Screenwriting students take awards at festival

SJSU screenwriting students received multiple awards at the CSU Media Arts Festival in Los Angeles in November, according to Professor Scott Winfield Sublett, associate chair of the Department of TV, Radio, Film and Theatre.

RTVF major Mark Hertzler won first place in the short screenplay category. His script, “Becoming the Wild,” is a western about a religious man forced into violence. Hertzler wrote the script in Sublett’s online RTVF 160 class.

Michael Quintana won second place in the feature screenplay category. His script, “Hare,” is a modern take on an Aesop fable. Quintana, who recently graduated with his MFA in Creative Writing from SJSU, wrote the script in Sublett’s RTVF 160 class. Last year, took first place in the same category for another script, “White Rabbit,” which has been optioned by a Hollywood producer.

2015 marks the eighth year in a row that SJSU students have won first place in a CSU Media Arts Festival screenwriting category.

Congratulations also go to RTVF major Kourosh Ahari, who won third in the narrative cinema category for his film “Malaise,” and to Animation Illustration major Natalie Corsie, who placed fourth in animation for “Home.”

Grant: Summer institute will focus on immigrant experience through literature and theatre

Matthew Spangler, a professor of Performance and Communications Studies, and David Kahn, a professor and chair of TV, Radio, Film, & Theatre, received a grant for $168,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The grant will allow Spangler and Kahn to put on a two-week summer institute for 25 school teachers that will explore the immigrant experience in California through literary works and theatrical adaptations. Previous institute faculty included Luis Valdez, playwright and author of “Zoot Suit,” Maxine Hong Kingston, author of “Woman Warrior,” and many others. The institute explores ways in which the immigrant experience to the United States, and California, in particular, has been represented through literary texts. the topics include: (1) the construction of political borders between geographic territories and social borders between groups of people; (2) intercultural interaction between settled and immigrant communities; (3) changing family and gender dynamics within discrete immigrant communities. Participants will explore these topics as they pertain to emigration from Mexico, China, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.

Scholars from the 2014 “The California Immigrant Experience through Literature and Theatre" program pose for a photo.

Scholars from the 2014 “The California Immigrant Experience through Literature and Theatre” program pose for a photo.

Entitled “The California Immigrant Experience through Literature and Theatre,” the institute will be held July 17-31, 2016. Applications are available online for qualifying K-12 teachers.

For more information, visit the Immigration Theatre Institute website.