News and Calendar of Events

Read the latest MCJ news on the Arts and Humanities blog here.

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Department Annual Events and Celebrations


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CineCulture is a film series offered as a three-unit academic course in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture provides a service to the Fresno State campus students, faculty and staff, and community. Everyone is welcome to attend.

CineCulture is also a campus club. The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.


Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building).

All films screened on campus are free and open to the public.

Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Aug. 30: Remember Amensia (2019)

Discussant: Dr. Ravi Godse (Director)

Directed by Indian-American filmmaker Dr. Ravi Godse, Remember Amnesia tells the story of widower Jay Singh, a difficult but brilliant US-based physician, who has a terrible accident that robs him of his memory while on a trip to his homeland of India. As he tries to piece his memory back together, he finds himself falling for the lovely Nina, the local doctor in charge of his care, who tries to help him figure out his true identity. But there are questions about how Jay was injured, and if his memory loss is real. Everything begins to unravel when his US colleagues hear that his wife's family thought that his wife was still alive and living with him in America. This leads the Indian police to think that he is a murderer and leaves his US colleagues, his Indian doctor Nina, and even he himself asking the following question: Did he kill his wife or not? In English, Marathi and Hindi with English subtitles. 88 minutes. Film website:

Sept. 6: The Years of Fierro (2013, recently released)

Discussant: Santiago Esteinou (Director)

The film entitled The Years of Fierro by Mexican director Santiago Esteinou features César Fierro, the oldest Mexican prisoner on death row in the United States, who has been languishing in a Texas prison for almost forty years. César continues to await execution by lethal injection for a murder that evidence shows he did not commit. This documentary is a reflection on justice, imprisonment and brotherly love, through the eyes of César and his bother Sergio. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. 105 minutes. Only recently released due to pending litigation. Trailer:

Sept. 13: A Duel Tale/Hatashiai (2015)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

A Duel Tale by Japanese director Sugita Shigemichi stars Nakadai Tatsuya, one of Japan's greatest living actor, who gives the performance of a lifetime as Shoji Sanosuke, an elderly samurai forced to pick up his sword to protect those he loves in this adaptation of a popular novel by Fujisawa Shuhei. As a "Heya-zumi" (essentially a freeloader living off his family) Sanosuke has one last chance to help his grandniece escape an arranged marriage with a cruel samurai. Nakadai proves that he "still has it," when fate forces him into a deadly duel. This award winning samurai drama from the pen of noted author Fujisawa Shuhei is a tribute to one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen! In Japanese with English subtitles. 94 minutes.

Sept. 20: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1983, new release)

Discussant: Dr. Robert Maldonado

A new release of a classic film, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez narrates the story of Mexican-American farmer Gregorio Cortez who is forced to flee from the Texas rangers and evades a massive manhunt on horseback for days, after a heated misunderstanding leading to the death of one of their own. Renowned Edward James Olmos is the producer and the star of the film. Together with director Robert M. Young, a longtime practitioner of socially engaged realism, they created this trailblazing film which became a landmark of Chicano cinema and shed a new light on a historical event that had been enshrined in a corrido folk song. In a shifting perspective between the pursuers and the pursued, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez is a thrilling chase movie as well as a highly-nuanced procedural that peels away the layers of prejudice and myth surrounding Cortex and uncovers the true story of an ordinary man persecuted by the law and transfigured by legend. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. 106 minutes.         

Sept. 27: Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 (2018)

Discussant: Jon Osaki (Director)

Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 by Japanese-American director Jon Osaki is a documentary about false information and racial politics. It shows how the infamous Executive Order 9066 was signed and led to the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The film exposes the lies used to justify the decision and the cover-up that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Alternative Facts also examines how this miscarriage of justice parallels the current climate of fear, targeting of immigrant communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the U.S. government. 65 minutes. Film website:

 Oct. 4: The River and the Wall (2019)

Discussant: Heather Mackey (Biologist featured in the film)

Directed by conservation filmmaker Ben Masters, The River and the Wall follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1,200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes. The film emphasizes the urgency of documenting the last remaining wilderness in Texas as the threat of new border wall construction looms ahead. For this film project, Masters recruited NatGeo Explorer Filipe DeAndrade, ornithologist Heather Mackey, river guide Austin Alvarado, and conservationist Jay Kleberg to join him on a two-and-a-half-month journey along the Texas-Mexico border. Together they set to explore these borderlands as well as the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment. However, as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters. 97 minutes. Trailer:

