Congratulations to MFA alumna Olivia Andrus-Drennan as her thesis film, "The Dolphin Dilemma", was officially selected to attend the Luminous Frames festival at NPAK Experimental Arts Center.

Congratulations to MFA alum Cynthia Matty-Huber (MFA, 2019), who was notified that her thesis film, “For the Love of the Land,” is a finalist for the French Critics’ Awards 2024 honor as BEST Independent Filmmaker of the Year. 

Paul Brenno Magazine

Congratulations to SFP Alumni, Paul Brenno on his recent article featured in FilmmakerLife Magazine. 

Paul Brenno’s path to cinematography began in Minot, North Dakota, where he was raised with a deep love for storytelling and a passion for photography. Influenced by iconic films like “Superman The Movie” and drawn to the technical artistry of cinematography, Paul embarked on a journey that led him from the US Air Force to film school at Montana State University. Along the way, he encountered mentors like Ken Lamkin and Dean Semler, whose guidance fueled his aspirations. Despite facing setbacks, including a life-threatening battle with COVID-19, Paul’s resilience and faith have propelled him forward, shaping his remarkable career as a filmmaker dedicated to capturing the essence of life through the lens.

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Clark Dunbar’s ‘The PowWow Portrait Project – A Fine Art Series’ is a celebration of the culture and personalities of Native American/ Indigenous Peoples of all ages from the youth to the elders in traditional regalia. The portraits are photographed on location at PowWows across Montana in a mini-studio with formal, classic style lighting. Each individual carries their character, history, family, traditions, pride and cultural heritage. The PowWow is both the celebration and the continuance and teaching of the traditions to the next generation.

The 2023 Series is now scheduling exhibits and shows at museums and galleries around the world. The 2024 PowWow portrait sessions are in the planning and scheduling phase to expand the series for more shows and a book project.

To learn more, please visit The Eye of Photography website.






Congratulations to SFP alumni, Paul Brenno on the following selections for his short documentary, The Hearts that Foster Care!
Official Selection: Best Documentary, New York Film Fest, Jan 2024
Official Selection: Denver Monthly Film Awards: May 2023
WINNER: Best Documentary: Venus Community Awards, Istanbul, May 2023
Semi-Finalist: Best Documentary Short: Atlanta Movie Awards, April 2022
Semi-Finalist: Austin Int'l Film Fest, Feb 2022
Honorable Mention: Best Documentary, ATX Short Film Fest, Feb 2022
Official Selection Best Documentary Short: San Diego Movie Awards, Jan 2022
Official Selection, Best Short Film: South East Film Fest: Jan 2022
Semi Finalist: Best Cinematography: Dallas Movie Awards, Jan 2022

Congratulations to The Story of Plastic for their Emmy nomination of Outstanding Writing: Documentary!
The Story of Plastic
"The Story of Plastic is essentially the feature version of my 2nd Year Production class final project and my Masters Thesis at MSU, Backyard. So when the opportunity to direct and produce The Story of Plastic came about several years later, I felt like I had already laid a lot of the groundwork. And not just content-wise, but especially in terms of ethical approaches to storytelling and documentary theory that we had explored in depth during my time in the program." - Deia Schlosberg
Co-written by MFA alumni Deia Schlosberg, The Story of Plastic presents a searing expose revealing the ugly truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling.

Jackson Wild 2021

The 2021 Jackson Wild Summit and film festival announced the nominations for its major awards. Congratulations to the alumni nominees:

- YOUTH V GOV , produced and directed by MFA alum Christi Cooper with the participation of 11 other MSU MFA and undergraduate alumni, was nominated for awards in three categories: Our Human Planet-Long Form, Educational/Informational, and Editing.

- MFA alumni John Shier and Dawson Dunning were nominated in the Cinematography Category for Earth at Night in Color: Puma Mountain.
- MFA alumnus Ed Watkins was nominated in the writing category for Tiny World: Woodland, a series episode that he also directed.

MFA alumni Dawson Dunning, Jeff Reed, Rick Smith and Thomas Winston, all affiliated with Bozeman-based Grizzly Creek Films, won the national Emmy for their work on “Epic Yellowstone,” a four-part series that aired in 2019 on the Smithsonian Channel. Congratulations to all!! Read more about their success in Bozeman Magazine...

Trailer for MAVERICKS - Produced and written by photography alumnus Kelly Gorham; Executive producer, film alumnus Aaron Pruitt; Directed by film alumnus Scott Sterling!

Hayden de Maisoneuve Yates, a graduate of School of Film & Photography (1985) (formally Film & TV Production) produced and directed an award winning film, A FORCE IN NATURE: JÓHANN EYFELLS. This documentary film is about a self-reflective 5 year chronicle of a 93 year-old Icelandic man who continues to create ambitious works of art.

A trailer of this film can be viewed at  In 2017, It was first shown at the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg, Texas where it received the 'best documentary' award and was featured at the Reykjavik International Film Festival.

Paul BrennoPaul Brenno, a School of Film & Photo undergraduate alumnus, has been having success with both feature and short form films in various genres as a Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor. In the past four years he has won 39 major honors for his work. Based in Minot, North Dakota, he had documented a range of  subjects and events. His latest film, CoronaVirus versus The Magic City has been recognized with the following awards:

Semi Finalist in Best Cinematography: NY Cinematography Awards
Best Documentary Nominee: Montreal Short Film Awards
Best Documentary Nominee: Toronto Short Film/TV Channel Awards

 RewindSashaDadMoviesSFP film alumnus Sasha Neulinger is featured in PBS's "SASHA JOSEPH NEULINGER CONFRONTS FAMILY TRAUMA HEAD-ON." Neulinger shares his personal and touching thoughts about his journey in the making of the award winning (premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival where it received a special jury mention) film, REWIND. REWIND received rave reviews from

Read more about Sasha and Rewind from MSU News at

Brian M JohnsonCongratulations to film alumnus Brian McCauley Johnson for his TV pilot The League of Pan which is being developed by SYFY and Universal Content Productions!

The League of Pan is about following Wendy and The Lost Boys. The show “picks up with the fabled characters after ten years on the mainland,” according to the official press release. “Now grown up and estranged,” the group “must return to Neverland to face a new evil that threatens the very existence of the magical place they once called home, reigniting bitter rivalries and unearthing twisted secrets from their past. The fantastical series explores the painful truths of growing up and the realization that ‘going home’ is never quite as simple as you think.”

Read the Q&A with Brian about this latest project at Shore Scripts.

Congratulations to MFA alumna Zuzana Gedeon! Her film, Toxic with Alica Šaling won an “Award of Merit” at Global Shorts competition!!

Congratulations to MFA alumna Deia Schlosberg on winning the IWFF Sustainable Planet Award for The Story of Plastic!! The Story of Plastic was broadcasted internationally on the Discovery Channel on Earth Day 2020.


Photography alumna Clara DeWeese and her works are featured in the February 2020

issue of  Ain't - Bad!  Clara is currently pursuing an MFA at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Listen to film alumnus, and producer Chris Mangano in Q&A about "Standing Up, Falling Down"!!

Follow MFA alumnus Dawson Dunning of 3 Bears Media's success in the film industry as chronicled by the Billings Gazette!!

Congratulations to alumna Kayla Arend for being selected as the recipient of the Sandra Ifraimova Fund!! Spike Lee personally reviewed all of the application materials and awarded the 2019-2020 Sandra Ifraimova Fund to Kayla Arend.

Photography alumnus David Hyams is featured in the Desert News.

Deia SchlosbergCongratulations to MFA alumna Deia Schlosberg for being honored by the DOC NYC 2nd Annual 40 Under 40 list to honor 40 documentary talents under the age of 40.  

Award winning documentary Rewind , directed by alumnus Sasha Neulingerand produced by Grizzly Creek Films screened at the Ellen.

Congratulations to alumnus Tom Frank, '75, on being awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Idaho State Broadcasters!!

As of this fall, Tom will have worked at KMVT in Twin Falls Idaho for 44 years. He is currently the Creative Services Director.  A story about Tom and his award is available at this Facebook link and at KMVT Tom Frank.

Our 2018-2019 alumni accomplishments featured in the MSU News Service.

Congratulations to our alumni from the undergraduate and graduate programs who have two films at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival! The first, in the documentary competition, is Rewind, directed by undergraduate alumnus Sasha Neulinger, and produced by Thomas Winston (MFA alumnus) and undergraduate alumnus Robert Schneeweiss. The second film, in the Spotlight narrative section, is Standing Up, Falling Down, starring Billy Crystal, produced by undergraduate alumnus Chris Mangano, and alumna Crystal Mangano as the music supervisor.

MarciMudd2019SFP alumna Marci Mudd, Art Director for the Oscar winning movie BlackkKlansman  returns to the VCB for a screening, Q & A with the students, and meeting with students in Tom Watson and Jim Joyce's classes.  Tom Watson, Vicki Miller, Marci Mudd, and Dean Adams in the picture.

Congratulations to alumna Christi Cooper who has been awarded with the inaugural SFFILM Environmental Fellowship for her documentary Youth v. Gov!! 

Ed WatkinsSNHF alumnus, producer, & director Ed Watkins returns to MSU to screen his production of the documentary series Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places. This series won an Emmy® for Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. Q & A with Watkins follows the screening. Thursday, Nov. 9th, 2017 at 6 PM  in VCB 182.

