On September 1, Christina Lane, chair for the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, was named president-elect of the University Film and Video Association (UFVA). Lane served as a board member for two years before assuming her new position at UFVA, a not-for-profit organization which brings together media professionals to promote cinema and media as a whole. 

As president-elect, Lane will work closely under UFVA’s current president to learn the ins and outs of the job, as well as develop her own vision for the organization before officially becoming president in September 2020.

“My role is essentially helping bring together a lot of different people who do creative work,” said Lane. “So, this is really an extension of what I do here at UM.”

And Lane already has some ideas underway. Each July, UFVA hosts a slew of artists, creatives, academics, curators and even archivists at a conference to allow them to share their work and hear from other industry professionals. Between panels, film screenings, workshops and social receptions, Lane says that members leave the conference armed with a breadth of knowledge to share with their colleagues. 

However, according to Lane, once the conference ends, UFVA members don’t necessarily get a chance to collaborate like this until the next year’s conference. Lane plans to change this.

The president-elect aims to “create new and exciting ways for the members to interact throughout the year, whether that’s virtually or through workshops or get-togethers.”

Once in office, Lane also plans to install a long-term mentorship program in order for members to receive feedback on their work year-round.

“I see a lot of room to develop more mentorship among all the members but especially among women and people who are underrepresented in the field,” said Lane. “They can identify whether they’re having career or professional issues about publishing and creative work.”

Lane urges that the organization is not only open to full-time professionals, but to the under- or precariously-employed too. Students are welcomed as well, with discounted membership rates no less.

“The truth is we are in the process of redefining ourselves, literally as we speak, because the media landscape is changing so rapidly,” said Lane. “We want to let people know that we’re very welcoming of virtual reality folks and people who do digital media.”

With two years of experience under her belt and a brand-new leadership position, Lane hopes not only to expand UFVA’s reach, but of course, use it as a source of inspiration in her role at UM, too.