SocDoc Blog

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

Spring 2014 Guest Lecture Series


1. 1/24/14 @ 6pm
UnionDocs Collaboration
Ondi Timoner
We Live in Public

2. Date: 1/28/14
Bill Morrison
The Great Flood 

2.5. 1/29/14
web sites
how to build them using WIX (free service)

3. Date: 2/4/14
Peter Richardson
How to Die in Oregon (screen before the lecture) – he will screen other things

4. Date: 2/11/14

5. Date: 2/18/14 – AT IFC
IFC Stranger Than Fiction
Montery Pop – with D.A. Pennebaker and film crew Al Maysles, Jim Desmond, Nick Proferres, Brice Marden, Robert Leacock and assistant editor Lana Jokel

6. Date: 2/25/14
Lana Wilson
After Tiller

7. Date: 3/11/14
Richard Hankin

8. Date: 3/18/14
Mark Kendall
La Camioneta

9. Date: 3/25/14
Alan Berliner
First Cousin Once Removed

10. Date: 4/1/14


11. Date: 4/8/14


12. Date: 4/15/14



Fall 2014 Admissions Deadlines


  • Early Decision January 10th, 2014 (extended from December 20th).
  • Regular Decision February 24th, 2014.
  • Rolling Admissions as space permits through the spring.
  • Contact: with questions about these deadlines.


Fall 2013 Guest Lecture Series

As usual we have a great line up of guests visiting the MFA SocDoc program this fall. The Process and Style Guest Lecture Series is primarily for SocDoc students and alumni, but if you would like to visit just email to reserve a seat.

9/26/13 Instructor: Christine Turner
Film: Homegoings

Date: 10/2/13 Instructor: Lois Vossen
Independent Lens and ITVS

Date: 10/10/13
Micah Fink
Film: “An Abominal Crime”

Date: 10/17/13
Laurens Grant
Film: Jesse Owens

Date: 10/24/13
Michelle Major and Sam Pollard
Film: Venus and Serena

Date: 11/7/13
Jerimiah Zagar
Film: In a Dream

Date: 11/14/13
Editor Paula Heredia

Date: 11/21/13
Filmmaker Gini Reticker

Date: 12/4/13 – 12:30-2:30
Kevin Iwashina
Co-CEO at Preferred Film & TV
Managing Partner at Killer Digital
Co-President at City Room Creative

Third Annual Thesis Showcase

The 2013 graduates of the MFA Social Documentary Film program have created some of the most interesting, unique, humorous and thought provoking films out there, and you are invited to come check them out for free! Please join us on September 20th, 21st and 22nd for a weekend of very special documentary films. Tickets are free and can be reserved here.

Dates/Times (see below for schedule): 

September 20th (6:00pm-9pm)
September 21st (1pm-8pm) with a reception from 8pm-10pm
September 22nd (2pm-8:30pm)

SVA Theater Location:

  • 333 W 23rd Street (directions)
  • The Beatrice Theater (266 seats)

Ticketing/Seating: TICKETS HERE

More information: please call the MFA SocDoc Department @ 212-592-2919 or email

Bao Nguyen (’11) producing new film for

One young Japanese struggles with his destiny as the next in line to take over his family’s 800-year old temple.

Modern-day Japan is a complex nation struggling to combine tradition with the demands of a globalised world.

With rare access to a traditional family temple in Japan, Scion Sasaki’s story captures the struggle of a nation as he questions his future dictated by more than 20 generations past.

He is destined to become the next head monk and run his family temple in Kyoto, Japan, before he turns 30 years old.

Returning home to Japan, this DJ by night and trainee monk by day knows what inevitably lies ahead of him, but how does he come to terms with it?

See the film and find out more.

Up Coming Alumni Screenings

Spreading the word about three upcoming SocDoc related screenings:

Scattered, by Lindsay Lindenbaum (’12) – June 2nd and 4th
SCATTERED will be having its NYC premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival!
Sunday, June 2 @ 8pm (IndieScreen)
Tuesday, June 4 @ 8pm (Windmill Studios)
For more information and to buy tickets, please click here:

Where Heaven Meets Hell by Sasha Friedlander (11) – June 2nd at 10pm
We are thrilled to announce the US TV broadcast Premiere of Where Heaven Meets Hell on Global Voices | PBS — June 2nd at 10pm EST
Please check out the World Channel schedule link for local screening times/dates in your area:

