MFA students Annie White, Caitlin Bailey, and Emily Narrow interviewed onboard the NOAA ship, Okeanos Explorer.


Emmy Award winning filmmaker and SNHF alumna Jaime Jacobsen and MontanaPBS has been awarded $499,988 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to produce the film, “The Last Artifact,” about the international race to redefine the standard for the kilogram. She will be collaborating with several award winning MSU alumni filmmakers.  Ed Watkins of Abbey Gateway Productions, will serve as the co-producer and co-director of the film; Rick Smith will be the director of photography; Parker Brown, sound; and Stefanie Watkins, also of Abbey Gateway Productions, will serve as the film's editor. Scott Sterling, senior producer at MontanaPBS, will serve as the film's colorist and online editor; and Aaron Pruitt is the associate general manager and director of content at MontanaPBS. Congratulations to all associated with this project! We look forward to screening the film.


Tippet Rise's recently launched YouTube channel! Kathy Kasic directed, shot films, and supervised student interns. Much of the concert performance footage was taken by our SNHF grad students interns Billy Collins, Katie Mullen, and two audio interns - one from the MSU School of Music - Jake Pickett.


The Last GlacierThe limited edition art book, The Last Glacier (2015), by Ian van Coller, Todd Anderson (Clemson University) and Bruce Crownover (Tandem Press), has been acquired by  the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress,  the New York Public Library, UW-Madison Special Collections, Clemson University in South Carolina, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, and by other private collectors.  The book is an edition of 15 and contains 23 woodcuts and photographs of the receding glaciers in Glacier National Park, MT.  

Milestones in 2015/2016

1.  Film Option Alumnus Jason McGatlin (2010) has continued  to add to his long list of feature film credits as the executive producer of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. It is the highest grossing film in Walt Disney Studios history, the third highest grossing film of all time, and it is still in release.  McGatlin currently is the Senior Vice President of Physical Production for Lucasfilm overseeing all Star Wars films including Rogue One set for release Dec. 16, 2016 and Star Wars: Episode VIII, scheduled for release on December 15, 2017

2.  Photo Option alumnus Sean Thomas Foulkes (2013) is one of 4 finalists for the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize, which  is a major photography award.  More information about this accomplishment may be found at http://aperture.org/portfolio-prize.

3.  Photo Option alumna Brittany Nelson (2007)  won a Creative Capital Grant last year and  has a series of major solo shows coming up this year.

     VOLTA Art Fair, solo exhibition with Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY, March 2016       

     Morgan Lehman Gallery, The Year I Make Contact, solo exhibition, New York, NY, January 2016

     PATRON Gallery, upcoming solo exhibition, Chicago, IL, July 2016 

     David Klein Gallery, Alternative Process, upcoming solo exhibition, Detroit, MI , October 2016

4. Film Option alumnus John W. MacDonald  (2006) was the cinematographer for Susan Glatzer’s  feature Alive and Kickingwhich will be screened at the 2016 South by  Southwest  Film Festival. This is the third feature film in this year’s SXSW with a major role played SFP   alumni   

5.  Film Option alumnus Jason Burlage (1995) premiered his nonfiction feature The Middle Kingdom  in  the feature documentary competition at the 2016 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.  Jason also continues to head Devolution Films, which  presents the Bozeman Doc series at the Emerson Cultural Center in Bozeman.

6. Film Option alumna Aria Stewart (2006) recently accepted a position with Lululemon Athletica, as the Operations Manager for their Photo/Video team in Vancouver, BC. 

7. MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking alumnus (2007) Kathryn Kasic’s documentary film Loose Horses, will be screened at the Ethnografilm Festival in Paris as well as at Le Laboratoire, an “artscience" lab, also in Paris. Kathy also continues to serve as a Teaching Professor in the SFP and as Founding Director of the MSU Center for the Communication of Science (CCS). 

8. SFP Professor Ian van Coller has achieved multiple milestones for his photography work . His  collaborative artist book The Last Glacier was acquired by both the famed modernist painter Sam Gillian and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation (http://www.jordanschnitzer.org/collection). The Foundation also acquired individual prints of the 23  image plates in the book.  The  University of Wisconsin Special Collections Memorial Library also acquired copies of the book. Another of Professor van Coller’s books, Fissure, Dreaming of the Dark Continent and Mali Monuments,  was acquired by The Getty Collection, Los Angeles, California. Professor van Coller’s work will also be featured in several exhibitions in 2016. He is part of a three-person exhibition titled Cycle, at the Cultural Institute of Integrated Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco which will run through April 1. From March 4 through May 8th he is in an exhibition called The Wake at the Houston Center for Photography during what is probably the largest biennial photography festival in the world. (Learn more at https://www.hcponline.org/exhibits/exhibitions/view/106/in-the-wake.) Finally, Professor van Coller will be exhibiting  with collaborators Todd Anderson and Bruce Crownover in the three-person exhibition The Last Glacier at Passages Bookshop in Portland ,Oregon, in April. (Find out more at http://www.passagesbookshop.com.)

