Johns Hopkins Gazette | April 13, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 13, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 30
Film and Media Studies Faculty Set to Screen Their Work

A production still from 'I Choose Darkness' (2009), one of two animated shorts by faculty member Karen Yasinsky that will be shown Thursday night.

By Amy Lunday

The Program in Film and Media Studies will showcase some of its faculty members' new work, old work and works in progress at a special screening at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, in Hodson Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus.

The filmmakers — John Mann, Matt Porterfield, Doug Sadler and Karen Yasinsky — will discuss their creative processes and take questions from the audience, with a reception to follow. The event is one of several on tap this spring from the program, which is enjoying a surge in interest from students, according to Linda DeLibero, associate director and undergraduate adviser.

"I realized we were experiencing a growth spurt when I saw that my advisee list this year, which had been hovering around 30 most years, was now at nearly 40 students," DeLibero said. "That doesn't sound like much, but for a small undergraduate program, it's huge."

The program is offering 12 courses this semester, one of which originates in the Humanities Center and two that are collaborative courses with MICA. Including independent study and internship opportunities, and senior project courses, there are 19 offerings this spring, she said.

"When I started in 2001, I was the only full-time instructor," she said. "Now we have three."

While DeLibero is encouraged by the interest in the program, she is also content to keep the program at a manageable size.

"We really don't want to grow beyond where we are right now," DeLibero said. "Our students have the benefit of small classes and a lot of individual attention from instructors, and we want to keep it that way."

Thursday's lineup highlights the diverse interests of the program's instructors.

Mann, a documentary and experimental filmmaker, will show Running to Keep from Falling (2003) and clips from his other documentaries, and will discuss the evolution of his work.

Porterfield, writer-director of the feature film Hamilton (2006), will share black-and-white test footage of actors and locations for his film in development, Metal Gods, the story of "two damaged teenagers living in a Baltimore suburb [who] form an unlikely bond when their lives are thrown together by a sudden act of violence."

Sadler, an alumnus of both the Sundance and Maryland film festivals, will screen clips of his feature films Riders (2001) and Swimmers (2005) and will discuss creative and practical challenges, his early film influences and the necessity of risk.

Yasinsky will show two animated shorts, I Choose Darkness and Enough to Drive You Mad, both part of her current solo exhibit at the gallery Mireille Mosler Ltd. in New York.

Other upcoming events are a screening of student films at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, in 111 Mergenthaler; and screenings of Johns Hopkins and MICA students' collaborative short film projects on Tuesday, May 12, at Homewood and on Wednesday, May 13, at MICA (times and locations TBA). A handful of student films are available online at:


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