Jemma Dash caught the film bug at an early age.
Now that passion is paying off through a significant funding grant towards a research thesis at UBC.
The South Delta Secondary grad recently received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada graduate scholarship.
After receiving her BA in film studies and psychology from UBC, she is completing the first year of her master’s degree in cinema and media studies.
Her thesis examines the form and function of the modern movie trailer in the context of social media.
“My dad graduated from UBC in the film production program, so I have followed in his footsteps,” Dash said.
“One thing that SDSS had, which was really special, was the theatrical program which later developed into the film and television academy that they have now. I worked with Paige Hansen and Richard Dean Cox for my entire time in high school and it was really cool to work with people with so much experience and have that time set aside with real professionals really paved the way.
“In terms of my academic career here at UBC, it’s a lot to do with the industry as a whole.”
While an undergraduate student at UBC, Dash ran a student-directed seminar focusing on the ideological and social analysis of classic and contemporary Disney films. Under Dr. Christine Evan’s guidance, this class was the first student-directed seminar to be accredited by UBC’s department of theatre and film.
She will present her research on Disney’s Teaser Trailers on YouTube at this year’s annual Film Studies Association of Canada’s conference hosted at UBC. She is also a teaching assistant for Evan’s introductory film studies class and is excited to take on the role of editor in chief of the upcoming issue of UBC’s film studies journal, Cinephile, this fall.
“Getting this grant from the SSHRC was huge,” she said. “It was such a long and daunting process. The world of grants is so intimidating, but I had a lot of support from the faculty at UBC. I’m so grateful for that help.
“It is really cool that my research is being supported by the government because I think a lot of students are kind of persuaded away from going into things like the arts, so it’s a nice gesture that people doing all sorts of things can be supported.”