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Honors Concentrators 2008-2009

Mitchell Akselrad 

Original Screenplay and Film Project, Americana and Cathedrals 

Akselrad is writing a feature script, writing a short script, and directing the short script as a
film project. The working title is Americana and Cathedrals, respectively. The short serves as a prologue to the longer feature and involves two of the feature’s main characters. The themes of the project are old-time Americana, theme parks, ambition vs. romance, the past vs. the future, business and technological innovation. 

Emily Foley 

Academic Thesis, Untitled

Foley’s thesis explores cross-cultural filmmaking in the Third World. In particular, research will
focus on individual filmmakers and their unique approaches towards dealing with issues of cultural sensitivity, communicating across cultures, and affecting political change. 

Katie Ralko

Academic Thesis, Necessarily Fragmented? Iraqi Representation in Recent Documentaries (working title)

Ralko’s focus will be on the representation of Iraqis, the different religious and ethnic groups, as well as differences in gender and age, as they are addressed by the documentaries on the war, or not at all, and the political and rhetorical ramifications of these choices. 

Brent Rioux 

Original Essay and Film Project, From Haight Street to Sesame Street: Independent Animated Shorts of the 1970s and The Show and Tell Machine

Rioux’s project is a two-part “linked” thesis project. The essay will provide a brief critical history
of key animation filmmakers experimenting during a decade of evolution and transition. The 7-minute HD animated short will visualize characters from Mr. Rioux’s long-running radio program of the same name, while adapting some of the handmade aesthetics of ‘70s animation. 

Hayley Stahl 

Academic Thesis, Untitled

Stahl’s thesis explores the role and importance of New York City in the films of Woody Allen. The project investigates the position the writer/director has assumed within the film industry, as well as his filmmaking methodology, and likewise investigate the purpose of the metropolis and how it has contributed to his development as an auteur.  

Natalie Williams 

Original Short Film, Grace

Williams' film Grace revolves around a woman who has been so affected by the ideal images of life that are represented in the media that she has mentally transformed the world around her into something it's not.