Student Media Project
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  Winter 2014
Spring 2013
Winter 2013
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Winter 2011
Winter 2010
Fall 2009
Fall 2008
Winter 2008
Winter 2007
Special Projects
Additional Projects

Winter 2014

America's Hard-On for Crime: Media Saturation of Rape and the Politics of Prison Policy
Produced, Directed, Written, and Edited by: Ryan Louis, David Lerma, Stephanie Lee, Robin Nguyen
Length: 15 min.

Sexual assault and violence are some of the most prominent issues that are visible in mainstream media regarding correctional institutions. As a result, the imagery of "prison rape" has been ingrained in the American public consciousness and although many consider this a comical matter, state officials and the public are slowly starting to address the issue of sexual assault and violence in correctional facilities by passing new bills and regulations to protect vulnerable inmates.
Our documentary examines one of the many approaches which strive to resolve the violence such as rape in correctional facilities-- the K6G unit of Los Angeles County Jail, which uses segregation based on sexuality to house only gay men and transgender women since they are believed to be some of the most vulnerable among the inmate population. Although there are many aspects of the K6G housing unit that deserve praise for its progressive efforts, our film examines the larger contextual issues that also need to be addressed. Attempts to resolve prison rape and violence may be futile if they do not even question the reasons for why such issues are prevalent in the first place, and this film advocates for the necessity of dramatic decarceration in our criminal justice system as a response to the violence in these settings.


Rated M for Men: Women and Video Games
Produced, Directed, Written and Edited by: Pearl Aquino, Angela Chiu, Paola Laufler, Sarina Mireles
Length: 11 min.

Often, video games are collectively associated with negative portrayal of women. Rated M for Men: Women in Video Games looks into this misrepresentation and sheds light on movements that may provide women with brighter futures in video game design and culture.

Spring 2013

Media Representations of Women in Medicine: Bitch vs. Beauty
Produced, Directed, Written, and Edited by: Crystal Villalpando, Alejandra Novoa-Vargas & Zainab K. Hameed
Length: 9 min. 20 sec.

Media representations of women in medicine provide limited roles for female physicians. Shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs portray these women as either "bitches" or "beauties". These representations of female physicians can provide difficulties in their line of work when they must face real life issues of proving themselves in a male dominated occupation, the gender wage gap, and the glass ceiling. Interviews from two doctors, a female surgeon and a pediatrician, give insight into the damaging effects of the dichotomous representation of women in medical shows.


Hood Fag Politics: A Discourse on Life Opportunity as Presented Through the Mass Media
Editing: Matthew Marquez & Aces Lira
Script: Matthew Marquez & Aces Lira
Narration: Matthew Marquez
Media Cited: Pariah (2011), La Mission (2009),
Paris Is Burning (1990), The New Normal (2012), Gun Hill Road (2011)
Length: 12 min.

Over the course of this quarter the role of the media in maintaining and normalizing hegemonic power relations has become clear. By shaping, and at times limiting, the discourse surrounding issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. the mass media works to influence the ways in which such matters are understood. Through the exposure and deconstruction of these sinister mechanisms, the political and social implications of the absence of queer youths of color from the media for the community becomes clear, as does the importance of noting and challenging this absence.

Hood Fag Politics sheds light on the way the subversive potential of LGBT characters in the mainstream has been undermined by media portrayals that fail to engage issues of sexuality and identity. Modern representations of LGBT people in the media often fulfill socially sanctioned roles and do not challenge normative understandings of race, gender, sexuality and class; what this means is that these characters often emerge as male, white, middle to upper class and cisgender. To represent queers that deviate from this socially permissible role would prove too disruptive as such images would necessary elicit questions pertaining to race relations in America, dominant systems of power, and modern binary modes of thinking as they relate to sexuality.


Menstruation in the Media
Produced, Directed, Written and Edited by: Lourdes Gonzalez, Jessica Raybon and Lindsay Spencer
Length: 10 min.

Our critical media project documentary is an exploration of the ways in which media including film, television, print and commercial advertising, and public service announcements have historically portrayed menstruation and how, if at all, these portrayals have transformed today. Our project focuses on tropes that include shame, discretion, purity, and the various taboos that media has circulated in regards to the biological and inevitable process of menstruation. Have media messages really improved since the mid-twentieth century?


Party Girls and Rejects: Representations of College Girls in Popular Media
Produced, Directed and Written by: Breana M Musella, Joanne Sampoonachot, & Mary Grace Baldo
Edited by: Mary Grace Baldo & Breana M Musella
Length: 8 min.

Party Girls and Rejects: Representations of College Girls in Popular Media, explores the mainstream portrayals of college girls, particularly the stereotypes at play. By posing the question: “What do you think of when you hear the term, ‘College Girls?’” this film reveals some of the common opinions of men and women regarding perceptions of college age girls.

Our video explores how television and films follow and create cultural norms for behavior. That is to say, that media representations of college girls focus on and exaggerate the prevalence of partying and sexual encounters, while ignoring the consequences of these actions and the larger social implications associated with these kinds of stereotypical depictions.


Ovary Interrupted
Produced, Directed, Written, and Edited By: Natalie Jahanbani and Marley Poyo
With Assistance From: Feibi Wu
Length: 8 min. 30 sec

How do television commercials and the news media misrepresent women who take birth control? Our project examines commercials to understand how they exclude women from underprivileged socio-economic statuses and paint an unrealistic picture of women who take birth control. We also look at the news media and describe the way that primarily men frame birth control and women’s reproductive health as a moral issue. This film helps the viewer understand how bias is created in television advertisements and the news media.


Where Do You Sleep?: The Rise in Homeless Students at UCLA
Produced, Directed, Written and Edited by: Danielle Carrillo
Adapted from previous film by: Bayan Abusneineh, Danielle Carrillo & Io Nakamura
Length: 11 min. 30 sec

As a result of the fee hikes and increased tuition at UCLA, there has been a dramatic increase of homeless students within the last decade. Despite the lack of a permanent place to sleep, these students continue to persevere and find ways to pay for school, as they believe that attaining an education is an integral step towards success in their future endeavors. Maintaining a "normal" student life is difficult for the homeless, but they continue to prove that they are willing to work hard to move past their struggles and succeed in their time at UCLA.

