Our program is empowered by a welcoming and diverse community of students with a uniquely global perspective. Together we are making things right for our communities and our future.
Gordon Tough holds a Bachelor’s degree in Radio and TV from Ryerson, and an MBA from York, and did a semester in the NYU grad film program. He is currently completing a BA in Spanish at York. He has long since retired but during but his career life, he has worked in both Canada and the US in many media areas such film and video editing, broadcast studio design, construction and management, and satellite engineering, He also spent a several years in Venezuela during the Bolivarian revolution but was forced to return home to Canada when things became very bad. Gordon views Cinema Studies is a great opportunity to examine what he has always enjoyed: movies.
Hannah Schallert is a media and dance researcher, artist, and administrator. She holds an Honours BFA in Dance from York University, and is currently pursuing her SSHRC CGS-M funded MA research into the movement design and aesthetics of Science Fiction space battles. Hannah’s research interests include animation, experimental film, Science Fiction, media history and philosophy, and expanded understandings of the body and choreography in relation to technology. From 2015-2017 she was a member of the Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technologies student caucus. Hannah’s choreography, film, and video work has been presented at festivals and galleries in Toronto, including dance: made in Canada/fait au Canada, Dancemakers/RT Collective, and Beaver Hall Gallery. She is currently a member of Immer and Roses artistic collectives.
Hayden Bytheway’s research spans a range of theory, criticism, filmmaking and videographic approaches. He earned a BA Adv. in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba, where he focused mainly on comparative studies between film, literature and music. A writer, composer, actor, editor, and avid film-goer, Hayden’s research focuses primarily on popular film and mid-century European cinema. Other research interests include studies of media consciousness, music in cinema, and French philosophy.
Toronto-based writer-director-producer Iqbal H Chowdhury has extensively covered top film
festivals of the world including Cannes, Berlin, and TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)
as a journalist-film critic. His debut feature film project Boli (The wrestler) won the national film grant in Bangladesh (2020/2021) and was one of the pre-selected projects for the Hubert Bals Script and Development Fund (2021). Iqbal completed his post-graduation from Centennial College, Toronto in film production and holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. His research interests encompass – visual semiotics, popular cinema, VR, and future cinema.
Kerry-Ann James is a television/film actress known for her work on the Netflix original series, Grand Army, Ginny, and Georgia, and Paramount Plus series, Mayor of Kingstown. She is an emerging curator, having guest curated the 35th Images Film Festival Slow Edition amongst other talks and events.
Kerry-Ann's research interest focuses on aesthetics exploring spatiality and temporality in contemporary Black music videos and short films. Kerry-Ann earned her Honors BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, where her academic work has been published in The Undergraduate Journal of American Studies, Camera Stylo: Cinema Studies Undergraduate Journal, and ImagiNATIONS: Undergraduate Journal of Canadian Studies
Natalia Orasanin earned her BA in English at Ryerson University. Her current research focuses on the pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary landscapes of Yugoslav “Black Wave” cinema. Natalia’s other interests include landscape in cinema, poetry and poetics, and experimental filmmaking.
Nataliya Bek-Herhard is a media, history and image researcher. With her background in history, literature and photography she is currently pursuing her MA research into Decolonizing Ukrainian Cinema 1960-1970s. Nataliya’s research interests include documentaries, new wave cinemas, experimental film, music videos, film festivals. From 2014-2018 she was a programmer for the Scarborough International Film Festival in Toronto.