Oct. 11: No film

Oct. 18: The Price of Free (2018)

Discussant: Derek Doneen (Director)

Hidden inside overcrowded factories around the world, The Price of Free (formerly titled Kailash) by Director Derek Doneen, tells the story of countless children who are forced into slave labor due to rising global demands for cheap goods. With the help of a covert network of informants, Nobel Peace Prize winner and India's "Children Rights" activist Kailash Satyarthi and his dedicated team carry out daring raids to rescue and rehabilitate imprisoned children. Using hidden cameras and playing the role of buyers at the factory to gain access, we watch Kailash take on one of his most challenging missions to date: finding Sonu, a young boy trafficked to Delhi for work, who has been missing for eight months. Now his father dreams of Sonu coming home. Kailash's warmth and passion have gained international support for his philosophy that each child should be allowed to embrace their childhood. He gives them support, clothes, medical care and an education. Equal parts harrowing and motivating, first-time filmmaker Derek Doneen pulls us into Kailash's gripping pursuits and relentless energy to create the change he wants to see. In Hindi and English with English subtitles. 92 minutes. Film website:

Oct. 25: Short Film Program: Lumpkin GA (2019), Our Country (2017), Invented Borders

Discussant: Emily Grandcolas (Lumpkin Producer) & Mayra Flores (Our Country and Invented Borders Director)

Lumpkin by director Nicholas Manting Brewer, tells the fate of a fading Georgia town, a community that recalls its dark past and faces a grim present. There, an undocumented immigrant, caught in legal limbo and facing deportation, contemplates his future while at the same time, a massive, private immigration prison generates millions in profits. Lumpkin, where these stories meet, truly represents the hidden epicenter of America's immigration crackdown. 39 minutes + behind the scenes collaborative piece. Film website:

Our Country, directed by Mexican-American filmmaker Mayra Flores, is an award winning experimental animated documentary that provides a compelling context and beautifully captures some of the infinite nuances about immigrant families living in the U.S.

Invented Borders, also directed by Mayra Flores, is a fascinating animated and live action video essay on the many facets of today's emotional immigration debate in America.

Nov. 1: Emma Peeters (2018)

Discussant: Nicole Palo (Director)

The quirky film Emma Peeters by Belgian director and screen-writer Nicole Palo stars renowned French-Canadian actress Monia Chokri as Emma who is about to celebrate her 35th birthday. Emma's life achievements have thus far been quite unremarkable: she struggled for years without success to become an actress in Paris. Eventually she becomes fixated on this idea: she will commit suicide the following week, on the exact day of her birthday. While preparing for this, she meets Alex Bodart, who works at the funeral home she is consulting. He is also an amateur filmmaker and offers her to star in a film about her own life. Together they proceed to undertake this bizarre project. Will she go through with her plan? This is a wonderful black comedy with an existential and generational crisis filmed through a uniquely whimsical filter. In French with English subtitles. 90 minutes. Trailer:

Nov. 8: Jirga (2018)

Discussant: Amir Shah Talash (Producer & Lead Actor)

Directed by Australian filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour, Jirga is a touching modern morality tale about a former Australian soldier, Mike, who returns to Afghanistan to find and confront the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the traditional village justice system - the Jirga. In Pushto and English with English subtitles. 78 minutes. Film website:

Nov. 15: Film To Be Announced

Nov. 22: : Short Film Program: Life Between Borders, Black Migrants in Mexico, Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico, After La Nopalera

Discussant: Ebony Bailey (Director)

Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico by Californian filmmaker and Central Valley native, Ebony Bailey discusses the context in which thousands of Haitians seeking entry to the US are now left stranded at the northern Mexico border after a change in immigration policy. But "Black migration" is not new to Mexico, as people from the African Diaspora have lived here for centuries. In Bailey's short documentary, we meet Haitians stuck at the border as well as Africans in Mexico City and explore Black migration and identity in Mexico.

In Bailey's second short film, Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico, we learn that the Jamaica flower and tamarind are iconic ingredients in Mexico although but their history comes from a place much further away. To understand this, we meet four people and explore with them what African identity means in the context of Mexico City, an identity that goes beyond the color of one's skin.

Bailey's third short documentary After La Nopalera presents daily life in a small village in the state of Morelos in central Mexico after the September 19th, 2017, earthquake as vividly told by a local resident and an earthquake survivor.


CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State campus students, faculty, and staff, and community. CineCulture is also offered as a 3 unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture fulfills General Education Integration Area Multicultural International (MI). For students entering Fresno State Fall 2018, the course satisfies a university graduation requirement.

CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.
Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us in advance to your participation.

For further information about CineCulture:
CineCulture Club invites invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and check the club website for film updates.
Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at

CAH Convocation

Join Media, Communications and Journalism faculty to celebrate our graduates at the College of Arts and Humanities Convocation on  
May 15, 2020.

Gruner Journalism Awards Banquet

GrunerAwardPhotoThe George F. Gruner Awards for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism annually recognize outstanding community service in newspaper journalism in the central San Joaquin Valley. The awards, which honor Mr. Gruner, a former executive editor of The Fresno Bee, rank among the top journalism honors in the state.

The McClatchy Company established the Gruner awards in 1989. The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism administers the competition and co-hosts the awards banquet with The Fresno Bee, which provides a grant to make the awards possible. The banquet took place March 6, 2019, in the Fresno Art Museum.

The MCJ department coordinates the awards, including the call for submissions and the judging.

About Mr. Gruner

George F. Gruner retired in April 1988 after a career in journalism covering 46 years, including 33 years on the news staff of The Fresno Bee. Before joining The Bee, he worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and two years as a copy editor on the civilian staff of the European Edition of The Stars and Stripes, the armed services newspaper published in Germany.

After a year on the copy desk at The Fresno Bee, Gruner was named assistant city editor in 1956 and city editor in 1961. He served as assistant managing editor in 1970, became managing editor in 1971 and executive editor in 1981.

Gruner was a figure in a Freedom of the Press issue in 1976 when, as a member of the “Fresno Four,” he was jailed for contempt of court for refusing a judge's order to reveal a confidential source of information used in The Fresno Bee's news stories concerning a city official. He and three other members of The Bee's staff refused to reveal the source and spent 15 days in custody before being released. The “Fresno Four” received wide support from journalists and many other individuals and organizations throughout the United States for upholding the right to maintain confidential sources.

Since his retirement, Gruner has written two books, a history of the battleship USS California and another on the coastal passenger liners Yale and Harvard.

Hall of Fame Induction

The 2019 MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame will be held Nov. 14, 2019.

Visit the Alumni Link to view our MCJ Hall of Fame Inductees.  


The department hosted its MCJ Day on Oct. 4, 2019.

MCJ Day is designed to make high school students more aware of the department's five options. Guest speakers and panelists discussed the options and professional development.   

Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposium

Periodically the MCJ Department will host Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposia. These events bring in top-notch national and international journalists to share with the campus and broader community about important issues of the day. The Roger Tatarian Journalism Chair coordinates the symposia. This year's symposium was "Putting Fake News in the Rear View Mirror: How the media can win back the trust of all Americans." It featured speakers from ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. It was held Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in the Satellite Student Union.

War Veterans Oral History Project

Former MCJ professor Dr. Gary Rice started the War Veterans’ Oral History Project in 2009-2010. The project gave veterans an opportunity to preserve their stories in their own words while students learn history from the people who made it.

In the fall 2010 semester, students conducted more than 80 interviews. This was the second semester for the project. The new interviews were added to the first group, already cataloged and available to scholars, researchers and the public in the library's Special Collections Research Center.

Interviews with more than 50 veterans of conflicts from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan were presented on Dec. 9, 2010, to the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno as part of the Central California War Veterans’ Oral History Project.

The veterans and the 28 mass communication and journalism students of Dr. Gary Rice's class who interviewed them were honored at a reception in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room of the library.

At the ceremony, Charlie Waters, state judge advocate of the American Legion, praised the project for bringing together veterans and students.


The oral histories — transcripts and audio recordings that meet accepted historical standards and guidelines — will be kept permanently in a special collection at the library.

Veterans include survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Battle of the Bulge and a bomber crew member, who was one of the first Americans to fly against a German-built jet during World War II. Other interviews are with former prisoners of war; participants in Korean War events like the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge and the POW riots at Koje-do; a Vietnam War bugler and soldiers involved in fierce fighting during the Tet Offensive; and several recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Scholarship Reception

The 2019 scholarship recipients will be honored during the MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame event on November 14, 2019.

For more information about the reception or scholarships, contact Prof. Faith Sidlow, MCJ Scholarship Chair, at