History of FAVS

In 2006, the Deans and faculty members of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Science along with a group of local filmmakers known as the Friends of Film, created the first multidisciplinary undergraduate degree in film in the Commonwealth of Virginia. From the beginning, the FAVS (Film and Video Studies) program focused on film production, the business of film, and film theory. From the start, our core courses exposed students to production, screenwriting, business, theory, and ethics. The program’s special emphasis on teaching the business side of the film industry is unique.


Over the past ten years, FAVS has grown in many ways. More faculty have joined the FAVS team. Our student numbers increased from 7 to 185. New courses including Advanced Editing, Fiction Film Directing, and Film Distribution and Marketing have been added to the curriculum. In addition, distance education courses like FAVS 225: History of World Cinema which have added to the general education curriculum for the entire university.  

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Professor Emeritus Cindy Lont and Associate Professor Thomas Britt crafted the FAVS program with English Professor and Director of the Film and Media Studies minor, Cynthia Fuchs, and then FAVS Advisor Wayne Adams in the earliest days of the program. Professor Benjamin Steger joined early in the life of the program to build more production courses. FAVS Associate Professor Giovanna Chesler became director in Fall of 2013. Assistant Professor in Cinematography Hans Charles joined in Fall 2014 followed by Assistant Professor in Editing, Amanda Kraus in Fall 2015. Program Coordinator Rebekah Mejorado joined FAVS in Spring 2015 and Academic Advisor Lori Yi in Fall 2015.

Whenever our FAVS alums return and say – “Wow! I wish you had that course / that professor / that equipment when I was there,” we know we are doing a great job and changing with the industry. We look forward to continuing along this path as our programs moves toward its 10 year anniversary. Please join us in creating a new history at George Mason University by giving a gift to our student scholarship program.