Faculty In Review

Cinema Department

photo of Blair Caroline M

Caroline M Blair

Cinema Department

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., San Francisco State University; A.F.I., Producing Fellow

photo of Brown David Lawrence

David Lawrence Brown

Cinema Department

B.A., Claremont McKenna College; M.A., San Francisco State University

Mr. Brown has been teaching at CCSF since 1998.

He teaches "Documentary Filmmaking" (and, occasionally "History of Documentary") guided by the philosophy that social issue documentary is a very important part of a robust democracy and an important tool in education and progressive social change. His goals are to educate, inspire and empower his students to not only understand the craft of documentary-making, but to feel more passionately committed about making documentaries that matter, films that can move audiences and contribute to greater compassion, tolerance and social justice.

Mr. Brown has programmed 2-3 documentary screenings each semester for the CCSF Concert and Lecture Series. Many of the screenings have been subjects of articles in the school newspaper.

He has written numerous articles on filmmaking that have been published in a variety of media journals and newsmagazines, including "CineSource Magazine," "Release Print" for Film Arts Foundation and "Video Networks" for Bay Area Video Coalition. Mr. Brown is a member of the San Francisco Film Society, the International Documentary Association, the Bay Area Video Coalition, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mr. Brown has received three Emmy Awards for his documentaries, thirteen of which have aired on PBS and in sixteen countries. His website is www.DLBfilms.com

In his leisure time, he enjoys reading, photography, music, hiking, film-going, art, and dance.

photo of Brubaker Deborah Ann

Deborah Ann Brubaker

Cinema Department

Ms. Brubaker Debbie is a seasoned producer and UPM living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of her recent successful productions recently released is Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's latest effort. She was also a producer on Peter Bratt’s popular movie, La Mission. Debbie has also done many other feature narratives, such as Finn Taylor’s The Darwin Awards and Cherish and Joshua Grannel’s All About Evil. Debbie produced the award winning Dopamine, which was a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival 2003, directed by Mark Decena. Other movies Debbie has worked on are Knife Fight,, directed by Bill Guttentag, which releases in February, 2013, also Bartleby and The Californians by Jonathan Parker. She last year produced second unit for ABC’s midseason replacement series Red Widow. Debbie recently wrapped an indie movie Quitters, and is in development on a slate of feature films, Cowboy Mafia, The 22 Fillmore, Grandma Is a Punkrocker, 504, and My Golden Year. She recently wrapped the San Francisco portion of Tim Burton's movie, Big Eyes.

Prof. Brubaker has been teaching at CCSF since 1996

To educate filmmakers so they don't take monetary risks they shouldn't and help them find JOBS!

Member of the Directors Guild of America, the San Francisco Film Society, and American Federation of Teachers.

photo of Carlson John A

John A Carlson

Cinema Department

B.A. University of Wisconsin , Milwaukee in Film. M.A., San Francisco State University, in Film

Prof. Carlson has been teaching at CCSF since 1994

My goal is to make learning interesting, dynamic and enjoyable. Emphasis is placed on learning thru experience. I teach so that others can learn any subject more easily than I did. As a visual person, I enjoy using media of all sorts to enhance the learning experience.

I enjoy taking classes and seminars at the CCSF Faculty Learning center

I am a Fellow in The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Educational Director for the Association of Cinema and Video Laboratories, Past President of Northern California Production Council, and Board Member of the San Francisco Film Museum.

Scopitones, film collecting.

photo of Geyer Anna L

Anna L Geyer

Chair, Cinema Department

Ba's both Literature Writing and Communications/Production UCSD.
MFA Film?Live Action - California Institute of the Arts

Anna Geyer has taught in the Cinema Department since 2006. She teaches Cinema 21 - Intro to Film Studies, she team teaches Cinema 24 - Film Production, and in the summer Cinema 20B - Film History.