Omid Shakiba is a Kurdish-Canadian filmmaker, cinematographer, and instructor with over 20 years of experience in the film industry internationally and a strong background in television and theatre, directing 30 documentaries, a few short experimental and fiction films, TV programs, and promos. He holds a master's degree in digital filmmaking from the University of Bradford in England, which was completed through a joint project with the BBC. Omid taught filmmaking and media courses to undergraduate students for more than 4 years in Kurdistan of Iraq. In 2017 by invitation of Hot-Docs International Film Festival, he came to Canada. Later on, besides working in the Canadian film industry as an independent filmmaker, he has been a part-time faculty member at the BFTV (Bachelor of Film and Television) Program at Sheridan College since 2020 teaching directing Drama and Documentary courses. As an active member of the "Neighbourhood Arts Network", he was the recipient of the "Newcomer Arts Award" three times from the "Toronto Arts Foundation". Also, he has twice won the Toronto Arts Council Grant for newcomer and refugee artists, once as an applicant through the mentorship of Ingrid Veninger in 2018 and recently as a mentor for a Honduran documentary maker in 2022. He is one of the jury members at the BIPOC International film festival in Toronto for 2022. Omid's current research is a critical analytical reading of the way revolutionary Kurdish women fighters of Rojava-Syria have been depicted in contemporary transnational feminist cinema. (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10481049/)
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Alireza Keymanesh is an independent artist adventuring in the world of cinema, contemporary dance, theater, and performing arts, as a filmmaker, choreographer, actor, writer, and teacher. In 2009, he graduated in Acting from Tehran University of Arts before undertaking a one-year practical dance-theater research as a guest at ArtEZ University of Arts in the Netherlands in 2013. Aside from his project at ArtEZ, he also participated in dance, choreography, and DAI (Dutch Art Institute) classes throughout the whole year. As a filmmaker, he has won several awards from different festivals around the world and as an actor, he has been awarded twice as the Best Actor of the Year at the Annual Acting Ceremony of the Iranian Theater Forum as well as receiving the International Jury's Laudatory Prize at the Fajr International Theater Festival in Iran. Additionally, he has been introducing and developing the Ideokinesis method in Iran by holding numerous workshops, and lectures as well as translating the Ideokinesis book written by André Bernard into the Persian language.
TV, Radio, and Film Writer, Producer and Director, On-Air Radio Personality, Concept Developer, Angela Onuora is a creative/broadcast media jack-of-all-trades; she is also an engaging motivational speaker. Since she moved from Nigeria, and subsequent to her arrival in Canada in 2014, Angela has co-founded a Women-in-Filmmaking Collective called Studio D-20, under the auspices of the Commons Studio – a part of The Working Centre Kitchener, Ontario. Angela’s biggest passion is Creative Writing, and she is drawn to topics that celebrate all women, and tell stories fueled by their diverse experiences and from their perspectives. She identifies as a women’s champion for equity (a story for another day).
Beau Han Bridge is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker and theatre director. In 2017, he created Midtwenties Theatre Society, a non-profit theatre company based in Vancouver, BC, to produce original plays that focus on millennial stories and coming-of-age themes. Since then, Beau has produced plays, short films, dance films, and graduated from SFU School for the contemporary Arts as a fellow film student. His most recent co-directed dance film The Threshing Floor (2021), done in collaboration with respected choreographer Rob Kitsos and Composer Mauricio Pauly, is set to premiere at the 2021 Dancing on the Edge Festival in July. He is also very grateful to have been awarded a SSHRC Canada graduate scholarship to develop an original thesis film that explores his Chinese Canadian roots through an interdisciplinary lens of chamber cinema and theatre scenography.
Devin Shears is a filmmaker originally from St. John's, Newfoundland. He received his BFA in Film Production from Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Image Arts in 2016 and has had work screened at FIN: Atlantic Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Anti-Matter and more.
Don Bapst (donbapst.com) is an award filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. His work experiments with form and function to explore the search for self and community in the polarizing age of electronic communication. Don's translation of Gabrielle Wittkop’s The Necrophiliac was called a masterpiece by The Guardian, and he is the recipient of the Best Up-and-Coming Toronto Filmmaker at the 2010 Inside Out Film Festival. Born in Chicago, where he received a BA at Columbia College, he obtained his MFA from Brooklyn College, where he studied under the mentorship of Allen Ginsberg. Don has also lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, London, Paris, Montréal, and Ouagadougou. In 2011, he became a Canadian citizen and currently resides in Toronto with his husband.
