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Austin Allen

Allen is an Associate Professor of Film in the Communication Department at Cleveland State University. His major interests are in film production, African Diaspora film; American public media; and the design and meanings of public space. Allen has been the recipient of many awards and film grants. His work includes: Editor of "China"(2002), a 60-minute Super 16mm narrative for American public television; Producer, Director and Editor for "Claiming Open Spaces" (1995), 90-minute 16mm documentary, for American public television; Producer/Editor for "Through Jessie's Window" (Post-Production Phase) 60-minute digital narrative; and Producer, Director and Editor for "Olmsted in the Site of the Unseen" (Research and Development and Production Phase), a 90-minute, Super 16mm documentary film.

Steven Ascher (Jeanne Jordan)

Ascher's films include the award-winning, Del and Alex and Life and Other Anxieties. His films and spots have appeared on NBC, HBO, PBS and BBC and other networks around the world. He and Ed Pincus wrote The Filmmaker's Handbook, a best-selling text, which Steve recently updated for the digital video age. He graduated from Harvard University and taught filmmaking at MIT. Awards include the Frederick Sheldon Fellowship, an Artist's Foundation Fellowship, numerous humanities awards and a student Academy Award nomination.

Elizabeth Barret

Barret is a community-based media maker whose films and videos focus on the history, culture and social issues of the Appalachian region. Barret's work has screened at various venues including the Sundance Film Festival, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, the Flaherty Film Seminar and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and have been broadcast nationally and regionally on PBS. She was awarded the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival (2000), the Award of Excellence from the Society of Visual Anthropology (2000) and the John O'Connor Film Award, American Historical Association (2002). Barret has received project support from the Ford Foundation, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Soros Documentary Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was awarded a Media Arts Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and a Southeast Media Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.$artistdetail?BARRETE

James Benning

"I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during World War II in a German working class community that sent its sons to fight their cousins. My father worked on the assembly line for a heavy industry corporation that was then building landing gear for the U.S. military. Later he became a self-taught building designer. I played baseball for the first 20 years of my life receiving a degree in mathematics while playing on a baseball scholarship. I dropped out of graduate school to deny my military deferment (my friends were dying in Viet Nam) and worked with migrant workers in Colorado teaching their children how to read and write. Later I helped start a commodities food program that fed the poor in the Missouri Ozarks. At the age of 33 I received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin where I studied with David Bordwell. For the next four years I taught filmmaking at Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin, University of Oklahoma and the University of California San Diego. In 1980 I moved to lower Manhattan making films with the aid of grant and German Television money. After eight years in New York I moved to Val Verde, California, where I currently reside teaching film/video at California Institute of the Arts. In the past twenty-five years I have completed fourteen feature length films that have shown in many different venues across the world."

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1942, James Benning earned a degree in mathematics on a baseball scholarship, but dropped out of graduate school to deny his military deferment. Instead, he worked with migrant workers in Colorado and Missouri, eventually receiving his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, where he took up filmmaking. Benning combined his interest in structuralism, cinematic time, and the relationship between sound and image, and a deep sensitivity to composition, color, light and the landscape of his native Wisconsin. Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman selected Benning's 11 X 14, as one of the top ten films of the 1970s, stating that it "points toward the creation of a new, nonliterary but populist cinema." After teaching at various universities, Benning moved to Manhattan where his work became more personal and more concerned with universal themes of history, memory and mortality. In AMERICAN DREAMS Benning places his collection of Hank Aaron memorabilia alongside the disturbed writings of Arthur Bremer, the man who shot George Wallace. LANDSCAPE SUICIDE, investigates two famous murders by looking to the landscapes in which they occurred.

Upon moving to California in the 1990s, the relationship between landscape and people became his central theme-beginning with EL VALLEY CENTRO, a look at the agricultural heartland of California, followed by LOS, examining the mostly manmade landscape of the city of Los Angeles. The final film in his "California Trilogy" is SOGOBI, a passionate and beautiful look at California's wilderness. Benning currently teaches filmmaking at the California Institute for the Arts and is at work on his next project, THIRTEEN LAKES.

Ursula Biemann

Biemann studied art and critical theory in Mexico and at the School of Visual Arts and the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Her work focuses on gender relations in economy, media, and urban space. Recent activities include collaborative art projects and publications with migrant women in her native Switzerland, and a two-year project on gender and urban politics in Istanbul. Ursula has been involved in work on the U.S.-Mexico border since 1988.

Steven Bognar

Bognar has completed six films since 1986, many of which focus on regional identity, the Midwestern landscape, and the significance of photographic images. His films include Picture Day (2000), Personal Belongings (1996) and Welcome to Censornati (1990). Bognar's work has been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the DoubleTake Documentary Festival, South by Southwest, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and has aired on PBS, the Independent Film Channel and Deep Dish Television. He is a contributor to Independent Film and Video Monthly and has taught at Antioch College and in Ohio public schools.

Diane Bonder

Bonder is a media maker whose films and videotapes have been exhibited internationally at festivals and institutions, including The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. She is the recipient of several awards, including a Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Award, a Mid-Atlantic Media Fellowship, and Jurors Choice Award from the Black Maria Film and Video Festival. Bonder serves on the screening committee of the New Festival (The New York Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival).

Bonder has been making lo-fi experimental film and video for 10 years Shooting super-8 and 16mm in documentary, poetic and semi-narrative styles, she explores autobiographical content, addressing issues of identity, landscape, memory, and loss. Her work has been screened internationally at museums, alternative cinemas, festivals and libraries. She lives and works in Brooklyn NY.

Greg Boozell

Boozell is Technology Director at Chicago Access Network TV (CAN TV). Over the past fifteen years, he has worked in all aspects of public access television including training and technology research and acquisition. As a documentary video maker, has also produced "Invisible Hand: The deindustrialization of Southern Illinois." Greg’s work has been exhibited and distributed internationally, telecast on public access and public broadcasting and screened at festivals across the United States.

Bill Brown

Brown likes to travel. Meandering across the variegated landscapes of America from his home in Lubbock, Texas, the 32-year-old filmmaker has visited the reputed UFO landing site in Roswell, New Mexico, and traversed the lengthy Trans-Canadian Highway. He's visited decommissioned missile sites in North Dakota and wandered around the hills of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. But more importantly, he's made movies about his travels, creating an eminently unique body of work marked by stunning visuals and a personal voice, and hovering stylistically somewhere between ethnographic study, idiosyncratic travelogue, and critical essay.

Between 1988 and 1992, Brown studied filmmaking in Harvard University's Visual and Environmental Studies Department, known for its emphasis on "old-fashioned documentary film production," as Brown puts it, where filmmakers such as Bob Gardner served as Brown's mentors. "It was exactly the right sort of program for me," the filmmaker notes. "I didn't know anything about nonfiction filmmaking - my experience with movies was either the standard PBS-style documentary or traditional narrative films, but when it became clear that there was this huge genre of essay films, it was very exciting, a revelation. I'm still working through that enthusiasm."

