Chatham News

Chatham University to present The Best of the MFA Series with free public screening of a film by Zakk Heaps

Event is hosted by Chatham’s Graduate Film Society and the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Technology program

PITTSBURGH (March 13, 2013) … Chatham University will present a free public screening of “The Ocean Breathes” by local filmmaker Zakk Heaps, MFA ’11, at 7 p.m. on March 21 in the Eddy Theater. The screening is part of The Best of the MFA Series, hosted by the Graduate Film Society and the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Technology program; the series aims to share the power of cinema with the community.

With a constant desire to increase his knowledge of filmmaking and production, Heaps opted to further his education and went on to earn his Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Technology at Chatham University. His work revolves around the environment and human interest. Heaps’ MFA thesis documentary “The Ocean Breathes” focuses on the unique wind conditions of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The film explores how these winds have aided in the establishment of this distinct community and how they might carry the region into the future, with wind power as a renewable energy source. The film premiered at the Hatteras Island Surf Film & Music Festival in July of 2012 and is in the process of submission to different festival circuits.

Heaps is a director and cinematographer for the auto TV series “Open Throttle 360.” In addition, Heaps has worked commercially with clients such as American Eagle, Creed, Giant Eagle, and The American Cancer Society.

For more information about the screening, contact Summer Marsh at

About Chatham University’s MFA in Film and Digital Technology program
The MFA in Film and Digital Technology program is focused on advanced project work in a range of media production areas, principally film/video, DVD and the Web. It is designed to extend and develop students’ experience and knowledge in the field of media production and their understanding of creative and critical practice within the media industries.

Students in this MFA graduate program are encouraged to explore the ways boundaries between previously separate forms of media production are blurring. Students will focus on developing their understanding of how emerging concepts such as interactivity, connectivity and convergence of emerging technologies such as DVD and interactive video are creating new creative possibilities, production processes and delivery systems for more traditional forms of media production, such as film and video.

About Chatham’s Graduate Film Society
Chatham’s Graduate Film Society is a student-led organization that encourages people who are passionate about film and cinema to watch, discuss, and enjoy movies with fellow film lovers.

About Chatham University
Chatham University, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region. With enrollment of over 2,300 students and consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and co-educational graduate and online programs, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, health and lab sciences, creative and liberal arts, and business and entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

For more information, call 412-365-1139 or visit