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Visionary Film Artist Rob Todd Remembered

Professor Robert Todd, an avant-garde filmmaker and sound and visual artist who taught at Emerson for 18 years, was being remembered this week by the Boston film community as an influential, talented, and renowned artist.

Todd, associate chair of Visual and Media Arts, died late last week. He was 54.

“Robert brought extraordinary talents and an incredible vision and dedication to his art and his teaching where he sought to inspire the next generation of filmmakers at Emerson,” President Lee Pelton said in a message to the community.

Todd was a prolific filmmaker, creating nearly 170 short-to-medium format films that have been shown in festivals around the world, including San Francisco, Rotterdam, New York, Montreal, Paris, and more, winning prizes and awards at many.

Todd worked as an editor, sound designer, post-supervisor, or music producer on award-winning and theatrically released media programs, and taught film production at Boston College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Boston; University of Massachusetts; and the Boston Film and Video Foundation.

The Harvard Film Archive, which screened his work, remembered Todd on their Facebook page as “an enormously prolific, multi-talented artist who was experimental at heart but worked in all genres and kind of film as well as music and visual art.”

Carson Lund ’13, a film writer and cinematographer in Los Angeles, wrote of Todd on Twitter that he “never had a teacher so idiosyncratic. He’s the reason many of my peers & I still shoot film.”

Todd leaves his wife, Tessa Day, an artist, writer, and graduate student at Emerson.

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