SOCDOC - MFA Social Documentary Film

SocDoc Blog

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

Summer Season of Stranger Than Fiction at IFC Center

Summer Season of Stranger Than Fiction at IFC Center on the SVA MFA Social Documenatary Blog.

This weekly documentary series,hosted by SocDoc faculty member Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, and presented by the IFC Center, launches its’ first ever Summer Season on June 2nd 2011.

Audiences will have a chance to watch documentaries in the company of esteemed directors including Liz Garbus,Steve James and Hope Ryan. The STF Summer season takes place at the IFC Center every Tuesday night at 8pm for thirteen weeks, through August 2nd. Each event includes a discussion with the filmmakers, followed by a gathering at a nearby bar. The summer season mixes current sensations with rarities and timeless classics.

Visit the web site to see the line up of films and buy passes:

SocDoc Students Work With NYC Non Profit Organizations

As part of the second semester producing course taught by Robyn Hutt and Michael Kantor, students in the MFA SocDoc program worked in teams and with local not-for-profit organizations to create fundraising videos. Below is the finished film created by the Inter-School Orchestra of New York team. The ISO organization credits the film for helping them raise a lot of money at their recent fundraising event.

This project is a win-win for all involved! It provides students with team based, real-world client experience and provides non-profits with top quality films to help tell the story of their wonderful organizations.

SocDoc Department Chair Maro Chermayeff’s New Series on PBS

Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is contributing significant funding for Half the Sky, a primetime television special and multi-platform project based on the best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide from Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.

The two-part, four-hour broadcast will air on PBS’ ‘Independent Lens’ during the fall of 2012 and will function as a cornerstone of ITVS’ “Women and Girls Lead” project, a multi-year campaign geared towards using documentaries to aid in increasing leadership and development of girls and women worldwide.

Contributing to the production will be various actresses and spokespeople who will accompany producers to one of six countries in the global south. WuDunn will spearhead the production of stories surrounding the issues in the U.S.

Read more:

Spring Semester Screenings Today and Tomorrow

Group 2 spring semester screenings today and tomorrow from 2pm-5pm.

136 W 21st street, ground floor.

Come join us!

Questions: [email protected]

SocDoc Student Screens At Sheffield Doc Fest

Raul Paz Pastrana is the company of filmmakers like Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney, Wernor Herzog, Morgan Spurlock, Marshall Curry and Robert Flaherty as he screens his film The Art of Remembrance at the 2011 Sheffield Documentary Festival in Sheffield, England in June.

Congratulations to Raul for this huge honor.

For more information about the festival and the film:

Watch the film here:
The Art of Remembrance

The Art of Remembrance from Trailer 88 on Vimeo.

SocDoc Student Mark Kendall advances to Student Academy Awards Finals

Congrats to SocDoc students Raul Paz Pastrana (semi finalist) & Mark Kendall (finalist) in the Students Academy Awards!

22 Named Finalists for Student Academy Awards
by Brian Brooks (May 2, 2011)

Outside the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Photo credit: Darren Decker / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Thirty-three from 22 colleges and universities have been named as finalists for the 38th annual Student Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Monday. AMPAS members will view the finalists’ films at screenings and vote to select the winners.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with accompanying cash grants of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, may be presented in each of four categories: Alternative, Animation, Documentary and Narrative. The winning filmmakers will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry-related activities and social events ending with the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 11, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

To reach this stage, students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalists in each of the four categories. For the first time this year, up to three films may be honored in the Foreign Student Film category. Academy members have selected students from the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom as finalists.

The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972. The 38th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 11 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.

The 2011 Student Academy Awards finalists:

“Bitter,” Vlad Korishev, the Art Institute of California – San Francisco
“The Dust Machine,” Damon Mohl, University of Colorado, Boulder
“The Vermeers,” Tal S. Shamir, The New School, New York
“Unreal City,” Bryan Bykowicz, University of Michigan-Dearborn

“The Birds Upstairs,” Christopher Jarvis, New York University
“Correspondence,” Zach Hyer, Pratt Institute, New York
“Defective Detective,” Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis, Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida
“Dragonboy,” Bernardo Warman, Academy of Art University, California
“The Girl and the Fox,” Tyler Kupferer, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia
“Heart,” Erick Oh, University of California, Los Angeles
“The Renter,” Jason Carpenter, California Institute of the Arts
“Swing,” Yen-Ting Kuo, School of Visual Arts, New York
“Treasure,” Chelsea Bartlett, Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida

“After,” Jeremy Cohen, The New School, New York
“Civil Indigent,” Nicholas Corrao and David Hafter, University of Florida
“Feast & Sacrifice,” Clare Major, University of California, Berkeley
“Imaginary Circumstances,” Anthony Weeks, Stanford University
“Shape of the Shapeless,” Jayan Cherian, City College of New York
“Sin Pais (Without Country),” Theo Rigby, Stanford University, California
“This is Us: Video Stories from Senegalese Youth,” Jeremy Teicher, Dartmouth College
“The Time Machine,” Mark Kendall, School of Visual Arts, New York
“Vera Klement: Blunt Edge,” Wonjung Bae, Columbia College Chicago

“The Candidate,” David Karlak, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia
“Fatakra,” Soham Mehta, University of Texas at Austin
“Flagpole,” Matt Kazman, New York University
“High Maintenance,” Shawn Wines, Columbia University
“Le Jeu des Soldats,” Lorne Hiltser, American Film Institute, California
“My First Claire,” Lou Howe, American Film Institute, California
“Snovi,” Reshad Kulenovic, Boston University
“Thief,” Julian Higgins, American Film Institute, California
“The Wind Is Blowing on My Street,” Saba Riazi, New York University

SocDoc Students and Kickstarter

Four SocDoc students used Kickstarter this semester to raise almost $50,000 for their thesis film productions.

Sasha Friedlander, Mark Kendall, Jenni Morello and Dawn Schwartz created individual pages with clips reels, information about their films, giving levels and rewards. Knowing that if they didn’t reach their funding goal in time they wouldn’t get a dime – the students did everything they could to get their pages noticed!  Dawn’s Kickstarter page was featured in an Indie Wire article: and Mark Kendall’s film and Kickstarter page was featured in the Huffington Post:

For more information about Kickstarter and SVA projects:

Two SocDoc Students Are Awarded SVA Alumni Scholarships

Alumni Scholarship Awards are given to final year undergraduate and graduate students to aid in completion of their thesis/portfolio project. These cash awards are intended to cover project expenses, and range from $500 to $2,000, depending on the student’s project budget. Applications are ranked by an alumni panel whose recommendations are approved by the Alumni Society Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Sasha Friedlander and Mark Kendall!

View 2011 Recipient List

SocDoc student film featured in Indie WIRE

SocDoc students Dawn Schwartz’s thesis film A Yo-Yo Documentary is featured in an Indie WIRE article:

IDA Awards

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