Included in this documentary are interviews with Diego Sepulveda & Emilio Hernandez

Winter 2013

Parts Of Me: The Story of Queer Students of Color in East LA High Schools
Produced By: Bri Mendoza, Merilou Salazar, and Rachel Lofton
Directed by: Avriel Epps
Edited by: Avriel Epps, Merilou Salazar, and Rachel Lofton
Length: 12 min.

Our documentary follows three LGBTQ students of color from East Los Angeles High Schools and one ally, who does not identify as queer but advocates for queer issues. In it we describe and explore how theories and practices of intersectionality and critical media literacy can expand the scope of what the "average" American considers LGBTQ issues, as well as to better understand the important role of GSAs [Gay Straight Alliances] in high schools. Further, we investigate how intersectionality informs the lives of these students and assists them to survive some of the "typical high school experiences," which are shared by so many LGBTQ youth.
Key issues, discussed in this film, were identified by these students and it is through their own voices that they highlight those issues which they deem especially significant and for which they advocate. Moreover, these student narratives frame dialogues about these issues with experts in the field.
It is within this context, that the documentary incorporates an animated discussion of the importance of safe spaces for queer students and LGBTQ inclusive curriculum within high schools


Girls & Guns: The Media Campaign to Keep Women Sexy and Armed
Produced and Edited by: Lourdes Gonzalez, Christy Hamilton, Becca Sadwick & Kate Schlosser
Length: 12 min.

Girls & Guns: The Media Campaign to Keep Women Sexy and Armed looks at the infantilization and sexualization of women through the promotion of gun use in the US. In posing the question "What do you think about women and guns?" to women and men alike, this documentary reveals a variety of opinions, experiences, and suggestions for future gun legislation. Girls & Guns is a short collection of interviews and media footage that weaves a narrative of protection, safety, fear, and empowerment with unrealistic portrayals of what gun ownership can and will do for women.


El Anzuelo Americano/The American Hook
A Blog by Deogracia Cornelio
Main Contributor and Creator: Deogracia Cornelio

This blog aims to create an inclusive space of dialogue for Latino immigrants. As such, it engages topics related to the immigrant condition, and focus on a rendering of the role of mass communication, through visual and linguistic means, in creating the transnational context in which the histories of Latino immigrants develop. The issues explored are dictated by the need for reflection and analysis, as well as expression and sharing, of this community.
The blog entertains analysis of media, linguistic, geographical and socio-political boundaries and their crossing. It speaks in the languages of the community that will hopefully participate in it, but it also seeks literacy in other languages, such as those of corporations, politicians and other dominant media voices. In that sense, historical relationships among nations and peoples, the economic structure of our globalized world, and the cultural dynamics that represent and reproduce social structures and processes are sought out in each story and in each cultural product, beginning with the theme of the American Dream, which was experienced and thus represented by some Latino immigrants in my research as the American Hook.
Finally, theories and methods of critical media analysis and critical discourse analysis are used to inform activities in the blog. As per the goals of the course out of which this blog is borne, it invites its visitors to take part in decoding and encoding media representations that take primacy in our lived realities.
Target Audience: Latino Immigrant/Latino Diaspora
LOGO courtesy of Amaya Segura


Tikkun Olam
Produced by: Stephanie Calderon, Vanessa Gutierrez, Madina Olomi
Edited by: Stephanie Calderon, Madina Olomi
Camera: Christian Hubshman
Interviewer: Madina Olomi
Length: 12 min.

"Tikkun Olam" is a Hebrew phrase that translates to repairing (or healing) the world. The phrase suggests humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair, and transform the world. Our documentary explores how implementing this phrase on the UCLA campus could help build a stronger community of students and bridge the chasm that is created between students who deal with depression, anxiety, stress (or any emotional and/or physical difficulties that may impede students academic or social lives) and their peers. We focus on the experiences of two students in particular who have been diagnosed with depression. With the documentary we hope that students (and people in general) will begin to talk about their difficulties and not be afraid to ask for help when needed. At the end of the day we are all in this together and, as the phrase Tikkun Olam suggests, we should all feel a responsibility to help one another and work against the issues that tend to divide us.

Spring 2012

Feisty Latinas and Hot Tamales: A Visual Analysis of Machismo in Telenovelas
Produced, Written, Directed, and Edited By
Yesenia Acosta, Joanna Amenero, Pollin Farzin, Marlen Rios-Hernandez
Length: 8 min.

Machismo and hyper-masculinity are depicted as one and the same in much of the media produced by or about Latino culture. More commonly, Mexican and Peruvian Telenovelas (Soap operas) demonstrate the hypersexualization and construction of the Latina women's body through machismo ideals. This documentary explores the negative representation of female protagonists in Telenovelas (Soap operas) due to masculine ideologies. Notions of machismo contribute to the ways in which girls from younger generations perceive themselves as sexual beings. By exploring this issue, this documentary seeks to expose how Latina women in Telenovelas are being represented. We pose a solution by utilizing a Persian film, which demonstrates women actively changing masculine ideologies via the cinema. Interviewees: Maria Concepcion Olivares Pasillas, Maria Elena Rios, Margie Amanero, Leila Hatami


Paying for It... Race and Prostitution in Media Representations
Directed, edited, and written by: Brandi Craig, Minerva Esquivel, Terra Kohut, and Angela Tu
Length: 10 min.

Paying For It... Race and Prostitution in Media Representations explores the mainstream media portrayal of prostitutes, particularly the racial politics at play. Through examining the stereotypical depiction of prostitutes from different racial backgrounds, this film documents how race influences the agency, the humanity and establishes specific narratives for white and women of color prostitutes. The question then becomes whose body is more valuable?


Broadcast Yourself: Teaching Youtube
Producers: Connie Shen, Lainey Gera, Lauren McQuade, Sharry Lu
Length: 10 min.

