For Students and Faculty of the School of Cinema at SF State


From the Director

April 15, 2020

Dear SFSU Cinema Community: 

I hope you are keeping your spirits up as we continue to face isolation and uncertainty. As I long for the days of our bustling campus, I am sending all students a survey this week. While we are preparing for multiple scenarios, your perspectives as students is crucial. In the unlikely event of remote learning, I want to know what your plans are for the Fall. 

The Provost just sent out the new grading policy for this semester. If students have questions about their new grading options, please make an appointment to speak with your faculty to get clarity about your choices and their impact. For students who are graduating, please check in with us now as you venture on the next steps. Our office hours are online and listed on We are here to help you! 

All us, including staff, work remotely from home and keeping things going: the technical staff are testing the platforms for our end-of-year showcase of screenings on May 15-22; the faculty await your awards applications on April 28 on SFSU Academic Works; and the Valediction team of students and staff are gathering farewell statements  from our graduates by May 1 for an online commemoration. This can never replace our annual ceremony where we celebrate you in person, though I hope the act of writing about your time here offers personal closure as well as a collective record of this time.

Creativity and scholarship on the internet is helping me: Oakland-based Thao & The Get Down Stay Down Zoom music video is a brilliant highlight. Check it out at Women Make Movies is hosting a FREE online festival until May 31. Friday, April 17 will feature two new films about Native American issues. Sign up at Tomorrow, April 16 at 9am, I am excited to check out @auc_artcollective on IG for the conversation between Cheryl Finley and Nicole Fleetwood on art in the age of mass incarceration. Fleetwood writes one of the best essays I assign in class when we screen Ava Du Vernay’s MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I cannot wait to see Alice Wu’s second feature THE HALF OF IT, out on Netflix on May 1. See the trailer here: Every Sunday at 930am, I am on a vigorous yoga situation via IG Live with @brownmike08. Join me! My invitation remains: please share with all of us on our SFSU Cinema FB and IG what creativity keeps you afloat so as to connect us all now. 

Lastly, please do not forget to scroll down and see the compilation of opportunities and events available to you! 

Be well, and take good care out there,

Celine Shimizu

Celine Parreñas Shimizu, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Professor and Director
School of Cinema, SFSU

Undergraduate Advising

Cinema Students:

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits!

As fall registration approaches, many of you have questions about the upcoming semester.  Please join me for a Cinema Advising Town Hall web conference next Tuesday, April 21, 12:30 PM, at this link using this password: 159020.

I will be sharing general information about the major pathway and will be happy to take your questions.  If you have any questions or concerns before the meeting, you're welcome to email me directly:

As always, feel free to reach out to a Cinema advisor via this link.

I look forward to seeing you Tuesday at 12:30! 


Scott Boswell

Undergraduate Advising Coordinator


The School of Cinema is working on an online Valediction—to host the Class of 2020's act of saying farewell. Since our physical gathering where each of the graduates speak for 30 seconds on stage in front of friends, faculty and family must be canceled along with the postponement of SFSU’s own, our ceremony of celebrating your achievements as the Class of 2020 must now occur in another form. For those of you who applied to graduate this Fall 2019, or Spring and Summer 2020, please submit 100 words of farewell to no later than May 1, 2020 to be included with your name in the commemorative document. While we wish we did not have to celebrate in this way, we hope sharing your words offers a time of reflection.


Please go to this link for up to date campus operation communications during the Covid-19 crisis:

Please go to this link to see the SFSU CINEMA responses to the COVID-19 health crisis.<>
You can find information about using the HopeCrisis Fund or donating to it at

Helpful resources are also located in this page maintained by the ARC, including information about the basic needs, the food pantry and short term loans:


Classroom News

The End-of-Year Showcase features screenings from School of Cinema students from May 15-22, 2020.
Please look out for more info in the next weeks. And contact Production Coordinator Pablo Riquelme-Cuartero for more information about this online celebration.

Your Cinema faculty know that these times are especially challenging for students.  For many of us, our minds are also sheltering-in-place. 

So we are starting a recommended screening and reading list through Facebook to remind all why we choose to be professional Cinephiles. 
No pressure.  No evaluations.  No pressure. 
Every Tuesday we’ll release one professor’s recommended reading. 
Every Thursday we’ll release one professor’s recommended screening or script. 
The respective professor will explain why the reading, screening or script is worth your time. 

Given the nature of our field, some might have a cost to them (e.g., some works on Amazon). 
Don’t worry if you can’t afford it.  Don’t worry if a particular reading doesn’t interest you.  Here your faculty is only offering ways to remain engaged in the critical and creative work of Cinema. 

Direct link:

Faculty News

British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies has recognized Prof. Alex Nevill with a special mention on his article published in the Journal of Artistic Research last year. Prof. Nevill is included in the annual BAFTSS awards in the Practice Research category.

For more on BAFTSS:
Professor Neville's article, click HERE.


The American War, is now out on Amazon, iTunes, and Kanopy

Professor Bernardi was awarded $319, 000.00 from the National Cemetary Administration to make a series of short films on WWII veterans.  
This is the 4th year he's received this funding. The total amount is just under $1.3 million. He uses the funds to hire scholars, MFA students and undergraduates.
 "The films we have made have been selected into 100 film festivals winning numerous awards and getting distribution though Kanopy and Amazon."


Director and Professor Celine Shimizu’s new feature film THE CELINE ARCHIVE just won a gold prize in the Film—Biography category from the Houston International Film Festival—the third oldest in the US. The festival is postponed but their juries recently announced the news. THE CELINE ARCHIVE was slated for its world premiere at the Los Angeles Asian American International Film Festival on May 2, and its Bay Area Premiere at CAAMFest on May 27. Both festivals are currently postponed for the Fall. To find out more, please go to


Professor Joseph McBride provided the audio commentary on the Ernst Lubitsch film
ANGEL (1937), which has just been released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.
Prof. McBride will teach a course at SFSU this fall on Lubitsch and Billy Wilder,
the German American director's most famous protégé; McBride wrote the 2018 critical study HOW DID
LUBITSCH DO IT? (Columbia University Press) and has been writing
a critical study of Wilder. Home Theater Forum writes of McBride’s
ANGEL commentary, "Ernst Lubitsch expert/film historian Joseph McBride offers a thoroughly interesting and 
engrossing discussion of the director’s career, focusing on ANGEL, of course, but also noting influences to its success 
from earlier career highlights as well as follow-up vehicles with [Marlene] Dietrich, [Melvyn] Douglas, and others.”


The School of Cinema welcomes new animation faculty member Dr. Mihaela “Misha” Milhailova. Mihaela is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, with a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Film, Television and Media. She has a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies and Slavic Languages and Literature from Yale. She has written extensively on animation and edited a collection entitled Coraline: A Closer Look at Studio LAIKA’s Stop-Motion Witchcraft, for publication this year. She is also writing a book entitled Drawing (on) Ideology: Contemporary Animated Media in Russia and the United States. Mihaela will be joining the school in the fall of 2021.


Dear School of Cinema, 

I am both incredibly sad and excited to share this news. My partner and I have both been offered tenure track jobs at Arizona State University and have decided to accept. As many of you know, it is challenging for two academics to find jobs in the same location. We've gotten very lucky. Sadly, however, this means I need to leave SFSU. Starting in Fall 2020, I will be Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at ASU.

I am very sad to be leaving the School of Cinema. I've truly enjoyed my time here and have loved working with all of our amazing students. This community has helped me learn and grow in countless ways. I'll miss the all students, faculty, and staff tremendously. 

All the best, 


Undergraduate Student News


We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. 

We understand that the move to remote instruction has disrupted your educational experience this semester. To reduce any adverse effects on your academic progress, we are offering you the flexibility to choose different grading options for spring 2020. We hope that this change will help you focus on successfully completing the semester and will enable you to continue the path towards earning your degree during this challenging time.

Spring 2020 Grading Options

For any courses where your current grading option is "Letter Grades", you will have three options for your final grade:

Grading Options

Grades Recorded on Transcript

Option 1:

Letter Grades*

Graded (A, B, C, D, No Credit)

Note: No Credit (NC) will appear on the transcript in lieu of an F grade; NC grades do not negatively impact your GPA

Option 2:

Letter Grades* / No Credit

A, B, C, No Credit

Note: NC is earned for a grade of D or below

Option 3:

Credit/No Credit

Credit, No Credit

Note: Credit (CR) is earned for grades of C- or higher

*This includes any plus or minus grades.

For any courses where your current grading option is "Letter Grades/No Credit", you will have the choice to continue with this grading option or switch to the "Credit/No Credit" option. If your current grading option is "Credit/No Credit", there are no other grading options offered.

