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International Festivals Archives - Society for Visual Anthropology

Kate Hennessy

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March 3, 2017

2017 SVA Film and Media Festival Call for Submissions

March 3, 2017 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film & Media Festival screens work by students, professional anthropologists, and professional filmmakers at the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference.

The Festival jury, comprised of anthropologists and film scholars, selects work to be included in the Festival on the basis of anthropological relevance and value to the field. Low budget and shorter works receive as careful attention as high budget or longer works. The SVA may bestow a number of awards each year, including the Festival’s highest recognition, the Joan S. Williams Award of Excellence, named for the Festival’s longtime organizer who retired in 2006. An award for Best Student Work is awarded annually and the Jean Rouch Award may be given for collaborative and participatory work.

If you wish to submit a production please visit: SVA on FilmFreeway

For more information, please contact:
SVAFilmFestival@gmail.com

2017 Festival Co-Directors:
Kathryn Ramey (kathryn_ramey@emerson.edu)
Ulla D. Berg (uberg@rci.rutgers.edu)

Kate Hennessy

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April 7, 2016

Call for Pre Screeners – 2016 Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival

April 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

Dear colleagues,
Society For Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (SVAFMF) is looking for pre-screeners to preview this year’s film submissions and provide the festival jury with feedback that we will use to make programing decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for you to have a sneak peak at some of this year’s submissions and to participate in programming for the festival. Being a pre-screener entails watching one or more feature length submissions online (from the comfort of your home or office), and providing us with a descriptive feedback on each film assigned to you (using our standard questionnaire). As a pre-screener you will be thanked by name in our festival program and (if you want) you will also be given the opportunity to chair a film program of your choice. All pre-screener evaluations are due by Sunday, May 29, 2016. The criteria to be a pre-screener includes:
– Pre-screeners must be active members of AAA
– Pre-screeners must keep all entries and evaluations confidential
– Pre-screeners must not have an film entry in this year’s festival
– Pre-screeners must commit to viewing and evaluating their assigned films by the May 29 deadline (or give us an advance notice if they are unable to fulfill their assignments)
To sign up to be a pre-screener for this year’s festival, simply send an email at your earliest convenience with SUBJECT: “Pre-screener sign up,” and the following information in the BODY of the email: your full name, institutional affiliation, and the number of film you are interested in pre-screening to: svafilmfestival@gmail.com
Please circulate, and please reply ASAP!
Thank you,  
Ulla D. Berg
Co-Director,

2016 SVA Film and Media Festival

Kate Hennessy

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December 21, 2015

Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines 2016

December 21, 2015 | By | No Comments

15 – 18 November
University of Cape Town
South Africa
Conference Theme: Ethnographic Imaginings – Place, Space & Time
CFP now open
To register, visit www.cead.org.nz
With the 2016 theme—Ethnographic Imaginings: Place, Space, and Time—calls for contributors to explore ethnographies as located contextually within meaningful sites and temporal moments. The spaces, places and times we can imagine include explorations of rurality and urbanity, wild and tamed, critical and creative, sensual and cognitive, and contemporary and historicaland all ranges of creative impulse. All manner of ethnographies are welcomed, and the conference theme merely acts as a guide for possibilities. We invite contributors to experiment with traditional ethnography, as well as new methodologies and with new presentational formats such as dramatic, performance, poetic, visual, aromatic, tactile, video, auto-, fictional, and experimental forms of ethnography. 
Kate Hennessy

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August 13, 2015

Call for Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival Co-Directors

August 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) invites applications for Co- Directors for the annual SVA Film and Media Festival (SVAF&MF). This is a 3- year position that will begin after the end of the 2015 meetings (December 2015) and continues until the end of the 2018 Meetings (with the option of serving a reduced 2-year term through 2017). Ideally, the terms will be coordinated so that there will be some overlap between terms by current and new co-editors.

About SVAF&MF:

The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film & Media Festival is the premier venue for screening ethnographic film and media showcasing works by students, professional anthropologists, and documentary filmmakers from around the world. Each year the festival is held during the

American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) annual conference.

SVAF&MF is a three and half day event that begins on Wednesday afternoon and concludes on Saturday evening of the AAA meetings. SVAF&MF co- directors work with the SVA board and jury, comprised of anthropologists and filmmakers to make programing decisions and select films to be included in the festival each year on the basis of ethnographic relevance, production quality and contribution to the field of anthropology.

Qualifications of SVAF&MF co-directors include:

  1. A proven background in fields related to Visual Anthropology and Ethnographic Film.
  2. Proven organizational skills, especially in managing events and coordinating presentations and Q&A sessions (i.e. workshops, conferences, and/or visual exhibitions).
  3. Familiarity with the technologies associated with online screening and assessment as well as film festival exhibition (Vimeo, Youtube, Dropbox, Google Doc, Handbreak, WithoutaBox and Film Freeway, (MOV.) QuickTime, iTunes).
  4. Familiarity with the canon of Ethnographic Film in the American tradition.

Responsibilities include:

  1. Contract with the film festival hosting site (WithoutABox or Film Freeway) to renew and update the festival account and submission listing (Jan).
  2. Work with the S V A board members to solicit submissions through annual calls for entries (Deadlines include – Early: Feb 15; Regular: March 15; Late: April 15).
  3. Organize pre-screening of films. Digitize DVDs and digital media that are submitted into an online format (currently Vimeo) suitable for prescreening and jurying. Create ranking database.
  4. Appoint the SVAF&MF Jury in consultation with the SVA board.
  5. Manage S V AF&MF Gmail mailbox
  6. Send pre-screening notes and assignments to SVAF&MF Jury.
  7. Coordinate the hosting of the jury meetings and works with SVAPresident and the SVAF&MF jury to coordinate the 3-day jurying of films (June).
  8. Determine prizewinners with jury; notify winner and assist withcoordination of travel plans with filmmakers attending the festival and award presentations with SVA Board.
  9. ScheduletheSVAFilm&MediaFestivalinconsultationwithSVAprogramming Committee for room availability/requirements andtechnology needs.

10.Create program (collate synopsis, press materials and film stills into one master document). Advertise for the film festival via email and social media. Work with SVA website manager to upload the program and trailers on the SVA website.

11.Manage the collection of final exhibition prints – digitize all prints into MOV. QuickTime Film. Procure a laptop and hard drives to store and screen film during the festival and organize the digital films according to the program.

12.Organize staffing (projectionist and program manager) for all three days of the film festival itself at the Annual Meetings of the AAA. Coordinate facilitators for the Q&A session with filmmakers in attendance.

13.Manage budget in consultation with SVA Treasurer, including costs for jurying, technical support, staff, travel awards, and advertising.

The SVAF&MF Co-Directors should commit to the following work effort:

  1. Two to three hours a week from January to early March for festival planning/preparation.
  2. Three to four hours a week from mid-March to April for festival related communications, database preparation.
  3. Five to six hours a week in April and May for pre-screening communications, data input, etc.
  4. Three weeks in June for jurying preparation and jurying hosting.
  5. Four to five hours a week from July to September for conference andfilm festival coordination and planning, communicating with filmmakers and AAA programming committee, and to prepare an annual report for the SVA Board.
  6. At least twelve hours a week in October and early November for festival coordination and planning.
  7. At least several days immediately before, during and after the AAA annual meeting for festival management. (Past co-directors found that at least half of every day at the annual meeting was used in festival related activities). Co-directors should expect to arrive at the AAA meetings one day early (Tuesday) and stay until Sunday; they are also expected to attend the SVA Board Meeting as well as the SVA Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

Compensation

SVA Film and Media Festival Director is a voluntary position and does not receive direct compensation for time or effort. The SVA Board will reimburse expenses directly related to film festival upon approval. Jurying travel and meal expenses are covered by the SVA. Film Festival co-directors’ attendance at the AAA annual meeting is required and reimbursed (up to $1500 total to be shared between the two co-directors).