Broadcast Yourself: Teaching Youtube is a short documentary that critically examines the positive and negative aspects of using Youtube as a platform to broadcast ideas, views, and creative projects. Minimal censorship, relatively easy accessibility, and an open forum attitude are aspects of Youtube that prove to be sites of contention as they allow some participants access to tools for abuse and reproduction of inequalities and give others the opportunity for empowerment and resistance. We argue that incorporation of Youtube into contemporary educational curriculum will help foster a more progressive learning environment. Even negative images broadcast on the new media outlet can help foster productive discussion. A new vision of Youtube as a necessary aspect of critical media literacy will help to open up its accessibility to a broader audience and make it a safe learning space.


Why Do Fools Fall In Love? MisRepresentations of Patriarchal
Violence Against African American Women in the Media

Created By: Katharine Clancy, Adrien Sebro, and Astghik "Star" Sogoyan
Length: 13 min.

This documentary will explore the politics of representation of patriarchal violence imposed on African American women in contemporary American media. With the use of various motion pictures as examples, this movie demonstrates the reoccurring stereotypes of situations regarding domestic violence. This film urges to question the reasoning behind the stereotypical representations of violence against African American women prominently portrayed by the mass media.
Interviewees: Dr. Sarah Haley, Dr. Darnell Hunt, Adrien Sebro, Carol Tantau, Evelyn Vasquez

Winter 2012

Baby Mama Drama: Infertility as Tragedy in Media
Duration: 12:00
Created by Laura Colosimo, Brandi Craig, Andee Tagle

Baby mama drama is a critical examination of the portrayal of infertility in the media. In this short documentary scientific research, news reportage, film, and television are put under the microscope to understand the popular trope of the infertile, career woman. This film asks the tough questions. How can these representations be seen as antifeminist, racist, or sexist? And why is it important to critically analyze these media texts?
Interviewees: Professor Juliet Williams, Professor Paul Abramson, and PhD Student Jessica Martinez


Hidden Secrets: The Rise in Homeless Students at UCLA
Duration: 10:23
Created by Bayan Abusneineh, Io Nakamura, Danielle Carillo

According to FAFSA, a homeless student is one who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, which includes sleeping in cars or motels, or temporarily living with other people because they do not have anywhere else to go. As a result of the fee hikes and increased tuition at UCLA, there has been a dramatic increase of homeless students within the last decade. Despite the lack of a permanent place to sleep, these students continue to persevere through school as they believe that attaining an education is an important step towards success in their future endeavors. Balancing studies and extracurriculars has become possible for these struggling students with the rise of student initiatives that work to help the homeless student population. Maintaining a "normal" student life is difficult for the homeless, but they continue to prove that they are willing to work hard to move past their struggles and succeed in their time at UCLA and beyond.


The Resurgent Activist
Duration: 12:00
Created by Christian Hubshman, Stephanie Camacho, Jamecelle Ventura

Youth activism began in the U.S. in the mid- to late-nineteenth century when young activists initiated labor strikes in response to their working conditions, wages and hours. Often stereotyped and marginalized by the media, youth activists have often been at the forefront of progressive social movements, passing the torch for social justice from one generation to another. The Resurgent Activist explores youth activism from the 1960s to the present Occupy movements when once again the youth of today are calling attention to social problems and injustice in American society. Additionally, this video production will briefly show how youth activism has changed in the context of globalization, new technologies, and the mediating effect of mass media.


Where the Real Queer Sistas At?
Duration: 14:30
Created by Nathalie Anyakpor, Taylor Mason, Jordan Morris, Michael Moses

Throughout history, black women have suffered from multiple forms of oppression because of their race, gender and class. Media culture has significantly marginalized this group by continuously typecasting them in stereotypical roles.
This documentary will explore how, despite efforts to diversify images of black femininity, the black lesbian has yet to be fully explored. These black women must also cope with the additional stigma of an "alternative" sexuality. The media plays upon this marginalization through scarce and demonizing depictions of gay black women. In the midst of such facts, one must then ask, "where the real queer sistas at?"
Interviewees: Darnell Hunt, Dalena Hunter, Kamela Jackson, Tamika Miller, Amani Minter, Samantha Sheppard


Duration: 10:00
Created by Lloyd Robinson, Dolores Vera, Grace Hong, Chantel Bottehsazan

"iTransfer" focuses on the intricacies of California's Community College system from a student perspective. In order to deconstruct community college stereotypes we interview several UCLA students who successfully transferred from community colleges. For the majority of students enrolled at two-year institutions, attending community college serves as their only entry point to four-year universities. Therefore, we document transfer student experiences to qualify the importance of community colleges as well as how they can be improved to increase transfer rates.


The Technicolor Asian
Created by Michael Lee, Roberta Ryan, Yoo Mi Chin

Various forms of media, from movies to TV shows, shape our political and cultural views of the world and identify who we are. Unfortunately, ideological representation of certain groups, characterized by race, gender, and socio-economic class, are often misleading
This documentary tackles the theme of racial stereotypes, as they relate to dominant depictions of Asians in mainstream US media, which tends to homogenize diverse groups of people under this one monolithic label. Classic gender stereotypes of Asian men, and women are examined and critiqued within the context of the prevailing lent myth of "the model minority"


You See L.A.
Duration: 7:00
Created by Emi Murata

This 7-minute documentary talks to the audiences what we can do as a student of a public school by showing University of California, Los Angeles's (UCLA) trajectory for having more diversity. My goals for this film are to encourage students to get involved more with the community to achieve our mission and to learn more about our community. I approach this by introducing the Civil Right project conducted by UCLA researchers and interviews with the current UCLA students. The data shows that 70% of students enter community college with the idea that they will eventually transfer to a four year university; however, their findings indicate that 70% of them failed to graduate from the secondary school within six years. We can bring up the transfer ratio by participating volunteer works, mentoring, and service learning classes. Having a great diversity is important because it does not only fulfill the state mission and educational equality, but also, teaches us cultural awareness.
With interviews from: Elizabeth Alvarado, Henry Castillo, Alexandro Sim, Jeong-eun Ha, Iris Mota, Hikaru Kuwahara.

