Prospective Students: Attend SocDoc Process & Style Screenings

January 27, 2017
Prospective Students: Attend SocDoc Process & Style Screenings

If you're interested in joining SVA's MFA Social Documentary Film program, we encourage you to come by for a tour of the department, and to sit in on our weekly screening series that comprise our Process & Style class on Thursday evenings.

Screenings are only for SocDoc students and prospective students. Please be in touch with SocDoc's Rose Vincelli Gustine to RSVP and for more details.  
Not in NYC? Watch videos of our recent discussions about Hooligan Sparrow and PBS' music series Soundbreaking along with Masterclasses from Michael Apted (the 7 Up series) and Marcel Ophuls (The Sorrow and the Pity).

Feb. 2 – Screening: The Birth of Sake, dir: Erik Shirai (2015)
Directed and Cinematography by Erik Shirai; Produced by Masako Tsumura; Takeshi Fukunaga & Frederick Shanahan, Editors. Tribeca Film Festival; Palm Springs Int’l FF & San Sebastian; PBS broadcast; digital distribution self-release
In a world where most mass produced goods are heavily automated, a small group of manual laborers must brave unusual working conditions to preserve a 2000-year-old tradition that we have come to know as saké. The Birth of Saké is a cinematic documentary that reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in northern Japan.
Speakers: Erik Shirai & Masako Tsumura
Process Film | Food/Drink | Japan
Feb 9 – Screening: Solitary, dir: Kristi Jacobson (2016)
Kristi Jacobson, Director/Producer; Julie Goldman & Katie Mitchell, Producers; David Menschel, Executive Producer; Ben Gold, Editor; Ben Gold, Editor
Seattle Film Festival, IDFA, Theatrical Release NYC & LA, Dec. 2016; HBO Broadcast 2017
SOLITARY is a daring exploration of the lives of inmates and corrections officers in one of America's most notorious supermax prisons, built to hold inmates in 8x10 cells, 23-hours-a-day, for months, years, and sometimes decades. With unprecedented access, the film captures a complex, unexpected and deeply moving portrait of life inside.
Speaker: K. Jacobson
American Prison System | Human Rights

Feb. 16 – Screening: 500 Years dir: Pamela Yates (2017)
Directed by Pamela Yates, Produced by Paco de Onis, Edited by Peter Kinoy, Cinematography by Melle van Essen & Rene Soza. Sundance Film Festival 2017
The third film in a trilogy about Guatemala, this installment explores the sweeping historical significance of the war crimes trial of General Ríos Montt and the toppling of corrupt president Otto Pérez Molina. Pamela Yates gracefully engages the indigenous Mayan population who experienced genocide at the hands of a long-standing repressive government. Silenced family members and eyewitnesses come forward to share their individual stories with the desire that their underreported, horrific treatment receive the attention it deserves. Spoken in Spanish and native Mayan languages, 500 YEARS delicately weaves archival footage with new interviews and emotional courtroom scenes to shine light on a growing movement to fend off the systematic aggression toward an underrepresented people. Focusing on the recent events of a country that has suffered for generations at the hands of a ruling elite, the film hails the nation’s citizens banding together on a quest for justice—and emerging as a beacon of hope.
Speaker: Pamela Yates
Guatemala | Human Rights | Political Film | Filmmaking Teams

 Feb. 23 – Screening: Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman Directors: Susan Froemke, John Hoffman (2017)
Director & Producer: Susan Froemke; Director John Hoffman; Co-Director & Producer Beth Aala; Producer: Miriam Horn; Exec. Producers: John Hoffman & Dyllan McGee; Story Consultant: Deborah Dickson; Cinematographers: Bob Richman, Buddy Squires, Thorsten Thielow, Don Lenzer; narrated by Tom Brokaw. Sundance Film Festival 2017; Discovery Channel
Montana rancher Dusty Crary works to preserve pristine, neighboring wilderness, championing efforts to prevent commercial development. Kansas farmer Justin Knopf defies conventional wisdom and implements controversial new practices to combat soil degradation and erosion. And Louisiana commercial fisherman Wayne Werner partners with fisheries regulators to help ensure a future for the red snapper upon which his business depends. Based on The New York Times best-selling author Miriam Horn's recent book of the same name, Susan Froemke and John Hoffman's illuminating film spotlights these unlikely conservationists, stewards of the land and sea who don't fit preconceptions of environmentalists. Willing to face hostility from within their own communities by forging unexpected alliances with longtime enemies, these individuals show a commitment to work with—rather than against—nature. Driven by core American values of self-sufficiency, independence, and perseverance, they represent a largely unsung, yet passionate, movement of heartland conservationists committed to preserving the future of their livelihoods. In turn, their vital work safeguards the nation's wealth of natural resources for us all.
Speaker: Susan Froemke
Environmental Film | Book Adaptation