In 1994, the filmmaker traveled west to earn his MFA in the live-action filmmaking program at California Institute of the Arts where he studied with James Benning, a structuralist filmmaker who shares Brown's affection for the American countryside. "From the get-go, I was interested in landscape," confesses Brown, who adds, as if it explains everything, "I'm from Texas." He continues: "Landscapes are like relationships - I think I've fallen in love with landscapes. Some are inspiring, and some are uninspiring. But in general I guess this fascination with landscapes has to do with trying to square geological history with human history, to look at all this stuff that's around us and visible but mute. So I guess my ongoing project is to figure out what it is about landscape that gives me goosebumps."

Working in 16mm, often with black-and-white stock, Brown says his projects begin with a question, some hook that will give him a reason to visit a place and begin shooting footage of it. With Roswell (1994), Brown was intrigued by New Mexico's desert vistas and the town's UFO folklore. For Buffalo Common (2001), Brown chronicled the dismantling of missile sites in North Dakota, alongside larger issues of war and economic decline. And for his latest half-hour film supported by Creative Capital, The Amazing Mothman, Brown is traipsing around West Virginia, tracing the history of a local legend--The Mothman, who reputedly haunted a town on the Ohio River in the 1960s. "There's this whole body of weird uncanny events that never make their way into the traditional media - things that happen to a community or town and then get forgotten," says Brown. "The creature called The Mothman is a part of that." First spotted in 1964, The Mothman has been described as a large, winged man in more than 100 sightings, and while the figure recently graced America's movie screens in The Mothman Prophecies starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, you can bet that Brown's more vernacular approach will tap directly into the eerie recesses of our cultural mythology.

Brown's images, which frequently show the landscape void of inhabitants, are strangely evocative and embody a sense of intense longing. Part of their power is that they are indeed filmed images rather than video. "There's a certain depth and saturation to the film image that I don't see in the flat, sterile video image," explains Brown. "I like grain and the way the image breathes, and there's this strange organic dynamism in the form of grain. I guess I fetishize the alchemy of the whole process - strips of silver that are stained by light and somehow become images . . . it's very magical and romantic."

In addition to shooting beautiful, resplendent images and recording live sound, Brown also speaks in voiceover. "Text and language are incredibly important to me," he says. "I don't know if it's an effort to make the landscape speak, some feeble attempt to give it a voice, but I haven't figured out any other way to make these films without voiceover." Which is a good thing, because Brown's particular voice, with its quiet tone, colloquial familiarity, and moments of sublime poetic phrasing, endow his films with their singular power. Indeed, to say that Brown is one of America's leading new cinematic voices is true, both literally and metaphorically.

Bureau of Inverse Technology

Formed in 1992, Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT) is a real organization that exists in geographic dislocation (Melbourne, San Francisco, and Berlin). Its geography reinforces the ongoing distance-operation of BIT's experiments and other technological diversions. BIT questions the safety of the corporate imagination and its design upon our technological futures.

Thomas Comerford

Comerford is a media artist, musician and educator who resides in Chicago. He currently teaches film production at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and also serves on the Board of Directors at Chicago Filmmakers. His films have screened at festivals and venues which include the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Thaw, Chicago Filmmakers, Northwest Film Forum, New Nothing Cinema and in an international pinhole photography exhibit at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. In June 2002, he conducted a 26-show film tour in the midwest, eastern and southern US with filmmaker Bill Brown. His musical project, Kaspar Hauser, has released several albums and is known to play out at the Empty Bottle and other sundry places in Chicago. More music and shows coming soon.

Bruce Conner

Born in Kansas and later associated with the 1950s renaissance of poetry and visual art in San Francisco, Conner first attracted public attention with his moody nylon-shrouded assemblages--complex sculptures of such found objects as women's stockings, costume jewelry, bicycle wheels, and broken dolls, often combined with collaged or painted surfaces. Erotically charged and tinged with echoes of both the Surrealist tradition and San Francisco's Victorian past, his assemblages--such as RATBASTARD (1958) and THE BRIDE (1960)--resonate with themes of beauty, death, and the loss of innocence and established him as one of the leading figures in the international assemblage "movement."

After a yearlong sojourn in Mexico, Conner returned to California and became an active force of the 1960s San Francisco counterculture. Included in this exhibition are examples of his intricate black-and-white mandala drawings as well as his elaborate collages made from scraps of 19th-century engravings, which remain icons of the period's sensory-based spirituality. During the 1970s, Conner focused on drawing and photography, producing the dramatic, life-sized photograms from the ANGELS series (1973-1975) as well as intimately scaled inkblot drawings such as DREAM TIME IN TOTEM LAND (1975). In recent years, the artist has continued to work on a small scale, producing collages and inkblot drawings that sustain an original sensibility with a refreshing new perspective.

If Conner's assemblages probed beneath the turbulent 1950s and 1960s, then his films from the same period further revealed the roots of this troubled American psyche. In 1958 he began making short movies in a style that established him as one of the most important figures in postwar independent filmmaking. His innovative technique can be best seen in his first film, A MOVIE (1958), an editing tour-de-force made entirely by piecing together scraps of B-movie condensations, newsreels, novelty shorts, and other pre-existing footage. His subsequent films are most often fast-paced collages of found and new footage, and he was among the first to use pop music for film sound tracks. Conner's films have inspired generations of filmmakers and are now considered to be the precursors of the music video genre.

Julie Dash

Dash was born and raised in New York City. She has received numerous awards since embarking her film career in 1973, and has toured nationally and internationally with her independent films , video and commercial work. She became the first African American woman to have a full-length general theatrical release, with the debut of "Daughters of the Dust" in January 1992. Archived in New York at the Schomberg Center for the Study of Black Culture, "Daughters of the Dust" was named as one of the 50 most important independent films ever made, by Filmmaker's Magazine. In 1999, the 25th Annual Newark Black Film Festival honored Julie and her film "Daughters of the Dust," as being one of the most important cinematic achievements in Black Cinema in the 20th century.

Ms. Dash recently directed the 2003 NAACP Image Award winning "The Rosa Parks Story," starring Angela Bassett who received an Emmy nomination for her performance as Rosa Parks. This CBS Network movie also received the Best Television Movie Prize from the 4th Annual Family Television Awards, The New York Christopher Award and Dash was nominated for the prestigus Director's Guild Award for this original television movie. Ms. Dash has also directed "Love Song" an MTV original movie starring the Grammy award winning singer Monica, and "Incognito ", a romantic thriller made for TV by BET Arabesque Films; and the first BET/ENCORE/StarZ3 original feature length production, "Funny Valentines." starring Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine and C.C.H Pounder. She wrote and directed an episode of "Women" for ShowTime cable TV, as well as segment of HBO's "Subway Stories."

With her award winning website on the Internet, ( she made her debut in New Media Technologies. She is currently working on an interactive CD ROM/ Internet project called "Digital Diva" for the Wexner Center for the Arts and her company Geechee Girl Multimedia.

In addition, Julie has just completed her first novel for Dutton/Signett Books, Daughter's of the Dust - a Novel, that's currently in bookstores. A second novel, a "perfume love story" will also be published by Dutton in 2002.

