Film Department


Home > Faculty > Ben Sampson

Ben Sampson


Ben SampsonBen Sampson teaches the courses “Film Authors,” “Introduction to Visual Culture” and “Film and Social Change” in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.

Before entering graduate school, he worked as a freelance videographer and editor in documentary films and global NGO projects. His primary area of scholarly research explores the modern intersection between media industries and cultural ideology. He has conducted research across the United States on the modern relationship between Hollywood and Christian film culture. Additionally, Sampson has also conducted extensive research throughout Europe on the Roman Catholic Church’s interaction with mainstream cinema.
Given his background in videographic work, Sampson also contributes to the new field of video essays — an attempt to bridge scholarly research with contemporary production tools. Sampson has published numerous works in journals and online magazines, and he sits on the advisory board of [in]Transition, an online extension of Cinema Journal and the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to videographic work.

Sampson received his B.A. in history from California State University, Northridge, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. At UCLA TFT, he was the recipient of the Plitt Southern Trust Fellowship, the Charles Boyer Fellowship and the Dissertation Year Fellowship.


Home > Faculty > Ambassador Shabazz

Ambassador Shabazz

Visiting Professor

Ambassador Attallah Shabazz is a sought-after speaker throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. She is teaching one of her signature courses, “Nationality, Nature & Nuance,” at UCLA TFT in Fall Quarter 2016.

A producer, writer and diplomat, she has spent more than 40 years offering keynote addresses, while developing curriculums and programs for educational institutions, executive forums, diplomatic networks, penal systems, conferences and human service organizations around the world, with the purpose of motivating and encouraging the young and mature alike to value and appreciate diverse cultural engagement, traditional rights of passage and perspectives.

Ambassador Shabazz is recognized as a masterful creator and an astute businesswoman. Fondly termed by her colleagues as an “ideas architect,” she is a strategist and technician quick to discern the integrity, theme and ultimate goal of each endeavor she undertakes.

Raised in Westchester County, New York, she is the eldest of six daughters born to Dr. Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X Shabazz. As a promise to her father, her mother made sure she attended New York City’s United Nations International School. After graduation, she enrolled in Briarcliff College, as an international law major with a minor in English.

A proud alumna of the United Nations International School, she returned to counsel and coach the senior classes from 1991-2010, and continues to guide many graduates today in their global capacities.

In 1977, Ambassador Shabazz and Yolanda King founded Nucleus, Inc., an eight-member “edutainment” troupe based in New York and Los Angeles, traveling to an average of 100 U.S. cities per year until 1994, acquainting her with the roadmap of national systems, networks and advancement in regions around the country.

In 1996, she established The Pilgrimage Foundation in honor of her father’s spiritual journey to the Holy Land in 1964. “It offered him the ‘Light of Understanding’ and confirmed his vision for our Oneness,” she says. In tribute to her mother’s lifelong legacy of service and as an educator, as well as the leadership of both sets of grandparents and their parents before them, thus uniting five languages, three religions, social histories and traditions, she has remained steadfast in guiding experiences that expand one’s own personal prism and regard for others. The Pilgrimage Foundation has touched hundreds of thousands of lives around the world, reaching the underserved as well as the privileged, from shelters, correctional facilities and villages to metropolises, state houses and royal compounds.

Ambassador Shabazz is also the founder of Tapestry Bridge, Legacy Inc. “Everybody Has One,” The Humanity Passport Project and the Malcolm X Shabazz Birthplace & Foundation.

In 2002, after years of personal service, the Hon. Said Musa, Esq., former prime minister of Belize, recognized her as a key advisor on International Cultural Affairs & Project Development, and appointed her as the ambassador-at-large, representing Belize internationally and in perpetuity. During her tenure she has also worked with the Ministries of Human Development, Culture, Education, Youth & Sports, along with the nonprofit and private sector in Belize incorporating her insights, guidance and partnership. She has had the honor of being invited to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Briefing Forums and The United Nations Association. Much of her expertise centers on fostering diplomatic relations between cultures as well as discerning traditional and contemporary practices, human resource training, economic development and capacity building.

Ambassador Shabazz has offered her dedicated alliances as an appointed member of the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum’s Task Force on the Digital Divide; serves on a number of international humanitarian boards; councils and committees; and offers private consultation to many executive and diplomatic leaders.

She has written op-ed commentaries and articles for newspapers and periodicals such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Essence and El Mundo, among others. In 1999, she was honored to write the new foreword to her father’s classic, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and is currently completing her own memoir, From Mine Eyes.