Drew Lint is a filmmaker, originally from Sweets Corners, Ontario. He received a BFA in Film Production from Ryerson University's School of Image Arts. His debut feature film, M/M, a queer psycho-sexual thriller set in the nightlife scene of Berlin, premiered at Slamdance Film Festival in 2018. Drew received a special jury mention for the Emerging Canadian Director award at the Vancouver Film Festival and was long-listed for the Director's Guild of Canada Discovery Award for M/M. He participated in the Toronto International Film Festival's Filmmaker Lab in 2019.
Felipe López Gómez is a Colombian filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. In 2018 he was part of the “Filming in Peru with Werner Herzog” workshop in the Peruvian Amazon. His work has been shown at festivals and venues such as Intl. Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Frames of Representation at the ICA, Cinemateca de Bogota, and the Film Museum in Munich.
Jharol Mendoza is a Colombian filmmaker who produces most of his works based on his family’s history in order to understand how violence and mysticism has shaped their lives. Jharol initiated his bachelor's degree after being awarded a full-ride scholarship from the Colombian Federal Government. Jharol's short films have been premiered and awarded in several film festivals including FICVIÑA and FICCI. In 2020, Jharol was one of the juries of the connection competition of the Bogoshorts Film Festival. At this moment, Jharol is developing his first feature film, a documentary about his great uncle's life.
Kunsang Kyirong graduated with a BFA in 2D+Experimental Animation from the Emily Carr University of Art+Design in 2020. Her writing and filmmaking experiment with documentary and fiction, while combining elements of animation and live action throughout her process. Kunsang is pursuing an MFA at York where her research is focused on narratives that exist within the intersection of class and immigration.
Lizz Hodgson is a BA graduate and current Masters where she specialized in documentary filmmaking. While studying, Lizz was also commissioned to direct a feature-length documentary film on the topic of Wind Energy in Canada, produced by the Centre for Atmospheric Change. Lizz has been working as Art Director on the award-winning web series Out With Dad and performed assistant casting director duties for major Canadian television series such as Lost Girl & Bomb Girls. While Lizz is off set she works with adults with diverse abilities to help upgrade their digital media skills connecting students with pathways to employment within related field.
Meysam Motazedi is an Iranian-born Canadian filmmaker and actor. His work is often centered on the stories of marginalized figures-- some are negotiating rigid socio-economic structures, others are grappling to make sense of cultural and religious precepts, but virtually all are desperately searching for a skin to slip into, an identity to take shelter in. Meysam’s films are marked by a kinetic and often heightened realism that gives life to intense human dramas anchored by protagonists possessed, tempestuous, and combative in equal measures.
Born in 1985 in Moscow, Russia, Michael Miroshnik, and his family immigrated to the state of Israel after the fall of the iron curtain. He’s a film production BFA graduate from Tel Aviv University, cinematographer and focus puller for the past 11 years on commercials and music videos as well as on Internationally acclaimed TV Serials and Narrative Motion Pictures. His own short films and music videos have received awards at “Sundance”, “AFI Fest”, “IDFA”, “The Los Angeles Short Film Festival”, “Split International Festival of New Film”, “Delhi Shorts International Film Festival” and “The Tel Aviv international student film festival”. His documentary work concerns current social issues such as “Oriented” (2015) - an exploration of the complex Palestinian LGBT identity in the heart of Tel Aviv, “White Noise” (2019), an intimate look into the lives and chronicles and of 3 major Alt-Right internet influencers (Richard Spencer, Mike Chernovich and Lauren Southern) and “Cryptocracy” on the rise and global influence of bitcoin billionaires with Roger Ver.
