Current PhD Students
Lani Akande’s interests include the use of African philosophies to reconceptualise African Cinemas, and the conducting of research for the benefit of film practice. Currently, his work focuses on Nollywood’s style and aesthetics as legitimate sites for developing newer and more relevant theories for African Cinema. He is a filmmaker, and his first feature comes out soon. He has a MA in Communication and Media from McMaster University, and a BA in Film from Brock University.
Scott Birdwise's research interests include documentary film and film theory, film and philosophy, ethnographic film, biopolitics, and experimental film and video. He is currently researching the role of documentality—the conjunction of documentary and governmental practices and discourses—in the politics and representation of everyday life and the body, specifically in four national/institutional/critical practices (England, Canada, France, USA).
Reşat Fuat Cam’s research focuses mainly on the interrelations between philosophy, aesthetics and cinema.
Slav Ceperkovic is an artist, scholar and educator who creates unique, user-focused, digital experiences across multiple platforms. Her research interest includes design fiction, technology foresight, and immersive interactive experiences. Slavica Ceperkovic holds a BFA in New Media Studies from Ryerson University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University. Website: www.slavica.ca
Prior to starting his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York, Marko Djurdjić received a BA from McGill University, a BEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and an MA from York University. His diverse research and teaching interests include the pedagogical implications of phenomenology, object oriented ontology and the 'living' space, black and white horror in the 21st century, the New French Extremity, the non-canonical (ie. non-film festival) films of the Balkans, and the implementation of new media in junior school education.
Clint Enns graduated with a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Manitoba and another Master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. His research interests include: the art of the accident and glitch art, experimental and early computer animation, and mathematics in art. His writings and interviews have appeared in Millennium Film Journal, Incite! Journal of Experimental Media and Spectacular Optical.
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.
Katia Houde's research focuses mainly on female avant-garde filmmakers and their use of horror film tropes to tackle issue of trauma and memory.
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.
Caroline Klimek's research interests include film festivals, media industry studies, digital archiving and emerging technologies. Her work has appeared in PUBLIC and the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.
Masaki Kondo thinks through and researches moving and still image artworks beyond the black box of the movie theatre.
Cody Lang's research interests are genre studies and theory, film philosophy, and the politics of aesthetics. He has written and presented on film noir/neo-noir, magical realism, melodrama, Arctic cinema, and comedy. His dissertation research is concerned with magical realist cinema in the transnational context..
Jeremy Mathers is interested in documentary film history and theory, cultural policy, the National Film Board of Canada, and the use of film by science, industry, and the state. His research considers the mediation of nuclear energy through over fifty Canadian documentary films that have been produced since 1942. He entered the Cinema and Media Studies program in 2013 with an MA from the Joint Program in Communication & Culture between York and Ryerson universities, and a BA in Film Studies and Canadian Studies from the University of British Columbia.
Maddison McGillvray earned her B.A in Communications Studies and an M.A in Film Studies from Carleton University. Maddison writes extensively on the horror genre, with topics including gender and sexuality, gothic horror, 21st century horror, the New French Extremity, and online horror. Her other teaching and research areas include feminist film theory, transmedia storytelling, and genre studies. Continuing her interest in gender and horror, Maddison is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on female directors working in the New French Extremity. She is also the Editorial Assistant at Rue Morgue, the world’s leading horror in culture and entertainment magazine.
Cameron Moneo's doctoral work evaluates the critical and productive roles humour has played in experimental or avant-garde film and video. His research objectives are as follows: (1) To establish humour as an important corollary of the “radical aspiration” (per Annette Michelson) in experimental moving image arts, forging links to extant theories of humour and the comic and suggesting new avenues of humour opened by the film and video avant-gardes. (2) To provide the first extensive study of humour in experimental film and video, appraising a diverse array of figures, works, and contexts. (3) To mend the gaps in recent literature on humour in the arts by situating humorous experimental video and, perhaps more urgently, film in the larger patterns of twentieth- and now twenty-first century art.
