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Faculty

The Film and Video Studies Faculty come from many units across campus. Faculty expertise ranges from film theory and history to video production and management which is what makes the Film and Video Studies multidisciplinary degree so rich and exciting.

The FAVS faculty teach everything a graduate needs to enter the film industry: scriptwriting, acting, management, critical theory and history, production (multimedia, sound, video, digital), ethics, management, and presentation of their materials. Through the faculty, the program itself, gives students the academic and experience with real film industry professionals both in the classroom as well as in the field.


Full-time Faculty


Giovanna Chesler, M.F.A.

Professor Chesler is the incoming Director of the Film and Video Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Communication Department. She also works as Director and Producer of documentary and fiction film through her production company G6 Pictures. Giovanna earned an M.F.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State (with the distinction of Most Distinguished Graduate) and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in Anthropology (with Highest Distinction) and a minor in Women’s Studies.

Currently, Giovanna is a Producer on Blair Doroshwalther’s documentary feature, "Out in the Night". "Out in the Night" is a co-production of ITVS and CPB. It tells the story of four young African-American lesbian friends who became criminals for defending themselves. The film receives support from the Sundance Film Institute, Cinereach, the Jerome Foundation, Frameline, Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation, NYSCA, the Women in Film Finishing Fund, and other foundations. This summer, Giovanna was selected to participate in the Film Independent Artist Development Program Fast Track with "Out in the Night". Her feature narrative work in development includes, "Stick", a romantic comedy addressing sexual health issues, and Java, on memory loss, trauma and an unlikely friendship.

Giovanna's previous films have screened at over 120 film festivals in 15 countries. Her hour long documentary, "Period: The End of Menstruation?" (16mm, 54 min) on cultural and medical trends in menstruation (distributed by Cinema Guild, New York) became a touchstone on the menstrual suppression debate when it was covered on the front-page of the The New York Times. Her short films include "Bye Bi Love" (HD, 17min, 2010) a fictional melodrama about a woman who receives an invitation to her ex-girlfriend's wedding, "BeauteouS: The Trilogy" ("BeauteouS", "BeauteouS: Giovanna", and "BeauteouS: Stephanie") an examination of three sisters and their relationships to beauty (16mm, 43 min) and hand-some, a reflexive documentary on a failing lesbian relationship (16mm, 13 min) distributed by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. Awards for Giovanna's films include Honorable Mention in Fiction Filmmaking from the University Film and Video Association for "Bye Bi Love" in 2010, the Gold Plaque Award for Best Student Documentary from the Chicago International Film Festival in 2000 for "BeauteouS: Stephanie", and Honorable Mention in documentary from the Georgetown Independent Film Festival for "BeauteouS: Stephanie".

Her new media work includes "Tune in HPV", a web television channel for awareness, expression and entertainment around the human papillomavirus. This project was a collaborative piece made with her students at American University in a course on Communication and Social Change. She is the Transmedia Producer on "Out in the Night", developing innovative outreach and engagement projects in collaboration with technology partners and community groups working on social justice issues that intersect with the themes of the film.

Giovanna’s publications include “Truth in the Mix: Frederick Wiseman’s Construction of the Observational Microphone” (Jump Cut, Fall 2012). This essay updates her earlier chapter in an edited collection on Wiseman's work in DFI Vorwerk. Other essays include the co-authored essay "Collaborative Media Production, Authorship, and Distribution." (Issues in Engaged Scholarship: An Exploration of Community-Campus Collaborations. Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership & NYMAPS. New York, 2013) with Rebecca Mustare, “Re-Presenting Choice: Tune in HPV”, “Drop by Drop: Cinematic Menstrual Activism One Viewer At a Time” (Sex Roles, April 2011) a co-authored chapter on her Tune in HPV project published in Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) with Bree Kessler, “The Audio First Classroom: A Sound Place for Engagement with Theory and Practice” (Jump Cut, 2007) on sound pedagogy in the video classroom. She has served on the selection committee for the AFI Silverdocs Film Festival and has curated film programs for the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, Cabinet Magazine, and Ladyfest San Diego. She has worked with the Center for Social Media at American University as a media fellow on Fair Use issues.

Giovanna is an active member of Film Independent and IFP.