She is both an award winning experimental filmmaker and a writer. Her films have screened in many festivals both domestically and internationally. Cameraless, non-representational work has been the emphasis of her recent efforts, although she frequently describes her work as, “experimental with a narrative bent”. Member of Canyon Cinema.

Her written work has appeared in Sex and Chocolate, Gargoyle, The Underwood Review, Wasted Space and Centipede.

photo of Halprin Jason I

Jason I Halprin

Cinema Department

MFA Film, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2004
BFA Film, University of Colorado 2001
BA History, University of Colorado 2001

Prof. Halprin has been teaching at CCSF since 2016

Students in the Media Arts must be challenged to expand on any preexisting definitions of artistic practice. We live in times where technology has become cheaper, easier to use, and present in more parts of our lives than ever before. Having grown up with computers and digital cameras, the students of today are comfortable with modern technology, but they also face an explosion of new tools, workflows, and distribution avenues. The accessibility and ease of use designed into most consumer grade equipment means anyone can pair video with a song, and share it instantly. This can work as a roadblock to creativity, since it seems that anything is possible, and that professional, exciting results should happen at the click of a button. I need to give students a strong basis for deciding both how and why they should use each new tool, and teach them to see the difference between the conventional choice and the creative one. Developing critical thinking skills is central in each course I teach, independent of the technological or topical focus. I emphasize breaking down the medium in order to analyze how its distinct elements function, exploring how production tools operate to prepare students for new technology, and developing a self-aware creative process. When students learn to use their medium to communicate effectively and in complex ways, they are prepared for continued growth in the rest of their careers, no matter where their education takes them.

The moving image is a complex artistic medium, and mastering it requires a high level of both technical and theoretical understanding. In each class we must find a balance between the instruction of equipment and the development of critical thinking skills that improve filmmaking. When too much emphasis is placed on operating the tools of production, we run the risk of having students who only know how to follow technical procedures as if they were recipes. However, if students memorize theories without being given a chance to explore them in their own projects, we have missed the chance to put thought into practice. Effective education occurs when students gain the knowledge to see how things work and the chance to test out ideas in their own creative projects. I see my classroom as a laboratory where theories about the nature of the moving image are introduced, discussed, understood, and most importantly, explored in student projects. They learn to experiment with the tools of filmmaking, and are empowered to intelligently develop their own creative process.

His areas of teaching interest include:

Cinematography, Field-Audio Recording, Audio Post-Production, Producing, Narrative Production, Documentary Production, Experimental Production, Darkroom Processing and Image Manipulation, Socio-Historical Film Analysis, Independent Film, Underground Media, History of Image Making Technology, Expanded Cinema, Moving Image Curation

Professor Halprin has produced 30+ short Experimental and Experimental Documentary films and videos since 2001, screening his work internationally at venues including the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), L'Etna (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Anthology Film Archives (NYC), the Media City International Film and Video Festival (Windsor, ONT), The Images Festival (Toronto, ONT), Crossroads (San Francisco), EFFPortland, and an alleyway in Buenos Aires.

From 2009-2013 he was a contributing critic for Cine-File.info, and has served in technical and programming capacities for The International Experimental Cinema Exposition (TIE), the Onion City Film Festival, Reeling: the Chicago LGBT Film Festival, and the Nightingale Cinema (Chicago). He also has credits in film and TV production as a Producer, UPM, Location Manager, Sound Mixer, Camera Operator, and Wilderness Grip.

for more visit: jasonhalprin.com

His hobbies include darkroom processing and alternative photographic processes, backpacking and mountaineering, soccer

photo of Johnston Denah Ann

Denah Ann Johnston

Chair, Cinema Department

PhD Media and Communication, European Graduate School
MFA Film, San Francisco Art Institute
BFA Photography, Film Studies Minor, Ohio University

Prof. Johnston has been teaching at CCSF since 2015

My investment in teaching is an investment in the preservation, survival and evolution of the medium I love - as an art and as a form of communication. I bring a background in interdisciplinary creative work, including music, photography, film and painting.

My hybrid teaching methods offer students particular insight into the relationships between art, craft and technology. In addition, I encourage students to contemplate the full spectrum medium from mainstream Hollywood blockbusters to independent, avant-garde, experimental and underground cinema.

My methodology and style evolves as I continue to research, study and explore; however a few guiding aspects of my pedagogy remain constant:


I show students how various types of work across a number film forms (narrative, documentary and experimental) are not mutually exclusive but rather provide a nexus of mutual influence.

I screen films not only to illustrate elements of craft but also to provoke dialectical thinking, discussion and inquiry about the nature of the medium. We discuss, for example, the relationship of film to modernity, capitalism and revolt. Students gain a greater understanding of the social, economic, political and philosophical forces that have shaped storytelling even before Thomas Edison’s introduction of the Kinetograph and Auguste and Louis Lumière’s Cinematograph and continue to shape the making of film.

I cater to various learning styles by incorporating readers, lectures, PowerPoint presentations, guest speakers and moderated open discussions. I also assign both collaborative and solo projects, to prepare students to participate effectively in work groups in the academy and beyond. For example: Students in "Exploring Science Fiction Cinema" write an essay in which they use research to argue about which is the most prophetic of the science fiction films that we cover. Students in "Motion Picture Theory & Style," produce both a group genre presentation and a research paper in which they investigate the signature style of a filmmaker over four films.


I empower students of all backgrounds with the tools and resources not only to engage critically and theoretically with film but also to make their own works of art.

To achieve this end, I promote an atmosphere that supports experimentation and genuine artistic risk-taking. In my "analog before digital: punk/no wave film & music" course students produce films and music which they present in class for critique and discussion, in many ways deconstructing the traditionally rigid barriers between evaluative writing and creative practice. I draw from the insights of my own background of studying and playing with classical Hollywood narrative cinema and American and European experimental and avant-garde film. I expose students to under-appreciated work from a rich and diverse history, including work produced by underrepresented minorities who have fallen through the cracks.


I challenge students to discover and articulate their individual responses to artists' works rather than buying into prefabricated attitudes and opinions about media.

I advocate for giving ourselves to a film’s world and ideas, its links to the past and possibilities for moving into the future. My courses are designed to help students get to the real reason(s) we form certain opinions about film and art, to detach from unexamined, habitual responses and relate to, resist or connect with material, the better to explore it. Understanding the effects and implications of audiences' continuous exposure to popular criticism has become a central theme in my own thinking as I explore the reception of work made by underrepresented producers including female filmmakers, amateurs and auteurs.

In summary, my goal as a teacher is to enable students to become receptive and critical viewers, empowered creators and skillful producers of film.

No Future Now: A Nomadology of Resistance and Subversion. Atropos Press: New York, 2012.

photo of Kelly Nancy M

Nancy M Kelly

Cinema Department

Biography is unavailable at this time.

photo of Lopez Trina Ann

Trina Ann Lopez

Cinema Department

B.F.A., University of Arizona; M.F.A., San Francisco State University

Ms. Lopez has been in the CInema department since Fall 2003. She began as the manager for the equipment Issue Room. Ms. Lopez has taught in the Cinema department since Spring 2006 for several film studies courses, and has also taught and co-taught CINE24, the beginning film production class.

Film work / teaching and educational goals:
She has taught at the University of Arizona, and has been a teaching assistant for several Cinema courses at San Francisco State University.

Ms. Lopez made two 16mm films, "La Llorona" (1998), about a female Mexican folk character, and "A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco's Lost Cemeteries" (2004).

She helped produce a video for San Francisco singer/songwriter Candace Roberts.

Ms. Lopez believes in lifetime learning, and is always gaining new insights from her students. She works to foster an environment of open, thoughtful, and compassionate learning, realizing that not all students learn the same way, and that it is important to honor student diversity and situations. Her teaching is a process of constant re-evaulation of approaches that best support student learning and success.