Home > Faculty >
Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson


Anderson, SteveSteve Anderson is a scholar-practitioner working at the intersection of media, history, technology and culture. He teaches classes in the production and theory of digital media in the School of Theater, Film and Television and holds a joint appointment in the department of Design Media Arts.

His book Technologies of Vision: The War Between Data and Images (MIT, 2017) surveys the emergence of competing regimes of computational and photographic image making from the 1830s to the present, focusing on cultural implications related to space, data visualization and surveillance. His previous book, Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past (Dartmouth, 2011), investigated the emergence of experimental history across a range of visual media including film, TV and digital games. With Christie Milliken, he is co-editing the anthology Reclaiming Popular Documentary.

In 2015, Anderson was awarded a Digital Innovation Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies to create Technologies of Cinema, an ongoing work of digital scholarship that explores the tortured history of computation seen on film and TV since 1950, incorporating video essays and textual analysis in an open access media archive. He is also the founder/principal investigator of the public media archive and fair use advocacy network Critical Commons. With Tara McPherson, he co-edits the interdisciplinary electronic journal Vectors and serves as co-principal investigator of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, developers of the open source electronic publishing platform Scalar.

His scholarly work has appeared in the journals Visible Language, InTransition, American Literature, GAME: The Italian Journal of Game Studies, The Journal of Media Literacy Education, Frames Cinema Journal, Profession, Pre/Text, The Moving Image, Release Print, The Independent, Filmmaker, Res Magazine, Intelligent Agent, Film Quarterly and Digital Humanities Quarterly, and is anthologized in the books Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, the Arts, and the Humanities; F Is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing; Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age; Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected; Debating New Approaches to History; and New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader.

Before coming to UCLA TFT, Anderson taught for 15 years in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he was the founding director of the practice-based Ph.D. program in Media Arts + Practice and a faculty member in the divisions of Interactive Media & Games, Media Arts + Practice and Critical Studies.

A former documentary film editor, Anderson worked on numerous productions for National Geographic, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, NHK and ABC. He also served for more than a decade as a board member of Los Angeles Filmforum and continues to co-curate with Holly Willis a screening series devoted to experimental digital media titled Blur + Sharpen.

His work has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Adobe Systems, Oculus VR, Related Content Database and Google Daydream.

As director of the Transient Media Lab, Anderson catalyzes experiments with a deliberately unstable array of media and technology positioned at the intersection of documentary, interactive and immersive media. His project Live-VR Corridor received the award for Best Mixed Reality at the New Media Film Festival in 2018.

Anderson received a Ph.D. in film, literature and culture from USC and an M.F.A. in film and video from CalArts.


Home > Faculty >
Mark Arneson

Mark Arneson


Marc Arneson has been teaching undergraduate and graduate screenwriting classes in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media since 2014 and in UCLA TFT’s Professional Programs since 2011.

He has developed and sold television, online and film projects including the independently produced 2009 feature Just Peck, starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson.

He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he earned his master’s degree, and the Professional Programs Screenwriting program. He was the recipient of numerous student honors including the UCLA Screenwriters Showcase, the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting, the Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award, the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting and the Showtime/Tony Cox Screenwriting Award. Additionally, he was selected as a writer-in-residence at the prestigious Screenwriters Colony in Nantucket, Mass.

At UCLA TFT he has also taught visiting filmmakers from the Accademia Nazionale Del Cinema, Bologna, Italy, and was previously a screenwriting visiting professor in the graduate program at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Before coming to Los Angeles, Arneson earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Oregon and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia.


Home > Faculty > Purnima Mankekar

Purnima Mankekar

Associate Professor

Purnima MankekarFeminist Media Studies, Post-9/11Public Cultures, Affect Thoeries, Outsourcing and Information Technology, Transnational Cultural Studies; South Asian America, South Asia


Home > Faculty > Arne Lunde

Arne Lunde

Associate Professor

Arne LundeArne Lunde is an associate professor in the Scandinavian Section at UCLA and an affiliate associate professor of Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA TFT. He teaches courses on Swedish film and other Nordic national cinemas, Ingmar Bergman, Carl-Theodor Dreyer, and Scandinavian literature. His book Nordic Exposures: Scandinavian Identities in Classical Hollywood Cinema explores how Scandinavian whiteness and ethnicity functioned in Hollywood cinema between and during the two world wars. Lunde’s articles and reviews have appeared in Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Film International, Film Quarterly, The Moving Image, Scandinavian Studies, Scandinavica, and Comparative Literature. His most recent publications include the following edited-volume chapters: “The Story of a Bad Girl!: Summer with Monika, Sexploitation and the Selling of Erotic Bergman in America” in Beyond Swedish Summers: The Breakthrough of Sexuality in Swedish Cinema; “The Scandinavian Colonies of Silent Era Hollywood” in The Blackwell Companion to Nordic Cinema; and “Going Hollywood: Nordic Directors in Contemporary American Cinema” in Popular Nordic Genre Film: Small Nation Film Cultures in the Global Marketplace.