Giovanna Chesler

M.F.A., San Francisco State University, Cinema
Professor, Department of Communication
Director, Film and Video Studies

Contact

A327 Robinson Hall
Office Hours: TBD
Email: gchesler@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014
COMM 397: Transmedia Production for Social Change
FAVS 100: Film and Video Studies Colloquium
FAVS 450: Internship



Tommy Britt

Tommy Britt has been at George Mason University since 2007, when he was hired as the first full-time faculty member of the Film and Video Studies program. Tommy has created several courses within the program, including Ethics of Film and Video and Genre Studies.

Tommy's documentaries and music videos have screened internationally. His essays on film and popular music are available in edited volumes and print and online journals. PopMatters publishes "On Principle", Tommy's column about media ethics.

Tommy Britt on PopMatters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Tommy Britt

MFA, 2005, Ohio University, Assistant Professor, Film & Video Studies, Script Writing, Documentary

Contact

Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
A407G de Laski Performing Arts Building
Office Hours: TBD
Phone: 703-993-1992
Email: tbritt@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014
FAVS 300: Global Horror Film
FAVS 352: Ethics of Film and Video
FAVS 498: Creative Producing and Development



Ben Steger

Assistant Professor Benjamin Steger joined Film and Video Studies at George Mason University in the fall of 2010. Benjamin has several years of experience as a producer, director, videographer, and sound recordist for documentary, fiction, and corporate films and videos. Before coming to Mason, Benjamin served as an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University Chicago. Benjamin holds a MFA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Steger photo

MFA, 2005, Columbia College Chicago, Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies.

Contact

Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
A407B de Laski Performing Arts Building
Office Hours: TBD
Phone : 703-993-5091
Email: bsteger@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014:
FAVS 498: Creative Producing/Development
FAVS 499: Senior Project
FAVS 598: Graduate Seminar


Full-time Staff


John Kowalski

John Kowalski is the Program Coordinator for Film and Video Studies. John serves as the primary academic advisor for all undergraduates in the BA Film and Video Studies program, manages program administration, communications, and outreach. He obtained a BS in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

 

 

 

 

John Kowalski

B.S., 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University

Contact

Program Coordinator, Film and Video Studies
A407 de Laski Performing Arts Building
Advising by appointment. Schedule an Appointment
Phone : 703-993-3287
Email: jkowals5@gmu.edu


Part-time Faculty


Robert Farr

Rob Farr is the executive producer for Arlington TV, Arlington County's government cable channel and website. In his reel life, he has authored or co-authored articles on silent film and early film comedy and is acknowledged for contributions in several books on the subject. In 2003 he founded the Slapsticon, a four-day film festival celebrating silent and early sound comedies. The 10-year anniversary Slapsticon was hosted by Indiana University - Bloomington in June 2013. He is currently teaching History of World Cinema (FAVS 225) at George Mason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Farr

 

Contact

Office Hours: TBD
Email: rfarr@gmu.edu



Cynthia Fuchs

Cynthia Fuchs is the director of Film & Media Studies at George Mason University. She is also Associate Professor of English, African and African American Studies, Film and Video Studies, and Sport and American Culture at Mason. Cynthia is the the film and TV editor at PopMatters.com.

Visit:

FAMS at GMU

FAMS on Facebook

FAMS on Twitter

Cynthia Fuchs at PopMatters

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Steger photo

PhD, 1989, University of Pennsylvania 1989

Contact

Associate Professor, Film and Video Studies
Robinson Hall A461
Phone : 703-993-2768
Email: cfuchs@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014:
ENGH 319: Film and Video Forms



Susan Kehoe

Dr. Kehoe is Director of Educational Media Services and the Senior Executive Producer at GMU-TV. She serves on the board of directors of the Communications Media Management Association and has been inducted into the International Academy of Visual Arts. Kehoe is one of only a handful of individuals twice honored as one of the Top 100 Media Producers in the nation by AV Video Multimedia Producer Magazine.

Dr. Kehoe has won over three-dozen video awards including an Outstanding Individual Achievement Gracie award from the Alliance for Women in Media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Kehoe photo

DA, 2000, George Mason University

Contact

Office Hours: TBD
Phone : 703-993-3108
Email: skehoe@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014:
FAVS 399: Web Series



Amanda Kraus

Amanda Kraus became a proud member of George Mason University’s FAVS department in the Fall of 2011. Miss Kraus teaches COMM 360 - Video Editing and FAVS 460 - Advanced Video Editing. Amanda has worked successfully in the entertainment industry for over 16 years. In this time, she has worked in a variety of crew positions. Though primarily an editor, she has also worked as a Producer, Production Manager, Post Production Supervisor, Director and Sound Designer/Recordist. In general, Amanda is an all-around filmmaker.

She has also taught college-level filmmaking courses for 13 years. Prior to Mason, Amanda taught Video Editing, Sound Design and the Advance Production Workshop courses at Columbia College Hollywood (CCH), her alma mater. She also played a key role and revamping the sound curriculum at CCH. It is there she earned the “Teacher Of The Year” award in 2005.

She currently holds a senior level position at GMU-TV where she makes educational television programming for the university. Amanda loves her role at GMU-TV and continues to learn something new every day! Her work at Mason since 2006 has earned her over 2 dozen industry awards including the Gracie Allen Award and several Tellys.

Continued growth as a filmmaker and seeking new challenges is always on Amanda’s horizon. She loves to edit, loves to teach and loves being a part of the FAVs department at Mason!

Photo of Amanda Kraus
Contact

Office Hours: TBD
Phone : 703-993-4592
Email: akraus@gmu.edu

Courses

Fall 2014:
COMM 360: Video Editing I



Dr. Cynthia Lont

Dr. Lont is the former Director of Film and Video Studies and Professor in the Communication Department. Her degrees include an A.A. from Auburn Community College, a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego, MA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Lont serves as President of the Eastern Communication Association.

Her honors include the 2011 Videographer Honorable Mention for FAVS Studio A with guest Mark Stoeckinger, 2011 Communicator Award of Distinction for FAVS Studio A with guest Andrew Simpson, 2010 Communicator Award of Distinction for FAVS Studio A with guest Cuong LeNguyen as well as 2009 Telly Bronze Award, 2009 Davey Silver Award, 2009 Videographer Honorable Mention, and a 2008 Gracie Award from the American Women of Radio and Television. Dr. Lont served as guest speaker at the National Women's History Museum Katharine Hepburn Exhibit Opening at the National Portrait Gallery and earned the National Communication Association's Mass Communication Division’s Teaching Award honoring excellent teaching in the mass communication field.

Her most recent publication is co-authored with Dr. Xiaomei Cai (2012) “The Unchanging Face of the News: A Content Analysis of Online News Websites” published in Rebecca Lind’s Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers, 3rd edition.

Photo of Dr. Cindy Lont

PhD, 1984, University of Iowa , Professor, Communication Department, Video Production, Women and Media, Visual Communication Theory

Contact

Professor, Department of Communication
Aquia Building
Office Hours: By appointment
Email: clont@gmu.edu

Courses

 



Sam Meddis

Sam Meddis is an adjunct professor of Film and Video Studies. He is also an adjunct professor of Journalism at American University. He has a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in video from George Mason University. In addition to video production, he studied film theory and the cinema of China and Japan.

Meddis is the former video team lead at USA TODAY, where he oversaw an award-winning group of video journalists and helped to develop a digital video strategy focused on expanding production and spreading visual-storytelling skills across the newsroom. He was previously a USA TODAY deputy managing editor, a role in which he helped oversee news coverage and operations of usatoday.com, coordinated training programs for print and online editorial staff, and supervised the editorial technology group.

He is a founding member both of usatoday.com and USA TODAY the newspaper. Beginning at the paper’s founding in 1982, he served as lead reporter covering the U.S. Justice Department, FBI, and CIA. In 1995, he became founding technology editor for usatoday.com.

His reporting has won a number of awards, including: a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, a Unity Award for Investigative Reporting from Lincoln University’s Department of Journalism, a Champion of Justice award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a public service award from Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Sam Meddis

 

Contact

Office Hours: TBD
Email: smeddis@gmu.edu



Richard Wood

Richard Wood is General Manager and Executive Producer at GMU-TV, with nearly two decades of experience crafting messages for screen as a Producer/Director/DP/Editor. In addition to his role at GMU-TV, Richard is also a Managing Partner at a boutique production company, Chalk Line Productions, who specialize in corporate communications and documentary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Wood

 

Contact

Office Hours: TBD
Phone : 703-993-3116
Email: rwood@gmu.edu


Part-time Staff


Film and Video Studies Program | College of Visual and Performing Arts | George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 3E6 | Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-FAVS (3287) | Fax: 703-993-3175 | Email:favs@gmu.edu