Jessica Mulvogue holds an MA in Film Studies from University College London and a BA in English: Drama & Theatre from McGill University. Her PhD dissertation considers artistic responses to climate change and art's role in making sense of and making sensible a world that is undergoing great transformations. Her work has appeared in Transformations Journal and Journal of Visual Culture, and she has a forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Canadian Cinema. In addition to her research, Jessica is the Book Reviews Editor at Public Journal.
Yuval Sagiv's research and creative practice examines and employs film and audio archives as documentation of the past and as instruments in its reconstruction. His previous archival project, How I Filmed the War, an experimental documentary about a British cinematographer on the Western Front, premiered at HotDocs (2010) and has since screened in many film festivals around the world including FIDMarseille, Viennale, and Docs Barcelona, where it won the 2012 TV3 New Talent Award. He is currently working on apprehending McLuhan's new age of all-at-onceness through an exploration of the captured sounds and sights of the summer of 1967.
Claudia Sicondolfo’s research interests include film festivals, screen publics, youth and digital media cultures, and the creative industries’ relationships with affect theories. 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, including VR experiences, social media outreach, interactive documentaries and online platforms, she aims to interrogate contemporary engagement discourses involving youth communities and emergent media artists. Claudia has worked extensively with educational communities across Canada and has published educational companion curriculum for interactive and traditional documentaries, including Highrise and Offshore. She has two forthcoming (2018) book chapters.
Genne Speers has a BFA in Art History and Film Studies with a Minor in Studio Arts from Concordia University and a Masters in Cinema and Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia. Genne has worked on projects at the BFI National Archive, Berkhamsted, and UNESCO, Paris. Her research interests include: critical archive theory, visual rhetoric, and technologies of war and vision. Her dissertation is tentatively titled "Graphics of Violence: The View From Above, Mapping, Data, and the Archiving of Experience." Genne currently serves as Deputy Director of CFMDC, one of Canada's oldest artist-run centres and artist film distributors.
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.
Kate Lawrie Van de Ven’s doctoral 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 festival cultures, media literacy, education and social justice; contemporary visual culture; 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. Please see more at Academia.edu.
Mason Wales is a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies whose research focuses on the relationship between popular culture and political culture.
Glen Wood's research interests include non-fiction media, urban discourses, and subcultural theory. His doctoral work focuses on the notion of authenticity in relation to internal hierarchies within self-documenting, urban subcultures. He was awarded the Ontario Trillium Scholarship in 2015. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree from New York University's Cinema Studies program, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies program.
Theodore Xenophontos holds a BA from the University of Toronto, having majored in both Cinema Studies and English, while minoring in History. He also received his MA in the field of Cinema and Media Studies from York University. His research is primarily focused on archives. Beyond archive theory, other areas of interest include historiography, media archaeology, and film's relationship to the other arts.
Sennah Yee has a BFA in Screenwriting and a MA in Cinema & Media Studies at York University. Her current research examines gendered robot design in popular media and technology, focusing on female humanoid robots in Japan and the US. She is a research assistant at YorkU's Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, and the arts editor at Shameless magazine. Her first book of poetry/non-fiction HOW DO I LOOK? is at Metatron Press. Website: www.sennahyee.com
MA and MFA Students
Nicole Alexander earned her BEd degree from the University of Manitoba and is a graduate of Chicago's Second City Sketch Comedy writing program. After being selected for Praxis in the fall of 2000 with her first screenplay, The Suicide Club, she went on to write two more features as well as a humorous book on Internet dating entitled Cyber Love Muse. After teaching in both Canada and South Asia for many years, she is now pursuing her MFA in Screenwriting where her interests include character-driven narratives, the Hero's Journey, and stories that inspire.
Adrien Benson is an award-winning fiction filmmaker, playwright, musician and performer. Raised in both French and English, his work explores Canada from a bilingual perspective, one which challenges its relationship with multiculturalism. Through a multilingual framework, his research delves into stories of cultural displacement, social alienation, and isolation in both urban and rural settings. In 2013, he was awarded both the writing and directing award for his play, Nought at the Opera, which premiered at the Glendon College Theatre Festival. He is currently based in Toronto, where he is completing an MFA in Film Production at York University.
