Dear UFVA Members,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the location for the 2024 UFVA Conference: Cleveland State University, hosted by Cigdem Slankard, MFA, Director/Associate Professor in the School of Film & Media Arts. Being an integral part of my academic journey, UFVA holds special significance for me. I am honored to collaborate on the 2024 conference with Conference VP Chrissy Guest, MFA, Program Director/Associate Professor of Television & Digital Media Production, and Associate Professor in the Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies Department at the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College. Joining us in this endeavor are Heather Addison, Chair and Professor in the Department of Film at the University of Las Vegas, and Tom Sanny, a stalwart member of UFVA from Colorado College. Their collective expertise and dedication ensure the success of the upcoming conference.

UFVA represents a dynamic community comprising creators, educators, students, scholars, researchers, archivists, distributors, and more. Our roots trace back to the inaugural Motion Pictures Producers Conference for Colleges and Universities in August 1947. For an intriguing historical perspective, I recommend reading UFVA at 40 by William O. Huie.

Having evolved beyond its founders’ vision, UFVA now has a diverse membership in various media production fields. Our website’s Job Listing page offers employment opportunities for members seeking teaching positions and institutions searching for candidates. Additionally, the website provides valuable teaching materials, sample syllabi, and opportunities for peer reviews. Explore funding options such as the Carole Fielding GrantFaculty Production and Research AwardAnnual Teaching Awards, and Graduate Student Fellowships. Join UFVA to access these resources and opportunities. Caucus, Working Group and Committees provide different ways to connect with members with similar interests. For instance, the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression Committee is committed to addressing violations and threats to artistic freedom and human rights within the global filmmaking and film education community. It serves as a platform for members to respond to challenges related to freedom of expression and academic freedom. Similarly, the Documentary Working Group supports documentary filmmakers who create impactful narratives contributing to social change. The group also awards the prestigious George C. Stoney Award for Outstanding Documentary Filmmakers, who are invited to present master classes during the conference.

The Annual Conference, hosted in different locations each year, allows member institutions to showcase their spaces and share ideas for curriculum building. The conference also provides a platform for screening work, presenting papers, and participating in panels and workshops. Awards are presented at the conference for outstanding achievements on research papers, media projects, and teaching practices, with the aim of showcasing the work of our members. The Journal of Film and Video, our esteemed publication, serves as an international scholarly forum. While the benefits of UFVA membership are extensive, the greatest advantage lies in the relationships members build. These professional connections promise to be incredibly rewarding, enduring, and, in many instances, life changing.

Amidst the global challenges posed by the pandemic, wars, assaults on civil and human rights, and persistent inequalities, UFVA’s importance as a supportive community deepens. As creators, analysts, conceptualizers, researchers, and educators across various media arts formats, the importance of fostering a supportive community cannot be overstated. In our commitment to fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse community that values belonging, equity, and collaboration, I’m pleased to announce that our members have elected  Terésa Dowell-Vest, (TDV) Ph.D., Interim Department Head and Associate Professor of Languages Communication (Media Production) at Prairie View A&M University, to serve as our next president. She is dedicated to acting as a bridge between our association and those college programs that bravely support young voices, broaden perspectives, and staunchly resist silence. As my term concludes in 2024, I look forward to the positive impact TDV will bring to UFVA leadership, further reinforcing our commitment to the thriving community we’ve built together.

Sincerely,

Wenhwa Tsao, MFA
President, University Film and Video Association
Professor
Interim Co-Chair
Cinema & Television Arts
Columbia College Chicago
IPA Certified Intimacy Coordinator