She has directed Music Videos, including Tony, Toni, Tone's "Thinking of You" and Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason," a clip nominated for MTV's best video of a female vocalist 1996. Her critically acclaimed short film "Illusions" (1983), a drama set in Hollywood 1942, won the 1989 Jury Prize for Best Film of the Decade, awarded by the Black Filmmakers Foundation. Ms. Dash began studying film production in 1969, at the Studio Museum of Harlem, in New York. Later, as an undergraduate at the City College of New York, she majored in psychology until she was accepted into the film studies program at the Lenoard Davis Center for the Performing Arts, in the David Picker Film Institute. Before graduation, she wrote and produced a promotional documentary for the New York Urban Coalition, "Working Models of Success" (1974).

With a B.A. in Film Production, Ms. Dash moved to Los Angeles to attend the Center for Advanced Film Studies at the American Film Institute. (AFI). At AFI, she studied under several distinguished filmmakers including: William Friedkin, Jan Kadar, and Slavko Vorkapich. Ms. Dash directed "Diary of an African Nun" (1977), as a graduate film student at the University of California, Los Angeles where she received an MFA in Film & Television Production. The film adapted from a short story written by Alice Walker, was screened at the Los Angeles Film Exposition and gained her a Director's Guild Award for a student film.

Sarah Elder (Leonard Kamerling)

Elder is an award winning documentary film director whose work focuses on the practices of filming across cultural and social boundaries. She came to UB in 1989 as Associate Professor ( from 1991 Professor) of Documentary Film and in this role teaches courses in non-fiction critical studies, documentary production, experimental documentary, theory and practice of editing, ethnographic film and video, media ethics and story telling.

Professor Elder's films have won three consecutive First Prizes at the American Film Festival, three First Prize Bronze Eagles at the Santa Fe Native Americas International Exposition, a Third Prize from the IX International Festival of Ethnographic Films (Italy) and three USA Golden Eagles - among others. In addition she publishes regularly on issues surrounding documentary theory and production.

David Ellsworth

Ellsworth worked in video post-production at Broadway Video in New York, NY, for 10 years. Since then he has made award-winning short films that have appeared at festivals in the United States (Ann Arbor Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Black Maria Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival, Florida Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Festival, Hi Mom! Festival, James River Festival of the Moving Image, Louisville Film Festival, NextFrame Festival, South by Southwest Film Festival and the U.S. Super8 Film & Video Festival), Canada (Antimatter Festival of Underground Short Film and Video; Toronto Super-8 Film Festival), Cuba (Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano), Italy (OLTRE I MEDIA, Architecture in Video Festival), France (Annexia Festival; Cinémathèque Français), and Korea (Korean International Experimental Film Festival). Mary Ellsworth, David's Super-8 Mom, lives in Cullowhee, NC.

Robert Flaherty

Marlon E. Fuentes

Fuentes is a filmmaker, photographer and conceptual artist who was born in the Philippines. His work has been shown in over sixty individual and group exhibitions over the last fifteen years. He is represented in such collections as the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Arts, the National Museum of American History, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

David Gatten

Over the last three years Gatten's films have explored the intersection of the printed word and the moving image, tracing the contours of private lives and public histories, as they combine elements of philosophy, biography and cameraless filmmaking. Currently Gatten is at work on a series of seven films about the Byrd family of Virginia during the early 18th century. Tonight Gatten presents the first three films from the Byrd project: Moxon's MECHANICK Exercises (1999, 26m, silent), with its images generated almost entirely from cellophane tape, is a meditation on the development of the printing press, the fine line between the legible and the illegible, and the passage of the soul through the material world. The Enjoyment of Reading (Lost & Found) (2001, 13m, silent) is an investigation into the division of knowledge into discreet categories and the impulse to understand the world by creating an intellectual identity through the accumulation and cataloging of natural and metaphysical phenomena. SECRET HISTORY OF THE DIVIDING LINE (2002, 20m, silent), explores the 1728 expedition to resolve the dispute concerning the boundary line between the colonies of Virginia and North Carolina. Also showing: WHAT THE WATER SAID, NOS. 1-3 (1998, 16m, sound) in which both the sound and image are the result of oceanic inscriptions written directly into the emulsion of the film stock as it was buffeted by the salt water, sand and rocks while submerged in a crab-trap off the coast of South Carolina.

Jacqueline Goss

Goss began making films and videotapes as a student at Brown University and earned her MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in 1997. Her tapes and multimedia projects have shown in festivals in North America and Europe including the New York Video Festival and Flaherty Film Seminar. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts in the US and teaches in the Media and Performing Arts Department at Massachusetts College of Art.

Larry Gottheim

Gottheim's Cinema is a quest of origins. The films elaborate a response to the fictions of our world, the construction of images and sounds, the repeating cycles of life and nature. The profoundness of Gottheim's act is to elaborate a body of work outside of fashion and within a search for an authentic language of cinematic discourse." - John Handhardt, on the occasion of the presentation of the full "Elective Affinities" cycle at the Whitney Museum, 1981

I have been moving away from the formal structures that were the compositional framework of much of my work, having more recently been attracted by, for example, areas of Caribbean ritual and history which contain their own patterns. My interest in exploring sound/image relationships is a continuing one - stretching the possibilities of what one can "experience" through these channels. I have become uncomfortable with being characterized in terms of superficial aspects of content (e.g., landscape) or form (e.g., "structural") Hopefully new viewers will see the films in a fuller, more appropriate context, as well as just enjoy them.

Tom Hansell

Hansell has worked at Appalshop since 1990, producing nationally distributed radio and video programming. Tom's second Appalshop video, Coal Bucket Outlaw (2001), was shot entirely in digital video as part of the Independent Television Service's Digital Initiative. Hansell's previous documentary "The Breaks of the Mountain" looks at the future of eco-tourism in a east Kentucky community. He also co-directed "Evelyn Williams with Anne Lewis. Tom is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Telecommunications in Athens, OH, and is actively involved in local environmental issues.

Doug Hawes-Davis

In 1992 and 1993, Doug Hawes-Davis and Drury Gunn Carr, neither with any previous knowledge of video production, set out independent of each other to create two unrelated "no budget" documentaries. The two completed films earned several unexpected awards at film festivals. When the two filmmakers met at one of the festivals and shared stories of technical difficulties, trespassing charges, broken equipment, debt, arrests and other minor issues, they decided to make a career out of it and High Plains Films was founded. Nearly a decade later, High Plains Films has won more than 30 awards at festivals nation-wide, been screened at theaters around the country and broadcast on nation-wide television.

My work is intended to document the relationship between human society and the natural world. It is my belief that films dealing with social issues should not only be "educational," but artistic and entertaining as well. None of my films use a narrator. Rather the films are comprised entirely of scenes, music, interviews and live action. This technique allows the viewer to more fully enter the world of the subjects. Hopefully, viewers feel that they have "discovered" the intricacies and subtleties of the material for themselves.

Werner Herzog

Herzog (real name Werner H. Stipetic) was born in Munich on September 5, 1942. He grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria and never saw any films, television, or telephones as a child. He started travelling on foot from the age of 14. He made his first phone call at the age of 17. During high school he worked the nightshift as a welder in a steel factory to produce his first films and made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than forty films, published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas.

