Tag: film studies

Public Invited to Free Screening of Lawrence’s Civic Life Project Films Oct. 28 at Fox Valley Technical College

The second Civic Life Project, a documentary film program designed to engage Lawrence University students with social issues facing the Fox Cities community, presents a free public screening at Fox Valley Technical College Tuesday, Oct. 28 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.Civic-Life-Porject_weblog

Five short films on topics ranging from dementia to the reintegration of sex offenders, will be shown in the Commons on the FVTC campus, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., Appleton. Use Entrance 6 off of the south parking lot. Due to limited seating, advance registration is requested.

The Civic Life Project was created by award-winning documentary filmmaker and 1972 Lawrence graduate Catherine Tatge and her husband, Dominique Lasseur. The topics for the videos grew out of conversations Tatge conducted with numerous community leaders to identify issues of concern in the Fox Cities. Three-member teams of Lawrence students then shared the roles of writer, editor, producer, director and videographer in creating the documentaries.

The titles and topics of the films to be screened are:

“Labeled for Life,” the challenges sex offenders face reintegrating into our community.

• “Living with Dementia,” the challenges faced by caregivers and individuals suffering from the disease.

Civic-Life-Project_newsblog• “Before Bars,” the story of disproportionate imprisonment of minorities.

“If you can’t reach ’em, you can’t teach ’em,” the achievement gap in Appleton-area schools.

“Domestic Violence and Schools,” the effects of domestic violence on children’s performance at school.

Brief, student-led round-table discussions follow the screening of each film, which Tatge sees as vital to the process of community engagement with these topics.

As a result of the discussions “the students get a chance to really see the impact of their work on the community members,” said Tatge. “And I think that just to show these films one after the other doesn’t have the same impact as allowing people to reflect after each one.”

Tatge and Lasseur designed the Civic Life Project as an innovative educational tool to challenge each student to learn about civics and democracy in a unique way, discover more about the community in which they reside and find their own individual voice through the creation of a documentary video.

Lawrence student Jaime Gonzalez, who worked on the film “Labeled For Life,” found the experience rewarding and enlightening.

“I learned from the experience to never look at something from one point of view,” said Gonzalez, a junior from Milwaukee. “Once we started creating this film…it became more evident how important it is to do your research and understand the legal, social and political aspects” of these topics.

Tatge is in her fourth year as an artist-in-residence at Lawrence. The Civic Life Project at Lawrence is modeled after a similar program she and Lasseur launched in 2010 in their home state of Connecticut. Started at one high school, the program has since expanded to 10 schools around the state.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Film Festival Showcases Student Projects

From a woman’s struggle within an abusive relationship to a comical personification of a cat, the creative results of 13 budding Lawrence University student filmmakers will be showcased Saturday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema in the second annual Lawrence Student Film Festival. The event is free and open to the public.

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A scene from Peter Emery’s “Dinner for Two.”

The festival features 15 films ranging from as short as one minute to a nine-minute documentary. The festival line-up includes:

“Dinner for Two” (Peter Emery ’15, 2:00), a woman’s struggle within an abusive relationship.

“Egg” (Pat Commins ’15, 2:20), a documentary on the not-for-profit organization One Egg Rwanda, which provides small children one egg every day to combat the effects of protein malnutrition.

  “Nollywood in Sierra Leone” (Kate Siakpere ’14, 9:00), a documentary on Nigerian cinema, the second largest film industry in the world affecting smaller, neighboring African countries.

  “Cat Man” (Brooks Eaton ’14, 1:00) a comical advertisement about a personification of a cat.

 “I am Not Jeffrey Collins” (Alex Babbitt ’15, 6:29), a post-MySpace existential comedy.

  “Rabbits – Behind the Scenes” (Peter Emery ’15 4:00), a mockumentary about a director’s attempt to keep his job in a struggling video series.

“Do the Squirrel: Making ‘Long Live the Squirrels’” (Nathan Lawrence ’15, 6:00), a documentary on the process of creating “Long Live the Squirrels,” a feature-length film shot on the Lawrence campus last fall and scheduled for release later this year.

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A scene from Brooks Eaton’s “Awake in Art.”

“Awake in Art” (Brooks Eaton ’14, 1:00), a touching, proof-of-concept film made for Mofilm, an advertising competition, about a mother discovering one of her daughter’s talents.

