Former URG president returns to showcase award-winning films
Jason Stefaniak first became involved in social and political issues after joining the Student Government Association and University Residence Government at Towson University, eventually taking on the presidency of the latter.
“I ended up being very involved in those organizations, and through that work I found an interest in stuff like social issues and exploring it through film,” the 2008 alumnus said. “I feel that the media has a certain responsibility because of our influence, and part of that is to do something good. So I try to address these issues.”
Stefaniak will return to campus Monday, April 16, for the first time since his graduation present a few of his short films.
The former electronic media and film major has produced more than 10 short films, several of which are award winning. In 2008, Stefaniak received an Emmy for his documentary “Velocipedes,” which focused on Baltimore’s Velocipede Bike Project. He collaborated with two other former Towson students to achieve the honor.
“We sent the movie in and it was a long shot, but we ended up winning,” Stefaniak said. “That was a surprise. Those kinds of things are always encouraging because there’s so much rejection, and something like that is a reminder that you just have to keep going, and it will eventually all work out.”
While scouting for schools that best fit his passion and goals, Stefaniak said he found the EMF program at Towson University appealing.
He had not considered the campus at first, but realized that it was the perfect fit for him once he got the chance to visit.
“The program was exactly what I was looking for,” he said. “I went from Towson’s EMF program to the grad program at NYU, which is what I’m finishing up now.”
Stefaniak’s strong affinity for his work comes from the passion he has had for films since a very young age.
“I have always loved movies,” he said. “Eventually I realized in high school that I wanted to actually make them. Ever since then, I would do whatever I could, like produce videos for class projects.”
The filmmaker will be coming to Towson’s campus on Monday, first paying a visit to an EMF class, then screening his films at a ceremony that will be open to the public.