Winter 2011

FREAK THE RACE OUT: Politics of Representation in Children's Programming
Duration: 10:48
Produced by Laurel Lang, Maria C. Olivares Pasillas, Richard Vishnevsky and Rhonda Wade

Children today are bombarded by media. We often take it for granted that children's programs are child-friendly. How do children from diverse backgrounds involve television characters in their processes of identity construction? What do we offer children to help them value themselves, their families, and their cultures? Our film seeks to explore the politics of representation in television programming designed uniquely for children aged 8-11, focusing on two of the most popular networks: Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. We investigate the ways in which racial diversity is represented, paying particular attention to the types of roles these characters are assigned. Our film seeks to capture the ways in which stereotypical representation, interracial pairing, and racial ambiguity are presented in popular children’s programing. This project advocates for a growing Critical Media Literacy by encouraging children, parents, and teachers to question social norms and behaviors delivered through these television programs.


Gay for Pay
Length: 10:29
Credits: Produced, Directed, and Edited by Liza Katsman, Jessica Mills, Danielle Nash, and Jonathan Yorde

"Gay for Pay" explores how LGBT representations by celebrities and non-celebrities alike are used for media spectacle, career advancement, and financial gain. The documentary aims to make viewers conscious of the often hidden motives and ideologies that pass across TV screens, through movie theaters, and over radio waves. Although LGBT representations have often fallen short of empowering, the recent abundance of them gives hope toward confronting heteronormativity.


Beyond the Stat Sheet: Sports, Scandal, and Society
Length: 10:77
Produced, Directed, and Edited By: Benjamin Bensoua, Jason Hamilton, Angel Rodriguez, and Aly Rutsch

"Beyond the Stat Sheet" explores the relationship between professional athletes, media, and society. The film lays out the importance of sports in American culture and explains the rise of modern sports spectacles and how scandals involving sex, drugs, and violence have become nearly as, if not more, important than performance on the field. Building upon this foundation, the film delves into social learning theory and examines whether or not athletes should be held accountable as role models for young fans.


Media EffXXX: Let's Talk About Sex
Length: 12mins
Director/producer/interviewer/editor: Amy Lieu; Kiara Smith; Sanchuan Ye

This documentary examines how the glamorization and saturation of sex in media can affect audiences' attitudes towards sexual behavior in everyday life. In particular, we explore how depictions of casual/unsafe sex provide a potentially unrealistic portrayal of sex and often fail to include the potential consequences of these kinds of relations. As this may have adverse effects on audiences, we emphasize the importance of critical media literacy about sex and media effects.

Interviews with: Deborah Glik, Sc.D. FAAHB; Elline Lipkin, PhD; Timothy Ojetunde; Vincent JonesJun Wang and Lillian Tran


Prison High
Length: 12mins
Created by: Ali Day, Jonas Mack, and Johnny Ramirez

This production provides a critical look at the "School to Prison Pipeline," and focuses on ways in which a disproportionate number of black and brown youth in urban communities are essentially channeled into prisons from schools. Specifically, this documentary illuminates how policies and practices within our educational system serve to either alienate or punish students, rather than to educate or uplift them.


Black Tassels: Media Representations of Black Men in Higher Education vs. the REAL Thing
Length: 13:30min
Created by: Adrien Sebro

Black Tassels focuses on a diversity of media's representation of race and schooling pertaining to African American men. Black males are among the least likely to graduate from high school, and many experts argue that this is due, in part, to media's misrepresentations, which can also mediate low enrollment rates in universities and colleges. This documentary examines stereotypes of Black men, in many media forms, which includes: the rapper; gangster; geek; athlete; and entertainer. This video production further explores media depictions of black males in higher education and compares this to the realities of college educated black men's experiences.


The Age Divide
Length: 10 min
Created by: Maxine Schoefer-Wulf; Gabriel Schnakemahl; Yesenia Acosta; & Connie Shen

This 10-minute documentary explores the American Anti-Age movement and how the race to hold onto youthfulness has changed the face of the old as well as the young. Through our own research as well as the utilization of several interviews we delve into this controversial (yet seldom covered) topic and discuss what the desire to be forever young implies. We found that despite being a process in which we all take part, it is seen as a disease in our dominant culture. As baby boomers grow older, more and more of our culture has turned to focus on maintaining an appearance of youthfulness primarily through consumption of superficial products that seemingly help bridge the divide. Our project focuses heavily on the gender discrepancies within the Anti-age movement and how nearly every aspect of this phenomenon is magnified for women (although it is still an issue for men). We want to push people to ask what being young even means in this era and, ultimately, why everyone wants to be young. Our goal with this project is to incite thoughtful questions about our own feelings towards age and aging as the current youth.

With interviews from: Dr. Douglas Kellner; Dr. Paul Von Blum; Dr. JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez

Winter 2010

Friend Me
Duration: 13 Mins.
Produced by Richard Bamattre, Jina Jang, Taylor Johnson , Sen Lin
Music by: Nine Inch Nails, Felipe Sarro

What is a friend? "Friend Me" explores and compares social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace and their influence on society, including issues of privacy, the concept of friendship, and how social networking is changing how we see our relationships with others.


Milgram Nation: Why Torture is No Shock
Length: 9 minutes 59 seconds
Produced by: Cassie Costantini, Sarah Dressle, Kelsey Duff, Allison Fong, and Esmeralda Pelayo

Milgram Nation is a documentary looking to understand the paradox of Americans' moral repulsion toward the prospect of torture at the hands of soldiers while at the same time how people have become desensitized to it through the institutions of corporate media in conjunction with governmental policies, identified as the military-industrial media complex. We introduce our investigation with the infamous social scientist, Stanley Milgram's 1960's experiment on people's unwavering obedience to authority figures. Many experts have argued that after 9-11, the Bush administration consciously exploited the fears and disorientation of Americans allowing the Bush administration, essentially stripping Americans of their constitutional rights. Also, it ignored and overrode the Geneva Conventions international law on humanitarian treatment of all victims and prisoners of war. Hence, torture was openly supported by those in positions of power and has rapidly expanded to a variety of experiences and practices of everyday life.