“Back to Home” (Maisha Rahman ’14, 5:20), a profile of Lawrence Professor of Government Claudena Skran and her commitment to helping foreign students at Lawrence.

“The Theft” (Reed Robertson ’17, 4:20; Jamie DeMotts ’16, 2:10). Two versions of a crime film assembled from the same raw footage.

The festival also will include the final project films of  Anna Johnson Ryndová’s “Principles of Editing” class, in which students had to make a creative “how to” video,  the idea of which was to describe a particular process in a visually compelling way, using as little dialogue or narration as possible. Each student conceived, directed, shot and edited all the material themselves.

• How To Put On Red Lipstick (Katerina Kimoundri ’15, 2:35)

 How To Bury a Dead Body (Kate Siakpere ’14, 4:00)

Toast (Alexcia Jellum ’16, 4:10)

How To Build A Snowskate Obstacle (Evan Flack ’14, 5:00)

The Dinner (Htee Moo ’15 ,3:40)

How-toSnowscape_newsblog
A scene from Evan Flack’s “How To Build A Snowskate Obstacle.”

The films were produced in Lawrence’s film studies program with the assistance of award-winning PBS filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate who is serving as an artist-in-residence, and Ryndová, lecturer of film studies and video editor.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Documentary on Austrian Holocaust Gets Community Screening at Appleton Public Library

A free public screening of the Lawrence University-produced documentary film “Surviving Anschluss: Austrian Jews in the Holocaust” will be held Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Appleton Public Library. An audience Q & A follows the screening. In addition to the library, the film is presented in conjunction with the city of Appleton’s diversity and inclusion department.

Surviving-Anschluss_newsblogAnschluss refers to Adolf Hitler’s 1938 annexation of Austria into political union with Germany. The film was created by Lawrence students in the college’s film studies program and was inspired by Lawrence’s 2012 multimedia Holocaust Symposium.

The film features clips from the symposium as well as individual interviews with four survivors of the Anschluss, including Curtis Brown of Neenah. Anne Kelemen, Gerda Lederer and Renee Weiner, all from New York City, along with Brown share personal stories of fleeing Austria in 1938 to escape the Nazis.

The documentary was produced by award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, who is serving as an artist-in-resident at Lawrence, and edited by Anna Ryndova Johnson.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Multimillion Dollar Gifts Enable Lawrence University to Establish Two New Endowed Professorships

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Amy Abugo Ongiri

Deep-seated appreciation for film and opera has led a pair of Lawrence University alumni and an anonymous donor to establish new endowed professorships at the college. Lawrence requires a minimum of $2.5 million to establish an endowed professorship.

Tom Hurvis, and his wife, Julie, 1960 and 1961 Lawrence graduates, respectively, and the Caerus Foundation, Inc., have established the Jill Beck Professorship in Film Studies in recognition of Lawrence’s 15th president, her service to Lawrence, their love of film and their conviction that student participation in film studies has an important role in a liberal arts education.

In 2011, a $5 million gift from the Hurvises enabled Lawrence to establish the Hurvis Center for Interdisciplinary Film Studies, a facility dedicated to the integration of film production into the Lawrence curriculum.

Motivated by a desire to encourage participation in music and arts at Lawrence, an anonymous donor made a gift to enhance the college’s capacity to provide learning and performance opportunities for students in opera studies while increasing multifaceted collaboration within the curriculum by establishing the endowed director of opera studies position. The Lawrence conservatory, with the support of the theatre arts department, has annually staged an opera production since 1961.

In conjunction with the newly created professorships, Lawrence President Mark Burstein announced the appointment of Amy Abugo Ongiri, currently an associate professor of English at the University of Florida, as the Jill Beck Professor and Director of Film Studies and J. Copeland Woodruff, assistant professor and co-director of opera studies at the University of Memphis, as Director of Opera Studies.

Both Ongri and Woodruff join the faculty with the rank of associate professor. Ongiri’s appointment includes tenure.

“One of the many strengths that a Lawrence education develops is the ability to link a student’s own talent and creativity with performance and presentation, a skill one needs to succeed in the world today,” said Burstein in announcing the appointments. “The addition of Amy Abugo Ongiri and J. Copeland Woodruff significantly enhances our capability in this area both for students interested in film studies and in the conservatory and also in the larger Lawrence student body.

