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Posted by Patricia Zimmermann at 7:34AM   |  19 comments
Association of Moving Image Archivists prize winners

Blog written by Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive

Last the Fall I wrote a blog about my professional mentors who had influenced me while I was a student. Since completing my PhD. more than 25 years ago, I have become a mentor to many of my own students. They are in many ways my proudest accomplishment. Publishing a book or restoring a film has nothing on the emotional kick I have gotten watching some of my students grow, develop, and succeed. I’m incredibly proud of them, like a mother hen with her brood.

Two of my former students are now themselves moving image archive directors with PhDs. Claude Bertemes has been the Director of the Cinémathque Luxembourg since 1997. He took a seminar with me as an undergraduate thirty years ago when I was at the beginning of my teaching career, myself still a doctoral candidate. He recently confessed to me that he was not very happy with the grade he received in my “Photography as Communication” seminar.  Hayden Guest was my student at the School of Theater, Film & Television at UCLA ten years ago; He’s been Director of the Harvard Film Archive since 2006, where he has revitalized that institution. One of my interns, Dr. Sabine Lenk, was Director of the Düsseldorf Filmmusuem. And I guess I can take credit for training Dott. Paolo Cherchi Usai, whose illustrious film archive career spans three continents.

Among my UCLA Moving Image Archives students, many are ensconced in various film and digital archives, including: Karen Barcelona (Academy Film Archive), Gillian Borders (UCLA), Robert Dirig (Art Center Pasadena), Melissa Dollman (Schlesinger Library, Harvard), Zac Fink (Film Technologies), Dave Gibson (Library of Congess),  May Haduong (Academy Film Archive), Benji Harry (Cooperstown), Steven Hill (UCLA Film & Television Archive), Leah Kerr (Mayme Clayton Library), Chris Lane (MGM), Oki Miyano (Kurosawa Project), Stephanie Sapienza (LA Filmforum), Amy Sloper (Harvard Film Archive), Julio Vera (Academy Film Archive).

There is a whole cohort of former graduate students from the University of Rochester who hold a special place in my heart. All of them took my film historiography seminar in the early 1990s, and are now themselves professors.

We’ve tried to get together regularly at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies Conference: Mark Lynn Anderson is a tenured professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of numerous articles and the forthcoming Twilight of the Idols: Hollywood and the Human Sciences in 1920's America. Mark Betz is a lecturer at King’s College, London, and recently published, Beyond the Subtitle: Remapping European Art Cinema (2009). Heather Hendershot is a Professor at Queens College, presently the editor of Cinema Journal, and the author of  Saturday Morning Censors: Television Regulation before the V-Chip (1998) and Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture (2004). Amanda Howell is senior lecturer in media studies at Griffith University in Australia and has written widely on popular film and music. Laura U. Marks is Dena Wosk University Professor in Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and internationally known film programmer. She is the author of The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (2000) and Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media (2002). Maggie McCarthy is an Associate Professor of German at Davidson College, and edited Light Motives: German Popular Film in Perspective.

Then, there are my more recent UCLA students, many of whom have now completed their PhDs. and have gotten their first or second teaching jobs: Jun Okada is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo; Michael Baskett is an Associate Professor at University of Kansas; Paul Macolm is a film programmer at UCLA Film & Television Archive; Ross Melnick is spending this next year on a post doc at Emory University; Qi Wang  teaches at Georgia Institute of Technology. Lindy Leong is teaching at SUNY Purchase. Others completing their PhD.s include Snowden Becker (co-founder of Home Movie Day, UT, Austin), Emily Carmen (UCLA), Andrey Gordienko UCLA), Bill McClain (USC), Doron Galili (University of Chicago), Mary Samuelson (UCLA), Pauline Stakelon (UC Santa Barbara) and Noah Webster (UC Santa Barbara).

Sorry, if I forgot anyone.

Am I bragging? You bet I am.
I do hope to see a lot more students make good before I hang up my mortarboard. 



It's so funny reading this post because it was today that I was thinking: wow, I'm already a sophomore! I can't believe such influential people were once sitting in the seat I am today. Before coming to Ithaca College, successful adults in their respective careers seemed so far away from me. Celebrities in the film world (i.e. influential producers, directors, and actors) seem like figments of my imagination. Its sometimes hard to "humanize" them and think that they started out in the same place I'm at right now. Walking through the halls of the Park School and seeing photographs of alumni and display cabinets of awards all puts things into perspective: with motivation and commitment, I too can transform myself from a student at IC to an influential worker in my field too!

I agree with you Hayley, it is strange to finally be on our way to a professional life. After so many years of grade school learning math and science it is extremely rewarding to be learning about my creative interests. Now that I am in college I finally feel like I'm on a linear path to achieve my goals were in high school I felt like I was learning the same old stuff

This article makes me look forward to after college to see where I end up. Seeing where former students make it to makes me feel like I can accomplish almost anything if they did! It makes me feel motivated and anxious.

Reading this blog was both inspiring and daunting. As a freshman who has has never taken a cinema production class before, I am frankly very scared for the future. I have studied films and been very excited about borrowing certain techniques in my own work (such as the use of color in Shanghai Triad and the twist ending in Vertigo), but I am not entirely confident that I can become as success. However, I know that college is a time for exploring what I truly want to do, and I think that if I continue to pay attention and learn, I have the ability to accomplish anything. I hope to make it on this list one day!

Over the last semester I've been feeling the pressure to start a career path. I'm confused about where to start, but my proffesors in film are so helpful in helping me find my path. It feels so good to know that someone is looking out for your future and can help you get your foot into the professional world. I envy your position, to watch your students grow up, make choices, and struggle with their experiences. It must feel good to have an influence and impact on peoples lives because students need those people to insprire their choices.

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