Education for the Masses Not Just for the Ruling Classes
Running time: 12:18 mins
A Deedr and jay production
Produced by: Jenna Rodman, Deirdre Weaver, and Lilana Islas

This documentary presents an analysis of the effects of the recent budget cuts and fee hikes on the university system, and UCLA in particular, through the lens of critical pedagogy. California's Master Plan guaranteed the right for any student to have a low-cost "tuition free" public higher education; this is no longer true. Class sizes are growing, resources are becoming more scarce and tuition is spiraling upward. Is this a result of a simple state budget shortfall, or is there more to the story? We present a slice of the bigger story. What do the UC budget cuts and fee hikes mean in the greater context of social and economic justice? What effect will the budget cuts have on our university's quality of education?


"Reds v. Board of Education"
Running time: 6 mins
A Shawn Van Valkenburgh Film

Almost 60 years after the Supreme Court's historic ruling in Brown v. Board of Education declared that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional, segregation continues to beleaguer American schools. What accounts for the gap between the promises of the civil rights movement and the poor quality of education for many African American students? In ?Reds v. Board of Education,? filmmaker Shawn Van Valkenburgh suggests that the US Government may have had ulterior motives in supporting desegregation, contributing to mere surface level changes to an educational institution founded upon systemic racism.


I Am An American Girl
By Anna Lu, Tiffany Chen, Calvin Ye, Kristina Ferrigno
Duration: 12 minutes, 6 seconds

Do the American Girl dolls truly represent what it means to be an American girl? I'm an American Girl is a brief documentary exploring the politics of representation in the American Girl doll line. Through interviews with professors, former American Girl consumers, and parents of American Girl consumers, I'm an American Girl assess the racial and gender ideologies perpetuated to American children and public. This documentary not only exposes and questions the marketing strategies of these media corporations, but contests that the capitalistic system is the root of the problem.


Spitballs at Battle Ships: A Show and Tell of Women in the News
By Amanda Kenderes & Jill Chaffee
Duration: 25 minutes

This -documentary reveals and examines the sexism and misogyny embedded in television news minibroadcasts, through what the news shows us and what it tells us. Are women agents or victims in sexist news-making, what are the consequences when newscasters resist the sexism, and what are the consequences of sexist news broadcasting on the public? A discussion of alternative media and tools for resistance is provided.


Stolen Lands
By Darlene Edgley, Rojan Gitirokh, Mariel Martinez and Seira Santizo-Castillo
Duration: 11 minutes

This film is about the domination and control of the United States and its ability to create war in order to maintain its hegemony in the Middle East specifically Iraq and Afghanistan. Through various interviews and media we uncover the consequences and effects of this war on the Iraq, Afghanistan and United States citizens.


Segregation and Educational Inequality: The Doctrine of Believing in Brown v. Board Has No Place
By Jill Chaffee & Amanda Kenderes

This brief documentary explores the misconceptions around what actions were taken to eliminate segregation in America and in Los Angeles. Additionally, it reveals the truth about the segregation that permeates Los Angeles today and the risks of such a division between races.

Fall 2009

Bite Me
Duration: 11:24 Mins.
Produced by Lisa Olivis, Stephanie Ohannesian, Natalia Abrams, and Margaret Gordon

With all the movies and television shows that are created, it is a rare phenomenon when one hits the mainstream with such force and influence, but such was the case for the movie "Twilight". Our goal in filming a documentary about this societal mania was to look deeper in terms of why the notions of eternal life, love and commitment were so powerful to people (mostly females) of all ages. This is a documentary that depicts an aspect of our society that perhaps we as a whole do not often look into; what is missing, what are we all yearning for and what do people really hope for in the grand scheme of things. Ironically, the fantasy of vampire culture, as we found, was a very relevant mirror that reflects the pulse of our modern culture.

Fall 2008

Undocumented Stories
Duration: 8:59 Mins.
A film by:
Agazit Abate, Adriana Gonzalez, and Yesenia Collier
Special Thanks to Rhonda Hammer and Loran Marsan

Undocumented Stories is a short documentary on media portrayals of undocumented migrants in the U.S. In it we explore the use of the term illegal alien, the criminalizing of undocumented migrants and the reasons behind these migration flows.


Inside the Digital Closet
Duration: 11 Mins.
Producer: Shante Espericueta, Cindy Flores, Margaret Gordon
Director: Shante Espericueta, Cindy Flores, Margaret Gordon
Editor: Shante Espericueta, Cindy Flores, Margaret Gordon

Inside the Digital Closet is a documentary that examines the way in which current popular media links the queer community with negative characteristics, such as promiscuity. As a result, current media engages in an influential relationship with its audience that creates harmful stereotypes that are essentially oppressive to the community.

We integrated reality television clips as well as scripted shows to exemplify this stereotypical portrayal, and incorporated interviews that help define, analyze and solve this problem.


Promoting Access, Equity, Academics, and Educational Excellence:
The Mission of CCCP, the Center for Community College Partnerships

Duration: 10 mins.
By: Habibah Davenport, Liliana Islas, Elmer Ornelas, Iris Lucero

The Center for Community College Partnerships is responsible for developing and strengthening academic partnerships between UCLA and California Community Colleges, particularly those in the UCLA service area. CCCP works with community college administrators and faculty to develop a campus wide transfer culture for all students, to strengthen and diversify the curriculum, to improve teaching pedagogy, to develop strong academic support programs, to increase the number of transfer-eligible community college students, to increase the diversity and academic competitiveness of the transfer applicant pool, and, ultimately, to increase the diversity of transfer students admitted to UCLA.


Red, White, and Black
Producer: Kim Marshall and Kate Thomas
Director: Kim Marshall and Kate Thomas
Editor: Kim Marshall and Kate Thomas
Running Time: 6:49

This documentary is a satire about the media's portrayal of the candidates in the 2008 Presidential Election. We incorporated clips from popular media and the internet along with interviews to get the view of the general public.


The Merit-ocracy of Education:
A Look into the Holistic Review

Produced by Brandi Andres, Vanessa Cardoza, Lisa Olivis
& Christine Santillana
Directed & Edited by Brandi Andres
Running Time: 10:09

Five high school seniors from the Los Angeles school system share their struggles, their successes and their aspirations for getting into a university that will accept them based on more than just their grades and test scores. Meanwhile, a professor at UCLA challenges the new Holistic Review admissions process that just may be taking race into consideration when looking at applicants, a factor that became illegal with Proposition 209 in 1996.


