Tino Balio is the preeminent scholar of Hollywood filmmaking as an American industry and professor emeritus of communication arts at UW–Madison. Beginning in the 1970s, Balio’s books pioneered the study of show business as a business. Countless researchers have drawn information, ideas, and methods from his work. His 2010 book, The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, was reviewed by the New Republic and the Wall Street Journal. Balio is the 2001 recipient of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Balio’s importance extends well beyond his distinguished scholarship. As director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, he landed a major coup for the UW by acquiring rich collections of materials relating to modern media industries. Thousands of films, papers, and photographs document the centrality of film, theater, and television to our culture. These collections attract scholars from around the world to Wisconsin. Balio also won funding for cataloguing and maintaining these materials, and he publicized them through a University of Wisconsin Press book series.
Later in his career, Balio created the Arts Institute, which has become UW–Madison’s leading arts outreach body. The Institute invites artists for long-term residencies, mounts exhibitions and concerts, and nurtures collaboration among departments. Under its auspices, Balio created the Wisconsin Film Festival, now one of Madison’s premier arts activities.