When people think of OSU, I want our strength in film to be foremost on their minds.

We’ve long served a large population of students from nearly every OSU major who are interested in film narratives. Now we’re growing more specialized programs, working with collaborators around CLA to launch a multi-year initiative in film studies.

With the School of Arts and Communication, we’ve added a new applied journalism minor, which will keep students on the cutting edge of reporting and new digital technologies. We teach advanced-level seminars at Corvallis’ own Darkside Theatre. Associate Professor of German Sebastian Heiduschke’s courtesy appointment in SWLF will allow him to further curate film festivals that bring world premieres to our doorstep in Corvallis.

Our Portland programming, whether it’s film screenings or adult education classes with our new partner, Cinema 21, have been a resounding success and put us on the map there.

OSU film-industry alums include veterans like Mick Rich, Harley Jessup and Ivan Williams, to name just a few.

We’re thrilled to constellate our energies around film’s future potential at OSU. We hope you are, too. To learn more about film at OSU, visit our film studies webpage

Peter Betjemann
Director, School of Writing, Literature and Film

The Evangelist 

Portland is primed for a wave of B-movie love, and Elliot Lavine is leading that charge. 

When Lavine teaches a film class, he wants his students to react to movies the same way he did as a kid — with an immersive thrill, and an appreciation that goes beyond the actors and the story.

“I get an incredible charge from that,” he says. “Part of my mission is to make things available, and for people to tell me, ‘Thank you. I never would have seen that on my own.’”

The films Lavine teaches most often are old, black and white genre films, usually considered B-movies and easily overlooked by even avid cinephiles.

Think “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Them!” and “The Incredible Shrinking Man.”

All three were part of his OSU Professional and Continuing Education course, Cold War Shivers: Sci-Fi Scare Films of the 50s, which he taught this summer at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland.

Cold War Shivers was the third PACE class Lavine has taught for OSU. His other two classes focused on protest films of the 30s, and film noir and the Hollywood blacklist of the 40s.

“There’s a heavy sociopolitical patina hanging over all of these films,” Lavine says. “Students were clearly interested in these aspects, but people were knocked out by the films themselves.”

That’s exactly what Lavine wants — for people to see the personal sensibility behind B-movies, their technical brilliance and the low-budget ingenuity with which they’re made.

And he wants them to want more.

“By the time these classes are over, there are converts among the students. People realize that B stands for best.” 

Teaching the Next Generation's Storytellers

Stories are eternal.

The media for telling them is constantly shifting, but stories show us who we are, inform us, make us laugh, change the world and spark our empathy.

That’s why we’re creating different and flexible ways for our students to tell them.

This fall, OSU students have the option of enrolling in our new applied journalism minor, an innovative collaboration between The School of Writing, Literature and Film; The School of Arts and Communication; and OSU’s Orange Media Network.

Our students will learn the underpinnings of what makes an impactful, relevant story. And they will be nimble enough to adapt to different platforms, whether it’s Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, or one that’s yet to be invented (but almost certainly will be).

When we say applied, we mean that a significant portion of the new minor will be hands-on work and internships. This is where the Orange Media Network comes in: students can get involved with the network’s award-winning outlets, like The Barometer, Beavers Digest and KBVR Radio and Television, to name just a few.

We’ll be serving even more than the next generation’s journalists and visionaries. The program will nurture future copywriters, science writers, web producers and public relations experts.

We can’t wait to get started.