Film producer/director Frank Stiefel will be the 2017 commencement speaker at Santa Monica College, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 at Corsair Field.
Santa Monica College graduates at last year’s commencement ceremony. This year, SMC’s 87th commencement ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 at Corsair Field. Santa Monica-based film producer/director Frank Stiefel will be the 2017 commencement speaker.
May 31, 2017
SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College (SMC) is pleased to announce that film producer/director
Frank Stiefel will be the 2017 commencement speaker.
87th commencement ceremony will be held at
6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 at
Corsair Field. For the eighth year in a row, the ceremony will also be webcast live and available on the
SMC Alumni Association webpage (alumni.smc.edu). Families and friends from all over the world who are not able to attend graduation will be able to watch the ceremony and see the graduates receive their diplomas.
About 675 of the more than 3,750 students who have earned degrees and certificates are expected to take part in the festivities.
"We're honored to have
Frank Stiefel address our graduates," said SMC Superintendent/President
Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. "Mr. Stiefel is an inspirational individual on many different levels: as an executive who has established a highly successful career in one of the most competitive industries; as an artist whose empathy and vision created powerful and moving documentary films; and – perhaps most significantly – as a longtime member of the
Santa Monica College Foundation, giving of his time and resources to support the educational aspirations of Santa Monica College students and to make innovative faculty endeavors a reality."
Stiefel was born in
New York City. He is a product of the
New York Public School system and attended the evening division of
The City College of New York.
At the age of 19, he established the New York-based
Stiefel & Company Inc. to represent commercial photographers. The company shifted its focus to represent commercial directors in the 1970s. By the 1980s, the company opened an office in Los Angeles and moved into the production of television commercials. During his years as an executive producer, Stiefel served on both the east and west coast boards of the
Association of Independent Commercial Producers. He is the only person to be elected twice to serve as the national president. Stiefel is also a two-time past chairman of the
AICP Show at the
Museum of Modern Art.
In 2002, he merged Stiefel & Company with the international production company
RadicalMedia. Stiefel continued as executive producer and also produced a number advertising sponsored television programs.
Over the years, Stiefel produced short subject documentaries. Several have been honored at the
Toronto Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and others.
In 2009, he left RadicalMedia to direct a documentary based on his mother's life.
Ingelore was honored by the
International Documentary Association and the
Museum Of Modern Art. The film also appeared in 30 international film festivals and was acquired by
In 2016, Stiefel completed
Heaven Is A Traffic Jam on the 405, a documentary based on the life of artist
Mindy Alper. The documentary film premiered at
The Broad Stage at the
Santa Monica College Performing Arts
Center and has gone on to a very successful festival run. In April, Heaven Is A Traffic Jam on the 405 became the only film ever to win both the
Audience and Critics prize at the prestigious
Full Frame Documentary Festival.
Stiefel served on the
Santa Monica College Foundation Board from 1998-2016. He was President for six years.
He lives in
Santa Monica with his wife BJ. His daughters Hannah and Sofie live nearby.
Through the Alumni webpage, SMC graduates will also be able to watch videos and read and post comments. Graduates and SMC friends are encouraged to visit and "like" the Alumni Association's
Facebook fan page (facebook.com/SMCAlumni), as well as upload their graduation photos. They can also tag their pictures to
Twitter with #proudtobesmc to have them published on the Alumni website.
After the ceremonies, the SMC Alumni Association will host a reception on the Quad, with free hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and photo booths where pictures will be taken and uploaded to the SMC Alumni website. A compilation video will be available on the Alumni website about a week after graduation. For more information on SMC's 87th commencement ceremony, visit
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