The Karen Holmes Experimental Cinema Scholarship

College of Liberal and Creative Arts
Scholarship awarded for the Fall semester.

  • Awarding Department: School of Cinema
  • Scholarship Intent: Karen Holmes—beloved Professor Emerita in the School of Cinema—is a renowned experimental filmmaker whose work has been exhibited and enjoyed internationally for nearly 50 years. Professor Holmes has illuminated the creative potential of cinema for generations of SF State students, spearheading the experimental curriculum for the undergraduate program. In addition, Professor Holmes coordinated the M.F.A. program during its establishing era, fostering experimental filmmaking practices at the graduate level and inspiring multiple cohorts of graduates to pursue university-level teaching of the cinema as well. Professor Holmes’s award-winning works in film and still photography utilize innovative structures and layered compositions to evoke remembrance, question perceptions of identity, and reveal multiple meanings in light and shadow. It is to provide scholarship support to Cinema students in the creation of works in experimental filmmaking that inspire innovation, develop new approaches, and expand the boundaries of the medium.
  • Criteria:
    1: Undergraduate preference but graduate students can apply. Students must be
    majoring in Cinema (currently enrolled full-time) and taking 2 or more units
    in the Cinema Department.
    2: Students working on thesis – Graduate students receiving a scholarship the semester they are working on thesis are not held to the enrollment requirement.
  • Major: Single: Cinema
  • Class Level: HS Seniors: N/A; Undergrad: Any; Grad: Masters and MFA
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing and entering students can apply.
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 12 UNITS; Grad: 8 units (Unless student in working on a thesis are not held to the enrollment requirement)
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: HS GPA: N/A; Undergrad GPA: N/A; Grad GPA: N/A
  • Contact Person: Cinema Main Office
  • Campus Address: FA 245
  • Street Address: 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, California 94132
  • Phone Number: (415) 338-1629
  • Email:
  • Web page: School of Cinema
  • Number of Awards: varies
  • Amount of Award: varies
  • Award Term: Fall only

Supplemental Questions
  1. A personal statement (not to exceed 250 words). In your statement to the experimental filmmaking faculty and evaluation committee define your project goal, clarify your experimental film, explain why you are pursuing this project and how it is pertinent now.
  2. Work sample from a personal project, up to a maximum of 2-3 minutes in length (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link).
  3. Will you be enrolled full-time during the upcoming Fall?
  4. Please upload unofficial transcript