Raghed Charabaty is a Lebanese filmmaker based in Toronto. His first short film Alia has won awards at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the NSCAD Starfish Art Award. His subsequent short films including Yasmine have also screened in Lebanon and around the world. Charabaty is interested in telling Middle Eastern stories and histories through unconventional approaches and genre filmmaking.
Over the course of her BFA in Screenwriting at York University, Christina Chow wrote obsessively about the experience of Hong Kong immigrants living in Canada. Her interests have carried her into an MA in Cinema and Media Studies, where she continues to examine the construction of postcolonial identity and its intersection with gender. Currently, her studies focus on the subjectivity of memory and history as expressed in Hong Kong New Wave Cinema.
Yolanda (Yunhui) Chu is a first year Master of Arts student in Cinema and Media Studies. Having recently graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Arts (honors) in Film and Media and a certificate in sexual and gender diversity from the department of Gender Studies, Yolanda's academic interests include postcolonial feminist theory, transnational cinema, affect theory and narrative theory in the context of film studies. Her current research focuses on the reconceptualization of Asian female identities in Asian horror cinema. Yolanda's long-standing passion for Asian independent and new wave cinema also contributes to her interest in investigating the complex exchange of influence between independent and experimental filmmaking traditions and mainstream filmmaking traditions.
Emily Collins graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Comparative Literature and Culture. She went on to earn an MA in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University in the Netherlands where she focused on collective memory and creative cities. She has worked in both commercial and public contemporary art galleries before returning to school to do an MA in Cinema and Media Studies. Her current research involves the intersection of cinematic representations of space, place and landscape with gender construction, identification and experience, specifically within the films of Agnès Varda. Her areas of interest include: feminist film theory, women filmmakers, spatial representation, hybrid documentary and film festivals.
Alejandro Coronado is a filmmaker with a background in Video Art and twelve years of experience as a professional cinematographer. He was born in Mexico City and graduated from York University's BFA in film and video ('05). His credits as director of photography include "Summer of Goliath" (Orizzonti Prize at Venice Film Festival, '10) and "This Time Tomorrow" (Locarno Film Festival, '17). Alejandro is now in the second year of his MFA in Film at York developing his directorial debut "Mexica", a character-study documentary that explores issues of national identity.
Cameron Eidlitz earned his H.B.A. in Film Studies from the University of Western Ontario. He worked previously at the Toronto Film Office in City Hall and in the TIFF box office, where he developed a keen interest in the staying power of cinema. He has taught children to direct camcorder movies in focused one-week summer camp sessions, and enjoys working on screenplays in his spare time. His interest areas are mainly in cult cinema, pop-cultural studies, and art cinema. He is currently working on his thesis in European and Canadian Cult Cinema as a research-creation project at York University.
Joseph Fiumara earned his BA with honours from the University of Toronto in Cinema Studies and English, and is currently in his first year of the MA program in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. His research concerns the studio Kyoto Animation within the context of a rapidly changing anime industry, addressing issues of production practices, globalization, historiography, authorship, and the role of gender as they inform the works of Kyoto Animation and situate the studio in the contemporary anime industry. Aside from anime, Joseph's research interests include: American animation history, animation theory, the Korean New Wave, minoritarian representation in cinema, locative practices in fan cultures, online horror media, gaming ontology, and media mixes such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!.
Melissa Gonik earned her BA in the York University Cinema and Media Studies program, and is now in the first year of her MA degree. Melissa has always been interested in the role that film festivals have in the greater Toronto identity, and the opportunities that they provide in Toronto society. Melissa is currently conducting her Master’s research on the topic, studying the ways that festivals have a positive impact on the city through their programming and philosophies. Currently, her research is primarily being conducted via Regent Park Film Festival and ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, completing an internship with the former.