Nora Rosenthal is a writer and filmmaker. She was a writer-in-resident at the Can Serrat International Art Residency in El Bruc, Spain, as well as at the inaugural Momus Emerging Critics Residency in Montreal. Previously Cult MTL’s arts & culture editor, she is the editor-in-chief of a new international culture and porn magazine launching in the fall of 2021: Rat Chat. Her darkly comedic documentary Family Death Trip (2018) screened at POP Montreal, and she produced the official music video for Basia Bulat’s “Your Girl”, recognized in the Prism Prize Top 20 for Best Canadian Music Videos in 2020. She is presently at work on a docu-fictional dance film starring her parents, everyone close to her, and the actors she's hired to replace them.
Ryan Steel is an independent filmmaker and animator from Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg) interested in exploring the intersections of experimental, documentary, and fiction filmmaking. His work is informed by his DIY sensibilities and obsession with analog images.
Sharron Mirsky is an independent director and animator from Montreal, with a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University. Her independent and student films have screened at film and art festivals, and have received awards in Canada and abroad. She has also collaborated with the National Film Board of Canada, documentary filmmakers, independent film productions, and non-profits. She focuses on fusions of animation and documentary, and prefers to work directly under the camera using a variety of drawing and painting media. Recent and current themes she is exploring centre around memory, especially investigations of memory & place, and how memory lives in the body.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Simon Ruscinski is a writer, director, editor, and all around nice guy. His fictional and non-fictional works currently operate as filmic time capsules; formally and thematically striving to make the pain of everyday life serve some higher purpose. His work has played in festivals across Canada and internationally. Simon is a graduate of York University’s BFA in Film Production. He’s been told he has a good head of hair.
Terry Jones is a Seneca filmmaker who grew up on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, which is located about 45 miles south of Niagara Falls. Terry has a passion for sharing his Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history and culture through his film works. He strives to find a balance between entertaining and educating his audiences.
Yeimy Daza is a Colombian-born, Toronto-based filmmaker. Although she initially pursued a career in acting, she soon found herself gravitating to being behind the camera. She has a BFA from the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga with academic recognition Cum Laude. Yeimy has also received a diploma in Film Production at Toronto Film School consecutively, with another certificate in Communications and Media from Centennial College. Yeimy has Directed around a dozen projects between documentary, fiction, and music videos on an international level in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. Her works are female character-story-driven dramas and comedies often centred around personal experiences, relationships and youth and has been Her work has been screened in multiple film festivals. Yeimy is currently developing her debut feature film idea into a proof of concept as her thesis for her MFA at York University.
Zachary Lacosse is a filmmaker and ex-Jehovah's Witness of mixed settler and Indigenous heritage, with relations belonging to the Eabametoong First Nation. He was born in the unceded territories of "British Columbia", and was raised throughout the province before living and working in the area now known as Vancouver. In 2014, Zachary attended Capilano University's Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts program for two years, exiting with a diploma. Since then his practice has developed towards a focus on highly personal self-examinations, and filmmaking as devotion to the mercurial. He is primarily interested in the act of witnessing and of being seen in response.
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Aaron Tucker is poet and novelist, whose most recent collection, Catalogue d'oiseaux, is forthcoming from Bookhug Press (Toronto, Spring 2021). Currently, he is an Elia Scholar, a Doctoral Scholar in the VISTA Lab, and a 2020 SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier recipient. His graduate work studies the cinema of facial recognition software, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In addition, he is a sessional instructor at Ryerson University, where he is a member of the Ryerson University Library Collaboratory, and a Research Fellow at the Ryerson Centre for Digital Humanities.