Jeanne Jordan (Steven Ascher)

Jordan co-produced and directed Running With Jesse for the FRONTLINE series. She edited two films for the series Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, which received the DuPont-Columbia Award and an Emmy Award, and several dramas for AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, including Lemon Sky, Noon Wine and Concealed Enemies, which received the Emmy Award for Best Limited Series. She graduated from the University of Iowa and has received many humanities awards and a Bunting Fellowship from Harvard.

Leonard Kamerling (Sarah Elder)

Kamerling is the founder and director of the Alaska Center for Documentary Film at the University of Alaska Museum. He is the producer / director of twelve critically acclaimed, international award winning documentary films Kamerling received his training at the London Film School, in the UNITED KINGDOM. He served as a VISTA volunteer in the late 1960ís in rural Alaska, and in the early 1970ís began to produce cultural documentaries collaboratively with Native communities. In 1982, Leonard Kamerling spent one year in Japan as a National Endowment for the Arts, US/Japan Creative Arts Fellow. This intense immersion in Japanese culture sowed the seeds for what would later become a long-term collaborative documentary project with a rural Hokkaido community. HEART OF THE COUNTRY is the result of that collaboration. Kamerling has produced films with northern communities for over twenty years. Throughout his career, he has been primarily concerned with issues of cultural representation in film, cross-cultural communication and the role that documentary film can play in eliminating stereotypes and in credibly translating one culture to the other.

George Kuchar

Kuchar is one of the most exciting and prolific independent videomakers working today. A master of genre manipulation and subversion, he has created dozens of brilliantly edited, hilarious, observant, often diaristic tapes with an 8mm camcorder, dime-store props, and not-so-special effects, using friends as actors and the “pageant that is life” for his studio. In 1992, Kuchar received the prestigious Maya Deren Award for Independent Film and Video Artists from the American Film Institute.

Pete Kuran

Zachery Cameron Longboy

Longboy is a Sayasi Dene, video/performance and visual artist from Churchill, Manitoba. His video art, visual and performance work continues an exploration within a fractured cultural experience. Longboy_s video work is part of the collections of : The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Glenbow Museum (Calgary), The Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa). With numerous screenings, including : The Edmonton Art Gallery, Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), Images Independent Film and Video Festival (Toronto) 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

There are many memories of childhood that have slipped through the cracks. Most that I can recollect were of the differences in myself in comparison to the others around. Taken away at one week of age from my Indian community and given to a white foster family, my experience of the authentic Indian and where my placement is, within this dream of authenticity, comes from an infected locale. I have become a chameleon, taking on roles, behaviors and attributes to hide and maneuver within specific venues.

Pare Lorentz

Lorentz, an American filmmaker, was devoted to the ideals of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and these he incorporated into his socially conscious documentary films, The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936), The River (1938), and The Fight For Life (1940).

Born in 1905 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Lorentz joined the Government as a filmmaker following a career as a film critic for several publications, including the New York American and King Features. He wrote and directed The Plow That Broke the Plains for the Resettlement Administration with a budget of less than $20,000. The Plow, which documented agricultural and social problems related to the Dust Bowl, was the first government-sponsored film for general release. It featured a score by American composer Virgil Thompson and met with immediate public and critical acclaim.

In his next film, The River, Lorentz dramatized the flooding of the Mississippi River and the need for conservation measures and proper use of natural resources and the achievements of the Tennessee Valley Authority. President Roosevelt was so impressed by the film The River that, when the film was voted best picture of the year by J. Emanuel Publications, FDR arranged to have the award ceremony in the White House.

Both of these Lorentz films demonstrated the potential of the documentary as a powerful impetus to social change, prompting widespread discussion not only of the problems they presented but also of the documentary form itself. Lorentz's films are a powerful synthesis of stunning imagery, poetic narration, and evocative music that make the viewer feel as well as think.

Pare Lorentz was a conservationist and environmentalist ahead of his time. In his films, The Plow that Broke the Plains and The River he underscores the tragic consequences of man's needless mismanagement of the environment. His films are a capsule of his regionalist approach vision to solving our environmental problems.

Rose Lowder

I trained as a painter and sculptor in Lima, Peru, then in London. I worked for a decade as an artist while earning a living as a film editor. I became interested in research in film from 1977 onwards, establishing with Alain-Alcide Sudre a non-profit organization, the Experimental Film Archives of Avignon. The Archives have become a collection of 16mm films as well as a paper document collection. The first is made available to the public with films rented from other sources by means of annual screenings and the second can be consulted freely as a reference library. At one point I wrote a doctoral dissertation entitled "The Experimental Film as an Instrument for Visual Research." I also teach a filmmaking course at the Sorbonne, Paris, with the grand title of Associate Professor.

Although I began filmmaking by pursuing concerns common to other contemporary art practices, my attention was rapidly attracted by a twofold feature of the photographic procedure which allows one to handle the content and the form of the material while the process inscribes automatically some of the traces and characteristics of the reality being recorded. This paradox led me to study perception, the possibilities and problematics of research in art as well as how theoretical approaches to experimental film and traditional cinema have evolved. Underlying these studies is a search for meaningful ways to work with film regarding our contemporary society controlled by multinational economics. As the totalitarian environments of urban landscapes become more and more uninhabitable, I seek, against the grain in our "virtual" space age it seems, a more human physical home.

Babette Mangolte

Adam Matalon

Monteith McCollum

A newcomer to the world of documentary film, Monteith McCollum has made quite a splash with his first feature, Hybrid. Already graced with several prestigious awards including an Independent Spirit Award (Independent Feature Project), the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature at the Slamdance International Film Festival (Park City), and the Fipresci Critics Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, Hybrid continues to grab the attention of audiences and critics with its kaleidoscopic hodgepodge of artful animation sequences, 1950s television commercial snippets, sweeping shots of bucolic Iowa landscapes and candid conversations with Milford Beeghly - agricultural pioneer who popularized hybrid corn and Monteith McCollum's grandfather.

In addition to producing and directing credits, McCollum, a multi-talented artist and true renaissance man, also composed the music for Hybrid, playing both viola and violin in its Bartok-inspired sweetly somber soundtrack. The wide-open experimental aesthetic that shapes Hybrid and McCollum’s other pan-artistic pursuits draws liberally from the free spirited nature of his worldly, often itinerant childhood. Although Scotland and the Australian province of Tasmania were home to McCollum, he spent most of his early years in the back of a Landrover trekking across the globe with his parents, before returning to the US, at age 8, to live on the Iowa farm of his always eccentric, often reclusive grandfather.

The seed for Hybrid was first planted when Monteith McCollum was an undergraduate at the Art Institute of Chicago. After completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in film and painting, he received a grant form the Iowa Arts Council for his first feature film. Over the next six years, between trips to his grandfather’s farm, McCollum worked several jobs in his birthplace of Chicago including a stint as a cameraman for a local Polish and Arab cable station. This led him to teaching positions at Columbia College and the City Colleges of Chicago, where he taught filmmaking and film history to recently emigrated Russians new to the English language. Mr. McCollum currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York where he teaches photography at a local college.

