Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Department Chair:
Greggor Mattson

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring 2012

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring 2012

This years recipient was:

Ben Tobin
Cinema Studies major

Project Title: Anna Rising
Project Description: My film, Anna Rising, started out with the single image of this mysterious woman with a basket of bread attached to her bicycle riding through a small New England town, a reminder of the self sufficiency of the past. At the time I was thinking of ideas for a film and was intending to do a fictional comedy, but seeing Anna Fessenden acting as this source of life and sustenance for her community inspired me to find out more. I quicly learned she grew up in Oberlin for a short time and then all over Europe. I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I do recognize the interconnectedness of the universe and that this was no accident. I spent the summer of 2011 interviewing Anna, her friends, customers, and family. What I found was a story of loss (Anna's husband Jack passed away unexpectedly), growth both personal and artistic, a legendary anchor of a community, and much more. I've always wanted to make big budget blockbusters, that's why I decided to major in cinema studies. I wanted to build worlds and create magic, what I discovered in Ashfield was that magic does exist and it's right in my backyard. Human stories about real people have a power all their own. I felt inspired by Anna's story of becoming self-sufficient, putting others before herself, and making this fantastic European bread and I fell others will be inspired by her story as well. I expected this project to end after I sent the DVD off to the senior screening, but I still find myself following up with other artists, other community fixtures whose stories are equally fascinating and poignant and inspirational. While I still aspire to make feature films in fantasy worlds I also want to tell real stories about real people like Anna.