Film professor helped to expand arts at UCCS

Sept. 28, 2015

Kyle Guthrie
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Not every student at UCCS can claim their professor edited the book, “Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulated of Metacinema,” or knows as much about Quentin Tarantino movies as film studies professor Robert Von Dassanowsky.

“I grew up with film,” Von Dassanowsky said. “My mother was a producer and a studio founder. She founded a full out studio in Vienna in 1946 and she was a 23-year-old woman.”

“There aren’t too many women who have founded film studios in history, and there are certainly a lot less who did so at 23 years old and during the Second World War. She was a real pioneer,” he said.

Von Dassanowsky attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts to become an actor, but quickly changed gears to focus on other aspects such as writing and producing.

“I’ve got more than 20 projects that I have produced, everything from shorts to documentaries to feature length films,” Von Dassanowsky said, “and I’m very happy to be able to continue doing and still be able to teach culture, literature and film studies here.”

But film is just one of his fields of expertise. He is head of the German studies program for the Languages Department, and received the Chancellor’s award in 2006.

Although his love of German, Austrian and film studies is abundant, he said his passion is with the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at UCCS.

“It’s expanding like mad,” Von Dassanowsky said. “It’s an unusual department. It’s almost like a school of the arts in that it is totally interdisciplinary. There is film, there is music, there are other aspects. It doesn’t isolate what field you are in, it aims to cross it over.”

Teresa Meadows, associate professor in VAPA and chair of the Language and Cultures department, attributed part of VAPA’s success to Von Dassanowsky.

“He has an amazing energy and drive, and that energy and drive has brought the university an incredible professor,” Meadows said.

“I don’t know anyone on the campus who has touched the students the way that he is able to do, who has reached them, brought them in and help them find the things they are most passionate about,” she said.