How to Change Your Grading Options

  • We are currently working on modifying your Student Center so you can easily change your grading options. The Registrar's Office will be sending a follow-up communication with more details when it is possible for you to make changes to your grading options. Please continue to check your SF State email regularly. 

  • The deadline to submit your choices will be May 26.

  • If you do not want to change the current grading option for any of your classes, you do not need to take any action.

Before You Decide on a Grading Option

  • You can view the grading option you are currently enrolled in for each of your courses in the Class Schedule section of your Student Center.

  • All CR grades earned this semester will count toward your graduation requirements (general education, major, and minor) and towards prerequisites for courses you wish to take in future semesters. In addition, any CR grades earned this semester will not count against the current limits on the number of units you can earn with a CR grade.


Getting Help

You are not alone in making this decision! Professional academic advisors can assist you remotely. The Advising Hub can help you determine the best office to support your needs. To make an advising appointment, please click on the button below.

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If you need assistance in your classes, tutoring is open and ready to support you via Zoom! Please email from your SFSU email account with your name, student ID, course for which you are seeking tutoring (DS 412, ENG 114, etc.), and the days/times you are available for an appointment.

Withdrawing from Courses

We hope that the flexible grading options outlined in this email will enable you to continue in your courses this semester. If you are considering withdrawing, please see the FAQs on withdrawing for more information. Any course withdrawals in spring 2020 will not count towards the maximum number of withdrawals permitted.

Please know that we are here to help you successfully complete your coursework this semester so that you can continue your progress towards graduation.


Kim Altura

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education

Margo Landy

University Registrar
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Graduate Student News


SFSU alum Gary Coates joined the Prof. Green's 1st year MFA post-production class for a lesson in color-grading (aka wizardry) in DaVinci Resolve. Running a color-workshop through Zoom is no easy task, but it was a great workshop! Gary Coates has been working in the San Francisco film industry since 1975, and has graded more than 100 films, including Oscar winners and nominees like Smile PinkiThe Most Dangerous Man in America, and End Game.

Programs & Events

The Feminist Filmmaker Fellowship (F3) is continuing to connect through this new normal. Monday April 27th 12-2PM, F3 is hosting a Womxn Panel of select faculty and lecturers to talk about their experiences in the industry and at SFSU.

The next All About Womxn Wednesdays roundtable discussion is April 22nd 2-3:30PM. The topic for this discussion is “How can we combat environmental racism with our works in film?”.

F3 is looking for animators to collaborate with an educational film about microaggressions on-set.

Stay connected on Instagram for Netflix Parties and Womxn film recommendations: @feministfilmmakerfellowship!

For all inquiries email


Tours of the School of Cinema are suspended for the Spring Semester of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now providing a virtual tour of our facilities via this link below. Thank you to Professor Weimin Zhang for producing it for future members of our community at SFSU School of Cinema.


This VR film was created in collaboration with faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in this unprecedented and stressful situation right before the closure of the campus. The VR tour provides an easy and friendly opportunity for the tenure-track candidates, prospective graduate, and undergraduate students to virtually visit the School of Cinema.



SF State’s 60th Annual Film Finals festival is finally here and we want YOU to submit!

Send us your passion projects, thesis films, MFA films, and anything in between! Submit now for a chance to win great prizes from sponsors such as Canon and to see your film on the big screen in Fall 2020!

** Please note that due to the ongoing health pandemic, this year’s Film Finals festival has been rescheduled sometime in the Fall 2020 semester with an online preview available on May 19th. Stay tuned for details!



All submitted projects must have been made for a Cinema class or independent study during the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar (Summer/2019 included).


This year we are adding a special category to showcase the unique and innovative films

created during the “Shelter in Place” orders with limited resources.


• Submitting students must be Cinema majors at SFSU (undergrad or graduate)

• All narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, etc. projects are eligible.

• Submitted projects can be shot in any format.

• No piece may be longer than 20 minutes.

• Students may submit more than one project for consideration.

• Rough cuts are eligible as long as the final file can be delivered by May 10.

What is Film Finals? An annual showcase of the best films made by SFSU cinema students. A jury of faculty/students select films and award prizes.
What is the submission fee? There is NO fee!
Who attends Film Finals? The screening is open to the entire Bay Area film community. Screening your film at Film Finals is a great way to represent the School of Cinema and increase your visibility throughout the Bay Area!

