March 08, 2010

Congratulations, San Francisco Art Institute!

Kathryn Bigelow presented the Oscar for Best Director by Barbra Streisand at the 82nd Academy Awards

…0n the first of your graduates to take home Best Director and Picture Oscars.  The history of film instruction at SFAI includes the participation of such luminaries as Sidney Peterson, Stan Brakhage, Larry Jordan, and George Kuchar. Kathryn Bigelow continues SFAI’s currently challenged legacy of small-gauge celluloid filmmaking:  The Hurt Locker was photographed in Super 16mm.

Comments (7)

  • Unealalrpled accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!

  • Suzanne Olmsted says:

    If anyone knows how to contact Ms. Bigelow, please send her the information that yes, seems to have gone hiding (sorry for the missing letters in the site)
    This issue is NOT over simply more people losing their jobs – it goes to the foundation of how we educate! Is education a pure business or are there other more important aspects – freedom to teach, freedom from fear of not teaching the ‘party line’ – all lines that lead to a lack of creativity in education. Instead, sfai is becoming the casualty of Management wanting large salaries at the expense of quality teaching. By firing Tenured Professors without “cause” should rock our goals and expectations from our educational system – ever inflating the cost of Management who bring in the scab teachers who will ‘teach what they are told’, leaving fear in the wake.

  • John Rapko says:

    The aforementioned website is at

  • Brecht Andersch says:

    Thanks for picking up and elaborating on the semi-hidden theme of this post, Suzanne. Unfortunately, the site you link to seems to have gone into hiding itself. Could you get word to its masterminds? This information should continue to be available to the public, especially the arts community.

  • Suzanne Olmsted says:

    I was so excited to see this film win, as well as knowing that Kathryn Bigelow had been a student at SFAI. Sadly, SFAI no longer has the creative film department that Ms. Bigelow enjoyed. SFAI, once a powerhouse in developing independent and non-traditional films with a large faculty,is no longer. When the new Management came in several years ago, major curricular changes were pushed through including all but eliminated the full-time faculty (one Tenured faculty remains).
    More power to Ms. Bigelow and I am happy she got the SFAI education the school was renowned for.
    Information on the status of the major changes at SFAI, including the Film Department can be found at:

  • And somebody said: Have Fun and Make History ….

    “She has always been independent. The only child of liberal-minded, middle-class Norwegian parents in San Carlos, Calif. – her late mother was a high-school English teacher; her late father managed a paint factory – Bigelow started painting at the age of 6, and for a while made that her career. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, did postgraduate work at New York University and Columbia, and made her first film, Set-Up, a 20-minute short, with a $2,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. While teaching a six-month class at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, she met director Walter Hill. He offered her a job and she never looked back.”

  • It is particularly heartwarming to notice you folks recognizing this sweet success. Our film department, all you mention,
    is and was one of the finest there is. Thanks for your noticing this.

See all responses (7)
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