“I want to thank Julie and Tom Hurvis and anonymous members of the Lawrence community for making these two important appointments to our faculty possible,” Burstein added.

Award-winning Educator

Ongiri joined the University of Florida faculty in 2003 after four years at the University of California-Riverside. In 2006, she was recognized with both UF’s Teacher  of the Year Award and  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award.

Her scholarship interests focus on African American literature and culture, film studies, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. She is the author of nearly 20 published journal articles, three dozen conference papers and the 2009 book, “Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search for a Black Aesthetic.” She spent 2005 in Dakar, Senegal on a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar in African film.

She is a member of the editorial board of the journals American Literature and Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies and serves as a reviewer for the Journal  of African American History and the Journal of American History.

At Florida, Ongiri has taught courses ranging from the history of film and African cinema in a world cinema context to an introduction to Asian American film and video.

Ongiri earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College, a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Amy Ongiri as the first director of film studies,” said Brent Peterson, professor of German, chair of Lawrence’s film studies program and a member of the search committee. “She is an accomplished scholar and dedicated teacher; someone who is there for every last one of her students at a large public university. She will be a terrific asset for Lawrence students. She is also exactly the right person to put together an expanded curriculum for film studies and to shape the program in film making.”

“Amazingly Creative, Innovative”

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J. Copeland Woodruff

Woodruff has taught at the University of Memphis since 2008. He previously has held teaching appointments at The Julliard School, Oberlin College, Temple and Yale universities as well as the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and Germany’s Universität Bamberg. He also has served as a guest instructor with La Musica Lirica in Italy, the Festival of International Opera of the Americas in Brazil and at Bejing University.

He has directed more than 90 opera productions, including the 2013 world premiere of “Raise the Red Lantern” at the Tianqiao Theatre in Bejing, one of three productions in China he has directed. Since 2006, Woodruff has earned four first-place National Opera Association Best Opera Production Awards and was recognized in 2013 with the University of Memphis’ Dean’s Creative Achievement Award.

Woodruff has enjoyed an extended relationship with Boston’s Guerilla Opera, serving as stage director of a new production of “Heart of a Dog” and earning Second Prize in the 2012 American Prize in Opera Performance competition, professional division.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Copeland Woodruff to Lawrence,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “Besides being an amazingly creative, innovative and well-respected opera director and educator, he is also passionate about  the liberal arts and cross-disciplinary collaboration. In short, he will absolutely flourish at Lawrence. We are entering an exciting new era for opera studies at Lawrence and I can’t wait to see how all the possibilities unfold.”

Woodruff attended the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in vocal performance and also completed extensive master’s level coursework in theatrical design. He earned a master’s degree in stage directing for opera from Indiana University.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Festival Showcases Student Film Projects

The cinematic visions of 25 budding student filmmakers will be showcased Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema in the first Lawrence University Student Film Festival. The film festival is free and open to the public.

A gambler experiences a positive new direction in his life after experiencing a run of bad luck in the film “Luck.”

The festival will screen nearly 20 short films, most 3-9 minutes in length. Among the films to be shown are “Luck,” a card-playing gambler with a lucky charm who runs into some bad luck that leads to a positive change; “The Roommate,” when a new student at Lawrence meets his roommate, not everything goes smoothly, but love conquers all, including hand wipes; “Shattered,” the challenge of moving on after losing someone close that leaves your life is shattered; and several films focusing on the art of dance.

The festival also will feature five documentaries produced for Lawrence’s Civic Life Project. The focus of the Civic Life Project films was determined after conversations last fall with community leaders. Each addresses an issue confronting the Fox Valley.

The idea behind the Civic Life Project is to challenge students to learn about our democracy, discover the community they live in for four years and “find their voice” through the creation of a documentary film.

The Civic Life Project films include:

• “Homeless Veterans of the Fox Valley,” an examination of the challenges facing military veterans reacclimating to civilian life.

• “Walking Alone,” a look at homophobia and the consequences teens suffer from the brunt of its isolation and rejection.

• “Rooted,” the Hmong community’s struggle between assimilation and maintaining cultural identity.

• “Adelante,” the plight of undocumented teenage immigrants.

• “Muted,” uncovering victims of sex trafficking in Appleton.