Alex Williams is a filmmaker and theatre artist whose work responds to legacies of colonialism as well as through autobiographical and material explorations. Current research interests include decolonial and collaborative cinematic methodologies and aesthetics, histories of colonial policy, Indigenous/settler relations, colonial identity formation, Indigenous, queer and feminist theory, and participatory practices of curation and media exhibition. He is a York Elia Scholar whose CGS-supported doctoral research/creation dissertation is a collaborative nonfiction film project entitled The Trust Accounts, examining histories of Canadian economic policies towards Indigenous people. The project is a follow-up to his 2015 documentary the pass system, which exposed the segregationist practice of requiring First Nations people to request and carry passes when leaving reserve. The film screened widely across Canada, was broadcast on APTN and CBC, and was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards. Alex has an BFA from Emily Carr University in Film/Video and did his MFA in Film Production at York. He has taught in the Department of Design at Sheridan College and at the National Theatre School of Canada. He was President of Charles Street Video for six years, is on the advisory board of Seneca College’s Documentary Film Institute and is a Programmer with Cinema Politica.
Alison Humphrey plays with story across the fields of drama, digital media, and education. After starting out as an intern at Marvel Comics, she produced one of the first ever online alternate reality games for Douglas Adams’s Starship Titanic, initiated one of the earliest transmedia in-fiction blogs in a TV series, and co-created two interactive, live-animated theatre projects: Faster than Night (Toronto) and The Augmentalist (Silicon Valley). Her Vanier-CGS funded research explores how a science-fiction transmedia storyworld (shadowpox.org), co-created with theatre students on four continents, can empower youth civic engagement and public health problem-solving. The project premiered during the World Health Organization’s 70th annual assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. Website: alisonhumphrey.com.
Becka Barker is an interdisciplinary artist and educator of settler ancestry who uses animation, collaboration, and process cinema as key strategies for research and studio practice. Her SSHRC-funded PhD project traces developments in experimental animation through community-based movements over the past quarter century. Becka’s work has been supported by agencies such as the National Film Board and the Canada Council for the Arts. She has presented at venues such as Ottawa International Animation Festival, EXiS Seoul (Winner, Best International Film, 2007), Society for Animation Studies and Universities Art Association of Canada. Becka comes to York’s PhD program in Cinema and Media Studies after 15 years as Regular Part-Time Faculty in Film and Expanded Media at NSCAD University and five years as Visiting Foreign Faculty in the Film/Animation Department and School for Global Education and Exchange at Soonchunhyang University (ROK). She holds a B.Sc. (Hons) from Mount Allison University, a BFA from NSCAD University, and an M. Ed. from University of Calgary.
Claudia Sicondolfo’s research interests include film festivals, screen publics, youth and digital media cultures, decolonizing research methodologies, and affect within the creative industries. Her Vanier-CGS funded doctoral research examines educational and community outreach strategies of various Canadian digital screen institutions, collectives, and film festivals. By focusing on digital and mobile technologies and pedagogical curation tactics, she interrogates contemporary engagement discourses involving identity-based communities, youth and emergent media artists. Claudia has published in Public Journal, Senses of Cinema and various book anthologies. She has worked intimately with educational communities across Canada and has published educational companion curriculum for interactive and traditional documentaries.
Cléo Sallis-Parchet is a researcher, writer and community organizer. Her research examines the ephemerality and variability of media art and obsolete technologies, and its impact on preservation practices for artists, archives, and institutions. She is also investigating the broader concept of the living archive in promoting elements of care, community, and agency in the archival sphere. Cleo is the recipient of the Jeffrey and Sandra Lyons Canadian Film Scholarship and is conducting archival research at the TIFF Film Reference Library in 2023. Furthermore, she is the Archive Fever Friday programmer for the Toronto Film & Media Seminar. Cleo holds an MA in Cinema & Media Studies from York University and an Honours BA in Art History & Film Studies from Concordia University.
David Han is a media artist, scholar and educator whose work employs emerging technology to explore the boundaries between computation, cinema and new media. His current doctoral work examines the unique affordances of virtual reality (VR). Building upon research in media studies and cognitive science and inspired by early formalist experimentation in filmmaking, his research creation project aims to contribute to an understanding of the defining characteristics of this new medium and expand the range of possibilities for creative practice in VR.
