Rod Gailes, visiting assistant professor of film/video, passed away suddenly on Friday, October 14, 2022.

“Professor Gailes was a wonderful colleague and a gifted educator. He brought his enthusiasm, insight, and generous spirit to every conversation, meeting, and classroom. He will be deeply missed by our entire community,” said Film/Video Chair Kara Hearn.

Gailes joined the Film/Video Department in 2019 and quickly became a bright, engaged, and warm presence in the Pratt community. He was known as an incredibly hardworking, brilliant, and committed educator who cared deeply about his students and continuously honed his pedagogical practice. Bringing creative and innovative ideas to the classroom, he generated a supportive, inclusive, and challenging learning environment for his students.

“Professor Gailes wanted his students to achieve greatness. He showed me new perspectives on film and ways to express myself. He always left room for new methods of storytelling,” his student Emma Vall said.

Prior to teaching at Pratt, Gailes worked with students for more than a decade in a range of other educational settings, from the New York Film Academy and Bronx Excellence Schools in New York City to YArts Boll Family YMCA in Detroit, Michigan

Gailes’ multi-faceted career spanned film, theater, and photography. His work as a producer, writer, and director included numerous short films, such as The Pull of Gravity (2018) and Blue Butterflies (2014, Indie Fest Award of Merit recipient); the feature films Camouflage and 6 Things I Never Told You; feature screenplays such as Private Joy and pharoah jones; and theater, including Unspeakable: a dramatic fantasia (with productions in Nederlander/Broadway, Chicago; and the Apollo Theater and Here Space in New York City). His fine art photography collection Black Americana: Island in the Sun, was featured in Italian Vogue’s Black issue online.

In addition to teaching and his own projects, Gailes was a freelance administrative and creative consultant for productions, events, and performances. Early in his career, he also had roles at Viacom (MTV Networks, Nickelodeon), and at 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Inc. as executive assistant for Spike Lee.

Gailes earned an MFA in Film from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and a BA in Communication/Screen Arts and Culture from the University of Michigan.

A video remembrance of Rod Gailes created by Adriene Klein is available to watch online and is embedded below: