Here’s a list of past speakers we had take a visit to UCSD:

Circumstance Screening & Discussion w/ Reza Safai
Winter, 2012

Set in contemporary Iran in the unseen world of Iranian youth culture, filled with underground parties, sex, drugs and defiance, CIRCUMSTANCE is the story of two vivacious young girls — wealthy Atafeh and orphaned Shireen — discovering their burgeoning sexuality and, like 16 year-old girls anywhere, struggling with their desires and the boundaries placed upon them by the world they were born into. Maryam Keshavarz’s film Circumstance won Sundance’s Audience Award for Best Drama.

Flyer for Ethan Van ThilloEthan Van Thillo – Founder and Executive Director of the Media Arts Center San Diego Fall 2011
Since 1989, Ethan Van Thillo has been working in media arts field programming Latino film festivals for UC Santa Cruz, Cine Acción in San Francisco, Cine Estudiantil at UC San Diego, and the National Latino Communications Center in Los Angeles. He has curated literally 1,000s of screenings at festivals and/or special events in Mexico City, Tijuana, Sacramento, San Diego and other major cities. In 1995, van Thillo transformed the Cine Estudiantil into the internationally known and respected San Diego Latino Film Festival and to broaden the scope of the festival and to serve more communities in the San Diego County-Tijuana Border region, Van Thillo established Media Arts Center San Diego.  He thus works on pushing for the distribution of films created by Latino communities.

In his lecture, he discussed the current state of Latinos in Cinema pointing to Ripstein and Mori, two very different film & video artists, and how their films are treated differently in terms of distribution and consumption.

Flyer for Micha CardenasMicha Cardenas – Transgender Theorist Spring 2011
Micha focusses on issues of sexuality and gender performance, as mediated within social media.  As a new media artist, she is mostly known for “Becoming Dragon” (2008) in which she spent 365 hours performing in Second Life in order to replicate and critique the process of arriving at a transgender identity.

At the time of her lecture, in which she discussed gender issues within the film Tron and protests containing police violence, which is overlooked across America, she worked as the Interim Associate Director of Art and Technology for Sixth College as she received her MFA at UCSD. View her work at

Flyer for Zeinabu DavisZeinabu Davis – Professor of Communications at University of California, San Diego and Filmmaker Winter 2011
Zeinabu Irene Davis is an independent filmmaker and full Professor of Communication at University of California, San Diego. A veteran of independent film and video, Davis has produced numerous award-winning works since receiving her master of fine arts in film and video production from UCLA in 1989.

Her vision is passionately focused on the depiction of African American women – their hopes, dreams, past and future. Her interests include altering and diversifying the terrain of mass media, film history, world cinema, and folklore. She frequently writes and lectures African and African American cinema. Ms. Davis is equally comfortable in film and video and has worked in narrative, documentary and experimental.

Flyer for Guy AokiGuy Aoki  Founder of Media Action Network for Asian Americans Inaugural lecture, Fall 2010
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans is dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive coverage and portrayals of Asian Americans.

Mr. Guy Aoki, founder of MANAA, discussed current issues such as the controversy over the casting issues with summer blockbuster Avatar: The Last Airbender and how he not only met with studio execs to talk about the problem but organized one of many protests.