Marina McDougall

McDougall is a media arts project developer at the Exploratorium, a museum of art, science and human perception in San Francisco.

Keith McManus

McManus has been producing documentary films since 1987. His first project, Mending Hearts, Living with AIDS, was for the PBS Television Network. McManus was on the faculty of the Rochester Institute of Technology from1989-1993. For the next four years he worked on the editorial staff of U.S. News and World Report in Washington, DC. He returned to Rochester in 1997 and rejoined the faculty of RIT and Visual Studies Workshop.

Jonas Mekas

Born in 1922 in a family of Lithuanian farmers, Jonas Mekas, encouraged by his pastor uncle, continued his studies at secondary school and tried his hand at poetry. In 1944, he was captured by the Nazis and sent, with his brother Adolfas, to a work camp near Hamburg. Both of them escaped, going from train to train alternating forced retreats and stays in refugee camps (Wiesbaden or Kassel). Mekas was torn from his land, condemned to being stateless. In Lost Lost Lost, he declared "I speak with an accent and you don't know where I come from." In 1949 the two brothers landed in New York among the thousands of exiles. Legend has it that a week after moving to Brooklyn, they borrowed some money to buy a Bolex, to capture the everyday: friends pulling faces, crossed portraits, people skating in Central Park or rain-drenched streets. As Patrice Rollet observed (Cahiers du cinéma n°463), at least three exiles appear in Mekas' work: the physical exile, the linguistic exile and the exile from the homeland. He went from east to west, moving between English and Lithuanian and lost his roots. For this reason, he occupied a territory of his own making, initiating the New York underground movement. In 1955, he set up the review Film Culture and defended the idea of an American Nouvelle Vague. He also instigated the New American Cinema Group (1960) which brought together film-makers like R. Frank, P. Bogdanovich or Shirley Clarke. He demanded, being intentionally provocative, films that were "rough, maybe badly made, but alive". The failure of this dream of an independent cinema within the system led him to set up a center of experimental film, the Anthology Film Archives. At the same time, he devoted himself to making the major work that would become his filmed journal (Diaries, Notes and Sketches), a sparkling patchwork made up of bits of disparate films, full of digressions, like a contemporary Montaigne.

Merata Mita

Meta is an accomplished and highly respected indigenous activist, actress, feminist, filmmaker and teacher who has been involved in film and video production for over 20 years. She is of the Ngati Pikiao tribe from the Bay of Plenty and recognized as one of the most significant filmmakers in the history of film in Aotearoa and in the field of postcolonial studies. The first Maori woman to direct a feature film, MAURI (1988), Merata's oeuvre has highlighted faces and experiences of indigenous peoples of the Pacific on the screen and behind the camera, circulating more complex and contemporary indigenous portraits. Merata's work in the field of indigenous filmmaking has earned numerous awards from film festivals around the world and she is an advisor for Native Programming at the Sundance Film Institute and is a member of the Director's Guild of America.

Her filmography as actress, writer, director and producer includes: KARANGA HOKIANGA (1979), BASTION POINT: DAY 507 (1980), KESKIDEE - AROHA (1981), UTU (1982), PATU! (1983), THE SHOOTING OF DOMINICK KAIWHATA (1985), MANA WAKA (1990), DREAD (1996), TE PAHU (1997), TE PITO O TE HENUA: RAPANUI (1999), and HOTERE (2001).

Errol Morris

Morris (Producer and Director) created one of the most highly regarded films of 1997, the critically acclaimed FAST, CHEAP, AND OUT OF CONTROL, which interwove the fascinating yet seemingly unrelated stories of a lion tamer, an expert on the African mole-rat, a topiary gardener who carves giant animals out of hedges, and an MIT scientist who designs robots. The film won the Best Documentary Film Award from the National Board of Review, the National Society of Film Critics, the Boston Society of Film Critics, Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Society of Texas Film Critics. It was also awarded the Independent Spirit Award.

Morris has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was a graduate student at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley.

Janet Maslin of the New York Times describes Morris as "a one-of-a-kind filmmaker capable of melding science, philosophy, poetry and sheer whimsy into an elaborate meditation on mankind's mysteries."

"I like the idea of making films about ostensibly nothing," Morris told The New Yorker's Mark Singer. "That's what all my movies are about. That and the idea that we're in a position of certainty, truth, infallible knowledge, when actually we're just a bunch of apes running around."

Morris lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Julia Sheehan, an art historian, and their son, Hamilton.

J.J. Murphy

Alanis Obomsawin

An Abenaki Indian, Alanis Obomsawin started off as a singer, writer and storyteller, seeking through her performances in North America and Europe to make known the history, culture and aspirations of her people. In 1967, after being seen on television in Ron Kelly's profile Alanis (1965), she was invited by the National Film Board to act as a consultant on a film being shot in Manouan, and has divided her time between filmmaking and performing ever since.

In her early years at the NFB, she developed the multimedia kits Manowan and l'ilawat. Consisting of slide sets, filmstrips, posters, photographs and children's games, these kits evolved over time as a co-operative effort between Obomsawin and her people, creating a link between them and children in countless schools across Canada.

In 1971, she directed her first film, Christmas at Moose Factory, a study of life in a small Northern settlement based on children's drawings. This was followed in 1977 by Amisk and Mother of Many Children, both of which she adapted for Sounds from Our People, a six-part educational series she produced and directed for the CBC's Canadian School Telecasts.

Between 1977 and 1994, she made ten films and two vignettes illustrating different aspects of Aboriginal life. Committed to the cause of justice for her people, she documented two major confrontations, Incident at Restigouche (1984) and Kanehsatake 270 Years of Resistance. The latter film, about the Oka crisis in 1990, has won 13 awards and international acclaim, and was seen by 23 million TV viewers in Japan alone.Her latest film, My name is Kahentiiosta, was released in 1995 and she is currently researching her next project. Obomsawin produces most of her films herself.

She has an enduring interest in education and a preference for working closely with people. In 1982, she taught a course on oral tradition as a guest of the Music Department at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. She readily agrees to perform at schools, community halls and prisons, and frequently appears on television and at music festivals. Obomsawin chaired the Board of Directors of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal for many years and sat on the Canada Council's First Peoples Advisory Board. She was also a board member of Studio One, the NFB's Aboriginal unit, and served as an advisor to New Initiatives in Film, Studio D's program for women of colour and First Nations women. She has received a dozen awards and honours over the years, including the Order of Canada, the federal government's highest honour, in 1983. Her films have picked up more than 30 awards at international festivals. As a mark of affection, her people call her Ko-li-la-wato - "someone who makes us very happy".

Pat O'Neill

O'Neill (born 1939, Los Angeles) received a Master of Arts degree in graphic design and photography from UCLA, where his mentor was photographer Robert Heineken. He produced his first short film in 1963 in collaboration with computer-graphics innovator Robert Abel.During the '60s and '70s he taught photography at UCLA, while experimenting with and refining the limited means for combining images that were available at the time (the optical printer, first in 16mm and then in 35mm). Aesthetic concerns he shares with a generation of California artists led him from sculpture to experiments with continuous-projection film installations which were exhibited in galleries and incorporated into rock-concert light shows. O'Neill's contemporaries in the experimental-film movement include Bruce Conner, Bruce Baillie, Chick Strand and the late Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton and Ed Emshwiller, and he cites as an influence Michael Snow.