LaCamioneta by Mark Kendall (’11) at ReRun Theater 5/31/13-6/6/13
We have a special $7 ticket price ($3 off) for the LaCamioneta screening on June 4th at 7:30 at the ReRun theater in Dumbo. Use the code – “socdoc”
Get your tickets online now:

Rachel Loube (SocDoc ’11) Wins Student Academy Award

Winners Announced for 2013 Student Academy Awards®

Bob Saget to Host Awards Ceremony

BEVERLY HILLS, CA –Thirteen students from nine U.S. colleges and universities as well as three students from foreign universities have been selected as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards competition. They will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry activities that will culminate in the awards ceremony, hosted by 1978 Student Academy Award winner and comedian Bob Saget, on Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

This year saw first-time honors go to Elon University, Occidental College and the University of Michigan in the U.S. competition, as well as to Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, and RITS School of Arts, Belgium, in the foreign competition. The medal placements – gold, silver and bronze – in each of the award categories will be announced at the June 8 ceremony.

The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title):


“Bottled Up,” Rafael Cortina, Occidental College

“The Compositor,” John Mattiuzzi, School of Visual Arts

“Zug,” Perry Janes, University of Michigan


“Dia de los Muertos,” Lindsey St. Pierre and Ashley Graham, Ringling College of Art and Design

“Peck Pocketed,” Kevin Herron, Ringling College of Art and Design

“Will,” Eusong Lee, California Institute of the Arts


“Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists,” Rachel Loube, School of Visual Arts

“A Second Chance,” David Aristizabal, University of Southern California

“Win or Lose,” Daniel Koehler, Elon University


“Josephine and the Roach,” Jonathan Langager, University of Southern California

“Ol’ Daddy,” Brian Schwarz, University of Texas at Austin

“Un Mundo para Raúl (A World for Raúl),” Mauro Mueller, Columbia University

Foreign Film

“Miss Todd,” Kristina Yee, National Film and Television School, United Kingdom

“Parvaneh,” Talkhon Hamzavi, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland

“Tweesprong (Crossroads),” Wouter Bouvijn, RITS School of Arts, Erasmus College Brussels, Belgium

To reach this stage, U.S. students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send up to three finalists in each of the four categories. The Student Academy Awards Executive Committee screened and voted on the finalists in the Foreign Film category.

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past Student Academy Award® winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar® nominations and have won or shared eight awards. The roster includes such distinguished filmmakers as John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker and Spike Lee.

The 40th Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 8 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets are available online at, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

Student Academy Awards :: Three SocDoc Students Are Region 3 Finalists!

Erik and Tabha at the semi final ceremony2013 Student Academy Awards® Finalists Announced


“The Battle of the Jazz Guitarist,” Mark Columbus, University of California, Los Angeles

“Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists,” Rachel Loube, School of Visual Arts

“Everybody’s Business,” Laura Green, Stanford University

“Graceland Girls,” Jordan Theresa Salvatoriello, Emerson College

“A Second Chance,” David Aristizabal, University of Southern California

“Through the Fire,” Eunice Lau, New York University

“Vultures of Tibet,” Russell O. Bush, University of Texas at Austin

“Win or Lose,” Daniel Koehler, Elon University

“Wonder Workshop,” Amitabh Joshi and Erik Spink, School of Visual Arts

Read more about the awards here:

Deborah Dickson’s latest film airs on PBS

MFA SocDoc directing faculty member Deborah Dickson’s latest film “The Lost Bird Project” will air on PBS Channel THIRTEEN on Sunday, April 21st at 7:00pm. It is a beautiful film and should be seen by everyone who loves documentary films as well as birds. More information found on the film’s web site.

Pete Vandall (’11) turns his thesis film into a History Channel series

The SocDoc department is thrilled to announce that one of our student’s thesis projects was turned into a series for the History Channel – and it airs tonight 4/11/13!

While at SocDoc Peter Vandall (’11) created a very funny verite documentary film about his cousin’s passion for deer hunting in the wealthy suburbs of Connecticut.  After gradaution Pete took the film to the History Channel and they picked it up as a series! Peter worked closely with the crew from History as a field producer, shooter and show creator to bring the characters and show to televisions all over America. The series  airs tonight at 10pm EST on the History Channel.

To see clips and find out more about the hilarious new series visit the web site.