Professor earns film honor, works toward scholarship

Professor Jason Flynn was recently chosen as the Reelshow Film Tutor of the Year. Flynn is an assistant professor in the Department of Communications.

Jason Flynn, assistant professor of film and digital media production at UNA, was surprised to learn he is the recent recipient of the Reelshow Film Tutor of the Year 2011 by Reelshow International, a website designed for film students around the globe.

Film students and university faculty throughout the world had the opportunity to nominate a tutor they believed deserved the award. The Film Tutor of the Year title was designed to give recognition to an instructor that went out of his or her way to make a difference in a film student’s education.

Greg Pitts, professor and chair in the Department of Communications, said Flynn’s award reflects on how well he performs his role as assistant professor of film and digital media, but on the department’s overall success as well.

“In some respect, this award doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “There are some faculty members who just live their jobs, and it shows. (Professor Flynn) lives and loves what he does. He isn’t just a guy who talks about film or teaches about film, he actually does it.”

Flynn is a 2004 graduate of James Madison University with a degree in media arts and design, cinema studies. He finished his Master of Fine Arts degree in film and video production in 2008 at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Upon arriving at UNA in 2008, he began developing a new communication arts concentration in film and digital media production. The curriculum was approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education the next year, said Flynn.

The curriculum, which now has approximately 65 declared majors, allows students to use a variety of film and editing resources to help them on their path toward professional careers. Since the major was developed at UNA, the department has also introduced minors in screenwriting and digital media production.

Along with the title of Reelshow Film Tutor of the Year, Flynn won an Amazon voucher and free advertisements for UNA’s film and digital media production program on the Reelshow website for a year.

“I’m happy the school will get something out of it, and the fact that (Reelshow) is doing that is good on their part,” he said. “To me, if you’re going to celebrate or acknowledge a film teacher, you should really be about recognizing the students. The fact that the program is getting some acknowledgement is nice.”

Flynn is working to endow a scholarship designed specifically for students pursuing a degree in film and digital media production at UNA. Although guidelines for the scholarship have not yet been confirmed, it will apply to students with a good academic record and passion for the art of film and digital media.

So far, the university has raised $3,100 toward the $25,000 requirement in order for the scholarship to become endowed, according to data from University Advancement. Flynn said a scholarship within the film and digital media production program would be beneficial for students interested in the field.

To contribute to the scholarship fund, contact Flynn at 256-765-4489 or email [email protected]