Meet the Crew

Backstage Crew Trucker Hat

The Fall 2020 Film Studies Crew is a mix of new and familiar faces. We thought we’d introduce ourselves.

Lucas Ortega is an English major on the Writing and Rhetoric track going into his junior year at FIU. He wants to be a professional film critic after he graduates. One of his favorite things about watching movies is finding the good moments in otherwise forgettable or downright bad films. He’s a pretty laid-back person until you mention a movie he’s recently seen. Then you might have to walk away to shut him up. His favorite movie is Clueless, but if you ask him tomorrow, he’ll probably give you a different answer. When he’s not watching movies, he enjoys trying to read books and listening to indie rock and pop music.

Laura Matzdorf is a senior studying Criminal Justice in addition to her Associates of Arts degree in Psychology. She was approached to join the FIU Film Studies internship by attending the Thursday Night Movie Screenings. Laura has behind the scenes experience in filmmaking ranging from participating in the 48 Hour Film Challenge to being on an episode of When Sharks Attack on National Geographic. Her movie genre favorites are horror and psychological thrillers. She is a die-hard DC fan and with a thick comic book collection. She hopes to become a therapist in the future and still wishes to participate in the film industry.

Emily Sol
Emily Sol is a senior studying English Literature and Women’s Studies. It is her first time interning with the Film Studies at FIU after being introduced to the program through her History of Film course. She’s passionate about film and aspires to one day attend film school in New York in hopes of becoming a director. Some of her favorite movie genres include horror and sci-fi., while her favorite movies are The Man Who Fell to Earth and Aliens. She’s always looking for a new sci-fi franchise to get into, so if you have any recommendations make sure to send a message to the FIU Film Studies Instagram page. If quarantine has taught her anything about herself, it’s that no matter how much free time she has, she still won’t get through 600+ pages of Dune or her 200+ Criterion watch list in a timely matter.

Eddy is a senior at FIU who enjoys reading and playing video games in search for great characters and stories. He is a fan of Rumiko Takahashi, a famous Japanese author, and has watched most of her anime-adapted works such as Inuyasha and Ranma ½. His favorite show of all time comes from the satirical Urusei Yatsura and has collected many valuables from it. Eddy’s favorite set of games comes from the Persona franchise, with his favorite being Persona 4: Golden. When it comes to outside activities, He enjoys playing tennis and has done so competitively for 6 years prior to entering FIU. Before the quarantine, Eddy spent most of his weekends watching new films in theatres with friends at Sunset Place and enjoyed driving out at night blasting city pop music. His biggest dream is to become a film director and create successful and well-written live-action films while respecting the original story and characters.

Mat is an English major on the Writing and Rhetoric track in his senior year at Florida International University. When he’s not talking about movies, chances are he’s thinking, watching, or writing about them, and he hopes to land a career somewhere in the film industry. You can find him watching any kind of movie, but Blue Velvet, Rocky, and The Grand Budapest Hotel are a few of his favorites. He’s a David Lynch super fan. Books, TV shows, movies, music—if Lynch had anything to do with it, he’s probably consumed it.

Emily Rivero
This Emily is a senior studying English with a Creative Writing focus and pursuing a certificate in Film Studies. She enjoys consuming content in all forms, whether that be through films, books, or social media. If it’s distracting from the current dumpster fire that is the reality around her, best believe she is into it. Currently, Emily is watching Star Wars for the first time and really hopes that the rest of the franchise is as good as the first three movies and that she is never ever disappointed and that everyone lives happily ever after.

Farah C. Yamini
Farah C Yamini is many things—third culture kid, brown, queer, feminist, poet, performer, plant mamabama, & scholar making the academy a more humane place one semester at a time–but in the film studies program, plays the special role of stretching, expanding and complicating the bandwidth and electricity of film intern’s projects and interests. They were once part of the “film ho & film bro” duo, but now that film those film interns have moved on, they are just a basic Teaching Assistant with the English department, happy for the opportunity to love on film. One day, they hope to make a campy ecological horror feature, shorts and video essays, playing proper homage to Iranian & Iranian-American films by the likes of Jafar Panahi & Ana Lily Amirpour. In the meantime, find Farah shuffle dancing on their balcony next to their herb garden.

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.