Debbie Ebanks Schlums is a multidisciplinary artist exploring themes of migration and anti-colonial actions through community engagement, materials, and conversation. She was a founding member of the Out of a War Zone and To Lemon Hill Collectives, both addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. Her doctoral research focuses on memory preservation methodologies of the Jamaican Diaspora through the co-creation of a community archive. She is a recipient of the Susan Crocker and John Hunkin Scholarship in the Fine Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council Visual Arts Grants, and is an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellow. Debbie studied Visual & Critical Studies and Fine Art at the California College of the Arts, has a Joint BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Waterloo, and an MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Switzerland. She was Co-Director of the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film from 2016 to 2020 and Co-Producer of Saugeen Takes on Film.
Dhvani is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies. Her research and curatorial practice focus on experimental moving image, particularly attuned to queer, feminist, and speculative archival practices in contemporary exhibitions. Her curatorial interests also extend to sound art and multi-sensorial experiences more broadly. In 2021 she curated places where sounds turn to dreams…a multimedia group exhibition in Toronto that centred artists who engage with sonic ecologies and world-making in their practices, and in 2022, served as co-chair of the annual Communication and Culture graduate conference and art exhibition on the theme “The Politics of Sound,” co-hosted by York University and Toronto Metropolitan University. She is also a graduate research associate at Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology.
Em Barton (she/they) began their PhD in Cinema and Media Arts in 2019. She holds an undergraduate in Philosophy and a MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. Their dissertation project is about the disparate archives of grassroots queer, feminist cinema scenes in Toronto beginning in the 1970's stretching into the early 2000's. Em is the co-chair of the Toronto Film and Media Seminar and happily co-organizes Archive / Counter-Archives Working Papers series.
Emily Collins has a BA in Comparative Literature and Culture from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. More recently, she completed an MA in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. Her SSHRC-funded interdisciplinary Masters project examined the intersection of cinematic representations of space, place and landscape with gender and feminist film strategy within the films of Agnès Varda. Emily has worked across arts and culture institutions in local and international settings, including the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; Festival Scope in Paris; VUCAVU in Toronto; and the Toronto International Film Festival. Her areas of interest include feminist film theory, sound studies, sound in film, women filmmakers, and film festivals. Her PhD dissertation is tentatively titled “Listening for Gender: Resistant Soundscapes in Contemporary Feminist Film."
Federica Foglia is a transnational visual artist, editor and writer. She is interested in issues of immigration, displacement, assimilation, post-humanism and finding a visual language to represent these experiences. She holds a BA in Multimedia Languages and Computer Skills for humanities: History of Art, Theatre, and Cinema from the University of Naples L'Orientale and is currently attending York University to complete an MFA in Film. Her short films Exit/Entrance (2015) and Fantassút (2016) have screened and won awards at film festivals around the world, including Camerimage, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Reykjavik International Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Her latest short Mix, Wildflower Seeds (2017) had its world premiere at the Anthology Film Archives - New York. She recently received the RBC Arts Access Fund Award for newcomer artists in Canada and was awarded the Premio Mediterraneo in Italy.
Galit Ariel is a TechnoFuturist, author and creative that gained a BA in Product Design from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, an MA in Design Management & Innovation from Savannah College of Art & Design, and currently pursuing her PhD in Cinema and Media Studies focusing on Human-Computer interaction and Worldmaking with the use of emerging technologies. Galit explores the wild and imaginative side of immersive technologies and their impact on our cultures, behaviours and interactions. Galit is the founder of Future Memory Inc. futurememoryinc.com—a speculative design agency, a published author of ‘Augmenting Alice—The Future of Identity, Experience and Reality’ www.augmentingalice.com; a sought-after speaker featured at global conferences such as TED, The Next Web, SXSW, Fifteen Seconds, Slush Tokyo, FITC, The European Union, Bell Labs, and many more. She is also an RSA (Royal Society of Arts) fellow and several think tanks such as THE150 (that created the Copenhagen Catalog—150 principles for a new direction in tech).
