Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Film and Media Arts: Awards and Achievements Archive

Professor Chris Palmer, right, at the award ceremony with Sony's Lou Gershenson. Sony sponsored a $1000 prize for the best environmental film. Brad Allgood, right, won for his film on Queen Conch.

Visions Awards

Professor Chris Palmer, right, at the award ceremony with Sony's Lou Gershenson. Sony sponsored a $1000 prize for the best environmental film. Brad Allgood, right, won for his film on Queen Conch.

Read More
SOC Pat Aufderheide theater

Prof Quoted in New York Times About Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking

In a recent article in the New York Times about the documentary Waiting for Superman and how it isn't all it's cracked up to be, Professor Pat Aufderheide was quoted analyzing the situation and citing a study that she and other scholars conducted on the ethical approaches in documentary filmmaking. Read more

SOC Noah Gray

Student Interviewed On CNN About Mid-Term Elections

In a recent CNN report, School of Communication student Noah Gray was interviewed about his long-standing relationship with politics, and more recently his Virgin Voting project whose goal is to encourage young people to vote. It was during the 2010 mid-term elections that Noah himself was able to vote for the first time. Watch video

MFA Candidate's Thesis Script Chosen as Finalist for Screenplay Competition

MFA candidate Mary Ratliff's thesis script "Catching Up" is one of the five finalists that will be read as part of the DC Shorts Screenplay competition. The winner is decided by an audience vote and will receive $1,000 plus another $1,000 when the film is completed. The final movie will also be featured at DC Shorts 2011. Read more

Laura Waters Hinson

Award-winning Documentary Screens at UN
Alum Laura Waters Hinson's documentary As We Forgive was shown at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on April 7 as one of the main events at the UN's annual ceremony to commemorate Rwanda's genocide. Hinson, the film's director, will be in attendance to participate in post-screening discussion alongside genocide survivor Yvette Rugasaguhunga. More details on the UN's commemoration ceremony can be found here.

Laura Waters Hinson
Alum Wins Student Oscar

Lauren DeAngelis, MA '08, beat competitors from some of the country's top film programs to win an Oscar for A Place to Land, her thesis documentary that follows the cross-country journey of abused or abandoned parrots, once in captivity. A second SOC student, Joe Bohannon, Director of Cinematography and Sound Technician for the film, was interviewed by NBC about the documentary. This is the second consecutive year that a student from American University's School of Communication (SOC) has won an Oscar for documentary from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Laura Waters Hinson, MFA '07, won a Student Oscar last year for As We Forgive, a documentary about reconciliation efforts in Rwanda.

Hinson appeared on The Diane Rehm Show to discuss her film, which won the Gold Medal for Documentary at the 2008 Student Academy Awards. As We Forgive follows three Rwandan genocide survivors as they face the men who killed their families. Watch the trailer or read a Washington Post profile of Hinson.

SOC Visions Winners with Claudia Myers
DC Film Office Honors Claudia Myers as October Filmmaker of the Month

The District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture and Television Development announced Professor Claudia Myers as the recipient of its October Filmmaker of the Month award. Myers is a professor in the Film & Media Arts division of the School of Communication. She is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who has directed award-winning films such as Kettle of Fish and The Long Road Back. As a recent alumna of the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab, her films have won awards such at the Codie Award, Audience Award, and an Emmy nomination. Read More

MFA Candidates’ Short Film Collaborations Accepted into Film Festival

Two short films by American University MFA candidates Ted Roach and Aditi Desai have been accepted into the 2011 St. Louis International Film Festival. This festival draws a crowd of around 20,000 a year and is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for live action shorts.  They will be opening for the documentary feature “The Lost Airmen of Buchenwald”.

Student Interviewed by Washington Post

Senior Pamela Bopp, BA in Foreign Language and Communication, was recently interviewed by the Washington Post about her part-time job at the Chilean Embassy. Originally from Chile, Bopp helped answer calls at the Chilean Embassy for the Chilean miners that were recently rescued proceeding the mine collapse. Watch video

American University School of Communication professor and Center for Social Media Director Patricia Aufderheide

Prof Receives 2010 Women of Vision Award

On October 13, 2010 at the AFI Silver Theatre, Professor Patricia Aufderheide received a Women of Vision Award from WIFV. The Annual Women of Vision Awards honor women whose accomplishments have enriched both the profession and society with intelligence, talent and vision.

MFA Candidate's Film Selected for Film Festival

MFA candidate Drew Louis and his colleague Katie Neff’s film Hope that they filmed in Prague this past semester has been selected to be shown at the Rosebud Film and Video Festival. Each year the festival awards large cash prizes, valuable products and services while also providing film and video artists professional exposure. The showcase is on Saturday, November 13th at the Dome Theater in Artisphere, Arlington, VA’s new cultural center, and the winners are announced the next day. Learn more about the Prague Program or check out the Rosebud Film and Video Festival site

Professor Chris Palmer on ABC Nightline News.

