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See past student-made ethnographic films at, and find more information about our students and their film-making at . Check out the blog for the ethnographic films that are being produced this year, 2008-2009 at

2008-2009 Films

“Shell of A Guy” by Rachel Emerine, Donia Quon, Jessica Steaffens – A film about a shell collector and the importance of his hobby

“Root Awakening” by Lauren Brounley, Nikki Kranz, Mike Young – A film about a non-profit community garden in Santa Ana, CA

“Skintight” by Ryan Davidson, Tin Ilakovac – A film about body modification and beautification in today’s society


Congratulations to the recipients of one of our ethnographic film awards for the academic year 2007/2008. These will be awarded yearly, as part of the department’s new emphasis in visual anthropology. There will be other award winners in these categories in the future – but there will never be another FIRST EVER award winner in any of these categories. These winners can consider this their slot in departmental history. Bravo!

These have been posted to the film hosting site,, and were announced at the departmental banquet (May 2008).

The awards were as follows:

Best Film, Graduate
“Gracias a los Gringos” – Sarah Taylor

Best Film, Undergraduate
“Bark Park” by Lauren Brounley, Michael Smith, Michael Young and Guiliana Aldana

Award for Innovation in Ethnographic Film
“6th Street” by Mark Booth, Crystal Martinez and James Moy

Long Beach Community Cinema Prize
Cynthia Wilson and Krystal Long for their work on two films, “Dave in the Shade” by Krystal Long, Cynthia Wilson and January Sanalak, and “Puru-Huru (“So Hairy”)” by Krystal Long and Cynthia Wilson

Outstanding Achievement in Applied Visual Anthropology
“Inches from Paradise” by Rhonda Holden and David Gruca

Congratulations on their achievements!


R. Scott Wilson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Anthropology Department
California State University, Long Beach


A note from the Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Barbara LeMaster

On December 13th, the Anthropology Department hosted its first Ethnographic Short Film Showcase. It was phenomenal.

The Department recognizes the foresight of Drs. Howell and Wilson in creating the Anthropology and Film course, Anthro 478, and working with the first class of twenty-one students to help them produce nine high quality ethnographic films.

A special thank you to Dr. Scott Wilson for his intensive work in the lab with students as they struggled to learn the production side of film-making while managing the theoretical framing and ethnographic expression through film.

Congratulations and thank you to all of the undergraduate and graduate students who were willing to share their work with the larger campus community in this department-sponsored event. They are, Hector Alarcon, Giuliana Aldana, Mark Booth, Lauren Brounley, Marissa Flores, James Gilpatrick, Roman Gratreaks, David Gruca, Rhonda Holden, Krystal Long, Crystal Martinez, Cherrey Obedoza, Hanna Ruckman, January Sanalak, Michael Smith, Jessica Steaffens, Sarah Taylor, Kyle Veremans, Ryan Watanabe, Cynthis Wilson, and Michael Young.

A special thank you to Jesus “Nino” Palaminos who shared his gift of music by playing the guitar for our faculty/student mixer. What he said in the film about him is true – music is a universal language.

For those of you who missed it, the film titles and short descriptions are listed below:

  • Bark Park – Dog owners negotiate the space of a neighborhood dog park.
  • Dave in the Shade – Virtual life meets real life for a “Shade” gamer.
  • Tunnel Vision – A journey of life and music through diminishing sight.
  • My Fifteen, Mi Quince – Documents the socio-cultural context of one girl’s coming-of-age ceremony.
  • Lifting the Spirits – Community theater in an Argentine village.
  • Open Your Ears – Documents artists and their applications of sound art.
  • Coyote Meets Spongebob – Translation and language preservation among the Paiute of Arizona
  • Gracias a los Gringos – Tourism and sustainable development in rural Mexico.
  • Six Inches from Paradise – Tourism for the mobility-challenged and their caregivers.