SFP alumnus Kyle Eaton (class of 2002) is raking in awards for his film "Shut Up Anthony" as he makes the festival circuit.  Congratulations Kyle!!

 Congratulations to Paul Brenno, MSU Film alumnus from the class of 1997! Brenno's 2016 "MAGIC TAP CLOGGERS " (short film) has won the following awards/honors: ** BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARDS ** - Semi Finalist, European Cinematography Awards, Warsaw, Poland: June 2017 - Silver Remi Houston International World-Fest May 2017 - Docs without Borders Film Fest, Nassau DE May 2017 - Chandler International Film Fest, AZ Sept 2016 - LA Shorts Awards, Nov 2016 - Depth of Field Film Fest, Nassau DE March 2017 - WRPN-TV, Film/Video Competition; DE Dec 2016 ** DOCUMENTARY SHORT ** - Semi-Finalist; LA Cine-Fest Dec 2016 - Semi-Finalist; Hollywood Screenings Film Fest Jan 2017.

Emmy award winning SNHF alumnus John Shier capturing snow leopards in the Himalayas for Planet Earth II!

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.

Emmy Award Winning Director and SFP alumnus Scott Sterling's world premiere screening of "The Violin Alone" at the Ellen Theatre covered by KBZK News Story.

MSU alumni involved in this production includes:

-Scott Sterling, School of Film and Photography Graduate 00, - Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
-Jeremiah Slovarp, Faculty, School of Music, MSU Graduate – Sound Recordist, Re-Recording Mixer, and Supervising Sound Editor
-Rick Smith, Science & Natural History Filmmaking graduate – Cinematographer
-Scott Stebbins, School of Music Technology Graduate – Sound Recordist
-Aaron Pruitt, School of Film and Photography Graduate – Executive Producer
-Luke Scheeler, School of Music Technology – Sound Editor
-Addison Maierhauser, School of Film & Photography Graduate – Assistant Editor
-Mackenzie Stone, School of Music student – Assistant Editor & Foley Editor
-S. Colleen Timmins, School of Film & Photography Graduate – Assistant Editor

Congratulations to MSU School of Film & Photography Assistant Teaching Professor and alumnus Karl Swingle on being awarded a Humanities Montana grant to fund his documentary, The Camp Poplar Cannon!

Congratulations to MFA alumni Dawson Dunning and John Shier for winning an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography Documentary and Long Form for Wild Yellowstone - Frozen Frontier!

Congratulations to MFA alumni Roshan Patel for winning the best STUDENT/EMERGING Award at the 2016 Science Media Awards & Summit for his film, "Red Wolf Revival", and Abby Kent for taking a Special Jury Prize for her film, "Transistors: Teeny Tech that Changed the World", narrated by Eliza Lily Goode!


MFA 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.

Also at Sundance, MFA alumnus 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.

SFP undergraduate alumnus 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 alumnus Daniel Schmidt (2014) and his work were featured in the recent article of  BelowTheLineNews.

Unbranded, directed and photographed by SFP 2004 alum Phillip Baribeau, produced by SFP Professor Dennis Aig, Edited by MSU alum Scott Chestnut (1978), and co-photographed by MSU alum Korey Kaczmarek (2004), continues to win awards and honors. (A total of 17 filmmaker with MSU roots or affiliations worked on the film.) The film won the Audience Award and the Cinematography Award at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawaii; the Audience Award at the Lookout Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Best of Festival Award at New York Wild. To date, the film has won 21 festival awards. The film was also included in the HotDocs 25 Most Watched Films and was trending on Netflix right after the highly  publicized Making of a Murderer. The film will be released internationally theatrically and through online platforms at the end of February.

Congratulations to Brittany Nelson on winning the Creative Capital Grant! Brittany has a series of big 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

Congratulations to 2013 Photography graduate Sean Thomas Foulkes for being one of four finalists for the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize!!

Former Professor Jack Stonnell on Mark Vargo's membership in the American Society of Cinematographers.

DARKLIGHT, directed by MSU SFP alumnus Mike Brown of Sweetgrass ProductionsSeveral SFP alumni worked on this film.

UNBRANDED, the award winning documentary feature film about four young men riding wild mustangs on a 3,000 mile border-to border Mexico-to-Canada trek to advocate for wild horse adoption and conservation, is featured in the national magazine Cowboys & Indians. Several key members of the film team  taught or graduated from our School of Film and Photography. "Unbranded" was produced by Professor and School Director Dennis Aig, graduate Phill Baribeau directed and was the lead cinematographer, alumnus and former instructor Scott Chestnut edited the film, alumnus Korey Kaczmarek was co-director of cinematography, gradaute Paul Quigley was the assistant editor, recent graduate Katie Roberts was an assistant editor,  and fellow alum Vanessa Naive was the Production Coordinator. Several MSU film students served as production assistants. Cindy Meehl, who directed the acclaimed film "Buck," about MSU honorary degree recipient and natural horsemanship trainer Buck Brannaman, was executive producer. Will Lake Springstead began as an intern and moved up to be a sound editor and audio specialist. 