For further information or to submit application by September 30th 2015 (please include letter of interest, detailing qualifications and current CV) email SVA President-Elect Stephanie Takaragawa : Stephanie.takaragawa@gmail.com

Kate Hennessy

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April 22, 2015

CALL FOR PRESCREENERS — 2015 Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival

April 22, 2015 | By | No Comments

Dear colleagues,

The Society For Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (SVAFMF) is looking for pre-screeners to preview this year’s film submissions and provide the festival jury with feedback that we will use to make programing decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for you to have a sneak peak at some of this year’s submissions and to participate in programming for the festival. Being a pre-screener entails watching one or more feature length submissions online (from the comfort of your home or office), and providing us with a descriptive feedback on each film assigned to you (using our standard questionnaire). As a pre-screener you will be thanked by name in our festival program and (if you want) you will also be given the opportunity to chair a film program of your choice. All pre-screener evaluations are due by Friday, MAY 22rd 2015. The criteria to be a pre-screener includes:

– Pre-screeners must be active members of AAA

– Pre-screeners must keep all entries and evaluations confidential

– Pre-screeners must not have an film entry in this year’s festival

– Pre-screeners must commit to viewing and evaluating their assigned films by the May 22rd deadline (or give us an advance notice if they are unable to fulfill their assignments)

To sign up to be a pre-screener for this year’s festival, simply send an email with SUBJECT: “Pre-screener sign up,” and the following information in the BODY of the email: your full name, institutional affiliation, and the number of film you are interested in pre-screening to uberg@rci.rutgers.edu

Please circulate, and please reply ASAP!

Thank you,

Ulla D. Berg
Co-Director,
2015 SVA Film and Media Festival

Aynur Kadir

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April 20, 2015

Call for the 2015 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival

April 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Calling All Filmmakers!

The 2015 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival is coming on 2-6 October 2015, to be held at the Wonderful Theatre in Taipei.

Entry submission deadline: 20 May 2015

TIEFF is organized by the Taiwan Association of Visual Ethnography (TAVE), a non-profit organization dedicated to greater public awareness of documentary and ethnographic films.

The central theme of the biennial’s 8th season, “Scenes of Life,” invites audiences to participate in a multicultural investigation of the human experience as told through diverse life stories.

We’re looking to screen films in the following categories:

A) Central Theme: Scenes of Life
Ethnographic films, produced at any time, which tell unique life stories that reveal our shared human experience.

B) New Vision:
Ethnographic films on any subject, completed between 2013 and 2015.

Please send us entries now, or recommend films that you feel the program shouldn’t miss!

Entry form, regulations, and festival info at
http://www.tieff.sinica.edu.tw

Inquiry – Please contact TIEFF at
tieff@gate.sinica.edu.tw

HU, Tai-Li, Festival President
Lin, Wenlin, Vice President
Tsai, Futuru C.L., Festival Director

Aynur Kadir

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March 8, 2015

2015 AAA ANNUAL MEETING: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

March 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

The SVA welcomes a variety of individual paper and session proposals for consideration at this year’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (November 18-22, 2015). The theme for the meeting isFamiliar Strange,” which provides a rich context for exploring the innovative and exciting work conducted under the broad rubric of visual anthropology.

For the 2015 Annual Meeting, the SVA programming committee consists of:

Susan Falls (sfalls@scad.edu) & Fiona P. McDonald (fionamcdonald5@yahoo.ca).

 

Susan and Fiona are more than happy to work with you on your paper, poster, or roundtable sessions. We are happy to assist session organizers with the structuring of their proposals. The SVA encourages innovative formats, including poster sessions, extended screening of visual materials, and fostering more dynamic discussion periods. For all submissions, participants must abide by the AAA rules regarding roles, registration, deadlines, and fees. No exceptions.

 

There a many different ways for members to participate in the AAA meetings through the SVA. All submissions are due April 15, 2015 unless otherwise indicated. The online abstract submission system opens for all proposal types on February 18, 2015.