George Turnbull is an award-winning stage and screen scholar and practitioner. He is currently appointed as the President of the Graduate Film Student Association at York for 2018–2019, and is Co-Founder and Vice-President of the York University Film Society. He is also the Audio-Visual Director at a local community organization. Prior to beginning his PhD at York, he completed his BA (Honours) and MA degrees in Film and Media Studies, summa cum laude. George began his studies in cinema and theatre at the Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA) secondary school in Toronto. Growing up as a dedicated competitive dancer, it was at ESA that George discovered his interest and passion for dance films. He now writes and publishes in this field, primarily with The Dance Current. When George is not conducting research and writing, he can be found directing films and theatrical performances, choreographing and performing dances, helping with local film festivals, and teaching.
Hannah van Buuren earned her BA in Motion Picture Arts at Capilano University where she produced various award-winning films, including Think Again (iGen Festival). Her current research analyzes contemporary television series, primarily focusing on the manipulation of linear temporality as a way of exploring the mediation of trauma and assault. Her other research interests include feminist filmmaking and subjectivity, counter-gazes, broadcast temporality and trauma studies.
Haoran Chang is a multimedia artist focusing on the liminal relationship between the virtual and reality. He received his BS from the University of Wisconsin Madison, MFA in Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art, and MFA in digital media from the University of California Santa Cruz. He has exhibited works in various locations virtually and physically, including the CICA museum in South Korea, Walter Otero Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and many more. He published papers in peer-reviewed journals like Refract and Virtual Creativity. He is also the founder of the Mixed Reality collective Chameleon Gallery.
Justin Baillargeon is a VR/360 filmmaker, a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship recipient and holds a B.A in Film Studies from Concordia University and a M.A. in Communication from the Université du Québec à Montréal. His doctoral research explores virtual reality, as well as 360 degrees curation and its distinct forms of spectatorship. He seeks to analyze spectator behavior and emotional involvement during various types of multi-sensory and embodied experiences whether seated, standing and room-scaled in different cultural contexts defined by commercial, educational and artistic objectives.
Kate van de Ve research explores Toronto’s many film festivals, their relationship to their urban communities and how different kinds of festival space impact understandings of Toronto as a particular kind of place: a festival city. Her broader interests include film cultures and curation; media literacy as a driver for social justice; and cinematic urbanism. She has published on spectacular representations of Paris and hotels and motels as cinematic purgatories as well as writing broadly for and about film festivals. She previously studied in the film departments at UCLA and Queen’s University.
Lia Tarachansky is a Soviet-born Israeli journalist and filmmaker. Her award-winning films range in style from investigative to experimental and focus on marginalized communities in Israel and Palestine, their struggles for justice, and the ongoing anti-colonial fight for peace. She has worked for the BBC, The Guardian, TeleSUR, and The Real News and her work can be seen on Naretiv Productions (www.naretivproductions.com). In her PhD Tarachansky will be expanding on her documentary film work by examining the Colonial Gaze in cinema and in new media. She will be researching how indigenous communities in Canada/Turtle Island and in Israel/Palestine make visible spaces that are rendered invisible by colonialism. Alongside groups challenging invisibility of indigenous spaces, she will be co-creating Augmented Reality projects to ‘return’ villages, homes, and other sites, examining the impact of making virtually visible what is physically destroyed and whether that ‘return’ can challenge colonial collective denial.
Marko Djurdjić currently has three degrees: a BA from McGill University, a BEd from OISE, and a MA from York University. He is currently working on his fourth. His research interests include media, education & pedagogy; teachers on film; social media and pop culture; "middle-brow" entertainment; punk and hip-hop in cinema; architecture in film; and the contemporary media and entertainment landscape during COVID-19. He has worked for festivals, private corporations, non-profits, cities, and schools. He's presented papers all over, and his next presentation (tentatively) will be at SCMS 2021, where he'll be reading a paper on screening practices, space-building, and self-regulatory behaviours involving elementary-aged day-camp campers. He just started another band (likely), and he's working on another paper (even more likely).
