Nate Thomas

Nate Thomas
Professor, Film Production Option Head
Office location:
MZ 320


Nate Thomas has directed and/or produced numerous film projects including award-winning PBS documentaries, television commercials, public service announcements, music videos, etc. He spent in-flight and ground travel time with 1988 presidential candidate Jesse Jackson directing and producing for the campaign UNDER THE RAINBOW, a promotional film narrated by Casey Kasem. In addition, he produced several of Jackson’s television commercials.

In Hawaii, Nate line-produced a 70mm IMAX film presentation for Japan’s Expo ‘89. He also produced and directed a series of award-winning anti-alcohol public service announcements geared toward Black women for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. These spots were telecast on television throughout California. Most recently he directed and produced a gripping 30 second cyber predator public service announcement for television sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice. For his efforts Thomas received a commendation from FBI Director Robert Mueller. Thomas also produced a featurette and electronic press kit for Universal Pictures’ GHOST DAD starring Bill Cosby, and the nationally televised PBS film THE LAST OF THE ONE NIGHT STANDS. This documentary on the big band era won numerous awards including a CINE Golden Eagle, a Focus Award, honors at the San Francisco International Film Festival and an award from the Black American Cinema Society. It was given special screenings at the 15th annual Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand and the Smithsonian Institution where it is contained in the film archives.

Nate, a Warren, Ohio native, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Using a graduate fellowship from Warner Brothers, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Cinema Production from the prestigious University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. He is listed in Who's Who Among African Americansand is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mr. Thomas is a tenured Professor of Cinema and Television Arts and Head of the film production program at California State University, Northridge where in 1998 he was honored as the Outstanding Professor in creative activity.

Mr. Thomas won a Sony Innovator Award in recognition of his film work and completed the independent feature film entitled EAST OF HOPE STREET. Mr. Thomas directed the urban drama which was co-written and co-produced with friend and associate Tim Russ, star of Paramount Television’s STAR TREK: VOYAGER series. The film is a real-life story of a teenage Latina who comes of age while struggling to survive the abuses of home, the inner city, and an overburdened child protection system in a Los Angeles most of us never see. EAST OF HOPE STREET won Best Feature Film at the 1998 New Orleans Urban Film Festival, Best Urban Drama at the 1998 New York International Independent Film Festival, 1st Place, Cross Cultural at the 1998 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Festival and a Jury Award at the 1999 Hollywood Black Film Festival. It was also honored at the 8th Annual First Americans in the Arts Awards Show and was nominated for the prestigious Imagen Award (Spanish Image Awards). EAST OF HOPE STREET is distributed by The Cinema Guild and opened nationally in selected theaters Fall of 1999. It is available on home video through Maverick Entertainment.

Professor Thomas recently directed the independent feature film entitled STOMPIN' which stars Sinbad and Vanessa Bell Calloway. It has been released on DVD by Warner Home Video.

Professor Thomas has been featured in a variety of newspaper articles including the L.A. TIMES and The L.A. DAILY NEWS. He has also been featured on E! ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, STARZ MOVIE NEWS, and numerous other television entities nationally. Locally he has been featured on Channel 4 News and Channel 13 News.