Award Winning Filmmaker Launches New Program at SUU

Published: July 12, 2021 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Read Time: 3 minutes

Harun Mehmedinovic at the Grand Canyon Photography by Gavin HeffernanSouthern Utah University is proud to announce Harun Mehmedinovic as the Assistant Professor of Film and Area Coordinator for their new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Filmmaking. Mehmedinovic was born and raised in Bosnia and then relocated to the United States in high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he studied screenwriting and theater directing, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Directing from the American Film Institute (AFI).

Speaking of starting the film program at SUU, he shared, “It is important for us to build a program that will get people jobs once they graduate. It is a very complicated industry. The question for us is ‘What can we focus on as a film school that is less about fantasies and more about getting jobs?’ With our program, we can focus on technical aspects that people can actually practice.”

He wants the students to “take away the experience of the location. The parks and the federal lands nearby are very important. We need to facilitate some sort of storytelling that will benefit the area.”

No stranger to southern Utah and the surrounding Mighty 5 National Parks, Mehmedinovic is well acquainted with the beauty the region provides and has a passion for filming and photographing the night skies. He is the author of an Astrophotography Book and Time-lapse Series: SKYGLOW. His videos have been used at various events, most notably by The Rolling Stones on their ZIP CODE tour & 2016 Tour, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters 2016 Tour, Desert Trip Concert, Paul Simon's 2018 Farewell Tour, and Cosmic Gate music video "am2pm," and National Park Service’s “100 Years” centennial video; among others.

Mehmedinovic shared, “Some people don’t understand the value of something they have in their backyard because maybe they are used to it. For example, Cedar Breaks is a Dark Sky park that is close to campus, but that night sky is what 80 percent of humanity can’t see. It is important for me to stress that there is this major resource close by that people aren’t aware of or they take for granted.”Night Sky at Cedar Breaks taken for the National Park Service by Harun Mehmedinovic

As the cinematographer and co-producer, Mehmedinovic worked on Ice on Fire, a Leonardo DiCaprio-produced feature documentary for HBO which premiered in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2019, and a co-cinematographer on Akicita, a documentary film which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. He is a regular video and photography contributor to BBC Earth, and has contributed photographs and videos to Vogue Italia, National Geographic, Astronomy Magazine, BBC Travel, Discovery Science, and Blindfold Magazine. Mehmedinovic’s photography work has been featured by various media outlets, including The New York Times, Wired, Time, Forbes, NPR, CNN, Gizmodo, Slate, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Vice, and Washington Post.

Mehmedinovic said, “We have to support local students interests and take advantage of what SUU has to offer with its resources. We also need to make it a unique program that will bring national and international film students to the area.”

SUU looks forward to working with Harun Mehmedinovic with the professional experience he brings to the program. The BFA program for filmmaking will be available in the fall of 2022. Students who may be interested should reach out to an SUU academic advisor closer to that time to inquire about the requirements of the program. For more information about SUU, please visit


Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Filmmaking College of Performing and Visual Arts

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