9.  SFP Professor Lucia Ricciardelli received a seed grants from the MSU Outreach and Engagement Council . The grants promote outreach and engagement activities involving faculty, students and staff in collaboration with local and regional partners. Professor Ricciardelli and Professor Christine Stanton of the Department of Education are collaborating with Blackfeet Community College (BCC) on "Piikani Digital Storywork," a project that collects digital stories from the Blackfeet tribal community. Through the project, students and faculty at BCC and at Blackfeet Academy high school will learn filmmaking techniques from MSU students and faculty, who, in turn, are engaged in culturally responsive, community-centered filmmaking and education. Professor Ricciardelli and Professor Stanton joined with Cinda Burd to do a pecha kucha-style presentation about their work at the  Celebrating Research and Creative Activities Serving Indigenous Communities event presented by the MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Renee Reijo Pera.

10. SFP Teaching Professor James Joyce, in collaboration with School of Engineering faculty  member Bill Schell, received an Instructional  Innovation Grant from the MSU Center for Faculty  Excellence for a “flipped-classroom approach project entitled Digital Reading Guides.

11. SFP Professor Chris Anderson has been invited to speak at the 2016 Montana American Chemical Society (ACS) section meeting in April. She will speak to a forum of chemistry students and professionals about the application of chemistry to photography. 

12.  SFP Professor Andrew Nelson’s book, Still in the Saddle: The Hollywood Western, 1969-1980, was a “top pick” in the February edition of California Bookwatch. It was also recently reviewed by Prof. Bruce Austin of RIT on his blog, where he wrote that it “tackles a narrow but significant slice of motion picture content and history with an intelligence, understandability and comprehensiveness few film books are able.”

13.  Unbranded, directed and photographed by SFP 2004 alumnus Phillip Baribeau, produced by SFP Professor Dennis Aig, edited by MSU alumnus  Scott Chestnut (1978), and co-photographed by MSU alum Korey Kaczmarek (2004), continues to win awards and honors. (A total of 17 filmmakers with MSU roots or affiliations worked on the film.)  The film was selected as the Best Environmental Film at The Vancouver International Film Festival,  and was chosen as TheBest Western of 2015 by the Western Heritage Foundation.  The film was also released theatrically in Europe this month.

14. Finally, but by no means leastly, Breanna Karasko, the daughter of SFP Student Advisor Vicki Miller, earned the title of Chili Queen by taking first place at the Broken Arrow Chili Cook Off in Manhattan, Montana. OF the 33 entries, her Chicken Green Chili Verde received 122 votes. 


Spring 2016 Announcements

  • MFA in Science and Natural History Fimmaking alumna Deia Scholsberg (2013) produced the film How I Learned to Let Go and Love the Things Climate Can’t Change, which was accepted into the U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Directed by Josh Fox, who is perhaps best known for the Gasland films, the production was well-received.
  • MFA alum Refah Seyed Mahmoud (2014) and current student Erik Rochner contributed to Dennis Danfung’s Mobile VR work that was included in the New Frontiers section of Sundance.  Refah was a co-producer and Erik was a cinematographer on the project.
  • Associate Professor Alexis Pike was one of only 47 photographer from throughout the world nominated for the prestigious Baum Award. The Baum singles out “emerging” American photographers for support and is one of the largest national awards among the grants and fellowships available in photography. The recipient will be announced later this year. Professor Pike also had twenty-two images from her “Color Me Lucky” series, which was supported in part by an MSU Scholarship & Creativity Grant, featured on Wired.com in November. The article highlighted a portion of the project completed at Butte’s Evel Knievel Days in 2014/2015 and included an interview with Professor Pike regarding the project. 
  • SFP Assistant Teaching Professor Jonathan Longs work was included in the  photographic exhibit, “Upper Snake River Basin,” that is currently showing at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming. The work was also shown last summer at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho. 
  • SFP Undergraduate alumni Chis Mangano and Crystal Grooms Mangano (both 2005) each had films accepted into the upcoming South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Chris produced And Punching the Clown and Crystal composed the score for Aspergers Are Us. South By  Southwest is one of the major independent film festivals in the world. 
  • SFP MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking alum Daniel Schmidt (2014) and his work were featured in the recent article in BLTNEWS.