAC Department Chair Position 
A warm welcome to Professor Johannes von Moltke, who has assumed a new role in SAC as the Department Chair for the 2016-17 academic year. 
Assistant Professor Sarah Murray Joins SAC Faculty

Sarah Murray is an Assistant Professor of Digital Studies who studies histories and theories of emerging media, digital knowledge economies, and mobile media cultures. Her current research is on media’s role in self-actualization, data-driven technological intimacies, and the production of “smart” subjectivities. She also researches queer media and the affective and everyday engagement of TV audiences. She has published in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Histories, and International Journal of Cultural Studies and is currently co-editing a volume on apps culture with Jeremy Wade Morris. 

James Gindin Visiting Artist and Screenwriter Tom Benedek Returns to SAC for Fall 2016
SAC welcomes back Tom Benedek, who joins SAC once again to teach a section of SAC 308, Screenwriting for Non-Majors, this fall. When asked how he spent the time since his last appointment in SAC, Benedek responded, "I have been writing scripts, teaching online, and working on some photography.  I taught a free one week online class – Creating the Web Series – and 80 plus people signed up.  Fun exploration." Benedek also completed a feature script assignment – an original screenplay – The K Girl’s Guide to Enlightenment, for which he is currently looking for a director. Benedek later added, "I am back to work on a TV project and the rewrite of a DIY feature script I am hoping to shoot next year [,and] I also started a podcast – TheProcess.Ink – which is now live on iTunes.  Finally.  There were so many production details to deal with. I have recorded 13 talks . It has been fascinating and enjoyable to sit down with all these talented individuals for focused conversations.  And I am getting better at audio production." 
To access the podcasts from Benedek's TheProcess.Ink, click here
SAC Alum Paul Sutherland ('08) Joins SAC Staff 
Paul Sutherland graduated from the Screen Arts & Cultures program in 2008 and joins our staff as the New Media Technician in Instruction in the studios. While working in his former position for Livonia Television, Paul received a 2015 Michigan Emmy nomination for "Fire & Clay", a biography about ceramics artist Barb Gibson. Additionally, a library summer reading promotion he produced and directed received popular attention around the world and was featured on CBS's Late Late Show with James Corden. Paul's passion for the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor communities is reflected not only in his return to the Screen Arts & Cultures program but also in his continued volunteer production work with local organizations such as the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Entre-SLAM, an entrepreneur story-telling organization. Welcome back, Paul!
Sean Donovan Joins SAC PhD Program
Sean Donovan is a first year doctoral student. He received his B.A. in Literature from American University in 2014, later completing his M.A. at American in 2016. His M.A. thesis examined structures of queer knowledge in the television series Hannibal, a piece currently being revised for publication. Sean’s research interests primarily cohere around queer theory and queer cinemas, but also include the representation of the body, haptic visuality, postwar experimental cinema, and horror movies. His film criticism and commentary frequently appears in the online magazine The Rumpus and the popular blog The Film Experience. Prior to relocating to Ann Arbor, Sean served as a programmer for Reel Affirmations, an annual LGBTQ film festival in Washington, D.C. 
SAC and German Professor Johannes von Moltke Publishes The Curious Humanist: Siegfried Kracauer in America
In The Curious Humanist, Johannes von Moltke details the intricate ways in which the American intellectual and political context shaped Kracauer's seminal contributions to film studies and shows how, in turn, Kracauer's American writings helped shape the emergent discipline. Using archival sources and detailed readings, von Moltke asks what it means to consider Kracauer as the New York Intellectual he became in the last quarter century of his life.  Adopting a transatlantic perspective on Kracauer’s work, von Moltke demonstrates how he pursued questions in conversation with contemporary critics from Theodor Adorno to Hannah Arendt, from Clement Greenberg to Robert Warshow: questions about the origins of totalitarianism and the authoritarian personality; about high and low culture; about liberalism, democracy, and what it means to be human.
Professor Johannes von Moltke Gives Talk at Vanderbilt University
On September 9, Johannes von Moltke will travel to Nashville for a talk in the Film Theory and Visual Culture Seminar at Vanderbilt University. Entitled “Of Humans and Things: Classical Film Theory as Media Theory,” the talk picks up where von Moltke’s recent book, The Curious Humanist leaves off. Against the backdrop of contemporary (particularly German) media theory and its patently anti-humanist strain, von Moltke asks how classical film theories described the encounter between humans and (media) technology and what we might still learn about today’s media situation from authors such as Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balasz, Walter Benjamin, or André Bazin.
Senior Lecturer Terri Sarris Invited to Join Bentley Group of Fellows for Winter 2017
SAC Senior Lecturer Terri Sarris was recently invited to join the second cohort of the Bentley Group of Fellows -- composed of five faculty members from a variety of disciplines -- whose activities will commence in the Winter of 2017. The fellowship is based on a grant from the Provost's Third Century Initiatives fund to launch a project entitled, “Engaging the Archives: New Partnerships and Understandings of Teaching and Learning with Primary Sources.” The project's purpose is twofold: to connect faculty teaching courses based on primary sources with experts in the research on how to teach with such sources and archivists from the Bentley who will help design those courses for maximum student success, and to use these experiences and courses as case studies for research that will enrich the professional literature on this topic. Sarris's SAC 304 course, Experimental Film and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, will engage students in producing an exhibition during the 2017 Festival using materials from the AAFF archives at the Bentley Historical Library.
Professor Emeritus Richard Abel Selected as Finalist for Book Award 
Professor Emeritus Richard Abel's Menus for Movieland: Newspapers and the Emergence of Film Culture, 1913-1916 was selected as one of two finalists for the 2015 Wall Award from the Theatre Library Association. For a complete list of award winners, click here
Dimitri Pavlounis Successfully Defends Dissertation and Joins SAC Faculty for Fall 2016
Dimitri Pavlounis successfully defended his dissertation, entitled, "Sound Evidence: An Archaeology of Audio Recording and Surveillance in Popular Film and Media," in July of 2016. In his work, he traces the historical appropriation of sound recording technologies for the purposes of surveillance from 1910-1975. He argues that popular media generally, and crime cinema and television in particular, must be understood as constituent parts of this history, playing a central role in transmitting knowledge and shaping public understandings of surveillance technologies that continue to resonate in the present. Pavlounis joins the SAC faculty as a lecturer this fall to teach SAC 352: Film History: Origins to the French New Wave and SAC 366: Video Games as/and Popular Culture.
Doctoral Candidate Josh Morrison to Present at Trans*Studies 2016 Conference 
Trans*studies, an international transdisciplinary conference on gender, embodiment, and sexuality, is a 4-day international academic conference that welcomes work from any field on any topic pertaining to transgender issues, sex/gender variance, gender nonconformity, and diverse embodiments - as well as work that draws upon trans* methodologies to inform research in other areas of inquiry. Morrison's paper will examine the changing role and interpretation of Trans rage, an important part of early trans theory, in contemporary media, focusing on the films Tangerine and Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. The conference will be held at the University of Arizona, Tucson, from Sept. 7 to Sept. 10, 2016.
Doctoral Candidate Ben Strassfeld Receives Institute for Humanities Fellowship for 2016-17
Congratulations to Ben Strassfeld for receiving this prestigious fellowship! The Institute for the Humanities is a center for innovative, collaborative study in the humanities and arts. Its central function is to form an intellectual community of faculty and graduate student fellows from various departments who will spend a year in residence in the institute pursuing their research and participating in a cross-disciplinary, non-public weekly seminar. The 2016-17 fellows are composed of 9 faculty and 8 graduate students from across the university. Strassfeld plans to use his time on fellowship to work on his dissertation, "Indecent Detroit: Regulating Race, Sex, and Pornography, 1950-1975."
SAC 423 Film The Dejects Wins Multiple Awards and Screens at Upcoming Festivals
Still from The Dejects
Credit - We Are Moving Stories

