Keep Up on Spring 2023 Events and Beyond!

FAMS is pleased to offer and share news of events in support of its academic mission, including screenings by established and emerging filmmakers, guest lectures by critical historians and theorists, and workshops/lectures by writers and producers working in film, television, video and new media.

Want to keep up to date on news, events, opportunities, and other FAMS announcements? Please sign up for our newsbrief!

Upcoming FAMS Events

The photo shows Jordan, a white person in their early 30s with short brown hair and a blonde mustache, wearing a gingham dress topped by a brown corduroy vest. They face the camera, standing on a pier with water, a city skyline, and a bridge in the backgr

Access, Embodiment, and Opacity: A Masterclass with Jordan Lord

Tuesday March 28 and Tuesday April 25, 4-7pm, Fayerweather 215

Filmmaker Jordan Lord, who specializes in cinematic design that takes disability into account, will visit Amherst on March 28 and April 25 for two Masterclass sessions. Jordan Lord's visit will be the first in the FAMS program's Kaufman Masterclass Series, which will bring emerging and distinguished filmmakers to Amherst to share their skills.

Lord's film Shared Resources (2021, 98 mins) will play on Thursday March 23, 7PM at Amherst Cinema as part of the Bellwether Series, followed by a virtual conversation with the filmmaker. Free to Amherst students! 


In this FAMS masterclass, we'll seek to work with access as a fundamental practice in filmmaking. Although making something more accessible is frequently thought of as rendering it simpler or more transparent, we will consider another, more apparent reality: that access usually makes things thicker or more opaque. Thinking with disabled artists' approaches to representing care and access work, as well as practices of film editing where bodies also act as cuts, we will think through embodiment as both a limit and a material for work grounded in access.

Participants who attend the March 28 session will have the option to make and workshop a project on which they will receive feedback and support during the April 25 session. 


There are no pre-requisites for participating in this masterclass. Enrollment in the first session will be open to all and uncapped. The second session will be open to all who wish to return, with 10 slots reserved for those who wish to present works-in-progress for feedback and critique (we will work hard to accommodate FAMS majors, especially those enrolled in FAMS 410 "Disability, Media, and the Art of Access"). We will be reserving some spaces for Five College Students.


Please click on the link below to access the registration form. Registration closes at 3pm on Friday March 24.

Bellwether Series at Amherst Cinema

Professor Rangan is helping coordinate two screenings for the March 2023 Bellwether Film Series at Amherst Cinema. Read more about the films and the series at the links below.

Shared Resources (dir. Jordan Lord, 2021, 98 mins) Thursday March 23, 7pm, to be followed by a live-zoom conversation with the filmmaker. 

100 Ways to Cross the Border (dir. Amber Bemak, 2022, 84 mins) Thursday March 30, 7pm, to be followed by an in-person conversation with the filmmaker. 

Documentary Film Screening of Fly So Far, with Director Celina Escher

March 23, 2023
Time and Location tba

Hosted by the Women’s and Gender Center, and co-sponsored by FAMS, we are pleased to announce an upcoming screening of the documentary film: Fly So Far, with director Celina Escher.

Fly So Far focuses on the lives of 17 women in the Ilopango prison in El Salvador and their wrongful incarceration because of miscarriages and stillbirths. These 17 Women were charged with aggravated homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison. While this documentary focuses on El Salvador’s strict reproductive laws, it also focuses on the life of Teodora Vasquez, the spokesperson of the 17 accused of aggravated homicide. 

Special Opportunity for FAMS Majors

Two FAMS majors are invited to a dinner with the director prior to the screening. Contact to reserve your space (available on a first come first serve basis). 

More on the Film



graphic featuring event details and a charcoal drawing of video camera with a collage of imagery surrounding it. Imagery includes a building, a shark, flowers and trees

The 2023 Five College Film Festival Program is Announced!

Saturday, April 1, 2023, Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College

Please join us on Saturday, April 1 in Amherst College’s Stirn Auditorium for the Five College Film Festival, to be held in person for the first time in four years. A group of ten student jurors from across the five colleges have carefully curated three programs of shorts that represent some of the best filmmaking across the Five Colleges. 

This year, as many years past, the Five College Film Festival’s mission is to share the stories of students from across the Five Colleges through the medium of film. We encourage all students, regardless of background or experience with filmmaking, to share their stories.