All of the films were produced in Lawrence’s film studies program under the direction of award-winning PBS filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate who is serving as an artist-in-residence.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence Hosts Premiere Screening of “Surviving Anschluss” May 7

Holocaust survivor Curtis Brown of Neenah will be one of four Viennese emigrés featured in the world premiere of the Lawrence University documentary film “Surviving Anschluss,” Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The screening is free and open to the public.

Inspired by Lawrence’s May, 2012 multimedia Holocaust  Symposium, the film includes clips from the symposium as well as individual interviews with the four survivors. In addition to Brown, Anne Kelemen, Gerda Lederer and Renee Weiner, all from New York City, share their personal stories of fleeing Austria in 1938 to escape the Nazis. Anschluss refers to the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany.

The documentary, made by students in Lawrence’s Film Studies program, was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, who is serving as an artist-in-resident at Lawrence, and co-directed and edited by Anna Ryndova Johnson.

The 2012 Holocaust Symposium was produced by Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky, who was inspired by the stories of her parents who emigrated from Vienna to America following the Anschluss. Collaborating with faculty members in departments and disciplines across campus and with assistance from the Lawrence Hillel chapter, Kautsky created a three-day commemoration that featured lectures, discussions, gallery exhibitions and concerts. A performance of Paul Schoenfield’s chamber work “Camp Songs” was a highlight of the symposium and excerpts are woven throughout the film.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Campus Screening of Just-Released Film Comedy “Oconomowoc” Features Plenty of Lawrence Connections

Andy Gillies is returning to his alma mater, and he’s bringing his directorial debut film with him.

The 2004 Lawrence graduate will be on hand for a screening of his feature-length film “Oconomowoc” Thursday, May 2 at 9 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. Sponsored by the Lawrence University Film Club, the screening is free and open to the public.

Gillies, who wrote, directed and acted in the film, will conduct a Q & A following its screening.

A deadpan comedy set in its title Waukesha County town (the hometown of a one-time girlfriend of Gillies), the film has more Lawrentian fingerprints on it than just Gillies.’ The story follows 20-something slacker Lonnie Washington, portrayed by fellow 2004 Lawrence graduate Brendan Marshall-Rashid with “goofy soulfulness” as noted by the Hollywood Reporter, who moves back home.

Quirky characters abound, including Todd, Lonnie’s 30-year-old stepfather played by 2005 Lawrence grad Andrew Rozanski, and Travis, an old friend eager to recruit Lonnie in a poorly run T-shirt making business, portrayed by Gillies.

Deemed “an engagingly cynical ode to futility” by Slate Magazine, the film’s do-it-yourself aesthetic is complimented by an improvised acoustic score composed by Gillies, Marshall-Rashid and director of photography/editor Joe Haas.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

 

Five-Part Film Festival Examines Soviet and Hispanic Cinematic Traditions

Five rarely-screened international films will be presented Feb. 19-27 in Lawrence University’s film festival “КИÑО: Exchanges between Soviet and Hispanic Cinema.”

The festival will explore the cinematographic and thematic exchange between Soviet and Hispanic cinematic traditions.

All films, with English subtitles, will be shown in Main Hall 201 at 4:30 p.m. on their respective dates. Each film will be preceded by a small presentation and an interactive audience discussion will follow the screening. All film showings are free and open to the public.

Organized by Lawrence’s Russian and Spanish departments and the film studies program, the festival showcases films by prominent directors such as Sergei Eisenstein and Luis Bunuel, whose work reflected the political climate of their own countries as well as those experiencing revolution far away.

The film festival schedule includes:

• Tuesday, Feb. 19— “Que Viva Mexico!” 1932, Soviet Union, directed by Sergei Eisenstein.
Shot in 1931-32, “Que Viva Mexico!” originally was intended to be an episodic study of Mexico’s ethnography and symbols against the backdrop of its colonial history up to the early 20th century. But a series of political and economic intrigues prevented legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein from properly editing his film. In 1979, this version of the film was reconstructed by Eisenstein’s assistant director from his former mentor’s notes.

• Wednesday, Feb. 20 — “Maria Candelaria,” 1943, Mexico, directed by Emilio Fernández.
Maria Candelaria, a young woman, is shunned by local townsfolk because her mother once posed naked for an artist and was stoned to death because of the incident. She must consider the consequences while making a similar choice.