Lunde is currently working on a book manuscript titled Early Bergman as Auteur Inside the Swedish Studio System, 1944-1960. The book focuses on the Swedish auteur before he became the brand name “Bergman” in 1960s and 1970s European art cinema and analyzes his first decade and a half as a writer-director working within the Swedish studio system, not only for Svensk Filmindustri (SF) but also rival studios such as Terrafilm and Sandrews. His case studies include the following chapter approaches: (1) Ingmar’s Hitchcockian Cameos: Early Bergman as Auteur inside the Swedish Studio System; (2) The City, Noir, and Jazz in 40s Bergman; (3) Scenes from a Menagerie: Dogs, Cats, and Teddy Bears; (4) Summer with Monika, Sexploitation, and the Selling of Erotic Bergman in America; and (5) Through a Laugh Darkly: Bergman and Comedy, Animation, and Effects. Lunde is also currently co-editing, with Professor Anna Westerståhl Stenport of Georgia Tech University, the volume Nordic Film Cultures: A Globalised History of Cinematic Elsewheres (under contract with Edinburgh University Press).



Home > Faculty > Josh Feldman

Josh Feldman


Josh Feldman is responsible for overseeing the film division of Hasbro Studios, working on both live-action and animated properties to be developed into film. He also works closely with the TV development team. Feldman recently partnered with the toy giant’s entertainment arm to develop Magic: The Gathering, which is set up at Fox.

He previously served as director of development at Genre, where he worked on the Fox franchises X-Men and Fantastic Four. Before that, he was at Benderspink and at Davis Entertainment where he worked on several films, including Chronicle, in 2012.

Feldman is an M.F.A. graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Producers Program. He received his bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of California, San Diego.


Home > Faculty > Gina Kim

Gina Kim


Gina Kim Gina Kim’s five feature-length films and works of video art have screened at more than 100 prestigious international film festivals and venues including Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Sundance and Venice, as well as such arts venues as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Her work has been theatrically released to critical acclaim in Europe, Asia and the United States. According to Variety, “Kim’s highly sensitive camera turns the film into a chamber-piece hushed eroticism and surprising narrative grip.” Le Figaro said, “Kim is a fearless feminist who conceals an extreme sensitivity.” In 2018, The Hollywood Reporter selected Kim as one of “5 South Korean Talents to Watch” noting Kim’s pioneering efforts in Asian cinema.

Invisible Light (2003), hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “deeply introspective and accomplished art film,” was selected by Film Comment as one of the 10 best films of 2003.

Never Forever (2007), starring Jung-woo Ha and Vera Farmiga, was the first co-production between the United States and South Korea. Kim was subsequently nominated in the Best New Director category at the Motion Picture Association of Korea’s Daejong Film Awards (the Korean equivalent of the Academy Awards) and was awarded the Jury prize at the 2007 Deauville American Film Festival.

Faces of Seoul (2009) premiered at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival, where Kim also served as a jury member. In 2018, Kim and L’Atelier des Cahiers published Seoul, Visages d’une Ville, a trilingual multimedia photo book essay based on the documentary.

In 2016, Final Recipe was wide-released in China in more than 3,240 theaters. The Hollywood Reporter noted how the director “conjures a non-exotic piece out of a territory-trotting narrative, where every place is made to seem like home.” Prior to its release, Final Recipe was selected as the opening film in the Culinary Cinema sections of the Berlin and San Sebastian international film festivals.

Kim’s latest work is the virtual reality short Bloodless (2017). Based on a true story, Bloodless transforms the controversial issue of crimes by U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea into a personal and emotional experience. Bloodless received Best VR awards at Venice International Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Bogotá Short Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine also featured Bloodless as the Best VR Storytelling of 2017.