Involvement in non-instructional CCSF activities:
- Evaluation committee for departmental colleague

Community Involvement:
- Board Member, San Francisco Sojourn. Sojourn provides the chaplaincy program at San Francisco General Hospital.
- Mentor, San Francisco Bee Cause (beekeeping education program)

Hobbies / additional work: Landscaping and gardening, beekeeping, hiking, facilitator for SF gardening program.

photo of Olmsted Daniel Barnett

Daniel Barnett Olmsted

Cinema Department

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz. Graduate work in Film Production at San Francisco State University.

Mr. Olmsted has been teaching at CCSF since 1995.

His goal is to inspire students with the artistic possibilities of film, while preparing them to find work in the field.

He is a seminar instructor at the San Francisco Film Society.

Dan designs and mixes sound for a wide variety of documentary and narrative films. He is a staff re-recording mixer at Berkeley Sound Artists. His credits include films by John Waters, Joan Chen, Lynn Hershman and many local filmmakers. Further credits are listed at imdb.com

He plays guitar in the local alt country band, Loretta Lynch.

photo of Punsalan Douglas

Douglas Punsalan

Cinema Department

Biography is unavailable at this time.

photo of Shannon Michael J

Michael J Shannon

Cinema Department

B.A., Columbia University; Graduate Film Program, San Francisco State University

Mr. Shannon has been an independent filmmaker since starting Film School at San Francisco State University in 1967. In 1972 he won First Prize Award in the Berkeley Independent Film Festival in the Experimental Category for his film "Lucky 4's", which was the first independent short ever produced using bipak printing techniques on the J-K Optical Printer System.
Between 1982 and 1987, starting with "Poltergeist" and "ET" and finishing with "Howard the Duck", Mr. Shannon worked on every ILM special effects show. In 1996 Mr. Shannon started producing short movies on Hi8 and DV for his project "SF TimeCap 2000", an interactive video timecapsule on DVD. This project is unique in that it contains over 19 hours of professional quality "Street Documentaries" on a myriad of SF events, protests, cultural and sub-cultural themes.
Currently Mr. Shannon is producing video content for his popular YouTube channel "sftimecap". Primary themes communicated around are CGI tutorials, Camera operation demos, anti-war protest, social justice movements, miscellanea street sleaze, UFO and ALIEN visitations, apparitions, unexplained "events" and/or perceptual phenomena.

Teach students how to analyse the technical structures underlying the ubiquitous multilayer special effects media saturating our media culture accross all delivery platforms from iPhone to iMax to YouTube and beyond. Further we aspire to teach the student the professional CGI workflow featuring After Effects and PhotoShop technologies, which are the foundational tools used in Hollywood and in every other media creation venue on earth.

Consult w. students frequently as to the structure and techniques required to put their special effects visions up onto the screen.......ANY SCREEN, ANY PLATFORM, ANY DATA FORMAT may be needed TO GET THE JOB DONE!

Member of SF MOGRAPH, the local After Effects motion graphics and CGI user group.

Shootin, editin and uploadin cool vids and tuts uppa YouTube, asi es!

photo of Sherman Kevin R

Kevin R Sherman

Cinema Department

Ph.D. University of Florida – English (Film & Media Studies)

M.A. San Francisco State University – Cinema Studies

B.A. San Francisco State University – Cinema

Kevin Sherman is a media scholar and filmmaker whose research interests include documentary film and video, experimental film and video, and microcinema. His current research focuses on the relationship between documentary and structural film. He most recently produced and edited the ethnographic documentary feature Loa. Loa premiered in the U.S. at the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival and has screened at festivals and institutions such as the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival (Mexico), DOCfeed (Netherlands), Northwest Film Forum, Indie Grits, Echo Park Film Center, and Peloponnisos International Documentary Festival (Greece). His writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, Studies in Documentary Film, and the anthology Film Analysis: A Norton Reader.

photo of Sullivan Moira J

Moira J Sullivan

Cinema Department

PhD, MA Cinema and Media Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden;
BA Political Science, University of California, Riverside and Berkeley.
University of California EAP Program, Lund University, Sweden.