Sibel Guvenc is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed Turkish-Canadian director, writer and producer based in Toronto. A graduate of OCAD University, Sibel was selected to various prestigious programs in Canada including Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab, Women in the Director's Chair (WIDC), CFTPA Telefilm Producer Trainee Program and Telefilm Producers without Borders Berlinale Coproduction Market. In her fiction films, Sibel is interested in exploring existentialist psychology, issues of power control, justice and future possibilities in science and technology. She portrays strong women characters overcoming social and psychological restrictions in their search for self. Selections of her work can be viewed at Vimeo.com.
Nikita Helewa graduated from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. She is currently enrolled in the MA program of Cinema and Media Studies at York University. Her research explores the ways women were represented on screen in European Art Cinema, from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s. This examination is led by the roles of influential English actors Vanessa Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling and Julie Christie. Coinciding areas of interest include Euro-British film and cultural studies, political and historical examinations, feminist film theories and “star” studies.
Elina Lex's research interests include emerging digital media technologies, sensory ethnography, documentary, media pedagogy, spatial narratives, and urban space. Her Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-M funded research-creation project explores the intersections between interactive/digital media technologies and sensory ethnographic methods. Her cross-disciplinary approach examines how digital media might transform ethnographic expressions/aesthetics to produce other affective, embodied and sensory modes of knowing. She has a BA in Cinema and Media Studies and a minor in Anthropology from York University as well as a diploma in Broadcast - Television from Fanshawe College. Her writing has appeared in Contingent Horizons: The York University Journal of Anthropology and her creative/animation work can be found at: lexel.squarespace.com.
Toronto-based filmmaker Meelad Moaphi is a graduate of York University's Film Production program. His films typically employ to varying degrees the cinematic syntax of experimental filmmaking but in telling more traditionally narrative-oriented stories. His unusually international upbringing has helped Meelad deal with globally identifiable themes and subject matter, in various languages. Meelad's MFA research project is the realization of a proof-of-concept short film in relationship to a feature piece.
Daniel Negatu left civil engineering to pursue a career in filmmaking in 2006 and has never looked back. Before doing an MFA at York, most of his filmmaking experience has been self-taught. Daniel is primarily interested in cinema as a cultural tool in bringing people together—specifically adapting African history, culture and sensibilities to make them more accessible to contemporary Africans and the rest of the world. (Photo credit: Polina Teif.)
Kat Ottaway's research interests include Queer representation in mainstream Western television, fandom studies, and Queer art and narrative practices in participatory culture.
Sophy Romvari is a filmmaker born in Victoria, British Columbia. She earned her Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts from Capilano University in Vancouver in 2014, and is based in Toronto. She is studying Film Production at York University, where she is currently working on her thesis and debut feature. Her short films Let Your Heart Be Light (2016) and Nine Behind (2015) premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival to critical acclaim, and her drama It's Him (2017) will premiere at the London Short Film Festival in January. Most recently, she contributed Pumpkin Movie (2017) to the feature-length horror omnibus Aos Si (2017), which has been praised by critics as "a lovely, subtle work of feminist protest."
Polina Teif is a multidisciplinary artist, photographer and filmmaker. She received her BFA from the University of Toronto with emphasis on Visual Studies and Semiotics and is pursuing an MFA in Film Production at York University with interest in experimental and documentary practices. Her current film project is a poetic observational film that documents the intersection of politics, commerce, culture and nature around the Dead Sea basin.
Ingrid Veninger's research interests include hybrid cinema, process film and collective creation. Her previous six features as writer/director have premiered at TIFF, Rotterdam, Busan and MoMA. She has received retrospectives at the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa and FemCine in Santiago, Chile. Ingrid is a part-time professor at York University and director mentor at the Canadian Film Centre.
Nick White's research focuses on videogames, examining the ways in which interactive storytelling has been used to engage audiences in narrative–driven single player games and how this has contributed to their reception and adoration by fan communities. He graduated from York University with a BFA in Film Production, and has continued to work as an editor and sound designer on several award-winning films alongside his graduate research.