• Thursday, Feb. 21 —”Soy Cuba,” 1964, Cuba, Soviet Union, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov.
Set in the final days of the Batista regime in Cuba, the movie uses four distinct short stories, two to illustrate the ills that led to the revolution and two that highlight the call to arms.

• Tuesday, Feb. 26 —“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” 1972, France, Spain, directed by Luis Buñuel.
Luis Buñuel’s Academy-Award-winning film follows a group of well-to-do friends who attempt to gather for a social evening but are thwarted at every turn. Seeming at first to be a simple scheduling mistake, the obstacles become increasingly bizarre.

• Wednesday, Feb. 27 —“Death of a Bureaucrat,”  1966, Cuba, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
After an inventor dies and is buried with his union card, government red tape prevents his widow from collecting any pension money, so she attempts to rob her husband’s grave. A morbid subject with a humorous treatment, the film mocks Cuba’s bungling bureaucracy.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Social Justice Issues Examined in Student Film Festival

Issues ranging from homelessness to racial diversity will be explored in a series of short, student-produced films in Lawrence University’s first Human Rights Student Film Festival Wednesday, March 28 from 5-7 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The festival is free and open to the public.

The films are the culminating assignment of the English department class “Literature and Human Rights,” in which each student researched a human rights or social justice topic of individual interest and then produced a short film that either advocated or analyzed that topic. Seven of the 17 films created for the class will be screened for the festival. Each film is between four and five and one-half minutes in length.

Lena Khor, assistant professor of English, team-taught the course with artist-in-residence and award-winning documentary filmmaker Catherine Tatge.

The goal of the project, according to Khor, was three-fold:  invite students to experience first-hand the aesthetic and ethical dilemmas of representing human rights and their violations; provide opportunities to creatively tell a story or make an argument in a multimedia format; and encourage engagement with various communities — Lawrence, Appleton and beyond.

“The students produced some wonderful films on important topics,” said Khor. “They  impressed me with the passion, thought and energy with which they approached this project. Considering most of them had never made a film before, they all should really be proud of their accomplishments.

“This film festival is not just a way to showcase the excellent work the students have done in this class,” Khor added. “It’s also intended to generate discussion on and off campus about social justice issues that are relevant to our everyday lives here and elsewhere.”

Lawrence’s video editor Anna Johnson Ryndova served as a technical consultant to the students on the project.

The festival films scheduled to be shown and their student producers are:

“People in Need, Changing the Face of Homeless (Austin Rohaly ’15). This film attempts to change the way in which people in need are stereotyped and offer help to organizations in need of volunteers within the Appleton area.

 “FacebΘΘk” (Fanny Lau ’14).  An exploration of Facebook’s violation of privacy and how users can protect themselves.

  “There and Back Again” (Matthew Lowe ’14). An examination of the human rights violations that occur as a result of a globalized economic system that seeks to minimize costs and maximize profits. As consumers, however, we have the power to vote with our money and our voice to make effective change.

“Speak to Me” (Conor Beaulieu ’15). ‪A look into America’s crippling lack of language diversity.

“‪Ethical Considerations in Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’” (Sam Neufeld ’15). An exploration of the ethical issues associated with Art Spiegelman’s decision to portray the Holocaust in a comic book format and the importance of form in human rights literature.

 “Let’s Talk About Race” (Tammy Tran ’14). Racial diversity on the Lawrence campus is examined while addressing the need to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate differences in the student body on a deeper level.

“Human Rights: The Next Big Thing? (Heather Carr ‘15). This film examines the fad-like quality of human rights advocacy through the lens of the organization Invisible Children.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

$5 Million Gift Helps Launch Lawrence Film Studies Center

A game-changer for Lawrence University.

President Jill Beck announced a $5 million gift from Lawrence graduates Tom and Julie Hurvis that will support the establishment of The Hurvis Center for Interdisciplinary Film Studies, a facility dedicated to the integration of film production into the Lawrence curriculum.

The $5 million gift from the Hurvis Charitable Foundation was a part of Lawrence’s recently concluded “More Light!” campaign that raised more than $160 million.

Julie '61 and Tom Hurvis '60

The opening of the Hurvis Center will expand the scope of Lawrence’s current film curriculum, physically and intellectually.  The program currently includes interdisciplinary courses on film theory, history and analysis. The gift will create a fully functional film production studio supporting students’ creation of film and video for artistic and scholarly expression.

