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


Celine Shimizu with Anaiis Cisco and Pat Jackson in conversation at the First Annual All-School Convocation on September 6, 2019.

Photo by Alexander Nevill

From the Director

The School of Cinema is in full swing! Our 1400 majors and 60+ grad students are igniting their passions, forming burning questions, and making films. I am thankful for the office and technical staff who keep our School running, the GAs and GTAs who contribute significantly to our teaching, and the entire faculty who devote themselves to making an impact in our students’ lives while making interventions, through their own research and creative projects, to the discipline and enterprise that is Cinema. 

Check out so many achievements and happenings below, remembering to send your own news to by October 15 for the next issue of our monthly newsletter. 

If you missed our First Annual Convocation and did not get our new swag, stop by the Cinema office in FA245 to grab a pin or a sticker, available while supplies last. Universities can be large and lonely places, and wearing these can help us find each other among the 30,000 students and 2,000 faculty at SFSU. 

Our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access (EDIA) Statements are now posted in Fine Arts, our main building and online. Please read through this living document to feel the strength of our community’s commitment to collective belonging so all can thrive here as we ask questions/ read/ write/ analyze/ think/ produce! 

In this newsletter, you will also meet our new Undergraduate Advising Coordinator—Professor Scott Boswell. The office hours and locations of your advisors—all full-time faculty—are also posted online and on our walls so you can make sure to see us and talk with us early about the roadmap of your studies and as you near graduation, about the launching of your careers.

As you settle into the new academic year, I wish for you courage, curiosity, and adventure. Visit your advisors—your thoughts and questions are worth their time and address. For first years, get the widest range of education before coming home to your courses in Cinema, and for all of you, seek out great collaborations among your peers at SFSU School of Cinema! It is so special we are here to do great things together.

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

Professor and Director
School of Cinema, SFSU

From the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator

Cinema Students:

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m taking on the newly established position of Undergraduate Advising Coordinator. Some of you may recall that we conducted an advising survey last spring, and we are making concerted efforts to address your feedback. Please stay tuned for increased advising opportunities, better information dissemination, and improvements to the Cinema website.

Heads Up: For those of you planning to graduate this fall, applications are due Friday, September 27. Follow this link to begin the process

Cinema advisors are available every weekday. Click here to find their availability

Please feel free to reach out to me any time with your thoughts and concerns.

Scott Boswell

Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advising Coordinator

Classroom News

The Chancellor’s Office has awarded our campus funding to expand the impact of the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions initiative, known at SF State as AIM (The Affordable Instructional Materials Initiative). The AIM Task Force will award an amount of $250 to Assistant Professor ROSA PARK for her class CINE 476-02: Experimental Filmmaking. The prize will support her students with a substantial amount of money in instructional materials that they need to complete their digital instrument design project called "Pd Exercise." Pd Exercise is designed to experiment with various electronic materials with which students build a digital controller(s) for cinema, particularly exploring the concept of the audience experience of interactive cinema.

Faculty News

Assistant Professor SCOTT BOSWELL's new feature film, A Wake, was awarded "Best LGBT Film" at the Big Apple Film Festival on August 29.  The film is scheduled to screen at Cinema Diverse in Palm Springs on September 22 and at Marbella International Film Festival in Spain on October 3 and 5.

In early September, Scott attended the True Colors Impact Summit in Washington, DC. This annual conference brings people together from all over the country working to eradicate youth homelessness. Scott presented work from his documentary-in-progress concerning queer homeless youth in San Francisco.

Mo Battiest (Cinema student and production intern); Scott Boswell (director); and Ri-lee (documentary participant) and Jason Alarcon (producer).

Lecturer DAVID DE ROZAS is nominated for a Documentary Emmy Award under the Outstanding New Approaches category for his film Give (2018). The 40th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, at a ceremony at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Give explores Roland Gordon’s motivations to create a monumental visual archive displaying centuries of Black agency and achievements, in the United States and beyond. The film speaks about collective representations of history, memory, and culture; where pasts, presents, and futures are modeled by the blending of imagination, facts, and love.

Assistant Professor LAURA GREEN’s documentary The Providers is streaming on through October 1st. The Providers follows three healthcare providers as they bring care to those living on the margins, in a rural American community struggling with a shortage of doctors and the ravages of the opioid epidemic. The multi-award winning film has screened at over 30 festivals worldwide as well as having more than 140 educational and community screenings as part of its impact campaign. Its broadcast premiere in April 2019 was watched by more than 2.5 million people across the US. Learn more at

Assistant Professor ELIZABETH RAMIREZ-SOTO gave the opening keynote address at the II International Conference Latin American Women’s Filmmaking: Ways of Doing at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, Madrid, Spain) on September 11-13, 2019. The conference seeks to establish an ongoing dialogue between academics and practitioners from Europe and Latin America; to expand on existing methodological and theoretical perspectives on Latin American women’s filmmaking; to deterritorialize perspectives and transcultural identities; and to go beyond the directorial work of women and integrate theoretical discussions of other types of labour conducted and led by women in the audiovisual field. Entitled “The Double Shift of Valeria Sarmiento,” her talk questions issues of authorship and labor in the context of exilic and transnational film production.

Professor and Director CELINE SHIMIZU was featured in an interview with Golden Gate Express on September 10, 2019 discussing her work with the School of Cinema.

Undergraduate Student News

Two of our undergraduates JAMILA HAYES and LINHDAN LE are part of the inaugural cohort of Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellows. They were honored at a reception with President Mahoney, Provost Summit, and Dean Harris at the Seven Hills Conference Center earlier this month.