A Generation of Change: The Historic 2008 Presidential Election
of Barack Obama

Director: Natalia Abrams
Producers: Heather Caban & Natalia Abrams
Editors: Natalia Abrams & Heather Caban
Running Time: 9:14

This short documentary explores the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama through the eyes of four interviewees from different generations. It highlights the historic nature of the election as it relates to change made possible by the struggles of previous generations by engaging the past and present in dialogue. Interviewees discuss aspects of personal importance as well as their opinions of media coverage. The main message is that a change has occurred and, with the recognition that there is more to be done, will continue. Viewers are purposefully left to interpret the meaning and aspects of change for themselves.

Winter 2008

Sanctity of Marriage
Duration: 13:50 Mins.
Produced bu
Erika Martinez and Jose Aguilar

The purpose of this film is to present the multiple dimensions of ideology and resistance regarding same sex marriages. The use of critical media literacy is used in this film as a tool to illustrate the hypocrisy and absurdity of those that argue that same sex marriages threaten the "sanctity of marriage". This film will demonstrate the flaws with this argument and visually articulate the complexities regarding this issue.


Muslim Women: Constructed Representations (2006)
Duration: 9:26 Mins.
Constructed and Realized by: Harmony Rose Shrewsbury and "M"

The documentary depicts how images are used to perpetuate a one-dimensional infantilized view of Muslim women, and then expands the perspectives multi-dimensionally.


Are You Black Enuf? The Politics of the Black Female Identity (2007)
Duration: 13:59 Mins
A Film By:
Kunti Dudakia and Hasti Barahmand

Societal constructs and implicit stereotypes of black women have created a definition of "blackness" far removed from reality. What does it mean to be "Black Enuf" in the 21st century? And what are the assumptions placed upon black women? Our film seeks to explore the meaning of "blackness" in regards to the black female experience and examine the intersectional identity of black women who face multiple oppressions due to race, sex and class and culture. Another theme that is visited is the impact of the media on how black men have been conditioned to view black women in negative ways and how this internalization has been perpetuated. We hope that our film eradicates myths and stereotypes circulated by the media and causes us all to think about the politics of the black female identity.


Terror ON the Air: Muslim Misrepresentation in the Media.
A film by: Monika Vogl and Matthew Yi.
Running Time: 12:33

Following the events of September 11, 2001, a media onslaught ensued aimed at an entire religion. Terror ON the Air analyzes the Nation of Islam and the politics of how that group is represented in the media, especially post 9/11. The video discusses how people of color have been historically represented in the media, the dangers of certain representations and how important language and critical media literacy are. This video is small effort to highlight these issues while we continue waiting on the world to change.


Girl Geek ?
Created by: Stacey Capoot, Ben Tjoelker, Jackie Wong
Running Time: 10 minutes 51 seconds

There is a prevalent stereotype of "geek" within our society and media. While a diverse and complex set of individuals, both men and women, self identify as geeks in real life, media portrayals are usually focused on the male geek. This short documentary explores the lives and media portrayals of female geeks.


Now Showing Gender
Created by: Laura Nava, Susana Ramirez, Roxana Ghashghaei,
and Vardan Mikayelyan
Running Time: 8:00:06

Now Showing Gender will explore the role media plays in the socialization of femininity and masculinity. Media, more specifically advertisements and reality TV shows, have limiting definitions of masculinity and femininity. They promote societal ideals of masculinity by portraying males as dominant and agressive and cultivate ideals of femininity by depicting females as passive and subservient among other things. This counter hegemonic short-video montage will not only expose how media promotes these cultural ideas but will also reveal how individuals are socialized to take on certain roles. Similiar to other activist media, this video will shed light on the prevalent themes and messages hidden within advertisements and reality tv shows.


Modelize Me
Created by: Svetlana Borkin, Krista Fukuyama, Milana Rabkin
Running Time: 9 minutes
Duration: 9 mins

Modelize Me takes a critical look at the danger of the fad diet, the "Master Cleanse." We also look into the affects that the recent growth in blogs and real-life images of overly skinny celebrities can influence people's perception of what is a healthy way to loose weight.

Hey: Where'd all my Money Go?
Created by: Shawn Van Valkenburgh and
Ximena Puente-Arnao
Running time: 5 minutes and 25 seconds  

This film takes a look at the widespread outrage over escalating textbook prices for college students. For any student who has ever wondered where their hundreds of dollars go every quarter, this film is not to be missed.

VOTING IN BLACK & WHITE: Politics of Race & Gender in
American Culture

Directed, Produced & Written by: Darlene Edgley,
Michelle Monet Farrar, Vivian Francisco Lealiiee
Vivian Francisco Lealiiee
Special Thanks to:
Rhonda Hammer, Michael Albright, UCLA CLICC Lab
Running Time: 10:13:22

Historically, the political power and landscape in America which covers the past 200 years has been ruled by white men. How much has really changed over the past 200 years in regard to race and gender in American Politics? Our film will explore the division of race and gender and portray the political discourse including the Post Re-Construction Era and the Suffrage Movement to the 2008 Presidential Election. We hope our film will categorize historic political change as well as capture how the media's hegemonic culture influences Voters, Candidates and American Politics.

The Great Imbalance
A film by:
Courtney Bradford, Stephanie Ohannesian, Jane Park
Runtine: 7:39

"The Great Imbalance" is a short documentary that explores America's unhealthy relationship with food. In particular, we focus on two groups "anorexic women and the homeless" in order to juxtapose how both suffer from extreme malnutrition and serious health problems for two very different reasons: while the former chooses not to eat, the latter cannot choose the kinds of foods that they can eat. With this film, we want to explore the reasons behind the existence of these problems that will hopefully spark action for America to tackle these issues, and, in the end, have a much healthier relationship with food.
Winter 2007

The Color of Invisible- Latinas in the American Media
Duration: 8:49 Mins.
Created by:
Katie Little and Sonya Sobko

The Color of Invisible- Latinas in the American Media examines the invisibility and misrepresentation of Latinas in television and movies. It focuses on Eurocentric standards of beauty and body image as well as the essentialized, stereotypical imagery of those Latinas who are portrayed. The film looks at the effects of these pervasive images on identity formation in young Latina women.


