C. Thomas Lewis, M.F.A.
- Senior Lecturer, Media Arts & Science
Contactlewisctiupui [dot] edu
- M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
- B.A., University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Themes of social justice and empowering the disenfranchised highlight the film career of C. Thomas Lewis.
Working with School of Liberal Arts faculty member Kyle Minor, he received a grant from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in 2017 for his current project, “Creating Films through Community Engagement to Address the Opioid/HIV Crisis in Austin, Indiana,” which is in production. Lewis hopes to present the films—including a documentary, and narratives made with Hoosiers battling these problems—in communities throughout the state.
In 2015 he received both an IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grant and an IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute grant for his far-reaching project, “Participatory Filmmaking to Confront HIV Stigma.” That summer, he traveled to Kenya to shoot a series of short narrative films. For these films, he designed a participatory filmmaking model bringing together many stakeholders—including patients, clinicians, counselors, students, and professors in the United States and Kenya—to determine many aspects of the films and contribute to their creation.
These films have screened at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis and the Africa International Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. They are available at hiv-films.org along with films he made in Kenya in 2013. The health partnership AMPATH, through its network of clinics throughout western Kenya, uses Thomas’s films in counseling and community outreach efforts.
Prior to his recent filmmaking in Kenya, Thomas created two ambitious video exhibitions in Indianapolis: “Better or Worse?” (2012) and “From Now On” (2013), which used new video-mapping technology to create immersive multi-projector gallery installations.
In 2013, Thomas was a co-founder of the nonprofit Word on the Street Inc., creator of The Cool Bus, which upcycles books to young readers in underserved communities of Indianapolis.
Lewis received his M.F.A. in film from CalArts in 1993, where he studied with filmmakers James Benning, Thom Andersen, and Betzy Bromberg. He subsequently worked professionally in video and film production in Los Angeles for sixteen years. From 2001 to 2009, he produced DVD bonus materials for the Harry Potter film series among other major motion pictures. In 2005, Thomas was the cinematographer for the motion picture “Viva” directed by Ann Biller, and he completed “Through Corridors and Factories,” a short film about post-colonialism in Hawaii that screened in festivals around the world. Other earlier works include “Got Land” (2008), a film about time, space and development in the American West, and “Of Fire and Water” (2009), a narrative film set in a dystopic future.
- Documentary filmmaking
- Narrative filmmaking
- Video-mapping / visualization
- Narrative medicine
- Health information systems and technologies
- Mobile medical software
- Connecting communities
NEWM N353 Intermediate Digital Video
NEWM N354 Directorial Analysis, Production, and RAW Workflow
NEWM-N 356 Lighting and Field Production
NEWM N357 Digital Effects
NEWM N456 Digital Cinema
NEWM-N 468 Video for Social Change
Short film ‘Michael’ is long on impact
IUPUI’s own C. Thomas Lewis and Carole McAteer, from the schools of informatics and medicine, respectively, traveled to Los Angeles on Oct. 7-9 to present their HIV-stigma film at the Awareness Film Festival. They represented IUPUI at the festival with a short film called “Michael,” which depicts the life of a Kenyan adolescent living with HIV. After Michael’s father neglects to take him to get medicine, Michael must find the courage to take responsibility for his own health.
- July 31, 2019
Impact of Indiana’s opioid epidemic demonstrated through film by IUPUI faculty
- September 20, 2018
Students in Greece Study Abroad Program find new stories to document
- April 2, 2018
Two MAS alumni to premiere documentary at the Tribeca Film Fest
- November 28, 2017
Media Arts and Science film students participate in Heartland Film Festival
- October 16, 2016
Professor’s film to be screened at Heartland Film Festival
- September 16, 2016
Students digitally document cultural treasures in Paros, Greece
- September 23, 2015
SoIC recognizes faculty for outstanding service and achievement
- March 31, 2015
Media Arts and Science Faculty Receives New Frontiers Grant for AMPATH Project
- December 16, 2014
Team develops app that offers better way to present patients with information in a global health care setting
- October 14, 2014
Media Arts and Science Student Creates “Shake It Off” Video for Fun and a Cause
- October 10, 2014
Alumni Film Accepted Into Heartland Film Festival
- February 18, 2014
Media Arts and Science Faculty, Students Collaborate with School of Medicine to Create AMPATH Health Education Videos
- January 17, 2014
School of Informatics and Computing Professor Involved in “Cool” Project
- September 6, 2013
School of Informatics and Computing Students and Alumni Win Big at 2013 48 Hour Film Competition
- January 23, 2013
C. Thomas Lewis, Media Arts and Science Lecturer, Chronicles Battle between Man and Nature in Video Installation Exhibit at Indianapolis Gallery
- April 22, 2010
Students get a taste of movie magic with their very own film