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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

News & Events

AHSS Faculty Snapshot: Erika Polson

By Sarah Leiser, MA in Media and Public Communication '18

Associate Professor Erika Polson in Havana, Cuba

Erika Polson has traveled from Paris to Singapore to Bangalore to study the emergence of a new generation of expatriates and business travelers that uses location technologies such as and to find drop-in communities in global cities around the world. Polson argues that a new 'global middle class' is forming through the shared identities, social connections, and global knowledge that participants accrue through these new social practices. An assistant professor in the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, Polson spent six years researching these practices for her new book, Privileged Mobilites: Professional Migration, Geo-Social Media, and a New Global Middle Class (Peter Lang, 2016).

In the book, Polson claims that as international corporations have ramped up "workforce globalization", young professionals increasingly move abroad alone--meaning they arrive in foreign cities with a need to tap into a local social life. Taking advantage of the location-awareness abilities of mobile technologies, social entrepreneurs have created groups in hundreds of cities that bring foreigners together in face-to-face gatherings with just a few clicks.

To gather ethnographic data for her book, Polson utilized the online social media platforms herself to participate in events and interview other members in three key global cities. While she sometimes found herself in strange situations, she mainly felt comfortable with the research, even when it meant arriving alone to a party in a foreign city where she'd never been before. That is the point, Polson explains: "The new global middle class has created a common way of socializing with each other in public spaces, so that the vibe and the routine become rather familiar from one geographic site to the next... it's not frictionless, by any means, but for mobile professionals these technologies become a 'key' to quick – if rather superficial – local connection."

Accolades for "Happy F-Ing Valentine's Day" 

Happy F-ing Valentine's Day , the inaugural film by Project DU F.I.L.M. (Film Initiative Linking to Mentors) has been toppling expectations in its first film festival season. 

The short narrative film was co-written by MFJS Associate Professor Sheila Schroeder and Kate Burns and was cast, filmed, edited, and produced by DU students, alumni, and faculty in an incredible collaboration of minds and expertise. 

So far Happy F-ing Valentine's Day has been, or will be, screened at the following festivals, winning multiple awards along the way:

Lyons Film Festival Audience Choice Award laurels

Longmont Front Range Film Festival
April 2016
Winner: Audience Award 

Lyons Film Festival 
June 2016
Winner: Audience Choice Award

Intendence Film Festival
June 2016

Breckenridge Film Festival laurels

Out Here Now Kansas City LGBT Film Festival 
June 2016
Winner: Best Short Comedy Film

North Caroline LGBT Film Festival
August 2016

Breckenridge Film Festival
September 2016

Reeling Film Festival
September 2016

Lyons Film Festival Audience Choice Award laurels

TampaBay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
September 2016

Dallas VideoFest
October 2016

Out on Film
October 2016

The script has been accepted at the following festivals:

Broad Humor Film Festival Best Short Screenplay laurels

Broad Humor Film Festival
Winner: Best Short Screenplay

Las Vegas Screenplay Contest
Official Finalist: Short Screenplay

Houston Comedy Film Festival nomination

Houston Comedy Film Festival
Nominated: Best Short Screenplay

American Movie Awards
Official Finalist: Short Screenplay


DU Project F.I.L.M.

Shooting Happy F-ing Valentines Day onsiteMade up of DU alumni and current students, Project F.I.L.M (Film Initiative Linking to Mentors) was created in 2015 by MFJS associate professor Sheila Schroeder to bring together students and mentors in the film production field.

This spring the collective premiered their first short film, Happy F-ing Valentine's Day, at the Longmont Front Range Film Festival.Not only was the film nominated for Best Short Screenplay, but it took home top honors with a Best Film of the Fest Award as well as the Audience Favorite Award.

The film, which was produced, edited, and shot by alumni and students and co-written by Sheila Schroeder, has also received Official Finalist Status from the Houston Comedy Film Festival, the Las Vegas Screenplay Competition, and the American Movie Awards Screenplay Competition, and will be screened at the Lyons Film Festival and the Kansas City LGBT Film Festival. 

One Day for DU Logo

Project DU F.I.L.M. is thrilled to announce that they have been selected to be part of the University of Denver's One Day for DU campaign on May 18. As a collaborative mentoring project that brings together faculty, alumni and students to create a short film, your help in furthering the goals of the project is so appreciated. Check out more about One Day for DU here: