SocDoc Blog

Happenings in the documentary film world and within the School of Visual Arts MFA in Social Documentary Film Community

SVA SocDoc Student Film “The Time Machine” in the Festival Circuit

The Time Machine by Mark Kendall, class of 2010 is being shown at:

  • 2010 Westchester Film Festival
  • 2010 Talking Pictures Festival
  • 2010 Washington, DC Independent Film & Music Festival—2010 Grand Jury Award for Best Student 2010 Arizona International Film Festival
  • 2010 Nashville Film Festival (nominated for best student film)
  • 2010 NYC Downtown Short Film Festival
Film Screening: Leo Hurwitz & The New York School of Documentary Film

March 10-19 Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave ( at 2nd St)
New York

Selected programs will be introduced by Tom Hurwitz, the filmmaker’s son, and by Manfred Kirchheimer, who worked with Leo Hurwitz on many of his later films. For full descriptions and details of the films, please visit: CONTINUE READING »

Barefoot to Timbuktu

We are hosting a special screening of BAREFOOT TO TIMBUKTU
followed by a Q&A with Ernst Aebi on Tuesday 2/9/10 in our theater.
Feel free to invite guests. Please rsvp to Thanks!

Opening February 12th at the Quad in New York
Directed by Martina Egi

BAREFOOT TO TIMBUKTU cleverly weaves archival and new material into a fascinating portrait of artist Ernst Aebi, an out-of-the-ordinary Swiss/American swashbuckler, one of the pioneers in the transformation of Soho and Tribeca’s factory spaces to lofts, and a social activist of a different kind. CONTINUE READING »

ReelAbilities: the second annual NY disabilities film festival

The festival is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people living with different disabilities. The festival presents award winning films in various locations throughout the NY metropolitan area. Discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. Visit for full program. For tickets visit and click on ReelAbilities logo, or call (646) 505-5708. Student rate $5 per ticket.

Process and Style Lecture Series Spring 2010

Thursday, 01.21.10
Deborah Shaffer – Work in Progress –
“To Be Heard”

Thursday 01.28.10
Susan Fromke and Deborah Dickson –
“Lalee’s Kin”

Thursday 02.04.10
Paula Heredia –
Director, Editor, Cinematographer

Thursday 02.11.10
Alice Elliott –
Advocacy and Education “The Collector of Bedford Street”

Thursday 02.18.10
Joshua Bennett – Nitty Gritty of Producing Shoots

Thursday 02.25.10
Richard Hankin – “Capturing the Freidmans”

Thursday 03.04.10
Sandi Dubowski – “Trembling Before G*d”

Thursday 03.18.10
Natalia Almada – Producer, Director, Editor

Thursday 03.25.10
Brett Morgen –
Reconstruction/recreation, animation, photo animation

Thursday 04.01.10
John Walter, Director, Editor

Thursday 04.09.10
Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra –
On foreign turf, dealing with difficult production issues

Thursday 04.15.10
Vee Bravo & Bernardo Ruiz
“Estilo Hip-Hop” & “Clemente”

Thursday 04.22.10

Faculty Member Screens Film at IFC

I’M DANGEROUS WITH LOVE will be getting a “sneak preview” in the upcoming winter season of STRANGER THAN FICTION in NYC at the IFC Theater.

The film will screen on Tues. Dec. 15 at 8pm. A Q&A with Michel Negroponte and Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis to follow.

There will also be a post-show reception at 99 Below featuring drink specials (99 MacDougal St.).

For more information about ticket sales & reservations, please go to:

The IFC Theater contact info:

IFC Center

323 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014-4403
(212) 924-7771

Department Tours

Don’t fret if you missed our Information Session on October 24th!

If you have any questions about the MFA Social Documentary program and admissions process or would like to set up a one-on-one informational meeting and department tour, please email

Graduate Portfolio Day – NYC

Eastern Graduate Portfolio Day
Parsons The New School for Design
New York, NY
Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 noon-4 p.m.

Visit for more information about the National Portfolio Day Association.

The MFA SocDoc program will be attending the Portfolio Day in New York to answer any questions about the SocDoc program that you might have. Feel free to come to the event, with or without your reel, to discuss the program with our staff representative.

For more information about Portfolio Day please email

Process and Style Guest Lecture Series – Fall 2009

Core courses in directing, producing, editing, visionary journalism, cinematography and sound will be taught by some of the most significant filmmakers in documentary today. Additionally, a weekly Process and Style screening and lecture series will welcome yet more voices from the field:

This lecture series is primarily for the MFA SocDoc students, however in this first year we will have a few additional seats in each lecture for guests. If you would like to be emailed about seats open for the Thursday night lectures (6:30p-9:20p) please and you will be placed on an email notice list.

Below are some of our planned lectures for the fall 2009 semester:

Screening of “Crude” at IFC Center

Topic: Are you a Journalist or a Filmmaker?  Are the ethical constraints of a filmmaker the same as a journalist? What boundaries, if any, are required in documentary film?
Lecturer: Joe Berlinger

Screening: “Carrier” and ”Circus”

Topic: Who are you more loyal to – the story or your subjects?
Lecturers: Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre

Screening: “I’m Dangerous with Love”

Topic: Flying Solo - The director as a one-person band.  
Lecturer: Michel Negroponte

Screening: “Native Land” 
Topic: New York Documentary scene from 1931 to 1942
Lecturer: Tom Hurwitz, ASC

Lecturer: D.A. Pennebaker

Topic: Observational film/Cinema Verite - The presence of the filmmaker is felt. Subjectivity and relationship.
Lecturer: Susan Fromke and Muffy Meyer

Topic: In what way do you approach your story – as a journalist or filmmaker?

Lecturer: Yoruba Richen

Screening: “Frontier House” 

Topic: Historical Programming
Lecturers: Beth Hoppe and Maro Chermayeff

Topic:  Fleshing out a story – from web videos to a winning television program.
Lecturer: Micah Fink

Topic: Archival Research – how to gather archival footage and use it creatively and to the advantage of your story

Lecturer: Amy Schewel

Topic: The Interview – How to prepare; how to do an informal, spontaneous interview.  How to think on your feet. 

Lecturer: Pamela Yates

Screening: “Bellview” 

Topic: Advocacy Filmmaking 

Lecturer: Maryann DeLeo

Topic: How to land an interview with high profile people

Lecturer: Yvette Vega, Senior Producer of Charlie Rose

* Please note that lectures are subject to change without notice.

For more information about our guest lecturers please visit:

Information Session October 24th from 2-4pm

The MFA Social Documentary Film program at the School of VISUAL ARTS is hosting an information session on October 24th from 2-4pm in Manhattan (136 W 21st between 6th and 7th Ave) for those interested in finding out more information about the program.  This casual event will feature faculty, student and staff presentations, a Q&A session, and a meet and greet. Please join us!

Please use the online registration form to RSVP for the event:

You can request to have a copy of the 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog mailed to you by filling out this form:

Prospective students can also download a copy of sections of or the entire catalog using this link:

Please contact with any questions about this event or call the department 212-592-2919.