 Alumna Kelly Matheson, Senior Attorney and Program Manager, "WITNESS" featured on PBS NewsHour.

 Wild Lens featured the work of SNHF Alum Rob Nelson and his Science Web Series Untamed Science

 Megan Thompson featured in the MSU Collegian.

 Alumna Kelly Matheson featured in the New York Times Magazine!

Tom Berninger is a 2002 graduate of Montana State University's School of Film and Photography (then known as the Department of Media and Theatre Arts). His acclaimed documentary, Mistaken for Strangers, which documented the alternative rock band The National, opened the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was recently released on iTunes and other web outlets. Will Ferrell's online comedy site Funny or Die features a parody ofTom's film featuring Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson. Congratulations Tom!!

Congratulations to MontanaPBS, SFP alumni and current students who work on 11th Str. and Grant and Indian Relay. The two shows won four Regional Emmys in the following categories:

Arts/Entertainment - Program/Special

11th & Grant with Eric Funk featuring Tumbledown House • MontanaPBS • Eric Funk, Host/Artistic Director • Scott Sterling, Director • Paul Gomez Routhier, Producer • Aaron Pruitt, Executive Producer • Jeremiah Slovarp, Audio Director

Documentary - Cultural

Indian Relay • MontanaPBS • Charles Dye, Producer • Aaron Pruitt, Executive Producer • Darren Kipp, Co-Producer • M.L. Smoker, Writer • Katie Lose Gilbertson, Editor • Andy Adkins, Editor • Jaime Jacobsen, Field Producer

Photographer - Program

Indian Relay • Daniel Schmidt • Dawson Dunning • Charles Dye • Rick Smith • Christi Cooper-Kuhn • MontanaPBS


11th & Grant with Eric Funk • Jeremiah Slovarp • MontanaPBS

Thank you for attending the 2014 SFP Alumni Reception. We look forward to seeing you next year!!

SchlosbergCongratulations to School of Film and Photography Master of Fine Arts alumna Deia Schlosberg! Her documentary film, Backyard, about fracking and its effects won two Emmy College Television Awards in 2014 in the categories of Documentary and Bricker Humanitarian Award.





Congratulations to School of Film and Photography alumni Charles Dye, Daniel Schmidt, Dawson Dunning, Rick Smith, Christi Cooper, Katie Lose Gilbertson, Andy Adkins, Jaime Jelenchick Jacobsen, Aaron Pruitt, and Scott Sterling on their regionalEmmy nominations!!

Congratulations to MSU Master's of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking graduates John Shier '05, Federico Pardo '11, and Dawson Dunning '12 for winning Emmy awards for National Geographic Channel's UNTAMED AMERICAS!

Director and MSU alumnus Tom Berninger, class of 2002, met with students and discussed his documentary "Mistaken for Strangers".

DahlSpecial thanks to Montana State University film school alumnus John Dahl for participating in a special open forum and discussion with students.

A 1981 graduate of the film school and MSU, John then attended AFI and has enjoyed a long and critically acclaimed film career. Best known as one of initiators of "neo noir," John's films include Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, The Great Raid, and You Kill Me. He has also directed multi-episodes of Californication, Dexter, and other award-winning television series. John will answer questions and has offered to critique selected senior films.

 Congratulations to MFA alumni John Shier, class 2005, Federico Pardo, class 2011, and Dawson Dunning, class 2012! They won the Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form EMMY Award for their work on the National Geographic Channel: "Untamed Americas".

"Deer Father", directed by alumnus Alex Brinkman, class 2013, won the Audience Choice Award for Narrative Short at the Northwest Filmmakers Festival in Portland. Congratulations to Alex and all the SFP crew!!

Chris Mangano, class of 2005 and former Checkout Manager is promoted to VP of Production and Development of Permut Presentations. Congratulations Chris!!

Kevin Connolly in the Summer 2013 edition of the MSU Collegian.

ManganoChris Mangano, class of '05, is making headlines coast to coast producing movies. STRUCK BY LIGHTNING is a hit on VOD at Time Warner Cable and Comcast. MATCH, starring Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard, currently in post production, is featured in the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline.


 Finding Traction, a new film by SNHF Alumni showcases the Sport of Ultra Running and Bozeman Athlete Nikki Kimball. Finding Traction is being produced and directed by Jaime Jacobsen, '08 with Fours Five Productions, ColorBURN Productions, and MontanaPBS. The film will be broadcast on public television and entered into the film festival circuit in summer 2013.