He was founding Assistant Dean for Film and Video at the California Institute of the Arts 1970-1975, and since 1975 has operated his highly regarded special-effects and optical printing company. He has always supported the making and showing of experimental film, and works with many filmmakers on their projects. He and his wife Beverly-who is also active in the Los Angeles film community-were co-founders of an early Los Angeles film cooperative.

O'Neill and his films have been the recipient of Filmmakers' Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The American Film Institute, The Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.,31/DJamesInterview.html

Lourdes Portillo

Mexico-born and Chicana identified, Portillo's films have focused on the search for Latino identity. She has worked in a richly varied range of forms, from television documentary to satirical video-film collage.

Portillo got her first filmmaking experience at the age of twenty-one when a friend in Hollywood asked her to help out on a documentary. Portillo says: " I knew from that moment what I was going to do for the rest of my life. That never changed. It was just a matter of when I was going to do it." Her formal training began several years later. An apprenticeship at the San Francisco NABET (National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians) led to a job as Stephen Lighthill's first camera assistant on Cine Manifest's feature Over, Under, Sideways, Down. In 1978, after graduating from The San Francisco Art Institute, Portillo used American Film Institute Independent Filmmaker Award monies to create her internationally praised narrative film After the Earthquake/Despues del Terremoto, about a Nicaraguan refugee living in San Francisco.

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the result of a three year collaboration with writer/director Susana Munoz, was a pivotal film in Portillo's career. Its nomination for the Academy's Best Documentary in 1985, and the twenty other awards it received internationally earned Portillo the PBS funding she needed for her next film, La Ofrenda :The Days of the Dead. Completed in 1989 and greeted with widespread critical acclaim, La Ofrenda was Portillo's most serious attempt to date to challenge the notion that as she says "documentary is always associated with injustice." In it she portrays in loving color a Mexican and Chicano holiday - the celebration of "the days of the dead" - and initiates the dream-like structure that has become a hallmark of her recent work.

A grant from the NEA Inter-Arts program allowed Portillo to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's "discovery" of America in her own ironic fashion. Her 1993 film, Columbus on Trial showed at the London and Sundance Film festivals as well and was selected for the 1993 Whitney Museum Biennial. In 1994 she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in recognition of her contributions to filmmaking. All of her work is widely shown in classrooms and academic circles and integrated into curriculum studies.

Portillo has collaborated extensively with noted directors Susana Muaoz and Nina Serrano and with Academy Award-winning editor Vivien Hillgrove. Working with other women artists has helped Portillo break down the proscriptions of traditional documentary making because "women, and women of color in particular, often come into filmmaking with a different set of objectives than their male counterparts." Portillo's films have received high praise at more than ten international women's film festivals.

In The Devil Never Sleeps, Portillo continues her effort to explore the Mexican psyche, and broaden the spectrum of screen representation of Latinos and Chicanos. Her tireless creative impulses are meanwhile driving her in new directions. Currently in progress are a collaboration with renowned playwright Maria Irene Fornes, and a National Endowment for the Humanities project on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the 16th century Mexican nun, poet and intellectual. At the moment, Portillo is developing plans for two narrative filrns: the story of a teenage Chicana in the 1950's and a "stylized lesbian detective story."

Sarah Price

Price grew up around the world, attended high school in Germany and Kenya, and now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sarah is an award-winning filmmaker, most noted for her work as producer and co-creator of the acclaimed feature documentary American Movie (Sony Pictures Classics, Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival 1999). Other credits include editor of Chris Smith's American Job (Sundance Film Festival 1996), sound on Michael Moore's The Big One (Miramax 1997), director of photography on Lisa Gildehaus' Oracle of Omaha and segment director for IFC's Split Screen. Her most recent feature film Caesar's Park received Best of Fest honors at both Edinburgh and Chicago Int'l Film Festivals in 2000, and is premiering on the Sundance Channel in September 2003. She has also co-directed national commercials for Nokia and Volkswagon, and recently completed a music video for Har Mar Superstar (Warner Bros.). Sarah has been a visiting professor at the University of Iowa, also lecturing extensively at various colleges, universities and film festivals throughout the world, She is currently in post production on two documentaries, one on anti-globalization activists (The Yes Men) and the other on UNICEF's relief efforts in Afghanistan in 2002. She also plays drums in her band Competitorr (Neapolitan Records).

Alex Rivera

It all began with a pun. Back in 1995, when film- and videomaker Alex Rivera was a senior majoring in political science and documentary film at Hampshire College, he was interested in doing a project about his father, Augusto, a Peruvian immigrant, and the process of his assimilation into U.S. culture. Then came the giddy realization that another Peruvian "export," the potato, shared not only a history with his dad, but a name -- in Spanish, papa (potato) and pap† (father). The result: Papapap†, a video that combines documentary, mockumentary, animation, and a healthy dose of humor to tell a story that turns out to be really very poignant. Pap†'s body may be in the United States, but his imagination remains -- at least for the five or six hours he spends each evening watching Spanish-language channel Univision -- back in Peru.

Since then, the younger Rivera's videos have explored issues of immigration, border politics, race, and technology -- specifically, the immigrant experience in the 21st century. "One of my central strategies is making metaphors with technology, comparing the experience of immigrating with the experience of entering a virtual reality," Rivera explains. "I use the rhetoric of cyberspace and the Internet to talk about being displaced, alienated, and far away from a place you grew up in."

These themes take a satiric twist in the mockumentary Why Cybraceros? (1997). In this video, a silken voiced narrator describes a new U.S. Department of Labor initiative, "The Cybracero Program," in which Mexican "tele-migrant" laborers remain physically south of the border while they control robot-workers in the U.S. via high-speed Internet connections. As the narrator cheerfully explains, "It's all the labor without the worker. 'Cybracero' means a worker who poses no threat of becoming a citizen. And that means quality products at low financial and social costs to you, the American consumer."

Rivera is now at work on his first video installation, Tijuana 2000. Conceived as a "digital mural" -- that is, a video projection that integrates the idea of traditional Mexican mural with modern message delivery system -- Tijuana 2000 will contain stories from the south side of the U.S./Mexican border, stories of families separated by recent immigration reforms and workers in the high-tech maquiladoras (assembly plants) of Tijunana. "I was interested in the Mexican muralists," Rivera says, "reading their manifestos and thinking about their objectives. They were trying to create a public art that couldn't be brought into a gallery. Because it's on the side of a building, it's a sort of art that can't be owned. And it occurred to me that a lot of the things the muralists were striving for" -- especially that freedom from commercialism -- "are realized in digital art."