If you have any questions please feel free to email

You can keep up to date with the festival via our Instagram @fivecollegefilmfestival or on Facebook under the same name. We look forward to seeing you there!

Until soon,

5CFF Team


Program #1: 3-4:30 

Program #2: 4:45-6:15

Program #3: 6:30-8 

Awards Ceremony: 8:15 




The Five College Film Festival’s mission is to share the stories of students from across the Five Colleges through the medium of film. We hope that all students, regardless of background or experience with filmmaking, share their stories. 

Past FAMS events

Poster for the Film Return to Chibok, features a man running in a dry field ringed by mountains.

Helene Keyssar Distinguished Lecture Series Presents: The Visible Voice – Teaching, Reading & Making Films by Branwen Kiemute Okpako

Monday & Tuesday, November 28 & 29, 2022, 5pm

FAMS is pleased to welcome Branwen Kiemute Okpako to campus to deliver the Fall 2022 Keyssar Lecture. Okpako is an acclaimed filmmaker and the Chancellor's Fellow and Associate Professor of the Department of Cinema and Digital Media at University of California, Davis.

Film screening of Okpako's award winning documentary about the first Black policeman in Saxony
Monday November 28, 5-6:45pm at Keefe Campus Theater (Keefe 008)

Join Okpako for her multi-award winning documentary: Dreckfresser (Dirt for Dinner) on the life of Sam Meffire. The son of a German mother and a Cameroonian father, Meffire became the first black policeman in Saxony, and a national advertising campaign used him as a symbol of a multicultural, integrated East Germany. But East Germany was far from integrated and life became ever more complicated for the young man. He left the police force, started a private security firm, and finally turned to crime.

A Q&A will follow the screening, moderated by Professor Lise Sanders.

Lecture: The Visible Voice – Teaching, Reading & Making Films
Tuesday November 29, 5pm at the Frost Library's CHI Think Tank (Frost 210) with a conversation and reception to follow

Okpako's much-anticipated film Return to Chibok had its world premiere at London-based film festival Film Africa in October 2022. Okpako's lecture will revolve around her process of making films and its evolution over the years. She will also share lessons from teaching filmmaking and film reading in the academic context.

"Film is a tool for interrogating one's surroundings, but its intervention is not benign and its presence has changed everything about our being” -Okpako. 

Professor Okpako will also visit Melodrama and Film Noir on 11/29 to discuss her film Tal der Ahnungslosen, for which a separate screening will be announced.


These events are free and open to all members of the 5-College community. A virtual option will also be available to 5-College community members to view the lecture on Tuesday evening. Please follow the link to sign up with your 5-college email address.

Please contact Danielle Thompson if you have any accessibility needs or questions.


Film talk poster with image and description of filmmaker

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

October 27, 2022, 5:45pm at the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

Presented by the Black Studies and English Departments, please join us at this event with filmmaker Johanna Giebelhaus.

Event flier with written description of the upcoming event

Bonus Rectangle is Back! Neil "Cloaca" Young Screenings, Artist Talk, and Performance

October 24 & 25, 2022

The L.A.-based artist Neil "Cloaca" Young will be visiting Amherst between 10/24-25. He is presenting a curated film program on Monday night at Keefe Campus Center Theater, and will be giving an artist's talk in Professor Guilford's curating class on Tuesday afternoon. He will then be presenting a second screening at Hampshire College on Tuesday night, followed by a performance at the Roos-Rhode House on the HC campus.

All events are free and open to the (masked) public. Information is attached.

Computer screen with conference banner and editing tools

Theory & Practice of the Video-Essay

An International Conference on Videographic Criticism

September 22 & 23, 2022

FAMS is pleased to co-sponsor this event, hosted by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The videographic essay is a still-emerging but swiftly evolving form.  Film scholars working in this Barthesian “third form” of critical scholarship employ the expressive power of audiovisual media for their engagements with film and film theory. This will be a two-day in-person conference addressing theory, practice, pedagogy, and future directions of this field.  It will consider submissions of videographic works, video essays, desktop films, video epigraphs, and papers. Works in progress are welcome!

The conference is free and open to the Five College community. Registration information will be posted at the website below later this summer.