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Film Studies

Are you a movie buff? Do you search out the quirky independent films wherever you can find them? Maybe you’re a closet Bollywood addict . . .If any of these is true, then the Film Studies minor is for you!

Throughout the history of America, the movies have acted as a powerful social, political, and economic force. In the Film Studies minor, students have an opportunity to examine the cinema’s role in our culture and its development as both an art and a technology.

The Film Studies minor is housed in the Communication Studies department, but it is interdisciplinary, drawing upon film studies and filmmaking courses as well as courses from other departments. In addition to regular courses in American Movies, World Cinema and Documentary History and Theory, other special topics courses are scheduled on a frequent basis. Outside of the Communication Studies department, courses are offered such as Faith and Film, Chinese Culture through Film, French Film and Cinema and Masculinity.

All of these courses encourage students to become more informed viewers and consumers of visual culture through close textual analysis and critical thinking. The film studies minor is firmly rooted in a liberal arts education, drawing upon multiple disciplines and helping students make connections between them. It augments any major at the college, as it encourages students to take an active role in understanding one of our society’s foremost means of communication.

Required Courses

Please refer to the current Academic Catalog on the registrar’s site for further information.

Immerse Yourself in the World of Film

Randolph College has a growing and vibrant film culture. As a small college community we are fortunate to have a wealth of opportunities to view and discuss films. With the development of the Sara Driver ’77 Digital Filmmaking and Lecture Series Fund, we have outfitted a state-of-the art digital film lab and are offering digital filmmaking courses. In addition, we host visiting filmmakers throughout the year.

  • Sara Driver ’77 , an actor, writer, director, and producer, visited campus, presenting a public lecture entitled “A Conversation about the State of American Film.”
  • Acclaimed documentarian JL Aronson was a guest in several film classes and screened his film, “Danielson: A Family Movie.”
  • Kristin Eno, a visiting artist at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, talked about her work making videos with children from the New York City public schools.

 

Meet Filmmakers

We have also hosted several filmmakers as part of the Southern Circuit Film Series. These independent filmmakers have shared their artistic vision and experiences with our students and with the community.

  • Jake Mahaffy, Associate Professor of Art and Film at Wheaton College, War
  • Francesca Talenti, Associate Professor of Media Production at UNC-Chapel Hill, animated short films
  • Michael Gitlin, The Birdpeople
  • Pamela Yates, State of Fear Karl Staven, Head of the Animation Program at the University of the Arts, animated short films

We have sponsored or collaborated on the following film-related events:

  • American Culture major, Rebecca Grawl’s ’07 “Reflections of War” Symposium, featuring Dr. Sarah Kozloff, Professor of Film at Vassar College; Dr. Gerard Sherayko, Associate Professor of History at Randolph College; and Colonel Edward Burr, a retired Colonel and West Point graduate. The symposium was preceded by a film series featuring World War II films.
  • Annual Cineviews Film Festival at Riverviews Artspace in Lynchburg.
  • “Screening the Other: Race and Ethnicity at the Movies,”  sponsored by Alpha Kappa Delta featuring Dr. Jennifer Gauthier, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College, Dr. Julio Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Randolph College and Dr. Daniel Lefkowitz, a linguistic anthropologist from UVA.
  • Screening of the film Forgiven, written and directed by Lynchburg’s own Paul Fitzgerald. Paul also met informally with students to discuss the filmmaking process.
  • Connie Womack Britton, film and television actor and native of Lynchburg, visited COMM 277: American Movies.
  • Groups of film students attend the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville.
  • The French Department takes students to the French Film Festival in Richmond every spring.

Hands-On Learning

Andrea Miller ’08 made a short documentary for her senior project in American Culture, “There and Back Again: Tales of Women and College.” She participated in the Summer Research Program in 2006, working with Dr. Gauthier to investigate the construction of voice in documentary film. Andi and Dr. Gauthier traveled to the SilverDocs Documentary Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland in June 2006. Andi attended filmmaking workshops and film screenings, meeting with documentary film producers, directors, editors and camera people.

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