The Film and Video Center at UC-Irvine is Orange County’s premiere art house cinema and cinemathèque, featuring both archival and contemporary works that reflect a wide spectrum of audiovisual practices, from popular Hollywood cinema to experimental video and electronic media, to documentary and independent narrative film. Housed in the School of the Humanities, and now making full use of two state-of-the-art projection facilities – both equipped with surround sound systems - the FVC provides a lively forum for mediamakers to share their work with viewers across campus and throughout Southern California at a fraction of the cost of a typical evening at the movies. For well over a decade, the FVC has specialized in showcasing works in 35mm, 16mm, or video formats, allowing these films and videos to be experienced as they were originally meant to be seen and heard.
The FVC is dedicated to providing Orange County and surrounding communities with direct access to thought provoking, emotionally engaging, and artistically bold new and rarely screened film and media by highly talented mediamakers. Its mission is to actively support independent mediamaking and open up new pedagogical possibilities, while fostering the growth of a local public culture that is receptive to rich and unique movie-going experiences.
Catherine Benamou, FVC Director
Catherine L. Benamou is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and Visual Studies, and affiliated faculty in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCI. She holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University. Her research and teaching interests include border cinema, Latin American and Latina/o cinema, transnational television flows and diasporic audiences, Orson Welles and off-Hollywood production, overlaps and collisions between documentary and fictional modes of representation, and cinemas of the Lusophone and Maghrebi diasporas.
While pursuing her graduate studies in New York City, Dr. Benamou curated original exhibitions of works by Latin American women film artists and documentary makers, archival and contemporary films portraying the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon at Anthology Film Archives, Central Hall Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MOCHA). She also provided consultation and research coordination for the Latin American component of the biennial Native American Film Festival at the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian Institution in New York, and was scholar-adviser and co-founder of the “Punto de Vista: Latina,” an innovative distribution project at Women Make Movies, Inc. In 1993, Dr. Benamou worked as Associate Producer of It’s All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles, produced by Balenciaga Films and distributed by Paramount Pictures, Inc. She continues to work with the UCLA Film and Television Archive towards the complete preservation of the remaining 150,000 feet of nitrate footage of this unique dramatization of true stories set in Brazil and Mexico. Her research on this film has been published in a book, It’s All True: Orson Welles’s Pan-American Odyssey (University of California Press, 2007), and she has also published numerous articles on the history and aesthetic politics of Latin American and Latina/o cinema and television.
Kimberly Yaari, FVC Associate Director
Kimberly Yaari holds a BA in Film Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently completing her MA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. Her thesis explores Sudden Fear (Miller 1952) as a post World War II/1950s transitional film and how Joan Crawford exemplified changing ideologies of the era.
Ms. Yaari is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival and has held volunteer positions with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the Fullerton Film Festival. Previously, she was Associate Director of the Riverside Arts Council and Communications Manager of the Arts Council for San Bernardino County. Ms. Yaari works as a contract professional in the fields of grant writing, event planning and public relations.