Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Q&A with New TFM Faculty: Brian Hu

Q&A with New TFM Faculty: Brian Hu

This year, the School of Theatre, Television, and Film is excited to continue expanding its talented team of educators. Brian Hu joins the TTF faculty from the media arts non-profit Pacific Arts Movement, where he served as Artistic Director. Additionally, he was Head of Programming for the San Diego Asian Film Festival and Pac Arts’ year-round film programs. He plans to continue as Artistic Director at Pac Arts, but in a new capacity that supports his full-time appointment at SDSU. He will teach classes in the Television, Film, and New Media program. Read on to learn more about him!

Q. What about SDSU’s School of Theatre, Television, and Film appealed to you?

A. It was truly a natural fit. For a while now, I’ve been exploring the intersections between film studies and film practice, and SDSU’s School of Theatre, Television, and Film is an exciting laboratory for how we can teach both in a way that is mutually beneficial. Above all, I’m deeply motivated by the School’s commitment to globalizing its programs and ensuring that its curriculum prepares students for media industries that are transnational and multi-cultural in their reach and makeup. Its current faculty already embodies excellence in teaching and creative production, and I strive to maintain that standard while offering perspectives that can help the School better adapt to a diverse and global media industry and student body.

Q. Do you have a specific area of expertise/interest in your research? If so, what?

A. Much of my research centers on Chinese-language cinemas, especially the cinemas of Hong Kong and Taiwan. My forthcoming book looks at how those cinemas have historically imagined the figure of a cosmopolitan Chinese person, and I look at that phenomenon through the lenses of genre, stardom, and industry practice. As a result of my experience at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, I’ve also expanded my scholarly interests to include Asian American cinema, which I had previously covered as a film critic, but which I am now exploring as a film historian and scholar-practitioner.

Q. Can you describe your experience working with the Pacific Arts Movement/San Diego Asian Film Festival and how it has influenced your career?

A. I have been Artistic Director since 2011, and during that time, saw the San Diego Asian Film Festival grow into one of the premiere showcases of Asian and Asian American cinema in North America. I’d always been interested in film festivals as a critic, researcher, and audience member, but being behind the scenes has given me a deeper appreciation for independent filmmaking as a business and as a way to galvanize communities around social issues. The experience has also taken me around the world attending other festivals, networking with sales agents, and seeing how artists worldwide are using digital technologies to tell and distribute their stories. I look forward to combining that experience with my perspectives as a scholar to provide for film students a more comprehensive picture of what independent and international cinema looks like today.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?

A. Anything involving music (soul and hip-hop especially) and food (Mexican and Chinese warm my heart). I’m also an avid NBA fan, and of course I spend a lot of free time watching movies, which somehow never lose their fun.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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