Students Showcase Talent at 2012 CSU Media Arts Festival

Alan Bloom, professor of television and film at CSU Los Angeles and former director of the Media Arts Festival, presents 2012 MAF finalist award to Kimberly Esslinger. Photo by Tafari Gonzalez-Aird.

Only after the urging of her professor, Kimberley Esslinger entered her short mixed-media video into the 22nd Annual California State University Media Arts Festival (MAF). She earned fourth place in the experimental category.

“I wasn’t even going to enter this project because it really didn’t fit in any category. I thought it was just a throw away,” Esslinger said of her 1:16 minute video “Noble Truth 2,” which she did on the Buddhist second noble truth—desire, for a digital graphics class (ART 346) taught by assistant professor, art and design Elli Zenhari last spring. “I was so surprised when I saw that I was a finalist. I felt really super honored because it wasn’t just for our class, but it was for statewide recognition.”

The California State University, Dominguez Hills senior majoring in digital media arts (DMA) with a television arts option and minoring in digital arts was one of 37 overall finalists from 10 CSU campuses who were selected out of 164 entries from 15 CSU campuses after critical review from industry and university experts. In total 22 videos in the categories of animation, documentary, interactive media, music video, or narrative were presented during the festival’s screening held in the Steven G. Mahaylo Hall at CSU Fullerton on Nov. 10.



And Esslinger wasn’t the only student representing CSU Dominguez Hills. Recent graduates Jason Hernandez (Class of ’12, B.A., Chicana/o studies/digital media arts, television arts option) and Alex White (Class of ’12, B.A., digital media arts, television arts option), and senior digital media arts major Marja Baker, collaborated as JAM Productions to produce a music video “Love Yourself” featuring singer Chaz Mason for a capstone senior project course (DMA 499) for digital media arts majors taught by chair and professor of digital media arts George Vinovich, professor of music and digital media arts David Bradfield, and professor of digital media arts Mark Waldrep. The trio placed third in the music video category.



“I’m honored that our project took third place… Having a festival like this gives students some much needed positive feedback for all their hard work,” White said. “Some of the projects were amazing and they showed the high level of talent coming from CSU schools. We were glad to be there to represent our school.”

Alan Bloom, professor of television and film at CSU Los Angeles and former director of the Media Arts Festival, presents 2012 MAF finalist award to Alex White. Photo by Tafari Gonzalez-Aird.

Vinovich said, “The song was well recorded, well performed, and it told a story that our students could bring to life with visual images and dramatizations to make an effective music video.” He added, “We are always proud to see our students receive recognition from off-campus professionals for their hard work and quality productions. This type of validation really boosts our students’ confidence and morale to go out and get a job in the highly competitive media industry.”

This year MAF featured a mixer for CSU students and faculty, and industry guests, as well as a keynote presentation by television producer and screenwriter Brannon Braga, who is best known for his work with the Star Trek franchise. Established in 1991, CSU Summer Arts plays a major role in expanding the opportunities for students from throughout the 23-campus CSU system who are studying film, video and interactive media, by offering two- and four-week master classes for college credit during the Summer Arts Festival in July, as well as the MAF critical review and screening in November.

For more information on MAF, visit

For more information on the Digital Media Arts program at CSU Dominguez Hills, visit


  1. Vivian Price says:

    Congratulations to all the students and professors who were involved in these terrific achievements! I enjoyed watching both pieces and see why they won high awards!

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