Prof on ABC News Nightline and Good Morning America

Nothing but great things seem to be coming Professor Chris Palmer's way since the release of his book, Shooting in the Wild. The author and his book have been featured in NPR Weekend Edition and in an article in the Washington Post (which garnered about 400 comments and was forwarded about 800 times), and what's more, ABC News Nightline did a package about Palmer and the book, which Good Morning America re-ran.

SOC Artist-in-Residence Gary Griffin

Adjunct Works as Director of Photography in ESPN Film

Adjunct professor Gary Griffin teaches Dramatic Production in the School of Communication, and recently he had the opportunity to work as one of the directors of photography in the film “The House of Steinbrenner” with Barbara Kopple, who was the commencement speaker in 2010. Read more

Center for Environmental Filmmaking Director and American University School of Communication faculty member Chris Palmer

Prof's Take on Filming Wildlife Appears in Washington Post

Professor Chris Palmer released his new book, Shooting in the Wild, earlier this year. The book concerns some of the unpleasant secrets of the environmental industry. Recently, the Washington Post published an article going into depth on the impact that Palmer’s book has had on the environmental film industry. Read more


Student's PSA Airs in Times Square

MFA student Yi Chen can see her work on the Toshiba Vision screen on One Times Square throughout September.  The public service announcement encourages viewers to take action to achieve  the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.  Watch video

Maggie Stogner

Prof’s Paper To Be Published in Peer-Reviewed Journal

Professor Maggie Burnette Stogner presented her paper “The Immersive Cultural Museum Experience – Creating context and story with new media technology” at the International Conference for the Inclusive Museum in Istanbul, June 2010. It has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal,The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, published by Common Ground Publishing.  Read more

Claudia Myers

Prof Wins Scriptwriting Competition

Claudia Myers wins the University Film and Video Association's Faculty Scriptwriting Competition for her screenplay "As You Are." Read more

SOC Spike logo

Alum's Series Airs on Spike

Alum Adam Friedman's new series, U.S. Navy Pirate Hunters, debuted June 15 on Spike. The US Navy allowed Spike and 44 Blue Productions in-depth access as they embarked on their mission from the military base in the seaside nation of Djibouti (bordering Somalia and Ethiopia) and on the open water. Cameras captured every element of life aboard two US warships, the USS San Antonio and USS Boxer, as they patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean for the pirates who call this region home. Read more

Student Aditi Desai films Ecoviews, a program developed for Maryland Public Television. Photo by Shanon Sparks.

Aditi Desai filming on the Chesapeake Bay for Ecoviews, a program developed for Maryland Public Television. Photo by Shanon Sparks.

Emmy Win for Environmental Film Students  

A team of American University School of Communication students received an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Student (Non-News) Production for their documentary, EcoViews: Life on the Chesapeake Bay. The 2007 episode also won the award, which is presented by The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Read more

Photo of Truman Scholar Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener

Student Named 2010 Harry S. Truman Scholar

Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener, a junior political science major with a minor in communication, has been named a 2010 Harry S. Truman Scholar. The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 toward a graduate education leading to a career in public service. Kelsey is one of 60 Truman Scholars selected from a nationwide pool of 576 candidates. Kelsey intends to pursue graduate training in law and public health in preparation for a career in health law, communications, and advocacy. Read more

Filming of a place to land
AU Filmmakers Win Big at Peer Awards

Film students and alumni swept the Television, Internet and Video Association (TIVA) Awards winning gold, silver and bronze in several film productions. Ellen Tripler, Aditi Desai, Mary Ratliff, and Kai Fang won the Peer Gold Award in Student Dramatic Production for "Cookies", Ted Roach, Alex Morrison and Caroline Aguila won the Peer Gold Award in Student Non-Dramatic Production for "Chesapeake Gold", Carolina Aguilar, Brad Allgood, J.P. Eason, Dustin Harrison-Atlas, Danny Ledonne, Alex Morrison, Ted Roach, and Suzanne Taylor won the Peer Silver Award in Student Non-dramatic Production for "EcoViews; Reclaiming the Bay"and Jin-Wei Wang won the Peer Silver Award in Dramatic for "Flowers in the Mirror". Lauren DeAngelis and Joe Bohannon joined several other SOC students winning Peer Awards this year. Their film, A Place to Land, picked up a Student Academy Award earlier this year. Alum Ted Roach won the Peer Gold Award for Non-Dramatic Editing (30 minutes and longer) and the Peer Bronze Award for Non-Dramatic Production (30 minutes or longer) for "Somay Ku: A Uganda Tennis Story", which he produced and edited.

