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.
Happenings in the documentary film world and within the School of Visual Arts MFA in Social Documentary Film Community
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.
Bao Nguyen(’11) is the producer of the fiction film 2030 that was just named a recipient of a 2013 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grant. Congrats to Bao and the entire team. Nice to see a SocDoc alum making strides in the fiction world!
About the film – 2030 – In a near future Vietnam where seawater has buried a large part of the land and cultivation has to be done on floating farms, a strong-willed woman has to make a critical decision about her ex-lover, a geneticist who could be her husband’s murderer. Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo (Screenwriter, Director), Bao Nguyen (Producer)
Congrats to Sara Khaki for being selected to go to San Francisco and pitch her thesis film “Facing The Mirror” in the Ready, Set, Pitch 2013 competition. She won and took home 5K to support her film! It is an amazing project and we wish her all the success in turning it into a feature length film. She has an Indiegogo campaign and more information about the film online.
Please join us on Thursday, February 21st at the SVA Theater (Beatrice) for a special screening of Queen of Versailles, followed by a discussion with the film’s director Lauren Greenfield and the cinematographer (and SocDoc professor) Tom Hurwitz, ASC.
|LAUREN GREENFIELD (Director/Photographer)Acclaimed documentary photographer/filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of youth culture, gender and consumerism, as a result of her monographs “Girl Culture,” “Fast Forward,” “THIN” and other photographic works, which have been widely published, exhibited, and collected by leading museums around the world.Her latest feature-length documentary film, “The Queen of Versailles” was selected as the Opening Night film of Sundance 2012 where it won the Best Director Award in the U.S. Documentary Competition.|
The Queen of Versailles was acquired by Magnolia Pictures on the first night of Sundance and went on to box office success and critical acclaim, winning the richest prize in Australia, the Brisbane International Film Festival BIFFDOC Prize, and garnering nominations for Best Documentary by the International Documentary Association, Critics Choice, and the London Critics Circle Film Awards. Most recently, The Directors Guild of America nominated “The Queen of Versailles” for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries for 2012. It was named on many Top Ten Films of the Year lists, including the New York Times, Slate, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, Art Forum, and New York Newsday.
In addition to “The Queen of Versailles,” Lauren has previously directed three award-winning documentary films – “THIN,” “kids + money,” and “Beauty CULTure.” “THIN” was selected for the Official Competition at Sundance in 2006, was nominated for an Emmy for Best Direction, and received the prestigious John Grierson Award for Best Documentary at the London Film Festival in 2006. “kids + money,” also selected for the Official Shorts Program at Sundance 2008, won several Best Documentary Awards (AFI, Ann Arbor, Gold Hugo), and was selected as one of the top five nonfiction shorts by Cinema Eye Honors 2009. “Beauty CULTure” was commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation and was the centerpiece of the record-setting exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in which she was a featured artist (Summer 2011), which received the Lucie Award for Exhibition of the Year (2011). Greenfield’s THIN and Girl Culture museum exhibitions have been seen by a half million people in over thirty venues around the world. Since 2007, she has also directed commercials with Chelsea Pictures.
Greenfield has been named one of the 25 most influential photographers working today ((American Photo). Her work appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times Magazine, and GQ, and was showcased in the Getty Museum’s historical exhibition, “Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography Since the Sixties” (2010). In 2009, she and her husband, Frank Evers, founded the Institute for Artist Management, representing some of the world’s best documentary photographers from around the world. Greenfield and Evers live in Venice, California with their two children.
|TOM HURWITZ, ASC (Cinematographer)Tom Hurwitz, ASC is one of America’s most honored documentary cinematographers. Winner of two Emmy Awards, the Sundance and Jerusalem Film Festival Awards for Best Cinematography, Hurwitz has photographed films that have won 4 academy awards and several more nominations (most recently for Dancemaker and Killing in the Name). His television programs have won literally dozens of awards, Emmy, Dupont, Peabody, Directors Guild and film festival awards for Best Documentary, over the last 25 years — most recently were Emmy Awards for Best Documentary Specials for the PBS show Jerome Robbins and the PBS series Franklin, on which Hurwitz directed the photography.|
Other award-winning films and programs that he has photographed include: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Harlan County USA, Wild Man Blues, My Generation, Down and Out in America, The Turandot Project, Liberty, Dolley, Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, for PBS; and I Have a Dream, for ABC; and Killing in the Name, and Questioning Faith for HBO. In addition, films that he has directed have won the Cine Golden Eagle (for Bombs will Make the Rainbow Break) and have been shown in festivals around the world. He is also a founding member of the faculty of The MFA Program in the Social Documentary, at New York’s School of Visual Arts.
Tom was born in 1947 and reared in New York City, attending private schools and then doing his undergraduate work at Columbia University with majors in English and Religion. With the exception of five years in California in the 1970′s, h
is base has been his beloved New York. He is married to Margaret Klenck, a Jungian psychoanalyst and president of the Jungian Psychoanalytical Association, with whom he has one son, Nicholas. He has two daughters, Mekea and Anya, from a previous marriage.
Apart from his film career and his time with family, Tom functions as a seminary-trained liturgist, and a verger at New York’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, helping to oversee weekly services and the great holiday liturgies of the world’s largest gothic church.
The SocDoc program is proud to announce our list of guest lecturers participating in the Process and Style guest lecture series this spring semester.
These events are not open to the public and are for the MFA Social Documentary Film students and by invitation only. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the SocDoc guest lecture series or to get on the guest list. All lectures begin at 6:00pm and are held in the SocDoc department.
