In March 2014, we had our first cohort of SSMF Fellows as part of the Screening Scholarship Media Festival (SSMF) Fellows 2014 program. Fellows attended a one-day workshop before attending the annual festival on Sunday, March 2, 2014. At the Screening Scholarship Media Festival, they attended an exclusive luncheon with the festival’s plenary speakers and network with like-minded researchers and mediamakers.
Nia Hampton is a junior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County majoring in Media and Communications Studies. She is looking forward to meeting and hearing from the keynote speaker, Peter Lucas, and learning from his work in Brazil. Nia is an aspiring filmmaker and wants to strengthen her media making skills through research. After graduating in May, Nia hopes to find opportunities that will allow her to work in the creative field focused on research, planning, and implementation. Follow Nia @_NIAnderthal and online: www.niahampton.com. Link to Nia’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Rafiat Kasumu is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in International Relations. Rafiat is looking forward to the festival and confident she will find inspiration from the attendees and speakers currently working in the field: “I am looking forward to the opportunity of discussing the future of media, its connection to knowledge production, and the various forms it can take with like-minded visionaries.” With a new interest in film and research, Rafiat is currently enrolled in a class Facets of Cinema in History, Literature, Business & Law, which is her first experience looking at film from an academic lens. “In terms of media, I am most interested in the telling of visual stories through photography, graphic design, and documentaries. I believe that the various forms mixed-media communication can speak bounds about its potential and future.” Rafiat recently created her own creative arts label Ìtàn Creative, specializing in visual storytelling photography, graphic design, editing, and marketing services. Follow Rafiat @RafiatKasumu and check out her work online: https://www.facebook.com/rkphotography2 Link to Rafiat’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Sindhuri Nandhakumar is a senior at the Univerisity of Pennsylvania majoring in Political Science. Sindhu is looking forward to engaging with the community of students interested in visual storytelling, “I am a keen observer of media and film and have a lot of interest in becoming more involved but am hesitant about my lack of knowledge.” Sindhu has conducted ethnographic research and worked as a research assistant in the Political Science department and has received research funding from the University of Pennsylvania. “For me, art and storytelling are born out of the desire to help people relate to each other. Therefore, I am always conscious of trying to create a community or an environment where people feel comfortable and where people are happy and inspired.” Follow Sindhu @sindhurin and check out her blog: www.sindhuri-n.blogspot.com Link to Sindhuri’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Ariana Nicoletta is a junior at New York University majoring in Communicative Sciences & Disorders and is looking forward to meeting the other fellows and learning about their projects in hopes it will help guide the ones she is working on. Ariana has long been interesting in acting, which is where her interests in film began, “I realized how important film was because its entire basis is to catch a story, fiction or non-fiction, in the act. There are stories that are important to portray because society tends to unintentionally glance right over them.” She is passionate about film, media, research, writing, and acting. She is studying speech language pathology, likes to sing, dance, and is learning how to play the ukulele.
Kristen Poli is a senior at New York University majoring in Media, Culture and Communication, with a minor in Business. She is looking forward to learning more from festival speakers and attendees on the digital future of the humanities, “I think it is crucial to take an interdisciplinary approach to media studies, and I am so excited about the diversity of participants at SSMF this year!” Kristen is curious about the relationships between new media and social movements, youth culture, and the arts. With an interest in storytelling, her research focuses on how digital technologies can be used to create and transform narratives. She is currently working on a research project using geodata to represents narratives of environmental change. Kristen loves to read and write poetry and is excited to connect with other writers at the festival. Link to Kristen’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Molly Salas is a senior at New York University majoring in Media, Culture and Communication, with a Spanish and Producing Minor. She is excited to hear from a range of range of scholars and media makers and engage with the participants after the screenings, “I’ve always had an interest in engaging with media, whether through winning Oscar ballots or hosting Harry Potter marathons while live-tweeting it, but it was recently that I became interested in making my own.” Her thesis work is focused on television. Originally from San Diego, CA, she likes burritos, 90s hip hop, dancing, and good coffee. “I’m excited to participate in such a fantastic event!” Follow Molly @mollzlolz . Link to Molly’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Julie Sanchez is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Anthropology. She is looking forward to the films and installations and learning from the festival speakers and attendees, “Generally speaking, I am interested in how media forms and cultural norms reinforce one another. I am particularly concerned with issues of representation, especially that of women, queers, and racial/ethnic minority groups. I am interested not only in how social conditions influence representations in media, but also in how media representations influence culture and function as social discourse.” Her personal research is focused on the power of science fiction (and fanfiction) to reposition and empower marginalized groups. She is a writer of long and short-form fiction and has been published in First Call, The F-Word, and OMG Queer. She is asking how film, television, and social media can create a more equitable future through imaginative work. Julie has just begun experimenting with screenwriting and has plans to attend graduate school for media and/or cinema studies starting in the fall. Link to Julia’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.
Matthew Weaver is a freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Mathematics. He is looking forward to the festival and excited for the surprise of learning new ways for media and scholarship to interact. Matthew has been involved with research in mathematical logic and is eager to find new ways to present his research that is in tune with its content and relevant to wider audiences, “I am now fascinated with coming up with novel methods to communicate complex mathematical concepts in a palatable way.” He also works as a web programmer with the The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s daily student run newspaper. “I did not originally realize I was interested in applying computer science to the media when I started at the newspaper, but I soon saw the extent to which journalism is changing to keep up with technology, and I wanted to be a participating member of the process.” Mathew is interested in developing new media that communicates information by taking advantage of technological resources. Link to Matthew’s blogpost about SSMF 2014.