Prof. Sullivan has been teaching at CCSF since 2013. She teaches in the Cinema Department and also in the Women's Studies Department - Women and Film.

Moira Sullivan has taught cinema studies since the mid 90's in the US, Sweden, France, Italy, and Spain. She has a doctorate and Masters degree from Stockholm University in cinema and media studies (1997), with graduate studies in filmmaking from San Francisco State.

A native of San Francisco, Sullivan wrote her doctoral thesis and subsequent publication on Maya Deren's avantgarde and ethnographic filmmaking.

Sullivan makes short experimental films and covers film festivals and writes film criticism for international and US journals and media throughout Europe such as Créteil, Cannes, Venice, Udine Far East Film Festival, Stockholm and the many festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area (Queer Women of Color Film Festival (QWOCMAP), San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival).

Moira Sullivan's academic interests are the film stylistic system, women in film and media, queer film and media, Asian cinema, film history and theory, avantgarde film, specific film genres (Film Noir, Italian neorealism, French New Wave) and auteur studies such as the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Takeshi Miike, Ang Lee, Ingmar Bergman, Chantal Akerman, Sally Potter, Dorothy Arzner and Jane Campion.

Publication includes:
"An Anagram of the Ideas of Filmmaker Maya Deren", 1997 (doctoral dissertation). Partially reprinted in the anthology by documentary film scholar from SFSU, Bill Nichols: "Maya Deren's Ethnographic Representation of Ritual and Myth in Haiti", in "Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde", University of California Press, 2001.

Sullivan's scholarship is used at courses universities such as Harvard , Rice and Temple, and in numerous publications including:
• BFI National Library Source Guide, Auteur Theory, 2007.
• The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, Ian Aitken, 2013.
• “As Regarding Rhythm”: Rhythm in Modern Poetry and Cinema, Sarah Keller, Intermédialités : histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques / Intermediality: History and Theory of the Arts, Literature and Technologies, Number 16, Fall 2010.
• Visualizing Haiti in U.S. Culture, 1910–1950, Lindsay J Twa, 2014.
•The Esoteric Codex: Haitian Vodou, Garland Ferguson, 2015.
• Matter, Magic, and Spirit: Representing Indian and African American Belief, David Murray, 2007.
•Ethnographie, culture et expérimentations : essai sur la pensée, l’oeuvre et la légende de Maya Deren,Julie Beaulieu,Cinémas : revue d'études cinématographiques / Cinémas: Journal of Film Studies,Volume 19, issue 1, automne 2008.

Film and media critic
• Staff writer for Movie Magazine International, San Francisco, (shoestring.org) since 1995.
• Staff writer for agnesfilms.com since 2014.
• Staff writer for filmfestivals.com Paris, since 2000.

Published interviews include:
•Maria Schneider
•Julie Dash
•Jane Fonda
•Raoul Peck
•Gian Franco Rosi
•Jane Campion
•Mira Nair
•Todd Solenz
•David Lynch
•Jafar Panahi
•Lauren Bacall
•Roman Polanski
•John Turturro
•Agnès Varda

•Member of FIPRESCI, International Film Critics Association
•Swedish Film Critics Association.
•Member of the Queer Palm Jury at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.
•Alliance of Women Film Journalists.Society of Cinema and Media Studies.
•Accredited film critic for:
Cannes Film Festival,
Venice Film Festival,
Stockholm International Film Festival,
Mill Valley Film Festival,
Udine Far East Film Festival,
Frameline - San Francisco, Créteil Films de Femmes, Paris.

photo of Sundaram Anjali

Anjali Sundaram

Cinema Department

Biography is unavailable at this time.

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