** This schedule is subject to change without notice**
1. Date: 1/10/13
Instructor: Alan Berliner
Topic: First Cousin Once Removed
2. Date: 1/17/13
Instructor: DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus
Topic: Political Films
3. Date: 1/24/13
Instructor: Craig Lowy
Topic: Graphics and Titles
4. Date: 1/31/13
Instructor: Maro Chermayeff and Team
Topic: Half The Sky
5. Date: 2/7/13
Instructor: Craig Atkinson
Topic: Producer/DP of Detropia
6. Date: 2/14/13
Instructor: NO LECTURE
7. Date: 2/21/13
Instructor: Lauren Greenfield (with Tom Hurwitz)
Queen of Versailles
SVA Theater (333 w 23rd) ALL WELCOME
8. Date: 2/28/13
Instructor: Kerthy Fix
Topic: survey of work
9. Date: 3/14/13
Instructor: Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman
10. Date: 3/21/13
Instructor: Liriel Higa
Topic: Social Media and your films
11. Date: 3/28/13
Instructor: Molly Thompson
VP, AETN IndieFilms at A&E Television Networks
12. Date: 4/4/13
Instructor: Carter Little
13. Date: 4/11/13
Instructor: NO LECTURE
Instructor: Toby Shimin
**The schedule is subject to change.
Jenni Morello (’11) recently debuted a new series of short films on sesamestreet.org about the challenges faced by children of divorce. After screening her thesis film “McB” at the Toronto International Film Festival Kid’s Festival, producers from Children’s Television Workshop were impressed with the sensitivity and humor Morello showed in capturing the lives of her young protagonists. They approached her and asked her to create several verite portraits of children at various stages of divorce for their web series and educational outreach program “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce”. The resulting films include this portrait of Chase, a ten year old who explains how he got through his parents divorce with the support of his mother and his grandmother.
“Searching for Sugar Man,” Malik Bendjelloul’s film about lost ’70s singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, was the big winner at the International Documentary Association’s 2012 IDA Documentary Awards Friday, taking both Best Feature and Creative Recognition Award for Best Music honors. Other prizes went to Werner Herzog’s Investigation Discovery limited series “On Death Row” and filmmaker David France, whose debut feature “How to Survive a Plague” was awarded best first feature by the New York Film Critics’ Circle and is shortlisted for the Oscar along with “Sugar Man.”The IDA’s Best Short Award went to HBO’s “Saving Face,” directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, while the IDA Career Achievement Award was presented to Oscar-winning producer Arnold Shapiro (“Scared Straight”) and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund was given the Pioneer Award, which celebrates “extraordinary contributions to advancing the nonfiction form and providing exceptional vision and leadership to the documentary community.”
Illusionist and comedian Penn Jillette hosted the event.
A complete list of winners follows:
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
JACQUELINE DONNET EMERGING DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER AWARD
SUNDANCE INSTITUTE DOCUMENTARY FILM PROGRAM AND FUND
BEST FEATURE AWARD
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
Director/Producer/Writer: Malik Bendjelloul
Producer: Simon Chinn
Executive Producer: John Battsek
Red Box Films, Sony Pictures Classics
BEST SHORT AWARD
Director: Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Producers: David Coombe, Daniel Junge, Alison Greenberg, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Sabiha Sumar
Co-Producers: Aaron Kopp, Fazeelat Aslam
Senior Producer: Lisa Heller (HBO)
Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins (HBO)
HBO Documentary Films, Milkhaus, LLC, and JungeFilm, LLC
BEST LIMITED SERIES AWARD
ON DEATH ROW
Director/Writer: Werner Herzog
Producer: Erik Nelson
Coordinating Producer: Robert Erickson
Executive Producers: Dave Harding, Amy Briamonte; Andre Singer and Lucki Stipetic (Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film); Nick Raslan (Skellig Rock); Henry Schleiff and Sara Kozak (Investigation Discovery)
Creative Differences, Investigation Discovery
BEST CONTINUING SERIES AWARD
Executive Producer: Susan Lacy
Series Producer: Prudence Glass
Supervising Producer: Julie Sacks
Coordinating Producer: Junko Tsunashima
THIRTEEN in association with PBS
DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Director/Producer/Writer: Mark Kendall
Producer: Rafael González
Writer: Shannon Kennedy
Executive Producer: Esther Robinson
School of Visual Arts
ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD
HARVEST OF EMPIRE
Directors: Peter Getzels, Eduardo López
Producers: Wendy Thompson-Marquez, Eduardo López
Onyx Films, EVS Communications, Loquito Productions
HUMANITAS DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Director/Producer: Micha X. Peled
Teddy Bear Films
PARE LORENTZ AWARD
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT
Director: Jon Shenk
Producers: Bonni Cohen, Richard Berge
Executive Producers: Jon Else, Sally Jo Fifer, Dan Cogan
Actual Films, Inc., Samuel Goldwyn/Independent Lens
CREATIVE RECOGNITION AWARDS
WOMEN WITH COWS
Cinematography by: Peter Gerdehag
Editing by: Rodney Ascher
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
Original Songs by: Sixto Rodriguez
Additional Score by: Malik Bendjelloul
ANN RICHARDS’ TEXAS
Screenplay by: Keith Patterson
DOC NYC, New York’s premiere documentary film festival began yesterday and runs through next Thursday, November 15th. The festival is full of amazing films, workshops and panels, and we are thrilled to announce the following screenings for our alumni and faculty:
SocDoc Alumni Screenings
SocDoc Faculty Screenings and Panels
Documentary storytelling is flourishing like never before – encompassing reportage, memoir, history, humor and more. DOC NYC celebrates this cultural phenomenon and encourages its new directions.