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In 2005, a collection of manuscripts, film, videorecordings, photographs, and tape recordings arrived at the WCFTR documenting the filmmaking career of Nietzchka Keene. Keene, an independent filmmaker born in Boston and trained at UMass-Amherst and UCLA, taught filmmaking and editing to numerous students in the Communication Arts Department at UW-Madison until her untimely death in 2004 from pancreatic cancer.
Since 2013 the WCFTR has been collaborating with the Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums class and student group on a project to process a collection of film materials belonging to the Oneida Cultural Heritage Department. The Tribal, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) course is designed to facilitate a participatory learning experience through presentations, readings, service-learning projects, and personal contact with tribal cultural workers with a special emphasis on the tribal cultural institutions of Wisconsin.
The Communication Arts Department hosted director and screenwriter David Koepp in early March to introduce three screenings at the UW Cinematheque and to meet with faculty and students from the department. A native of nearby Pewaukee, Wisconsin, Koepp started his career with an independent film, APARTMENT ZERO, before his first big writing assignment, JURASSIC PARK. In addition he wrote DEATH BECOMES HER, THE PAPER, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and wrote and directed STIR OF ECHOES, GHOST TOWN, and a WCFTR-staff favorite, PREMIUM RUSH.
Communication Arts student Meredith Smith has received a Trewartha Undergraduate Honors Research Grant. After the application process, the grant was awarded to Smith for her excellent senior thesis, which explores Hollywood costume designer Dorothy Jeakins’ career in the 1960s. While her thesis is still in progress, the grant will provide Smith with $1,500 to cover the expendable supplies, travel expenses, and related costs needed to complete her research.
The annual Jean Mitry Award is given out each fall at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. The award honors individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to the preservation and appreciation of the world’s silent film heritage. Past winners have included major figures in the archival community such as Eileen Bowser (MOMA), as well as scholars such as Tom Gunning (University of Chicago).