As he experiments with various technologies, trying to hit on the right one to make this installation not only widely accessible but fully interactive, Rivera is discovering some new artistic challenges. "I'm used to doing linear videotapes, where I can have people's attention for a certain amount of time, lay out an argument, and then it's over." He laughs. "It's different trying to create a perpetual object. People will drop in and drop out, and you don't know if they'll be there for ten seconds or ten minutes." Still, Rivera remains convinced that this form -- a digital piece that can be viewed either on-site in a video projection, or on the web -- is ideal for his project. He recalls with a smile, "On a Creative Capital retreat, there was a panel of gallery owners who were talking about their interest in digital art. 'But how do you own it,' they wondered, 'when you can replicate it, put it on the web, and any number of people can not only see it, but download it? It's so difficult to charge for it!' And I was thinking, 'Huh, that actually sounds a lot like what the muralists were striving for.'"

Peter Rose

Peter Rose's works in film, video, installation, and performance have been extensively shown nationally and internationally, including shows at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Yokohama Museum of Art, and recent exhibition at both the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. His work has drawn significant support from an impressive roster of sources, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pew Foundation, has been the subject of a number of articles on contemporary media art, and is included in several major international collections. In their exploration of perception, language, time, and mythos, Rose's works lead to new forms of linguistic structure and take us on peculiar journeys that modulate between the sublime and the ridiculous. Rose directs the Film Program at the University of the Arts and resides in Philadelphia.

Ben Russell

Herb E. Smith

Whitesburg native, Herb was one of the original trainees in the Community Film Workshop of Appalachia (Appalshop's genesis), and has been with Appalshop since its inception. He completed Ralph Stanley's Story in 2000. Other award-winning films include Beyond Measure: Appalachian Culture and Economy, Unbroken Tradition: Jerry Brown Pottery, Strangers and Kin, and Hand Carved.

Michael Snow

Snow was born in 1929 in Toronto. He studied at the Ontario College of Art and had his first solo exhibition in 1957. Since then his work has appeared at exhibitions in every major art centre in Europe and North America, and his films have been shown at retrospectives and film festivals in the United States, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Italy. Michael Snow has executed several prominent and popular public commissions that include "Reflections", his photo mural at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, "The Audience", his sculptured frieze at Toronto's SkyDome, and "Flight Stop", his photo/fiberglass Canada Geese at the Eaton Centre.

An accomplished musician, Michael Snow plays with the New Music group at CCMC which has been presenting concerts internationally since 1976. He also played with the Artists' Jazz Band in the 1970's, and has played solo piano at appearances in Toronto, Montreal, New York and Europe.

His work as a visual artist has earned him numerous honours, including the Order of Canada, Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et lettres (France), a Toronto Arts Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Los Angeles Film Critics' Association Award, and honorary degrees from the University of Victoria, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Brock University. He has been visiting professor at Princeton University and at l'Ecole Nationale de la Photographie in Arles, France. Michael Snow is currently living and working in Toronto.

Ellen Spiro

Spiro is an internationally recognized filmmaker whose documentaries have been broadcast around the world. Her awards include two Rockefeller Fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship, First Prize in the USA Film Festival, Golden Gate Award, Prized Pieces Award from the National Black Programming Consortium, Paul Clere Humanitarian Award of Excellence, and others.

Her work includes Roam Sweet Home (1996), The Shampoo King (1999), Greetings From Out Here (1993), Invisible Women (1992), Diana's Hair Ego (1990), and Atomic Ed and the Black Hole (2001).

Roam Sweet Home is an international co-production of Channel Four UK and ITVS. Presenting Spiro with the National Media Award in Chicago, Gene Siskel said of Roam Sweet Home: "There's a wild sense of discovery at every turn...visually striking and deeply moving." In the Hollywood Reporter, Marilyn Moss calls Roam Sweet Home "part poetry and part mobile experience... a captivating tale that rediscovers America and life in the not-so-fast lane."

Spiro's unconventional approach to documentary is fueled by a history of working in experimental film, art, and activist video; she produces, directs, shoots and edits her own work. Known as a pioneer in small format video technology, Spiro made her first documentary for $564 while studying at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York City. Dubbed "the little video that could", Diana's Hair Ego was the first documentary shot on 8mm consumer video equipment to be shown on television in the U.S. After a hundred-plus regional PBS broadcasts in the U.S., Diana's Hair Ego traveled the world, premiering outside the U.S. at the International Public Television Conference in Dublin, Ireland. Shown in the Whitney Museum Biennial, three times at the Museum of Modern Art, and at community centers worldwide, Diana's Hair Ego the New York Times said "[it] addresses AIDS and sexuality with refreshing humor without losing touch with its serious subject matter." The Atlanta Constitution called it "the activist documentary of the 90s."

Greetings From Out Here, a queer travelogue through the deep South, became the first ITVS project to be broadcast by maverick satellite feed on PBS and won first prize in the USA Film Festival, and an invitation to the Sundance Film Festival.

Courtesy of Video Data Bank

Mark Street

Mark Street graduated from Bard College (B.A) and the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA). He has shown work in the New York Museum of Modern Art Cineprobe series (1991, 1994), at Anthology Film Archives (1993), Millennium (1990,1996), and the San Francisco Cinematheque (1986, 1992). He has shown and lectured on his work at Syracuse University, University of Colorado--Boulder, Cornell University, Bard College and Pratt Institute. His films have been shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (prizewinner, 1990 and 1993), the Athens Film Festival (prizewinner, 1991 and 1996), the Humboldt Film Festival ("Best of Festival", 1994), the San Francisco Film Festival (honorable mention, 1990) ,Rotterdam Film Festival (1999) and the Sundance Film Festival (2001). His film Winterwheat was part of the London Filmmaker's Coop travelling exhibition New American Makers 1980-1989.Sweep (1998) is part of the European Media Arts Festival (Osnabruck, Germany) touring exhibition. In 1991 he received a Film Arts Foundation Personal Works grant to make Missing Something Somewhere. In 2000 he received a Maryland State Arts Council Grant.

Mark Street's work ranges from abstract hand-manipulated material to work that recontextualizes found footage, to films that involve written texts. Each film attempts to investigate new terrain, and he avoids being confined by a specific look or mood. He has made a graphic silent film for three projectors (Triptych, 1992), a diary film (Lilting Towards Chaos, 1991) a documentary about travel in Central America (Excursions, 1994), and a reworking of pornographic footage (Blue Movie, 1994). His 1996 film Why Live Here? explores three characters" relationship to place.He just finished the last work in a trilogy about fatherhood. Sweep (1998) explores the shimmering world of an infant and father on a neighborhood walk. The Domestic Universe (1999) presents three Brooklyn, NY fathers discussing the vicissitudes of fatherhood as Street"s own daughter grows up. Sliding off the Edge of the World (2000) considers the passage of time in a frenetic visual poem. His latest videotape, Happy? (2000) also confronts notions of change through street interviews in NYC around Jan.1, 2000. The result is a hybrid of documentary and anthropological film, part time-capsule and part taped performance piece. Happy? attempts to show how people are struggling with issues of decay and transition in a famously unreflective age and country. At present he is at work on a dramatic narrative feature called Curb Appeal that explores the vagaries of community and place. The film will follow a group of young adults in Baltimore as they struggle with conflicting notions of how to live in and around the city.