Submit your film online at 

Visit for more information. Questions? Email


Associate Professor Johnny Symons with Sam Davis-Boyd, Ash Verwiel and Molly Stuart, the 2019 recipients of the Barbara Hammer Awards from Queer Cinema Project.
The School of Cinema is facilitating access to funds for film productions, research and teaching through our annual scholarships process. Students interested in animation, documentary, fiction, film studies, and other fields can apply for a variety of funding opportunities. Check out the Scholarships page on the Cinema website for all the details. The submission deadline is Tuesday, April 28th.

This is a great resource to help you explore some of the many on-set careers available to you. They’ve provided job summaries, union requirements, and links to programs and communities that support women who want to build a lasting career in the entertainment industry.

The scholarships listed at this link are San Francisco State University scholarships offered by various colleges, departments, and offices.
Click on the scholarship names to learn more about each one.

Cinemedia is the online, student-run journal of the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University.  We seek innovative critical essays, films and other media (including new media, videographic essays, and other works that challenge media boundaries), focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on student work.

 Topic: The Allure of the Image

 Submission Deadline:  April 24, 2020

For Submission Details, see:

Send Submissions (or a Description) to:

 Images, whether static or moving, have often been seen as alluring for viewers, evincing a power to attract and fascinate.  Cinema, photography, and other image-based media depend on ideas of allure to draw us to certain films, to certain stars, to moments or images that somehow capture our attention.  Allure overlaps with notions of visual attraction, with startling or haunting imagery, with an eroticism that is often as much visceral as visual.  Yet, at the same time, allure never seems entirely separate from the idea of the lure, with its suggestion that viewers might somehow be caught by a mysterious attraction from which they cannot escape.  Can allure ever be entirely separated from spectacle and the exotic?  What is the relation of gender and sexuality to ideas of allure?  How is allure related to fetishism, including commodity fetishism?  How do we explain the appeal that the trainwreck, the horrific, and the grotesque exert for us?  Or our inability to turn away from the addictive allures of pop culture, games, or social media?

Cinemedia invites essays, films, or other media forms that examine, critique, or simply explore ideas or examples of allure occurring not only in cinema, but all media. 

 Topics may include:  

  • The Cinema of Attractions
  • The Haunting Image, The Startling Image
  • Fetishism of/and the Image
  • Allure and Gender
  • Celebrities, Influencers, and Celebrity Culture
  • Allure and Eroticism
  • The Allure of the Auteur
  • The Fascination of Genre(s)
  • Cult (Film) Allure/The Allure of the Cult
  • Meme Culture
  • The Allure of Anonymity
  • Insatiable Viewing, Binge Watching, Addictive Media and Games
  • The Allure of the Bad, Failed Media
  • Cursed Images
  • The Lure of the Trailer
  • The Allure of Nostalgia and Retro
  • Politics, Allure, and Fascination
  • The Allure of Realism
  • Style as Allure
    • Lighting and Allure
    • The Fascination of Cinematography
    • The Allure of Slow Motion
    • Costume, Makeup, and Allure


Honoring our dear friend and colleague Jameson Goldner whose fifty years of teaching and filmmaking helped shape us and the San Francisco State University School of Cinema.
You might wish to honor his memory by considering a gift to SF State's "Jim Goldner Filmmaking Scholarship." If a total of $25,000 is raised for the fund, the university will permanently endow the scholarship for future generations. The first $10,000 in donations will be matched by a donor.  Send donations by check made out to “SF State UCorp” noting “Goldner Scholarship” to:
University Development
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, Suite 153
San Francisco, CA 94132
Or, if you would like to make a gift online, please go to:


Most of us will never travel to space, but through imagination and NASA's extensive photo and video archives, we CAN experience the wonder of the universe for ourselves. 
I am reaching out to let you and your students know about the 2020 NASA CineSpace Short Film CompetitionSponsored by NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Film Festival, this annual competition challenges filmmakers worldwide to create an original film (10 minutes or less) utilizing NASA's archival footage. 
We'd love to invite your students to participate! Here are the key things to know:
  • Anyone age 18 and older can participate
  • Films can be about ANYTHING, but must include at least 10% (based on the video’s total running time, not including credits) of actual NASA footage provided by NASA
  • Special guest judge Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Dazed & Confused) will help determine the winning short films
  • Finalist films will screen at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November 2020, and other selected screenings/film festivals across the country, as well as on NASA TV and even the International Space Station
  • In addition to the screenings, a total of $26,000 in cash prizes will be distributed to the top five films
  • Submissions are accepted now through July 15, 2020
  • Full competition details can be found at this link:
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