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Featured Faculty: Mr. James Watkins

Mr. James Watkins is an Assistant Professor of Film in the Department of Theatre and Film. Originally from Chicago, IL, Watkins received his BA in Philosophy and Theatre at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst before earning his MFA in Film at Stony Brook University.

Watkins has been teaching at JSU for the past two years; this semester, he is teaching Introduction to Film, Film Theory, and Film Directing. His favorites are Film Theory and Film Directing because he not only talks about films with his students, but also help them make films of their own. Helping students find a way to express their creativity is Watkins’ favorite part of his job. His favorite aspect of the Theatre and Film Department itself is the creative and collaborative environment.

Currently, Watkins is in production with an indie feature set in 1990s called “Carry the Darkness,” while also being in pre-production with another set in the 1950s called “Dirty Rhetoric.” “The Girl in the Straw Hat” – a recent feature that Watkins produced – has won a handful of festival awards, such as Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography at the 2021 Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. When he is not producing films, Watkins enjoys traveling and practicing photography in his spare time.

If a student were to ask him for advice, Watkins would say, “Actively explore ideas and creative opportunities.”

The first annual JSU Student Film Festival will be held on Saturday, April 30.

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