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Freeman, Mark (1949-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Freeman, Mark (1949-)

Historical Note:

Mark Freeman, a documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor of Television, Film and New Media in the School of Theatre, Television and Film at San Diego State University, was born in 1949. He received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1975) and a Master of Fine Arts (1981) from the San Francisco Art Institute. He began making documentary films and other videos while studying at the San Francisco Art institute in 1973.

While he spent much of his career as an independent filmmaker, Freeman began teaching filmmaking workshops in 1991 at the University of New Mexico Training Institute.  He subsequently taught at Pitzer College (1993-95), San Francisco State University (1996), Santa Rosa Junior College (1996-1997), the University of California-Berkeley Extension (1996-97), Diablo Valley College (1997), Rio Hondo Community College (1998), the University of California-San Diego (1998-99), and the University of California-Irvine (1998-2000). In 2000 he became Assistant Professor in the School of Communication, and he is now Associate Professor in the School of Theatre, Television and Film at San Diego State University (SDSU).

While a faculty member at SDSU, Freeman focused his energies on creating documentaries about the inhabitants of San Diego County. This effort includes an “Encinitas Trilogy” – three documentary films focusing on Encinitas, California. The first, Edmund’s Island, released in 2002, is a twelve minute portrait of a homeless veteran who works as a news hawker in Encinitas. The second, Families and Flowers, released in 2003, is a twenty-seven minute documentary examining three families that have lived and worked in Encinitas’s flower industry for many generations. The final film, Lines in the Sand, released in 2004, is a seven minute documentary capturing the creative process of Encinitas environmental artist Kirk Van Allyn. In 2005 Freeman released a film titled Talking Peace, a 27-minute film based on interviews with Palestinians and Jews who participated in the monthly meetings of a Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue group in San Diego.

Freeman’s documentaries have won numerous awards, including a Gold Apple at the National Educational Film and Video Festival, a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival, and a Red Ribbon at the American Film and Video Festival. They have screened at museums including the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art (NY). Additionally, Freeman has won numerous awards as a teacher, including the pICT Summer Fellowship Program in 2005, the Top 25 SDSU list for 2003, and an Aztec Award Nomination for “Faculty Outstanding Community Service” in 2001.

He has participated in numerous university-, college-, school-, and community-level groups as a committee member, faculty presenter, panelist, director, consultant, judge, and discussant, including the International Security & Conflict Resolution program (Member, Curriculum Steering Committee), the California State University Media Arts Festival Advisory Council (Campus Representative), the SDSU Center for Qualitative Research (Founding Member), Future Aztecs Day (Faculty Presenter), Museum of Photographic Arts-San Diego (Member, Education Advisory Committee), the Encinitas Commission for the Arts (Advisory Panelist), the International Documentary Congress, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and theIndependent Documentary Association (Member, Planning Committee), and the Orange County Jewish Film Festival (Discussant).

Mark Freeman is currently Associate Professor of Television, Film and New Media in the School of Theatre, Television and Film at SDSU, and continues to produce, direct, write, film, and edit documentary films in the greater San Diego area.

Sources: Biographical information about Mark Freeman was retrieved from his personal website,

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