In the 2nd half of my course, students will be able to select an extended service-learning option by contributing 24 hours of community work (3 hours a week for 8 weeks; or 6 hours a week for 4 weeks) with the Multi-Cultural Sci-Fi Organization (MCSFO), the group that runs the diversity-oriented Atlanta Sci-Fi Film Festival (ASCIFFF) which puts on a slate of exciting fall events including feature and short film screenings, new movie and XR premieres, director talks, industry professional panels and interviews, a parallel STEAM SFF film festival for local K-12 youth, and short film as well as scriptwriting contests. Under the guidance of MCSFO and ASFFF founder Amanda Ray, students will help her (1) research and select films for the festival, learning about how to curate culturally and regionally diverse SFF features and shorts, (2) communicate with various filmmakers, media makers, and industry professionals working in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genre films in order to arrange their events, (3) fundraise for filmmaking and screenwriting awards from corporate and individual donors committed to diversity in SFF media genres, and (4) generally learn how inequalities in race, gender, nation, sexuality, region, class, and other factors impact the creation, distribution, promotion, and reception of SFF cinema. For example, students will help Ms. Ray organize the festival's first Indigenous SF film contest, an act of politically sensitive curation that involves not an open call for entries but rather, going through well-researched and trusted connections within Native, Aboriginal, and First Nations mediamaking communities, to ensure that entrants are legitimately of Indigenous backgrounds and heritage. This type of intellectually and politically skillful research is typical of what students will learn to practice when working for this community organization dedicated to diversity in SFF media.
Core Curriculum Requirements