March 2 – Screening: Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers & the Emergence of a People & Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, dir. Thomas Allen Harris (2014 // ongoing)
Through A Lens Darkly
Director, Producer, Writer: Thomas Allen Harris; Producers: Deborah Willis, Ann Bennett, Don Perry; Executive Producers: Kimberly Steward, John Singleton; Writers: Don Perry, Paul Carter Harrison; Editors: K.A. Miille, Matthew Cohn; Director of Photography: Martina Radwan; Sound Recordists: J.T. Takagi; Juan Rodríguez.  Sundance Film Festival; Theatrical release via First Run Features Fall 2014; NAACP Image Award – Outstanding Documentary; PBS “Independent Lens’ broadcast Feb. 2015;
The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People probes the recesses of American history through images that have been suppressed, forgotten, and lost.
Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into the lives of black families, whose experiences and perspectives are often missing from the traditional historical canon. African Americans historically embraced the medium as a way to subvert popular stereotypes as far back as the Civil War era, with Frederick Douglass photographed in a suit and black soldiers posing proudly in their uniforms. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and its founding ideals.
Digital Diaspora Family Reunion
A transmedia community engagement project, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is deeply rooted in the quest for multicultural understanding and creating a sense of empathy among people of differing backgrounds. We use film, video, live events, social media and workshops as part of an integrated toolkit designed to break down barriers and inculcate dialogues across cultures and between generations. We use the ordinary vernacular images that people create every day as the lever to celebrate the connections, shared values and common experiences that unite us all in our basic humanity.
DDFR Roadshows are flexible, from 90-minute photo-sharing events to week-long residencies, culminating with a Grand Finale. The DDFR Grand Finale event is a 2-hour multimedia performance with a live audience, where people share their stories and family photographs, on cellphones or as actual photos, projected on a large screen. The atmosphere created, with music and intimate revelations, is that of a sacred space, where strangers are transformed into Family. People laugh, cry, hug, make new connections, discover new insights and generally come away with a very deep appreciation for our connections with each other as fellow travelers on the great journey of life. It is as beautiful as it is precious!
Speaker: Thomas Allen Harris
Transmedia | American History | African American | Art/Photography
March 16 – Discussion: Outreach & Engagement for Documentary - Speaker: Denae Peters, Campaign Manager Film Sprout
When releasing your documentary – either with a major distributor or broadcaster – or on your own, you need partners to help you make sure the film gets seen. How do you find these partners – and what can they do for you? What can you do for them, and why do you want to have partners? We’ll talk with Film Sprout’s Campaign Manager Denae Peters about the works they do – including for such films as Dawn Porter’s Trapped and Sharon Shattuck’s From This Day Forward.
Film Sprout is a boutique distribution firm that helps social-issue filmmakers create
robust community and campus screening initiatives for their documentaries. We believe in growing the world’s audience for documentary storytelling; serving those who are typically underserved by independent media; supporting independent filmmakers by tapping new revenue sources; and fostering citizen engagement, civic dialogue and social equity. Our approach to distribution is firmly rooted in the concept of the double bottom line: the idea that in addition to generating an economic return on investment for our clients, that we also seek to deliver positive social impact through our work.
Issue Films | Social Change | Impact Filmmaking

March 23 - Screening: Food Network’s Chopped and TBD
Four chefs call on their culinary skills as they face off against one another to prepare a spectacular three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert. The catch? In each round, they have to use all the ingredients the show provides them, however unlikely they might be (Gummi Bears, anyone?). At the end of each course, a panel of three guest judges "chops" one chef who fails to measure up in terms of taste, presentation and creativity. The last chef standing takes home bragging rights and a cool $10,000. Ted Allen hosts.
Meet career non-fiction television producer Jessica Paul & discuss other ways non-fiction is changing our media landscape. Previous credit include Travel Channel, VH1/MTV and Miramax.
Speaker: Jessica Paul, Supervising Producer, Chopped