With the first day of classes, we wanted to celebrate the people who make it all possible–SFTV’s incredible faculty! This year, we are welcoming top industry talent as new full-time and visiting professors, including the three-year appointment of renowned film producer Janet Yang as the school’s first Presidential Fellow.
“I’m thrilled that Janet Yang will be joining us,” says Dean Peggy Rajski. “Her commitment to creative excellence and her dedication to making the industry more inclusive mirror our own values as a film school. Those values have fueled her successful career and make her an inspiring role model for our students as they learn to master filmmaking and forge their own creative and business careers.”
With the support of LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., Dean Rajski established the Presidential Fellow program in 2020 to bring in highly accomplished professionals in media and entertainment to teach, advise, and mentor students through unique learning opportunities. Yang will teach courses in production, development, and the business of entertainment, and will serve as a student mentor and advisor.
We are excited to introduce this group of talented, passionate creators and educators. Get to know them below.
Fall 2020 New Faculty
Janet Yang, SFTV Presidential Fellow and Clinical Professor
(The Joy Luck Club, Empire of the Sun, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Shanghai Calling, Dark Matter, High School Musical, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, High Crimes)
Yang’s groundbreaking 1993 film The Joy Luck Club was the first American feature starring an all-Asian cast, and it earned critical acclaim for its portrayal of Chinese immigrant families. She’s partnered with many of the top filmmakers in the world, including Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, and Kathryn Bigelow, and she’s currently a Governor-at-Large of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Ernie Bustamante, Visiting Assistant Professor of Screenwriting
(Flipped, Cashmere Mafia, Boston Legal, Lab Rats, New Lou, Head Cases)
Bustamante is the creator and showrunner of the award-winning digital series Border Patrol, a comedic satire about a group of Latino Border Patrol agents working on the US-Mexican border, where the biggest dangers they face are the problems they create.
Michael Kang, Visiting Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production
(The Motel, Special Lunch, 4 Wedding Planners, West 32nd)
Kang’s first feature film The Motel premiered at Sundance, and won the Humanitas Prize as well as top jury prizes from numerous festivals.
Rosanne Korenberg, Clinical Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production
(City of Lies, I Tonya, Half Nelson, Hard Candy, Boys Don’t Cry, Sexy Beast)
Korenberg is a seasoned film executive and producer with a proven track record in creating award-winning and profitable content for film and TV. Her projects have screened at Sundance and other major film festivals around the world.
Mary Kuryla, Clinical Assistant Professor of Screenwriting
(Freak Weather, Easter Sunday)
Writer and filmmaker Mary Kuryla’s feature film, Freak Weather premiered at Toronto and was in competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and her award-winning short film Memory Circus premiered at Sundance. Kuryla has won several awards for her novels and short stories, including The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and The Pushcart Prize.
Karen Smalley, Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production
(Thrasher Road, Operation Vogue, Swishbucklers)
Smalley is an award-winning film editor whose work includes narrative, reality, and documentary formats for both independent and studio distribution, and has screened at festivals, theaters, and on television and VOD.
John Strauss, Assistant Professor of Screenwriting
(Mozart in the Jungle, There’s Something About Mary)
Strauss co-wrote 2019’s David Makes Man with Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), which won a Peabody Award in June 2020.
Lauren Wilson, Visiting Assistant Professor
Wilson ’10 is a screenwriter and poet who has facilitated and taught writing workshops at Santa Barbara City College, The Governor’s Institute of Vermont, and Writing Pad Los Angeles.