Kanopy Streaming Media Offers a Variety of Films to Enhance Classes

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Are you looking for a different way to engage with your students? Have you considered integrating streaming media into your syllabus? Ever wanted to embed a movie into Blackboard for your students? Now you can, with Kanopy!

Thanks to a Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) initiative, George Mason University now has access to a database of more than 26,000 streaming films including many in the Criterion Collection. Kanopy is a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) streaming media service purchased by VIVA central funds for use by members of VIVA. PDA means that while we have access to stream any film in the collection, titles that have been streamed four or more times are triggered for purchase of a one year lease. Kanopy works with thousands of academic campuses and understands what services are important for a university like ours.

Through Kanopy, the George Mason community is able to stream films by more than 8,000 producers. Titles found in the database come with Public Performance Rights (PPR) which allow for public film screenings on campus. In addition to the film transcript that is included under every film, closed captioning can be requested for any film.

Kanopy has multiple features that can make an instructor’s life easier. Each film is capable of being embedded in Blackboard in its entirety. Users can also compile and embed a playlist of movies to watch. If a professor wants to show only a short scene of a film, Kanopy allows for easy clipping and sharing. Tutorials on how to make clips or embed to Blackboard can be found on the Library’s Tutorial Page. Kanopy is also accessible on most mobile devices and can also be used with Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast, making it very appealing to students.

kanopy limitersIt is easy to search for films in Kanopy—you can either type in a specific title or browse from the curated subject groupings. The result page also has limiters to help narrow down your search—pick a specific filmmaker, supplier, language or year produced.With subjects ranging from architecture to zoology, from midwifery to media studies, Kanopy has something for everyone. top ten in kanopy jan-junThere are more than 1,000 titles under the “Film Studies” subject alone! There is even a “Staff Picks” section if you need some recommendations. Kanopy also keeps track of which are the top viewed films for our institution. Mason’s current top 5 are “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “Social Climbers,” “Neshoba: The Price of Freedom,” “Scottsboro,” and “American Experience: Cold War Roadshow.”

At the moment, the trial service is set to run out at the end of June 2017, but we still have enough funds to take advantage of this great database through the Fall semester. The more interest we have in the database, the more likely it is we will be able to renew the subscription to continue the service. Make sure to take a look around and see if any films will be useful to you in your courses in the coming terms, and feel free to contact the Media Librarian with any feedback on this service.


The 145: 89th Academy Award Documentary Features from Submission to Winner

Below are the 145 films submitted for the Documentary Oscar Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.  This year, two films have a direct connection to Mason: The Anthropologist and 13THThe Anthropologist features Environmental and Sustainability Studies Professor Susie Crate, who specializes in environmental and cognitive anthropology; and one of the cinematographers for 13TH is Film and Video Studies (FAVS) Assistant Professor, Hans Charles.

As new films are added to Mason Libraries’ collection, they will be updated.  Curious about last year’s Oscar race?  Check out the 88th Academy Awards Documentary feature submissions list here.

The 89th Academy Awards will be held on February 26, 2017.


A Fearless Storyteller: Producer Christine Vachon

On Wednesday, September 28, the GMU Visiting Filmmakers Series will host A Conversation with Christine Vachon, an extraordinary independent film producer. At the event, Women in Film and Video of Washington, DC (WIFV) will present Vachon with the 2016 Women of Vision Award. Vachon’s films have earned Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and many other accolades. (more…)

Pride Month Featured Films

This year President Obama proclaimed that June is LGBTQ Pride Month. This follows last year’s historic ruling legalizing marriage equality and the recent legalization of adoption for same-sex couples. Below is a selection of films available in the University Libraries’ collection that depict issues that have historically affected the LGBTQ community and continue to do so today. If you have suggestions for what other titles you would like to see the Libraries purchase, please send a note to the Media Librarian.



This is the blog for Media Services in the University Libraries at George Mason University.

Media Services Contacts

Laura Jenemann
Media Services/Film Studies Librarian

Denise Klasen-Lopez
Circulation/Media Assistant