Kim is widely recognized as an innovative instructor. She has taught at Harvard University, where in 2014 she received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence, and has conducted master classes around the world. In 2018, Variety listed Kim as one of the “Top Teachers in Film, TV” noting Kim’s “keen understanding of the future of entertainment technology.”


Home > Faculty > Erkki Huhtamo

Erkki Huhtamo


Erkki HuhtamoErkki Huhtamo is an internationally renowned media historian and theorist, and also a specialist in the history and aesthetics of media arts. He is one of the founders of an emerging approach to media studies known as media archaeology.

Huhtamo has published extensively, lectured worldwide and given multimedia stage performances using both modern and original 19th-century media technology such as magic lanterns. With the artists Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, in 2005 he developed and performed Musings on Hands: Media Archaeology Meets New Media Performance at Waseda University’s Ono Memorial Hall in Tokyo, Japan and at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria the following year. His most recent magic lantern show, From Dole to the Pole, or Professor Huhtamo’s Daring Adventures, featuring musicians and foley sound effect artists, was performed at Los Angeles’ Velaslavasay Panorama cultural center in 2012. The multimedia performance Mareorama Resurrected has thus far been seen in Los Angeles, Chicago and Pittsburgh (an edited version can be watched on the Internet). The lecture-performance Panoramas in Motion: Reflections on Moving Image Spectacles Before Film was presented at Germany’s 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2014.

Huhtamo has curated numerous exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Australia. He created the major international exhibition “Outoäly/Alien Intelligence” for KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland in 2000, and has curated retrospective exhibitions of the work of Toshio Iwai, Perry Hoberman, Paul DeMarinis and Bernie Lubell. In 1994, he was the quest director and curator of Sydney’s Australian International Video Festival. In 2000, Helsinki, Finland’s Museum of Cultures presented Phantasmagoria. Time Travelling in the Moving Image, which featured Huhtamo’s own extensive collection of antique magic lanterns, peepshow boxes, animation devices and other media archaeological artifacts. Parts of it have since been shown at UCLA and the Hammer Museum.

Huhtamo’s most recent books are Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (ed. with Jussi Parikka, University of California Press, 2011) and Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (The MIT Press, 2013). His first Italian and Japanese language single-authored works were published in 2014 and 2015. Recent research articles have discussed topics such as the history of media displays in public outdoor spaces; “peep media,” a notion Huhtamo coined; the trottoir roulant, or the moving walkway at Paris’ Universal Exposition of 1900; astronomical demonstration instruments as a challenge to “screenology,” another concept he coined; the history of the Spirograph, a forgotten device that presents microcinematographed moving pictures from spinning discs; the invention and early reception of the Kaleidoscope; interactive museum displays as a contribution to what he calls “exhibition anthropology”; and the archaeological tradition in media arts.

Huhtamo, who is also a professor in UCLA’s Department of Design and Media Arts, is currently working on two books, a new monograph on the history of mechanical theaters and a volume tentatively titled Media Archaeology as Topos Study.

He received his Ph.D. in cultural history from Finland’s University of Turku.

  • Contact

  • Phone: 310-825-8292


Home > Faculty > Neil Thompson

Neil Thompson


Neil Thompson teaches a series of television comedy classes in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.

He grew up in Ames, Iowa, and attended Iowa State University, earning his B.S. degree in history, with distinction, in 1970. While at ISU, he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, lettered in both cross country and track for the Cyclones, and was tapped for Cardinal Key, the highest award granted to undergraduate men for service to the university. 

After college, Thompson moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where he began a performing career with the long running improvisational theater company Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop.  In 1975, Thompson migrated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting and writing career that spanned more than 30 years.  After appearing on several shows, including M*A*S*H, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, Kojak, McCloud and Private Benjamin, Thompson shifted his focus to writing comedy. He was a staff writer for 14 primetime network comedy series, contributing 65 credited scripts. He co-created and executive produced two series and co-executive produced six more. His credits include Police Squad!; Happy Days; Dreams; You Again?; Webster; Night Court; Stand By Your Man (co-creator and executive producer); The Boys Are Back; The Faculty (co-creator and executive producer); Men Behaving Badly; Union Square; Caroline in the City; God, the Devil, and Bob; and Malcolm in the Middle for which he was nominated three times by the Writers Guild of America for best comedy script of the year.  He won the award in 2006.

Thompson received his M.A. degree in U.S. cultural history from California State University, Northridge in 2009. He has since taught five different history courses at CSUN, including one he created entitled "Hollywood and History," which uses popular film as a means of understanding the social, cultural, and political themes of 20th century America.