Department of English to offer new film studies certificate in spring 2020

Lacy Siefkin, senior in jounalism, captures the moment at the kickoff of the K-State 48 Hour Film Festival in Town Hall on March 31, 2016. When the video guidelines were revealed, teams had 48 hours to film and edit a short film. (Kaitlyn Heier | Collegian Media Group)

A new opportunity will be available for students interested in filmmaking next semester — the Department of English will offer a certificate of journalism and art classes to give students a deeper dive into the craft of film.

Karin Westman, head of the Department of English, said the program will help students in and outside the department.

“This certificate will prepare students for careers in industrial and commercial film-making, advertising, film criticism, secondary education, entertainment, television journalism, documentary [making], social media, graduate studies and more,” Westman said.

The film studies certificate was inspired by the K-State 48-Hour Film Challenge, said Tom Hallaq, associate professor of journalism and mass communications. Hallaq said visual storytelling is important and something some students are really interested in.

“We’re seeing students who want to tell visual stories,” Hallaq said. “Today’s students have this divide between visual natives and visual immigrants — the visual natives have grown up with visual storytelling, and in order to connect we need to have these skills.”

The film studies certificate will provide an opportunity for students who want to take media production classes but do not want to pursue a journalism degree. Steven Smethers, interim director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the certificate will do good for students.

“I think the benefit to the student is that they finally have the opportunity to really study something that is a part of their passion,” Smethers said. “We have a lot of people who are passionate storytellers in the J-school and we have a lot of people who want to do narratives.”

Students can declare the certificate beginning in spring of 2020. More information about the certificate can be found on the Department of English’s website.