Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

February 2017: CCI Profiles

Ben MurphyAlumni: Ben Murphy (BS/JEM ’15 & Cinema Studies ‘15) landed a job in Los Angeles as an assistant editor on the blockbuster film, The LEGO Batman Movie. His story is featured in the latest edition of Torchbearer magazine, Murphy received recognition for his student documentary, The Merry Death Collector. He was featured in a graduation story in 2015 because of the way he combined his two majors to create the piece. He met the subject of the documentary, Arnie Meredith, during his LaFollette photo trip with Rob Heller’s advanced photojournalism class. The story can be found at
GeidnerFaculty: JEM Assistant Professor Nick Geidner is leading students on a new Land Grant Films documentary project about the Vietnam War. In September 2017, PBS will air Ken Burns’ new epic documentary, The Vietnam War. The 10-part, 18-hour documentary will cover all aspects of the war from beginning to end. In coordination with the release of Burns’ documentary, Land Grant Films is producing a half-an-hour documentary about the Vietnam War through the eyes of student filmmakers.
Land Grant Films will offer grants to three student filmmakers for production support. The stories will range from historic looks at Knoxville during the war, profiles of veterans, stories of organizations working with Vietnam veterans, and/or other related subjects.
The three student-produced short documentaries will be combined into a magazine-format half-hour show. East Tennessee PBS has agreed to multiple airings of the composite documentary. The program will also be released on the Tennessee PBS network, so that it can be picked up and aired by other PBS stations in the state. The student documentary project is being featured as a VOLstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to create the student-produced segments. To make a contribution to this worthy project, go to
Tala ShataraStudent: Tala Shatara, a junior majoring in journalism and electronic media, has developed a way to create and monetize her own brand. A recent WBIR-TV story highlights how her Instagram business grew organically out of her personal interests and use of social media. Like many successful social media communicators, she found her marketing niche by accident. See the full story of Shatara’s successful use of social media at