Wen-Hwa Ts'ao - Columbia College Chicago

Wen-Hwa Ts'ao

Interim Co-chair



Wenhwa Tsao is a Professor at the Cinema and Television Arts Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she has held several key leadership positions, including serving as the interim Co-Chair, Associate Chair (2018-2020), and Director of Graduate Study (2006-2013). In her role, she imparts her knowledge to both undergraduate and graduate students through courses in Directing, Ideation and Theme, Image Design, Foundations, and Intimacy Coordination.Wenhwa Tsao is a prolific and award-winning filmmaker whose work has garnered recognition and support from prestigious granting organizations. She boasts an impressive list of accolades, including the Kodak Faculty Scholar Award, the Individual Artist Support Initiative Artists Fellowship, and the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship. She has also received the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Media Artist Fellowship and secured project grants from the City of Chicago Community Arts Program on two occasions. In 2011, her achievements earned her a spot in the American Film Institute Directing Workshop for Women, further underlining her commitment to the craft.Since the mid-'90s, Tsao's films have graced the screens of juried and Film Academy accredited film festivals and showcases around the globe, spanning countries such as China, Romania, Mexico, Ecuador, Korea, Iran, Africa, Australia, Bermuda, and the Netherlands.Her academic journey led her to attain an MFA degree in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University. Notably, she was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Tainan University of Technology, in 2015. Tsao has also been recognized for her excellence in teaching, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award from both Columbia College Chicago and the University Film & Video Association in 2016.Tsao's dedication extends to her involvement in the U.S. Fulbright Student Program, where she served as a Committee Member responsible for reviewing Creative and Performing Arts applications in 2018. Currently, she holds the position of President for the University Film & Video Foundation, an international organization dedicated to media education. Additionally, Tsao has earned her Intimacy Coordination Certification from the Intimacy Professional Association and actively contributes her expertise to independent projects as an Intimacy Coordinator on set.For more information about her work, you can visit her websites at:https://www.novastudio.org/https://www.intimacycoordinatorforscreens.com/

Instructional Areas

Cinema and Television Arts - Cinema Directing, Moving Image Production, Producing, Image Design, Ideation and Theme, Script Analysis, Intimacy Coordination

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Tsao’s work focuses on issues related to the Chinese American experience, especially the immigrant experience.


A.A., Tainan Univerity of Technology 1984
B.A., Fine and Applied Arts University of Oregon 1987
M.F.A., Photography & Film Virginia Commonwealth University 1990