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Essays

Every year the School of Film gives awards for the best essay or essays submitted for consideration. The judges are PSU film faculty and any paper written in a film class during the  year is eligible.

"Ida Lupino"

by Mirenne Perry

Class: Winter 2023 FILM 382

Film History II (Instructor: Mark Berrettini)

Mirenne Perry Headshot.jpg
First Place

Bio: I am a 3rd year film student at Portland State University and a passionate writer with a focus on feminism, women’s stories, and social justice issues. In the future, I aspire to use my film degree to go into screenwriting and continue writing stories about political movements I believe in.

Statement: My essay follows the life and works of Ida Lupino, a female filmmaker from the 1940s—an era where women directing films was unheard of. I discuss the conditions of the film industry at the time, Lupino’s early life, and the beginning of her career. The essay analyzes a selection of her films and looks at how they have influenced the film industry as a whole.

Second Place

"Matilde Landeta"

by Chanelle French

Class: Winter 2023 FILM 382

Film History II (Instructor: Mark Berrettini)

Chanelle French Headshot.png

Bio: I am currently a Junior at Portland State University. I want to learn as much as I can about film production and to create stories most would enjoy. I have worked on a few student short films and hope to continue collaborating with others. 

Statement: As a Mexican-American, I wanted to write something revolving around Mexican Cinema. I explored a few topics, such as the film Macario (1960), the genre Rumberas, and the representation of women. I decided to write about Matilde Landeta, one of the first female Mexican directors of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. She directed three films during this period, which were shown from a woman’s perspective and also explored other topics such as indigenous lands, people of color, and economic inequality. In this essay, I also describe the challenges she faced as a woman in the film industry during the 1940s and 50s.

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