Studying Cinema to stimulate others in becoming more critically engaged

[I] wanted to do something with the movies the moment I watched Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ at six years old. I remember thinking wow, something so horrifying, so unsettling, now that’s a career for me, that’s exciting. But in fact, in many ways I think what interests me about the movies is the fact that, let’s be honest, they show us things we don’t want to see.  Whether it be birds or, I don’t know, the squalor of a candidate’s room. I chose film because I had come to see this was a medium unlike any other, and it fit my interests, it fit my identity.

Watch his full video essay below:

We are proud to announce Fareed Ben-Youssef is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.



  • At first I didn’t see the point of the filmography, and then I saw. Great job. I love the minimalist aesthetic that is constantly alluding to what’s behind the veil of appearances.

  • The photo essay: what a great self-critical use of the personal camera to make his point about the power of film! Great!!!

  • I’ve never met anyone more passionate about film and how it could change the world. Fareed is also extremely hard working and generous to others. The video captures the inimitable way he shows depth through lightheartedness.

  • This essay very much captures Fareed’s unparalleled enthusiasm for film coupled with his striking depth of analysis. Fareed makes the subjects that he tackles seem both approachable and vital to anyone with whom he is engaged in dialogue.

  • How can you watch this and not experience the contagious enthusiasm and critical sense of wonder that Fareed spreads around him!? I cannot imagine someone more deserving to receive support.

  • Fareed’s wide-ranging intellect, humor, and unflinching gaze into difficult subjects forms a rare combination to be admired — and supported! I hope this award will go towards furthering his infectious and engaging research and teaching.

  • Impossible not to be completely absorbed and stirred by this video-essay! What a fabulous use of the form, and such compelling and critical research. Very much look forward to reading (and watching!) more!

  • This essay just oozes with the heartfelt emotion and lifelong passion that the finalist has for film. You’re an inspiration, Fareed!

  • Excellent job Fareed! What an inspiring and engaging video essay. Your passion for the cinema is contagious!

  • Interesting take, Fareed … 🙂 … aside from the fact you remind me of my brother :-O 😉 , I think you’ve got some potentially interesting thoughts here … 🙂 … you might want to check out Guy deBord, the Society of the Spectacle, and, even more importantly, Kenneth Burke’s Rhetoric of Motives, published by U Cal Press … 🙂 … good luck with everything … 😀 …

  • In college, I first attended Fareed’s film club (Subtitles) because my friend wanted to go, and hey, free food. I kept going back each week because his pure joy for film made me want to see what would be screened next, and what kinds of discussions it would lead to. I still remember the films we watched in Subtitles, and some had even helped me in my classes. My knowledge of and appreciation for film grew (and still grows) all because Fareed has such a deep love of film, and because he wanted to share it with everyone. I’m so glad he could share that passion in college and this video essay shows he is still sharing it today. Keep it up!

  • Fareed’s dedication, enthusiasm and ability to speak to any and all perspectives of a film, whether it is art or propaganda (or both!) always delights, stimulates and asks me to understand more about the film.

  • I met Fareed ten years ago as his academic dean at Princeton, and he remains one of the most memorable and remarkable students I have known. He’s insightful, funny, charismatic, and thoroughly passionate about film. He blew away the whole freshman class in 2008 when he got to address them all during orientation, and I have always expected, since the time he took over all the film programming in our residential college then started the only film discussion club at Princeton, that he would one day be one of the great apostles of films, whether as a critic, festival curator, producer, or scholar.

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