Strauss Filmmaker Series

The Harlan J. Strauss Visiting Filmmaker Series offers our students a unique and potentially transformative opportunity to engage with highly successful practicing filmmakers as well as help raise the visibility of cinema studies on campus and around the country.


Students working with camera

Find Your Voice as a Filmmaker

Each year, students have the opportunity to take coursework that focuses on the “Art of Filmmaking.” Taught by cinema studies faculty, the class features guest lectures by award-winning filmmakers who share career insights and their approaches to storytelling through the art of directing, producing, and filmmaking. By the end of the class, students are empowered to generate strategies to create personal, original films.

Learn about the Class


Student working with filmmaker

Learn from Award-Winning Writers, Directors, Producers, and Filmmakers

Filmmakers mentor students in the “Art of Filmmaking” and provide practical guidance to help students create original films.

Past filmmakers have included Oscar-winning Director Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland,” Marvel Studios’ “Eternals”); director of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program, Adam Piron; Producer Carter Swan (“The Last of Us,” "Gran Turismo,” “Unchartered”), Producer Keith Goldberg (“17 Again,” “The Umbrella Academy”), Producer Mollye Asher (“Nomadland”), and many more award-winning guest filmmakers.

Meet the Filmmakers


Q and A with students

Visiting Filmmaker Series Events for the Cinema Community

This major gift extends to the wider university community through screenings and discussions about the filmmakers’ work, conversations about their careers, hands-on practical workshops, and more. The Cinema Studies department extends its heartfelt thanks to Harlan and Rima Strauss for their generous support. 

Visiting Filmmaker Events