Keep Up on Spring 2024 Events and Beyond!

FAMS is pleased to offer and share news of events in support of its academic mission, including screenings by established and emerging filmmakers, guest lectures by critical historians and theorists, and workshops/lectures by writers and producers working in film, television, video and new media.

Want to keep up to date on news, events, opportunities, and other FAMS announcements? Please sign up for our newsbrief!

Student stands behind a camera standing in the fall woods.

Senior Thesis Screening: To See the Echoes: A Lineage of Asian American Experimental Cinema

Curated by Jihyun Paik '24

To See the Echoes presents a series of six experimental shorts by Asian American artists: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Janice Tanaka, Meena Nanji, Richard Fung, Miko Revereza, and Erica Sheu. Showcasing stories from different times, histories, and places in the United States, this program reveals the connections and the resonances that bring together these works in a decades-long lineage of experimental practice in Asian American cinema.

Please join senior Jihyun Paik and the Film and Media Studies Program for this wonderfully curated program at 4:00 PM on Friday, April 5th in the Keefe Campus Center Theater. 

Upcoming FAMS Events

Past FAMS events

Five College Film Festival hosted on Amherst campus

March 3, 2024

Student filmmakers from all five colleges were on campus for the annual Five College Film Festival. On March 3rd, more than 30 student films were screened in Stirn Auditorium with prizes awarded at the end of the festival. Ten student jurors from across Amherst, Hampshire, Mt Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts curated three programs of shorts. 

The winners are:
Best Documentary: "Accessing the Invisible" created by Angel Isaac, Amherst College
Best Fiction: "Recluse" created by Jane Statchen, Smith College
Best Experimental: "To Die Dreaming" by Qiao Se Ong, Mount Holyoke College 

Congratulations to the top winners and to all of the student filmmakers selected to showcase their films in the annual Five College Film Festival!

CHI Salon: Loving, Reading, and Teaching Columbo

Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder by Prof. Amelie Hastie

The Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the faculty of the Film and Media Studies Program recently celebrated the third book from Amelie Hastie, Nancy and Douglas D. Abbey '71 Professor of English in Film and Media Studies. Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder focuses on and offers a close textual analysis of television history via the popular 1970s television series starring Peter Falk. The book is a testament to her love of the series starring Peter Falk, her immeasurable capacity to welcome students into her process and teach them in and out of the classroom, and her dedication to research, analysis, and writing. 

Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder was published in January by Duke University Press. It is Professor Hastie’s third  book, following "Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection and Film History (Duke UP) and a British Film Institute “Film Classics” volume on Ida Lupino’s The Bigamist. Her fourth book will be another  BFI “Film Classics” volume, this time on the 1971 Klute, starring Jane Fonda and directed by Alan J. Pakula.

The book launch was hosted by the CHI and the FAMS Program on February 28th.  For more information about the Center for Humanistic Inquiry salon series, please visit their website.

Television writer and creator Ashley Soto '11 screened her web-series on campus!

"Chuchi and Adaliz" is a five episode single camera digital series.

Amherst alum Ashley Soto '11 returned to campus for several events in February, including a screening of her much-awaited web series Chuchi and Adaliz. She is the creator and writer behind this new series which premiered at SXSW in 2023. Chuchi and Adaliz follows childhood besties who, despite having a shared racial and ethnic identity as AfroPuerto Ricans, couldn’t be more different than each other as adults. Soto also taught the spring 2024 Kaufman Masterclass: Building your own table: Fundraising for your independent production.

While at Amherst College, Ashley created a major combining Music, Black Studies, Sociology, and Spanish. She is a Mexican and Afro-Puerto Rican native of El Paso, Texas and a former high school teacher in Mississippi. Her writing credits include Emmy- and NAACP-winning THE PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER AND PROUDER (Disney+), VIDA (Starz), and FAST AND FURIOUS: SPY RACERS (Netflix). She was recognized with the CALI Catalyst Award by the Center for Cultural Innovation for her work co-founding #RaisethePercentage, a grassroots initiative that connected working TV writers with emerging Black/Afrolatinx writers in order to reduce barriers to access in the entertainment industry. 


[The Five-College Film and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference was held at Smith College

The Undergraduate Conference celebrated film and media studies students on all five campuses.