Beginning with its signature course, Freshman Studies, Lawrence provides a rigorous education in the traditional forms of literacy — cogent writing and oral dialogue. The enhanced film program will complement those traditions by engaging students in a third form of literacy essential for the 21st century: the visual literacy of film and video.

“Students already learn to ‘read’ film through our existing film theory and history curriculum,” said Beck. “The expanded program made possible by Tom and Julie Hurvis will enable students to learn to ‘write’ as well, producing original documentaries and creative films to express ideas, to raise awareness about issues of concern, and to share research with scholarly and community audiences.

“We are fortunate that an imaginative interdisciplinary approach to film studies has evolved and grown at Lawrence over the past many years,” Beck added. “The Hurvis gift recognizes that fact and generously provides us with the opportunity to add film production to our students’ education and integrate production into our existing program.”

Tom Hurvis, a 1960 Lawrence graduate and chairman and CEO of Old World Industries in Chicago, sees the program as a “game-changer for Lawrence.”

“It really puts the college into a different arena,” said Hurvis. “Here’s an innovation that is something new and it definitely fits with Lawrence. What else could potentially bring so many different members of the faculty together?”

Catherine Tatge '72

Award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate, will serve as a consultant to help get the program launched, offering workshops, assisting students and faculty with specific projects, and consulting with film studies faculty on how the Hurvis gift can best be put to use in curricular development.

“Catherine has expressed enthusiasm for the existing film studies program and is eager to work with faculty on an enhanced program that reflects Lawrence’s distinctiveness,” said Beck.

With more than 25 years of filmmaking experience, Tatge brings a unique vision for the development of a program that will be integrated through diverse areas of the Lawrence curriculum.

“I’m very excited about this new program,” said Tatge, whose latest documentary film, “John Muir in the New World,” premiered on PBS’ “American Masters” series earlier this year. “As a Lawrence graduate, I know the culture of this institution. Developing this program is really going to be a process, working with the faculty and with students to help build something that is uniquely tailored to Lawrence.”

2010 Lawrence graduate Garth Neustadter composed the score for the John Muir film and won an Emmy Award in the original music composition category.

The Hurvises are looking forward to watching the evolution of a distinctive film program rooted in Lawrence’s liberal arts tradition.

“This project is open-ended,” said Julie Hurvis, who graduated from Lawrence in 1961 with a degree in studio art. “We’re excited about it becoming a reality, as people are hired and begin working on the program.”

Filmmaking at Lawrence will promote cross fertilization throughout the campus, drawing upon resources from music performance, composition and arranging, art, dance, theatre, and creative writing. It aspires to engage many academic departments by making film another way for students and faculty to disseminate disciplinary research and ideas.

“Lawrence already has very good creative synergy with the conservatory of music, with art, the theatre department and other creative areas, so the film program will be a beautiful tie-in to all of those different creative juices,” said Tom Hurvis.

“I see bringing different parts of the university together to work on different aspects of the media and cinema process so that students will leave Lawrence being media-savvy and capable of effectively communicating their ideas,” added Tatge.

The Hurvis Center will be located in the renovated lower level of the former Jason Downer Commons. It will provide more than 5,500 square feet of new academic programming space, including a 2,000-square-foot central performance and screening venue for use by film studies and other disciplines, including theatre, dance and music. The large and flexible space will promote collaboration and cross fertilization among multiple disciplines.

The gift also will support the addition of a new faculty position to develop new offerings on filmmaking and a technical position to provide expertise in maintaining equipment and instruction on how to use it.

“Lawrence is truly fortunate to have philanthropists like Tom and Julie Hurvis among its alumni,” said Beck.  “They have a wonderful vision for Lawrence as one of the very best liberal arts institutions in the nation and have made landmark investments in the college to help it achieve that stature.”

Tom and Julie Hurvis’ interests in film include serving as producers of the 2009 award-winning documentary film “The Providence Effect.”  Winner of two film festival “Best Documentary” awards, the film chronicles the efforts of Paul Adams to transform Providence St. Mel, an all-black parochial school on Chicago’s notorious drug-ridden, gang-ruled West Side into a first-rank college preparatory school for its African-American student body.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.