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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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, (www.geechee.tv)
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
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.
Elder (Leonard Kamerling)
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Jordan (Steven Ascher)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
McDougall is a media arts project developer at the Exploratorium,
a museum of art, science and human perception in San Francisco.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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."
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.
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
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".
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.
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
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
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."
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
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.'"
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
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.
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
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
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).
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."
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
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.
of Video Data Bank
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
of Video Data Bank
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.