Francisco Menendez teaching at UNLV, behind him is a large LED screen and beside him an actress.
Mar. 1, 2024

It is with terrible shock and sadness that we share the untimely passing of beloved friend and colleague, founding UNLV Film Artistic Director and professor Francisco Menéndez, who experienced a sudden heart attack last night.

Francisco's biggest love was supporting and mentoring students, which he did with unfailing enthusiasm and dedication. He was teaching up until nearly the very end, doing his Film Thursday presentation on the Johnny Brenden Filmmakers Award, one of his many signature initiatives. He was so excited to share what it meant for our students' creativity and their careers. 

"I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of our beloved friend and colleague. He inspired us all with his exuberant love of life, his passion for teaching and dedication to his students, his delight in his work with film, and his generosity of spirit," said Dean Nancy Uscher.

"He had a powerful presence and made the most of everything he did in his life.  He contributed richly to UNLV for many years in countless ways. He was chair of the Department of Film for many years, and more recently Artistic Director of the department. But his humanity transcended any title. He was always there for everyone and deeply loved his friends and colleagues. We loved him back and will miss him dearly."

"Francisco was the spirit and center of this department for 34 years, and his loss will forever leave a gaping hole in our hearts," said chair of film, Heather Addison.

We will send info about his memorial and celebrations of his extraordinary life and career as we learn more about when and where these events will be held.

We share our deepest condolences with his children and beloved wife Valeriya.