Hillwood Museum logo
Students Produce Video for Hillwood Museum

Three SOC graduate film students and an alumna created a short video for the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens' Sevres, Then & Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000. The film includes the installation of a royal table using plates and statuettes from the 1700s, with a royal garden centerpiece made of spun sugar. The video will be shown continuously during the exhibit, from now until May 30, 2010. Read more

Alumni Profiles - globe

Alum's Film Screened at Earth Day Festival

2008 MFA alum Andrea Bloom's thesis film, Extreme Commuting, will be screened at the University of Maryland's Earth Day Film Festival in College Park, Maryland. The festival will invite student groups, environmentally-responsible businesses and organizations to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Bloom is also producer and writer for VideoTakes, Inc.  Watch Chris Palmer's interview with Bloom

Logo from the hit TV show Bones.

Alum's Hit Series Marks Milestone

Bones, the hit TV series executive-produced by Barry Josephson, '78, marks its 100th episode in April. The show is based on is inspired by the books by best-selling novelist Kathy Reichs, CAS/BA '70. Trivia fact: the episode reveals that the lead characters first met at (Hollywood's version of) "American University lecture hall". AU helped celebrate with a Watch Party in the Tavern

Prof Named General Manager of Travel Channel

Recently, Scripps Network has named adjunct professor Jonathan Sichel General Manager of the Travel Channel. Sichel had been serving and interim GM since the network was acquired by Scripps in November.

Alumna Named Head of Television for Lonely Planet

BBC Worldwide-controlled Lonely Planet has named Sue Norton, SOC/MA '97, as the new head of television who will work in co-production at the Los Angeles office of BBC Worldwide Prods. Norton graduated as part of the first cohort in SOC's Producing for Film and Video program. She is charged with expanding the presence of Lonely Planet-produced projects on TV and video and developing digital content for Web and mobile distribution. Norton previously launched Travel Channel Studios and served as its vice president, responsible for delivering multi-platform content. She also has worked in production and programming for various Discovery networks.

SOC Barry Levinson

13 Emmy Nominations, 2 Emmy Wins for Levinson

Barry Levinson's HBO film, You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, and John Good, about doctor-assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, has been nominated for an impressive 15 Emmy Awards. The film won two of those for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Writing. Levinson, ’67, directed the film, which received great reviews. Read more or read about Levinson discussing the film

Patricia Aufderheide, director, Center for Social Media

Prof Speaks about Documentary Films to Christian Science Monitor

Prof. Pat Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media, was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, speaking about the growing popularity of documentary films. Prof. Pat Aufderheide and others also used the Center for Social Media's publications on Fair Use to lead discussions at the University Film and Video Association conference in August. Read more

American University School of Communication professor and Center for Social Media Director Patricia Aufderheide

Professor Receives International Communication Association Award

FMA professor Pat Aufderheide will be given the Communication Research as an Agent of Change Award at the International Communication Association conference in Singapore in June. The ICA is the leading academic association in communication for social science scholarship. The ICA is co-producing, with the Center, a code of best practices in fair use for communication scholarship in June, also to be released at the conference. The work was funded through the Ford Foundation's future of public media project grant. It builds upon research into problems in the field, featured here.

Claudia Myers
Prof's Script in Production with All-Star Cast

It was announced at Cannes that professor Claudia Myers' script for Wild Oats is in development. The film will star Shirley MacLaine, Maria Bello and Christina Ricci, and will be directed by Scott Marshall. Read more in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and IndieWire.

SOC Randall Blair tout
Prof's Entry Wins Gold Remi Award

Professor Randall Blair's screenplay for The Boomers won the Gold Remi Award in the Independent Short Subjects - Films & Video - Screenplay/Script at the 43rd Annual WorldFest- Houston International Film Festival. The Award assumes a very special significance this year, as more than 4,400 category entries were competing from 33 countries. His film was also screened at the festival.

Satomi Kato

Alum's Work Exhibited in D.C., Book Wins International Prize

Alumna Satomi Kato exhibited a series of photographs from Afghanistan at the Japanese Ambassador's Residence, gathering more than 300 guests including Congressmen, Senators, and celebrities in February, 2010. Kato's first photobook, "GEISHA," was selected as an Honorable Mention in the international photobook competition in 2009, and will be printed and distributed by hp the IPEX digital photography event in Birmingham, UK, in May. Read more or Visit Kato's website

Chris Palmer is the Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and a professor at SOC

Professor Named Environmental Film Educator of the Decade
Chris Palmer is the recipient of the Environmental Film Educator of the Decade Award presented by the Green Globe Film Awards Selection Committee. The Green Globe Film Awards is dedicated to creating awareness about humanitarian and environmental issues leading towards action and using the power of film to inspire such action. Chris Palmer is the director of the Center for Environmental Film Making and author of Shooting in the Wild.

Alum Levinson Adds Yet Another Award to His Collection
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Barry Levinson will receive the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2010 Laurel Award for Screen, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding writing for motion pictures, at the 2010 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2010. Read Levinson's latest Huffington Post article, A Reality TV President.