Meet the Crew: Spring 2021 Edition

Allow us to introduce ourselves! Here’s the spring 2020 FIU film studies crew who are bringing you the social media content, weekly screenings, hot takes, reviews, features and news.

Lucas Ortega is a Junior studying English in the Writing and Rhetoric track at FIU. He aspires to write about movies professionally after he graduates. He has a habit of watching movies he knows he probably won’t like out of some strange obligation to give them a chance to surprise him. Lucas is generally a pretty quiet person but will talk your ear off if you bring up something he really cares about. Don’t ask him what his favorite movie is. He doesn’t know anymore. When he’s not sifting through Netflix for a movie to watch, Lucas likes to listen to indie rock and scroll endlessly through Twitter.

Andres Arias is a Communication major on the Journalism track in his senior year at FIU. He hopes to become a general pop culture critic after graduation. Andres enjoys watching along with reading and writing about films and enjoys playing video games, particularly adding to his original Xbox collection. He has a fondness for the films of Ang Lee big and small and is also a massive fan of Marvel’s X-Men franchise across all media. Favorite game genres of his include dungeon crawlers, hack-and-slash and dark adventures like The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and Batman: Arkham Asylum. One of his key takeaways from watching films is examining their original scores and how they can elevate a mediocre or truly terrible movie, or make the best ones that much better. Outside of film, Andres savors rock music from Sonic Youth to Aimee Mann and anything in between.

Valenti Govantes is an English major with two certificates in Film and Public/Professional Writing in his final semester at Florida International University. He aims to be an advertising executive with a focus on the entertainment industry. This intern is a human encyclopedia. Ask him anything and he would likely know about it. Besides being a human encyclopedia, he loves to watch horror movies such as Fright Night (1985) and read graphic novels. He absolutely enjoys the Star Wars franchise, liking all three trilogies equally. His favorite director is Sam Raimi with Quentin Tarantino at a close second place. He is currently reading the works of authors Issac Asimov and Stephen King. He also wrote for PantherNOW for a year and continues to write about the entertainment industry on Medium.

Austin is a first-year graduate student on the Literature track. He hopes to one day be a professor of English Literature or professional trapeze artist. He enjoys films of all sorts, and loves punchy dialogue. His favorite directors are Scorsese, Tarantino, Kubrick, and Tarkovsky. Austin also enjoys reading novels, books on philosophy as well as history, exercising, and frantically pacing back and forth in his room while thinking of something to write. He’s written pieces for the South Florida Sun Times and the Aventura Digest, and is also a mildly successful real estate agent.

Dr. Strycharski
Andrew Strycharski directs FIU’s film studies certificate program. He used to say he didn’t like horror, but spent part of the summer watching gialli, and rewatching recent titles such as Midsommar and Mandy, and has changed his mind. He likes old things: vinyl, English renaissance poetry, Italo cinema from the Cinecittà heyday. He does not own a microwave.