Loretta Todd

Todd is an internationally acclaimed director rand writer known for her powerful, visual storytelling. Her films have screened world-wide, including at the Sundance Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Yamagata Documentary Festival and the Museum of Modern Art - to name a few. She has received many prestigious honours, including a Rockefeller Fellowship, a Mountain Award at the Taos Talking Picture Festival and attendance at the Sundance Scriptwriters Lab, plus awards and citations from notable events such as the Hot Docs Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Among Loretta's credits are the documentary Today is a Good Day: Remembering Chief Dan George, and productions with the National Film Board of Canada including Forgotten Warriors (nominated for a Genie), Hands of History and The Learning Path (co-produced with Tamarack Productions). Two of her short dramatic scripts were produced for television. Ms. Todd is also known for her insightful writing and speaking on Aboriginal art and media issues. Loretta is Métis/Cree, originally from northern Alberta.

Steina Vasulka

Steina is one of the most distinguished video artists working in the world today. Born in Iceland (1940), she is a classically trained violinist who played with the Iceland National Orchestra. She relocated to New York in 1965 with her husband and collaborator, Woody Vasulka, where they founded celebrated artists' venue The Kitchen and began producing innovative video works. Combining a uniquely musical visual approach with complex experimentation in electronic imaging, Steina's works have been celebrated worldwide. She received the Maya Deren Award in 1992 and has exhibited at Ars Electronica, Linz, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others. In 1999, she simultaneously showed three installations in three countries: Nuna in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Textures in Reykjavík, Iceland, and Machine Vision in Milan, Italy. She now lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Igor Vamos

Vamos is a media artist and culture jammer living and working in New York. Vamos is well-known for his collaborative public art projects such as the Barbie Liberation Organization and the Center For Land Use Interpretation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the increase and dissemination of knowledge about the nature of human interaction with the Earth. Currently, Vamos is teaching at Renslaaer Polytechnic Institute.

Courtesy of Video Data Bank

Christopher Walker

Walker has been a producer, director, and associate producer of over twenty documentaries for international television. His credits include the films Hard Drive, Taxi to Timbuktu, and the highly acclaimed Trinkets and Beads, which received awards at North/South Media Encounters, and the Windy City International Film Festival. Over the past ten years he has produced and directed current affairs reports on political change in Eastern Europe, Central America, Africa, and South East Asia, including: Human Rights in Burma, Sex Slavery in Thailand, The Truth Commission in El Salvador, We Ain't Winning (The War on Drugs), Inside the Khmer Rouge, People Power, Spare Parts, and A Question of Conscience: The Murder of the Jesuits in El Salvador. He has recently produced and directed two documentaries for the United Nations Population Fund on immigration and health issues. He lives in New York City.

Chris Welsby

Welsby has been making and exhibiting work since 1969. His films and film/video installations have been exhibited internationally, at major galleries such as the Tate and Hayward galleries in London, the Musée du Louvre and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

"In my single screen films and single channel videos the mechanics of film and video interact with the landscape in such a way that elemental processes—such as changes in light, the rise and fall of the tide or changes in wind direction—are given the space and time to participate in the process of representation. The resulting sequences of images make it possible to envisage a relationship between technology and nature based on principles other than exploitation and domination.

The gallery installations deal with the transformations which occur when the non-Euclidean space of the landscape is imported into an architectural space based on the rules of geometry and perspective. The dimensions of the gallery, the size and scale of the image, the proportions of the video monitor or projection screen, the positioning of the monitors or screens, are primary considerations, and central to the meaning of the work. The fragmentation of image and sound, which characterises these installations, acknowledges the split between culture and nature but, at the same time, opens up the possibility of a less dualistic reading.

Unlike the landscape painters and photographers of the nineteenth century, I have avoided the objective view point implicit in panoramic vistas or depictions of homogeneous pictorial space. I have instead concentrated on "close up" detail and the more transient aspects of the landscape, using the flickering, luminous characteristics of the film and video mediums, and their respective technologies, to suggest both the beauty and fragility of the natural world.

The process of re-presenting the landscape in either the single screen works or the installations is not seen to be separate from nature or in any way objective, but is viewed instead, as part of a more symbiotic model in which technology and nature are both viewed as inter-related parts of a larger gestalt." Chris Welsby (June, 2001)

Joyce Wieland

Travis Wilkerson

Wilkerson grew up in the mountains of Colorado and Montana. He was compelled to leave the west to pursue his advanced education. He studied foreign languages and literature before turning to the cinema. He regards himself as a contemporary practitioner of "Third Cinema," and strives to produce works that wed politics to formal engagement in an indivisible manner. He has completed several films and videos including ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT: IN THE IDIOM OF SANTIAGO ALVAREZ (1999), the ongoing series NATIONAL ARCHIVE and most recently, AN INJURY TO ONE (2002). They have screened in numerous festivals including Viennale, Yamagata, Sheffield, Havana and Hot Docs. They have also been presented in such venues as the Pacific Film Archive and the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, and were included in the Flaherty Seminar (2000). He finally acquiesced to the need for formal film study and recently completed his graduate studies (2002) at the California Institute of the Arts. Most recently, he co-founded the micro-distributor EXTREME LOW FREQUENCY, with the aim of releasing little-seen works of radical cinema, both classic and contemporary.

Frederick Wiseman

Fred Wiseman is probably one of today's greatest living documentary filmmakers. For close to thirty years, thanks to the Public Broadcast Service (PBS), he has created an exceptional body of work consisting of thirty full length films devoted primarily to exploring American institutions. Over time these films have become a record of the western world, since now more than ever as we approach the centuries close, nothing North American is really foreign to us.

The institutions that Wiseman examined early in his career - a hospital, a high school, army basic training, a welfare center, a police precinct - have "problems" that the filmmaker uncovers. His approach reveals the profound acknowledged and unacknowledged conformity and inequality of American society. Wiseman's films are also a reflection on democracy. What do his films portray, the "American dream" or the "air conditioned nightmare"? Both, but also a questioning of the world and of existence. Occasionally, his films describe less circumscribed institutions - the world of fashion, a public park, and a ski resort. In addition to examining the social and ethical questions he is not afraid to confront the "big" metaphysical questions particularly in the films about handicapped children and dying patients. The filmmaker is trying to encompass all of human experience in his films.

In the past, Wiseman had already made movies outside the borders of his own country, in the Sinai, in Germany, and in Panama. In each of these films, however, his subject was Americans abroad.

In 1993, in his film BALLET, he followed the American Ballet Theatre rehearsals in New York and performances in Europe. For a long time Wiseman had wanted to make a film in France and in 1995 he tackled that most French of institutions, The Comedie Francaise. Both in BALLET and LA COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE Wiseman raises questions about the conditions necessary for artistic creation: how to create those conditions which allow a director, and actor, or a dancer to achieve the goal of a perfect even sublime performance; how the specific dialect for the theatre works, the dialect which both places in opposition and transcends the solitude of individual creation and group collaboration.

"Documentaries, like theatre pieces, novels or poems are forms of fiction. . .", claims Wiseman. Over the years his films have become more a skillful mix of observation, testimony, reflection, an absence of prejudice, and courage, and humor. A complex body of work, as great works of fiction (novels, drama, music, and film) can be, with the same profundity, contradictions, and questions without answers.

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