'Staging Resistance'
Produced by:
Ana Santaolalla, Heather Collette-VanDeraa, and Megan Rodman.
The Sharp Ease: Dana, Paloma, Christine, Aaron and Anika.
Vomit Bomb: Ami, Natasha, Destiny and Mitch. DJ Val Scinto.
Professors Mitchell Morris and Paul Von Blum.

'Staging Resistance' is a video documentary that examines the current impact of women in the counter-culture music scene in Los Angeles. The video addresses the importance of having a space within which to challenge traditional, mainstream ideals of music and performance, which historically, have been male-dominated. Using the stage as a site of resistance to heterosexist, patriarchal norms and expectations, we look to two Los Angeles-based bands and one DJ who all have a particular approach to artistic and musical expression. The video aims to highlight the social significance of female artists specifically, who contribute to counter-hegemonic resistance by subverting gender role expectations and create a sense of community among musicians and audiences alike.


The Continuum: Hip Hop
Duration: 15:40 Mins.
Directed and Produced by:
Marsha Horsley and Sheretta Thomas
Edited by:
Marsha Horsley and Sheretta Thomas
Supervising Editor:
Divine Meriweather
Educational Consultant:
Latoya Williams
Interviews Conducted by Sheretta Thomas:
Aries Spears (Educator, Rap Artist), Jeanette Rose (Spoken Word Artist),
High Hopes ( Rap Artist)
Interviews Conducted by Marsha Horsley:
Naya'hri (Journalist, Program Director), Carla "CMG" of Conscious Daughters (Rap Artist),
Jenro (Rap Artist), Patrick Camangian ( Educator, PhD candidate UCLA, Urban Education)
Art and Music:
Marsha Horsley and Sheretha Thomas

Hip Hop is a continuum of a movement evolving from the civil rights era. It is continuously evolving with each generation as a voice narrating their realities. It is an emerging culture that will never die just simply evolve with the new generation of hip hoppers.

Hair Peace
Duration: 13 Mins.
Written, Directed and Produced by:
Catherine Beaumont and Rachel Farzam

An alternative media project exposing the realities of women's hair issues, questioning the stereotypical images presented in the media and the related societal expectations.

Deconstructing the Superhero: American Idols in Film
Duration: 10 Mins.
Written, Directed, and Produced by:
Richard Van Heertum, Kip Austin Hinton and Brian Trinh

This film offers insights into the superhero genre including the reasons people like them, their relationship to religious iconography, the importance of the dual identity and direct political themes. These include the anti-democratic narrative structure of many of the films, their proximity to social anxiety and desire and transgressive and utopian traces in the films. We use a combination of interviews, images and movie clips to deconstruct the films.

[projected masc]
Duration: 8:47 mins.
Created by:
Kristy Norindr & Samantha Miller

For most, secondary sources define our "experience" of war. Technically, it is often secondary sources from other secondary sources (for example, a person creating a first-person shooter video game when their only experience of war is through a fictional movie depicting war). With each added filter, we become exponentially detached from war as anything but an ideological fad.
We did not attempt to deconstruct these filters. Rather, the interviews were done through an added filter of projected war images. Projecting images of war onto four men, we asked them to project back to us their relationship to war, militarism, politics, and masculinity. [projected masc] did not begin with an ideological goal. We didn't set out to prove or disprove a theory, merely to explore a process.

Has The Media Killed Feminism?
Duration: 9 mins.
Directed and Edited by:
Gina Kim, Josh Mills, and Ashley Seckinger

The purpose of our film is to juxtapose current understandings of feminism within the media and see if that correlates with ordinary peoples understanding of the topic. Because feminism is often misunderstood or portrayed negatively, it was our goal to see how much of this negativity comes from pop-culture (read: mass medias) portrayal of it.

My Crown and Glory
Duration: 10:52 mins.
Produced and Edited by:
Via Champ and Marcella King
Written and Narrated by:
Via Champ (intro poem written by Via Champ for short video)

This satirical project juxtoposes "minorities' hair and non-traditional white hairstyles , hair color and hair texture to mainstream white America's standards of beauty with regards to hair. This production also includes cameos by celebrities and political figures.

Commodifying Lolita:
The Hypersexualization of 'Tweens' in America

Duration: 10:19 Mins.
Created by:
Krista Hawkins, Sarah Ray Rundle, Kate Little, Diana Lucio, Armine Parmakszyan

Commodifying Lolita: The Hypersexualization of "Tweens" in America by highlighting the influence of celebrities, entertainers and fashion marketing, "Commodifying Lolita" examines the hypersexualization of young, American girls between the ages of 8 and 12. The film investigates media and advertisers and raises the idea of the connection between the hypersexualization of young girls and the prevalence of pedophilia in America. Our film questions why a society that claims to oppose pedophilia and child pornography seems to market images that promote the sexual exploitation of young girls.

A Question of Voice: Moving from Object to Subject
Duration: 7:08 Mins.
Created by: Ericka Guevara, Jeff Share & Sylvia Stralberg

Los Angeles, a bustling metropolis of over ten million people, is currently composed of almost 50% Latinos and Latinas. Yet despite comprising nearly half the population, their voices are seldom heard in the mainstream media, and their lives are often absent or stereotypically portrayed. In downtown Los Angeles, a group of mothers at Leo Politi Elementary School are meeting each week for an autobiography-writing class called the Family Album Writing Workshop. While learning elements of the writing process—such as prewriting, editing, and revision—the women also have the opportunity to share their stories with each other, and to gain strength from their collective experiences

Beyond Maiden, Mother, Crone Website


Illuminations Website
Created by:
Clayton Pierce and Lidia Carlton

The Illuminations Web page is an effort to politicize and disseminate the thought of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt school and to point to new trajectories that have taken place in this tradition. The Illuminations web page has retained all of the valuable resources of the former Illuminations web site while also enhancing the original intent of the Illuminations web site by providing new information and resources on the so called Third Generation of the Critical Theory tradition. This new mapping of Critical Theory highlights its advances in fields such as Feminist Theory, Critical Theory of Race, Critical Prison Studies, Postcolonial studies, and education. Moreover, the illuminations web site offers a multimedia archive that will have important and interesting discussions and interviews with critical theorists and educational theorists such as Herbert Marcuse, Ivan Illich, and Paulo Freire. Students and researchers will be able to access essays and multimedia archives from a site that situates Critical Theory in a historical framework that allows visitors to view a genealogy of the thought of Critical Theory. Illuminations will thus serve as an indispensable resource for researchers and students who are working in the field of social theory. (2004)

Special Projects

The Old Boy's Club: Politics of Representation in Hollywood
TRT: 9:07 min
Produced, Directed, Edited by Chandler Evans

Utilizing data from over 1,300 TV shows and top box office movies, Dr. Darnell Hunt (Director of the Bunche Center for African American Studies) lays out a case for increased diversity in Hollywood. Dr. Hunt's statistical findings clearly demonstrate that Hollywood is way behind the times when it comes to the representation of non-whites and women both on and behind the screen when compared to the make-up of the general U.S. population. Additionally, his findings point to the fact that TV shows and movies with diverse talent on screen and/or behind the scenes tend to fair better in ratings and in the box office.

Additional Projects

Thinking From Women Lives: Sandra Harding, Standpoint & Science
A video by Loran Marsan 2008 (Length: 30 minutes)

"In one sense all feminist work uses standpoint; it all starts from the lives of women. That's what makes it feminist."
   - Sandra Harding in Thinking from Women's Lives: Sandra Harding, Standpoint, and Science.

Sandra Harding is a Professor of Social Sciences and Comparative Education in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences. Harding, Standpoint Theory, and her contributions to it are taught in women's studies and philosophy courses around the world. Harding work in feminist philosophy and science studies has been groundbreaking and her substantial body of published work includes The Science Question In Feminism (1986), Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?: Thinking From Women’s Lives (1991), Is Science Multicultural?: Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies (1998), and Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues (Race and Gender in Science) (2006).

Thinking from Women's Lives: Sandra Harding, Standpoint, and Science is an educational video designed for the undergraduate classroom. This video frames standpoint epistemology with broader connections to multiple feminist concepts making it not only a portrayal of Sandra Harding's work but an informative introduction to the field of women's studies as well. Featuring interviews with and a lecture by Sandra Harding, this video gives an overview of how Standpoint Theory came about, its history and applications, its relation to science, and how it is still useful today. Says feminist theorist and critical media literacy expert, Dr. Rhonda Hammer of the project,

This remarkable video is a first-class documentary that manages to not only capture Sandra Harding's special charisma but also clearly explain some of her ground-breaking theoretical work in a comprehensive and entertaining fashion. Indeed, I believe that this video will be an important pedagogical resource for both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as other members of the academic community."

As Professor Harding explains it in this video: "To do research that's for women is to make women subjects of history and knowledge."
Interviewing her was an amazing experience, says video creator Loran Marsan, who was immediately captivated by Harding's charisma and ability to explain not only complex feminist theory and her own work within it but also concepts about the philosophy of science and the field of science studies.

Indeed, according PhD graduate student Saru Matambanadzo, who employs Harding's ideas and writings in her own research and is interviewed in this video "She is truly one of the rock stars of feminist theory."

Loran Marsan is a doctoral student in UCLA's Women's Studies Department. Her research interests include cultural studies, film theory, queer theory, and postcolonial studies, as well as film production. She produced this video under the advisement of Professor Rhonda Hammer with funds from the Graduate Summer Mentorship Program and the Department of Women's Studies


A Quest for Social Justice - a documentary on Dr. Carlos Alberto Torres
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
A Film by: Jaana F. Nogueira & Kimberly N. Rosenfeld
Produced by: Eric Rosenfeld, Jaana F. Nogueria & Kimberly N. Rosenfled
Writer, Narrator, Researcher, & Director: Kimberly N. Rosenfeld
Writer, Researcher, & Director: Jaana F. Nogueira
Photography, Editor: Eric Rosenfeld
Special Thanks to: Rhonda Hammer
DATE: October 1, 2012
TIME: 38 min. 14 sec.

A Quest for Social Justice uses multimedia to highlight the research agenda of Dr. Carlos Alberto Torres, a scholar with a history of academic production and work in the social sciences. Organized around several themes, this 38 minutes video presents a body of work that has spanned over 30 years and focuses on transformative movements in education. The central topics of the video are sub-divided into two sections, the first containing three sub divisions and the second four subdivisions, an initial part explores the roots of Dr. Torres' praxis and the second part illustrates his theoretical work.

The first section includes Theology of liberation, Adult Education and Comparative Education, each of these areas explores the foundations of Dr. Torres' commitment to uplifting the underserved. Theology of liberation, includes an analysis of organized religion's role in supporting the poor; With an emphasis on the work of Paulo Freire, adult education illustrates the process of empowering the oppressed; and comparative education presents the international commonality of cultural differences and sociological struggles.

The second section covers the mechanics of the political sociology of education in western society. It includes Neoliberalism, The State, Globalization(s) and Democratic-Multicultural-Citizenship. Neoliberalism is explained as a cornerstone of today's capitalist society; The State examines neoliberal responses to education; Globalization(s) identifies the logic of neoliberal proliferation; and finally Democratic-Multicultural-Citizenship presents counter-hegemonic answers with education as its tool for promoting social justice across society.

The documentary, directed by two UCLA GSE&IS Ph.D. graduates in Comparative Education in collaboration with a video production professional, uses an original form of presenting a research agenda to demonstrate the application of Dr. Torres's work to social problems affecting education challenges in a neoliberal, globalized world. It is intended to incite intellectual dialogues around the method used and the themes illustrated. The content can be employed to introduce the work of Dr. Torres to undergraduate and graduate students alike as well as to aid in teaching its application to modern day education problems and challenges. Likewise, the form can be used as a model of how multimedia can be a powerful tool to promote critical understandings of society.


Kellnerian Cultural Studies 2012
Duration: 57:29
Produced, Directed, Written, and Edited by: Amanda Kenderes

In this documentary, Cultural Studies is introduced and discussed through the lens of Douglas Kellner's thought and work. It features interviews with Professor Kellner as well as other scholars in the field.




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