This undergraduate academic conference is designed to build community among students studying film and media on the five campuses and offer students an opportunity to hone their presentation skills and share insights from their work with a wider audience. Participants gave 15-minute presentations as part of a panel with 2-3 fellow students on related themes. The conference was held on the campus of Smith College on Saturday, February 17, 2024.

Everytown for Gun Safety Guest Speaker - Sophie Yan Spoke On Campus

How do you advocate for gun safety and gun violence prevention in entertainment? 
Sophie Yan, Senior Director of Cultural Engagement and Entertainment Advocacy, addressed this question with students, staff, and faculty in October.

Everytown for Gun Safety is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the United States. It works with volunteers — parents, teachers, students, and other concerned citizens — both to educate the public about gun safety and to advocate for changes in public policies, both legal and cultural. Since its founding, Everytown for
Gun Safety has also worked closely with creative communities in entertainment industries to harness its power to take the message of gun safety and responsibility to bigger audiences and bring even more Americans into the gun violence prevention movement. They share data and resources with television showrunners, writers, directors, producers, and other creators to inform their storytelling work, calls to action, and media appearances. Furthermore, members of their Cultural Engagement team are available to collaborate at each stage of their project’s development, from research and scriptwriting to production, post-production, and final promotion.

Helene Keyssar Distinguished Lecture Series

Cloud Archives and the Geopolitics of Climate Change by YURIKO FURUHATA

Clouds are one of the most taken-for-granted “natural” phenomena. And yet some clouds are not natural, most notably so-called mushroom clouds resulting from the detonation of atomic bombs. For centuries, scientists and amateur cloud observers turned their eyes and cameras to the sky to document and classify various types of clouds. The gold-standard of cloud taxonomy is the International Cloud Atlas, a manual that went through multiple editions since the late 19th century and that offers classificatory categories and photographs. 

Yuriko Furuhata, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Cinema and Media History in the Department of East Asian Studies at McGill University, was the fall 2023 Keyssar Distinguished Lecture Series guest. Her discussion in October examined the categorical ambiguity of anthropogenic or human-made clouds in the history of cloud taxonomy.  Her goal is to connect the aesthetic history of these cloud imageries to the history of American military’s nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands and ask how these intertwined histories in the Pacific can help us rethink the politics of anthropogenic climate change. 

Professor Nozomi Nakaganeku Saito moderated the post-talk conversation with Professor Furuhata. 

FAMS Open House & Film Screening

Annual Event

The annual Film and Media Studies welcome-back event took place in Pruyne Lecture Hall on September 12. Returning and prospective majors joined faculty for a screening of Professor Adam Levine's new film and a chance to visit with one another after the summer break.




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Celebrating Film and Media Studies’ graduating seniors!

Class of ‘23 FAMS Seniors Celebration at Powerhouse, Tuesday May 2, 5:30-7:30pm

Calling all FAMS majors, prospective majors, friends, family and faculty - please mark your calendars for some festive time together, reveling in the accomplishments of our hard working grads.

5:30pm - gather, eat & drink

6pm - shout outs to seniors

6:30 - a special screening of Annihay Rawlins’s thesis film followed by a reading of a passage from Eli Maierson’s thesis work

Cake and dessert to follow!

graphic featuring event details and a charcoal drawing of video camera with a collage of imagery surrounding it. Imagery includes a building, a shark, flowers and trees

The 2023 Five College Film Festival Program is Announced!

Saturday, April 1, 2023, Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College

The Five College Film Festival’s mission is to share the stories of students from across the Five Colleges through the medium of film. We encourage all students, regardless of background or experience with filmmaking, to share their stories. If you have any questions please feel free to email

Bellwether Series at Amherst Cinema

Professor Rangan is helping coordinate two screenings for the March 2023 Bellwether Film Series at Amherst Cinema. Read more about the films and the series at the links below.

Shared Resources (dir. Jordan Lord, 2021, 98 mins) Thursday March 23, 7pm, to be followed by a live-zoom conversation with the filmmaker. 

100 Ways to Cross the Border (dir. Amber Bemak, 2022, 84 mins) Thursday March 30, 7pm, to be followed by an in-person conversation with the filmmaker.