The Dejects (producers Emily Browning and Hannah Noel), a film about a student rejected from her dream college, recently won several awards from the Women's Only Entertainment Film Festival Competition: Best Comedy, Best Director (Claudia Fuentes), Best Writer (Danielle Jacobson), Best Editor (Katie Wedemeyer) and Best Cinematographer (Carina Teoh). The film has also been accepted to the Golden Door Film Festival of Jersey City (Sept. 22-25) and the San Jose International Short Film Festival (Oct. 21-23). Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of the film!
SAC Graduate Kristen Batko ('16) Continues to Reap Awards for Her Work 

For only the second time in the history of the Peter & Barbara Benedek TV Writing and Screenplay awards, the same recipient won both prizes! 

Batko's winning TV Pilot arose from her work in the SAC Honors Cohort of 15-16; entitled Psychos while her winning screenplay, Murdering Mr. Hendry, won both the Benedek award for best screenplay and received top Hopwood honors, including the Naomi Saferstein Literary Award in Screenwriting. 

Congratulations to Kristen for achieving such prestigious recognition!

SAC Alum Lauren Wood Lands Spot in NBC Page Program at 30 Rock
SAC graduate Lauren Wood ('15) was recently accepted to the competitive NBC Universal Page Program at 30 Rock in New York City. Wood writes, "I've wanted to be a page since I was a kid, so I'm extremely excited and ready to see what shows I'll get to work on." Congratulations, Lauren! 
Visit Our Website 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list