Photography by Sreang Hok  


Graduate Student News

JOSHUA THOMAS' 1st year film Throats Will Be Cut received entry into The Snake Alley Film Festival in Burlington, Iowa and The Santa Cruz Film Festival.

ALBA ROLAND's 1st year film Code Switch was accepted into the Oakland International Film Festival and San Francisco Black Film Festival. Alba has also been very busy working on films made in the Bay Area, including The Last Black Man in San Francisco, All Day and A Night, 13 Reasons Why and Jexi.

CASEY BECK's 1st year film Shades was selected by Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose. Legion, produced in her 2nd year, received entry into SF Docfest.

CHRISTOPHER WOOTEN's 1st year film Waiting received entry into The First Time Filmmaker's Festival and the script he wrote in Professor Julian Hoxter's class, Caffeine Sanity, was invited to the Oaxaca Film Festival in Mexico.

RAPHAEL MALLARI’s 1st year film Love For Food gained entry into the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose. Raphael has a web page that discusses the development and inspiration of his film.

Alumni News

TAYMAR COX (Cinema Minor, 2018) moved to Los Angeles after graduation and worked as a Creative Coordinator at a Start-Up Agency. In that role she learned coordinating, copy writing, junior producing, project management, and the overall picture of the trailer industry as a whole. Some recognizable titles she worked on include Hellboy (2019), Brightburn (2019), The Intruder (2019), Searching (2018), The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018), among many other studio & indie releases. She also won her first Golden Trailer Award in which she received a Coordinator credit. She is now an Associate Producer in the largest trailer company in LA working on titles such as Avengers, Captain America and Captain Marvel, Toy Story, Shazam, Frozen, Deadpool and hundreds of other fan favorites. She just wrapped her first campaign with them on Dora and The Lost City of Gold (2019). She can confidently say she wouldn't be here without the School of Cinema!

American Muscle, the graduate thesis film from NICK MARTINEZ,Cinema MFA 2018, is selected as a finalist for the 2019 CSU Media Arts Festival. American Muscle is a 22-minute action film about an overlooked driver who exploits her brother's reputation in the underground world of drag racing to finally get a shot at proving herself in the street. This will be the fourth festival for American Muscle. Earlier this year Martinez won "Best Direction" from the LA Indie Film Festival. To watch the film or find out more information you can go to Nick would like to thank SFSU Professors Scott Boswell and Pat Jackson for their guidance, support, and love. He could not have created this film without them.

NATALIE J. TETER is an alumna of San Francisco State University's School of Cinema and the College of Ethnic Studies (2013). She is an Associate Producer on THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO, produced by Plan B Entertainment and A24 Films. The film premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, winning two awards: Best Director and Special Jury Prize for Creative Collaboration. Her participation in the School of Ethnic Studies politicized her at the same time as she learned cinematic grammar in the School of Cinema. She took advantage of the documentary classes such as Documentary for Social Change and also completed an independent study with Joseph McBride to develop a documentary film about the Ethnic Studies curriculum in an East Oakland high school. She is starting the MFA program at Columbia University in the Creative Producing concentration. Any current students are welcome to reach out to Natalie via her website, Learn more about Natalie's impact producing work at

Programs & Events


Join us! You are invited to this special event on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
Screening at 6:30 p.m.
Coppola Theater (FA101)
Followed by Q & A with filmmakers

We're delighted to announce four student documentary films made from the 2019 Summer International Documentary Film Workshop which took place in Southern China! It was a fantastic adventure and invaluable experience for all the participants!

To explore our journey behind the scenes, you are welcome to visit our online album.


Meet two of their star animators, Regina Pessoa and Theodore Ushev. 

Tuesday, October 1, 7 p.m.
Coppola Theater, Fine Arts Building, Room 101
Open to the public, free

Screening followed technical presentations by both guest directors plus a Q&A. 


The CINEMA STUDIES GRADUATE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (CSGA) will hold their 21st annual academic conference on October 17th and 18th, 2019 in Coppola Theater. This year’s conference, entitled “Reimagining Genre in Film,” will explore the changing role of genre in cinema. By addressing new technical and digital innovations, transforming audience expectations, and changes in cultural attitudes, this conference will examine how these shifts have influenced genre mixture and redefining, as well as created new genres and sub-genres. This conference is concerned with both placing this generic reimagining in a historical context as well as exploring the changes occurring in our current moment, and seeks to explore these shifts through a more global lens. The 21st academic conference will include presentations from the second year M.A. students along with presentations from graduate students throughout the country. This year’s keynote speaker will be M.A. alumnus Damon Young, Associate Professor of French and Film Studies at UC Berkeley, whose emphases include sexuality and queer theory, digital media, and critical theory.


November 4-5, San Francisco State University

Pluralities 3rd Annual Nonfiction Film Conference: Medias, Migrations, Movements


Presented by the Documentary Film Institute
November 4 and 5 in Jack Adams Hall with Emergent Media Arcade both days.


Research scholarships and apply early for internships. The following are opportunities out there to further explore. 


The de Young is honored to be one of the few institutions to host this historically significant exhibition celebrating the work of Black artists created during two pivotal decades in American history (1963-1983).  The exhibition examines the purpose of art in regards to self-determination and the role of Black artists in society. It explores how social justice movements, as well as stylistic evolutions in visual art where powerfully expressed in the work of artists including Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Emory Douglas, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams.  

Learn more: 

Learn more:

SFSU ACADEMIC WORKS--various deadlines for awards that include the Rosenberg Family Scholarship 

“You never know when brilliance will come out in a student”--The Rosenberg Family Scholarship is a three year full tuition scholarship for first year SFSU student applicants with a 2.5.-3.25 GPA. 

Learn more:

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