Natasha Ngaiza
Office
Axinn Center 207
Tel
(802) 443-5562
Email
nngaiza@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
On leave 2023-2024

Natasha Ngaiza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media Culture at Middlebury College. She is a screenwriter and film director whose short films have screened at a number of acclaimed film festivals and venues including the Palms Spring International Short Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the Huffington Post and Smithsonian Museum’s Art-Lab Film Forum. Her films explore the inner lives of women and mothers of the African Diaspora and are strongly influenced by Black feminist thought, cultural geography and decolonial theory. 



Natasha received her MFA from Temple University in 2012 and regularly teaches Sight and Sound I, African Cinema and Black American Cinema. She is on the steering committee of the Black Studies Program and a contributing member to African Studies. 



Her most recent short film “A Mother” can be seen on Omeleto, the largest online platform for Oscar-qualifying short films.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Filmmaking
In this course students will gain a theoretical understanding of the ways moving images and sounds communicate, as well as practical experience creating time-based work. We will study examples of moving images as we use cameras, sound recorders, and non-linear editing software to produce our own series of short works. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the possibilities of the medium through experimentation, analysis, and detailed feedback while exploring different facets of cinematic communication. (FMMC 0101, or FMMC 0102, or approval of instructor) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Screenwriting
In this course we will examine the fundamental elements of dramatic narrative as they relate to visual storytelling. We will emphasize the process of generating original story material and learning the craft of screenwriting, including topics such as story, outline, scene structure, subtext, character objectives, formatting standards, and narrative strategies. Weekly writing assignments will emphasize visual storytelling techniques, tone and atmosphere, character relationships, and dialogue. Students will be required to complete one short screenplay. Required readings will inform and accompany close study of selected screenplays and short films. This class will require some streaming of video material. (FMMC 0101 OR CRWR 0170 or approval of instructor) (Formerly FMMC/ENAM 0106) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Documentary Filmmaking: Seeking Truth Through the Art of Non-Fiction
In this course we will explore the artistic strategies used by documentary films to investigate ontological and existential “truths” about the world around us. Pairing non-fiction films across historical periods, countries, and stylistic modes with interdisciplinary readings, students will discuss and analyze their form and function through written (essays) and spoken word (podcasts). In the second half of the semester, students will collaboratively write, produce, and edit a documentary film about an issue or community close to them. (FMMC 0105)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

African Cinema
In this course we will examine how films written and directed by African filmmakers address the evolving identities of post-colonial Africans. Students will explore the development of various national cinemas and the film movements that helped define African cinema as a tool for cultural expression and social change. We will pair film studies, post-colonial studies, and African studies readings with a diverse selection of films from across sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal’s 1967 Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene) to the 2018 Netflix-produced Nigerian “Nollywood” film, Lionheart (Genevieve Nnaji). Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. 3 hours lect./3 hours screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Black American Cinema
In this course we will examine various representations of Blackness in American Cinema, from Oscar Micheaux’s early silent films to Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. While we will primarily focus on films written and/or directed by Black Americans, we will also study the social, cultural, and political impact of Hollywood ideas and images of Black people and how they changed over time. Through a framework of both film theory and critical race theory, students will analyze how Black creative expression has manifested itself through film, influencing both form and content. 3 hours lect./3 hours screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, ART, HIS

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Course Description

Advanced Filmmaking
In this course students will work in teams to produce several short films, having the opportunity to take turns at fulfilling all the essential crew positions: director, producer, cinematographer, production sound mixer, editor, and sound designer. We will emphasize thorough pre-production planning, scene design, cinematography, working with actors, and post production —including color correction and sound mixing. The critical dialogue established in FMMC 0105 Sight and Sound I will be extended and augmented with readings and screenings of outstanding independently produced work. (FMMC 0105) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Consult with a Film and Media Culture faculty member for guidelines.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Tutorial
All FMMC majors must complete this course in their senior year, during which they undertake the process of devising, researching, and developing the early drafts and materials for an independent project in Film and Media in their choice of medium and format. Students will be poised to produce and complete these projects during Winter Term, via an optional but recommended independent study. Prerequisites for projects in specific formats are outlined on the departmental website.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

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Course Description

Senior Projects
Students may enroll in this project-based independent credit to complete the thesis work started in the fall. Requires faculty approval based on satisfactory progress in the Senior Tutorial. Projects will include a public presentation at the end of Winter or beginning of Spring term.

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Work
After completing FMMC 0700, seniors may be approved to complete the project they developed during the previous Fall semester by registering for this independent course during the Winter Term, typically supervised by their faculty member from FMMC 0700. Students will complete an independent project in a choice of medium and format, as outlined on the departmental website. This course does not count toward the required number of credits for majors, but is required to be considered for departmental honors. In exceptional cases, students may petition to complete their projects during Spring semester.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Winter 2024, Winter 2025

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Course Description

Collaborative Video Projects
In this course students will learn to work collaboratively either as crew members on the senior thesis films produced for FMMC 0701 or on original projects, depending on availability of resources. Students will receive credit for performing in key creative positions, including Producer, Assistant Director, Cinematographer, Art director, Sound Designer, and Editor. In this class students will learn advanced set operations, while workshopping projects from pre-production to main photography to editorial, post-production and the final screening. Students must do significant pre-production before January. (Honors Pass/Fail; Approval required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

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