Mary Arnatt holds an MA and a BA (hons.) in Film, Communications, and Media Studies from the University of Calgary. Her research centers on feminist production and industry studies, women in film, Canadian media cultures, and horror/cult cinema. Mary received the 2018 Gerald Pratley Award from The Film Studies Association of Canada for her presentation “’The Set is (Still) Closed!’ Exploring Canadian Production Culture at Cinepix,” and is a recipient of the Graduate Fellowship for Academic Distinction from York University. Mary has served on the executive board for the Calgary Cinematheque, and has worked with Canada Learning Code, LUMA Quarterly, Movies that Matter (now Cinema Politica), and The Calgary Horror Convention.
Mary H is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. She received her Master’s Degree the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute. Her research interests include fungi, Eco cinema critique, timelapse media, the more than human, posthuman feminism, climate change and anthropology. She has given talks at Screen and FMSAC on Momoko Seto’s Planet film series. Additionally, she has developed experimental films using AI modelling which focus on the connections amongst fungi, film/media, and culture. In 2022 Mary completed an artist’s residency at Biophilia on the topic of Mycophilia with other like-minded mycophiles.
Michael Trommer is a Toronto-based producer, sound and multi-media artist; his experimental work has been focused primarily on psychogeographical and acoustemological explorations via the use of field recordings, infra- and ultrasound, as well as multi-channel installation and expanded video techniques. He has released material on a diverse roster of international labels and has performed and exhibited his sound, video and installation work throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He currently teaches at OCAD University in Toronto.
Michaela Pňačeková is an international XR artist, producer, a PhD student and ELIA scholar at York University. Her focus lies in the ways new media impact the real through interaction with algorithmic processes and artificial intelligence. Her first VR piece Symphony of Noise VR was exhibited at VRHam!, Reeperbahn Music Festival, IDFA Doc Lab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction in Amsterdam 2019, LEV Madrid 2020, Geneva International Film Festival 2020. According to the Forbes Magazine, it was listed as one of the best XR installations of 2019. She has co-created an interactive predictive policing app Pre-Crime Calculator and produced three feature length documentaries (Border Cut, Waterproof, Scars) and two short fiction films. She is the German executive co-producer, of another mixed reality co-production Chomsky vs. Chomsky: First Encounter which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2020. Member of the board of directors of Femme Futures Grant at Kaleidoscope, European Women's Association and Documentary Association of Europe.
Sana Akram is a Pakistani urbanist, new media documentary maker and a Fulbright alum. Currently, she is an Elia Scholar at York University where her doctoral research-creation focuses on cocreating processes of reclamation, revival and self-representation by reimagining non-Eurocentric historical storytelling practices and traditions of the Indo-Persian Qissah and Dastan as immersive new media docufiction ecologies in the 21st century. In 2020, she graduated with a MS in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons School of Design, The New School, where she diversified her practice by implementing an interdisciplinary design approach. Her debut project, Little Pakistan - Future Histories, is an award-winning interactive documentary which has showcased at several international festivals including Slamdance Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, Ethnofest - Athens Ethnographic Film Festival and Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival. For her, it marked the beginning of a progressive research-creation exploring emergent media for civic engagement.
Theo Xenophontos holds a BA from the University of Toronto, having majored in both Cinema Studies and English, while minoring in History, and a MA in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. He has presented his work at conferences in Ottawa, Montreal, Albuquerque, and elsewhere. His current research is focused on creating a community-based audiovisual archive with members of the Cypriot Canadian diaspora. Beyond archives, his other areas of interest include film history, media archaeology, and experimental film & video.
The Graduate Program in Film at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.