Film and Media Studies


The Film and Media Studies Program is pleased to offer film screenings and other events in support of its academic mission. FAMS' events may include screenings by both established and burgeoning filmmakers; guest lectures by critical historians and theorists; and workshops/lectures by writers and producers working in film, television, video, and new media. Please join us!

Mike Hoolboom

Canadian filmmaker Mike Hoolboom will screen and discuss three of his films on Wednesday, October 30, at 7pm in Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College. The program will include Buffalo Death Mask, which won the FIPRESCI prize at the 2013 Oberhausen Film Festival, Rain, and a preview screening of Hoolboom’s new film Second.
 “Mike Hoolboom’s films have won over thirty awards, including four awards at Oberhausen, a Golden Leopard at Locarno, and two awards for best Canadian short at the Toronto International Festival. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at festivals and museums including the Images Festival (Toronto), Visions du Réel (Switzerland), Impakt Festival (Holland), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen (France), Sixpack Film (Vienna) and the Buenos Aires International Festival (Argentina). 
Hoolboom has written four books, Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Canadian Movie Artists (Coach House Press, 2008), Inside the Pleasure Dome: Fringe Film in Canada (Coach House Press, 2001), Plague Years (YYZ Books, 1998), and The Steve Machine (Coach House Press 2008). Since 2004 he has been working on Fringe Online (, a web project which makes available the archives of a number of Canadian media artists, and remains the largest publishing project in the Canadian fringe media sector.” Video Data Bank

“Mike Hoolboom has established himself over the past three decades as not only one of Canada’s greatest film artists, but as one of the most passionate and hard-working proselytizers and chroniclers of what he calls the “fringe” film/video movement.” John Davies, Xtra, Toronto.
 “Hoolboom’s works are as visually inventive as Derek Jarman’s and as politically courageous as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s in their explorations of the troubling intersections of desire, the body, the world, and the nation-state…” Tom McSorley, Take One, Toronto.
“For more than two decades Mike Hoolboom has been one of our foremost artistic witnesses of the plague of the twentieth century, HIV. Buffalo Death Mask is a three-part meditation — visual, oral and haptic, both campy and ecstatic — on survival, mourning, memory, love and community. A conversation between Hoolboom and visual artist Stephen Andrews, both long time survivors of the retrovirus, floats over what seems to be a dream of Toronto and some of its ghosts." Tom Waugh
This event is sponsored by the Eastman Fund, the Amherst College Film and Media Studies Program, the Hampshire College Film/Photo/Video Program and the Mount Holyoke Film Studies Department.

Cinema on the Edge Film Series at Amherst College presents: Takeshi Murata, Melting Glitches, a program of digital animations

Wednesday March 27, 2013
4:00 pm at Amherst College Stirn Auditorium
Free Admission
The program will be followed by a Q&A with Murata.


About Takeshi Murata:

Takeshi Murata produces extraordinary digital works that refigure the experience of animation. His innovative practice and constantly evolving processes range from intricate computer-aided, hand-drawn animations to exacting manipulations of the flaws, defects and broken code in digital video technology. Whether altering appropriated footage from cinema (B movies, vintage horror films), or creating Rorschach-like fields of seething color, form and motion, Murata produces astonishing visions that redefine the boundaries between abstraction and recognition.


Murata has developed painterly techniques for processing video using glitches and errors. Conjuring digital turbulence from broken DVD encoding, he carefully tends bad video compression to generate sometimes sinuous, sometimes violent flows of digital distortion. With a powerfully sensual force that is expressed in videos, loops, installations and electronic music, Murata's synaesthetic experiments in hypnotic perception appear at once seductively organic and totally digital.


Takeshi Murata was born in 1974 in Chicago, IL. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 with a B.F.A. in Film/Video/Animation. Murata has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California; Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Peres Projects, Los Angeles; Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York; Eyebeam, New York; FACT Centre, Liverpool, UK; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New York Underground Film Festival; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, Foxy Production, New York, and Deitch Projects, New York, among others.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Friday, September 21 11am-1pm
Webster 220, Amherst College

Finding the Story: Film Development and Pre-Production Workshop
with Copeland Fellow and Visiting Filmmaker Hans Fjellestad

Using several case studies of films at different production and budget levels, we will analyze various strategies to take a film project from concept to physical production. Each film production has a unique set of creative and practical challenges, but there are certainly some essential tools that can help filmmakers find solutions even in the most unexpected circumstances. Identifying these tools can save you time and ultimately help get your movie off the ground. Coming up with interesting ideas and subjects isn't always easy. And turning these ideas into compelling story structures is a creative challenge to be sure. But you also need a good argument for why your story needs to be told on screen as opposed to on stage or in print or with an audio recording or photo essay. Once that argument is made convincingly, now you have a solid framework that will help you navigate through the research and not only find the story, but find the movie. Then you can start building your production, schedule, budget and business plan around it. The class will discuss the entire process up until the camera rolls. Student projects currently in development are welcome to the conversation.

Los Angeles filmmaker and musician Hans Fjellestad has screened in theaters, galleries, museums, and festivals throughout the world and on television networks including Showtime, MTV, ABC News, Adult Swim, PBS, Arte, and BBC. Hans directed/produced the documentary SUNSET STRIP starring Johnny Depp, Ozzy Osbourne, Keanu Reeves, Peter Fonda, Sharon Stone, Sofia Coppola, among others, which premiered at SXSW 2012 and won best documentary at the Catalina Film Festival. Hans' filmography also includes award-winning feature documentaries MOOG (2004), FRONTIER LIFE (2003), WHEN THE WORLD BREAKS (2010), and THE HEART IS A DRUM MACHINE (2009) featuring Elijah Wood, Jason Schwartzman, John Frusciante, and Juliette Lewis. Hans also co-wrote the screenplay for LORDS OF CHAOS, helmed by director Jonas Ackerlund and shooting in November.


invites you to

A Screening of Fred Won't Move Out
Written and directed by Richard Ledes '79

Richard will be available to greet the Amherst group following the screening and Q&A.

Friday, September 21, 2012
6:45 p.m.

Brooklyn Academy of Music
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1486

Tickets are $9 per person (limited number available).
Once purchased, tickets will be available at Will Call under the last name

Click here to purchase tickets by September 14. This event is at capacity. Continue with registration if you wish to add your name to the waitlist.

Questions? Please contact Ellie Ballard '95 in Alumni and Parent Programs at or  (413) 542-8357.

Amherst Connects  Engage. Learn. Give.


Garrett Stewart Lecture

The English Department and the Film and Media Studies Program are pleased to announce a lecture by Garrett Stewart, the James O. Freedman Professor of Letters at the University of Iowa. Stewart is the author of 10 important books on subjects ranging from Victorian fiction to film and newer media. His talk at Amherst will focus on Fritz Lang's classic movie "M" (1931) and Modernist Studies. All are invited to attend.
Wednesday, 29 February,4:30-6, Stirn Auditorium