Honors Fellowships

Madeline Chessman

Name: Madeline Chessman
Title of Project:
Beyond Sundance: Theory and Case Studies of International Film Festival Programming
Advisor: Colleen Kennedy
Honors Department: Film Studies

The programming of a film festival – how and why films are shown – is a key element in understanding the film festival network and the cultural significance of film festivals. I plan to explore the differences and similarities in film festival programming practice between international film festivals in the United States and the United Kingdom through interviews, observation of two major film festivals, and literature review, to develop a theory of film festival programming. The Honors Fellowship will allow me to conduct in-depth case studies of the Seattle International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, including film screenings and on-site observations, in addition to supporting me during my periods of on-campus library research and interviews.

Hometown: Reston, VA
Major: Literary and Cultural Studies, Film Concentration
Future Plans: I will be applying for Master’s programs in Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and film festival-related fields in the fall, and I hope to eventually participate in the distribution and exhibition arms of the film industry.
Campus Activities: Catholic Campus Ministry. I have worked with the W&M Global Film Festival for the past two years, last summer worked as an intern for the DC Shorts Film Festival, and next year will be a programming intern at the Kimball Theater in Colonial Williamsburg. The opportunity not only to study but attend two established and well-respected film festivals is thrilling in so many ways!
Hobbies: Piano, knitting, film, making flower chains, cooking
Fun Fact: I can fold a t-shirt in two seconds flat.

Follow Madeline’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!