Here are the types of submissions possible:

Panels and Sessions

Executive Panels   (Due Feb 17: the online application system is currently open) 

Section Invited Sessions (Due April 15) 

Volunteered Sessions (Due April 15)

Other

Individually Volunteered Papers &Posters

Retrospective Sessions

Public Policy Forums

Media Submissions

Special Events

Installations

Section Invited & Volunteered Roundtables

Visit here for a description of each submission type:

http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/presenters/ProposalSubmissionTypes.cfm

 

Most popular SVA submissions categories:

Volunteered Papers/Posters/Roundtables/Sessions – Due April 15, 2015

To submit a session, go to AAA website and follow the links to the call for papers. A session abstract of up to 500 words is required. Meeting registration forms and fees must be submitted for each participant. Submission deadline is 5:00 pm EST (10:00 pm GMT) April 15, 2015. Be sure to indicate if you wish the SVA to review your submission.

 

SVA Sponsored Session Proposals – Due April 15, 2015 online

This includes all paper and poster sessions, roundtable proposals, and individual paper/poster submissions. All Invited Session Proposals (paper or poster sessions) must include a session abstract of up to 500 words and information for all participants (including individual abstracts and any technical needs for your session). Submission will be through the AAA website. We highly encourage anyone planning to submit an invited session proposal to contact us ASAP, ideally by March 1, 2015.

Media SubmissionsDue April 15, 2015
SVA continues to welcome interactive media work and also encourages short work that is under 15 minutes.  DVD formats are acceptable. Submitted materials will not be returned.

Installations – Due April 15, 2015 online through the AAA Programming Committee

Installations invite anthropological knowledge off the beaten path of the written conference paper. Presenters may propose performances, recitals, conversations, author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression for consideration. Selected Installations will be curated for off-site exhibition and tied to the official AAA conference program.

 

2015 SVA Film and Media Festival Submissions – Due April 15, 2015

Contact SVA 2015 Directors:

Ulla Berg (uberg@rci.rutgers.edu)

                 Naomi Schiller (NSchiller@brooklyn.cuny.edu)

The SVA Film and Media Festival encourage the submission of short works (under 30 minutes), feature-length ethnographic films, and interactive media. Awards will be given to the best works in a number of categories, including student films and short films. Festival submissions open February 1, 2015. Early-bird discounts for March 15, 2015. The regular submission deadline is April 15, 2015. Late-deadline is May 1, 2015. Please check the SVA Film and Media Festival Without A Box submission page for complete details (including information on where to send your previews).

https://www.withoutabox.com/03film/03t_fin/03t_fin_fest_01over.php?festival_id=10082

 

SVA Visual Research Conference SubmissionsDue April 1, 2015 online via the SVA Website: www.societyforvisualanthropology.org

Contacts: Tom Blakely (tdblakely@aol.com and copy to tdb5@psu.edu)

                  Andrea Heckman (andreaheckman@earthlink.net)

                  Jerome Crowder (jecrowde@utmb.edu)

The SVA Visual Research Conference provides a collegial environment for the presentation of works-in-progress. This Conference especially emphasizes much interaction among the presenters and an “actively participating audience”, and anyone interested is welcome to attend. The Visual Research Conference will take place November 16-18 (Monday 7pm no-host dinner; Tuesday 9am-6pm, Wednesday 9am-3pm).

Check the SVA website for deadline updates

Kate Hennessy

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February 18, 2015

Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival

February 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

Arkhaios Film Festival
http://www.arkhaiosfilmfestival.org/

Here comes season 3 of the Festival ! It is set for Thursday-Friday-Saturday October 22-23-24, 2015

That gives plenty of time to get things going.

The overall calendar is:

Call for film registration – 1 February

Registration deadline – 15 June

DVD/Vimeo copy for screening deadline – 15 June

Screening Committee function – June 15 to August 31
Jury screening – September 1 to October 15
DVD copy for Festival – 1 October
Festival – 22-23-24 October 2015

Kate Hennessy

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November 28, 2014

Special Events: Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer

November 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

The Oscar-nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer will be attending the AAA Annual Meetings to screen two films and discuss his tactics of challenging Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love.  The Act of Killing, his first major film, is “an important exploration of the complex psychology of mass murderers” in the words of Chris Hedges.  “It is not the demonized, easily digestible caricature of a mass murderer that most disturbs us. It is the human being.”  “The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit,” in the words of critics.  Oppenheimer will be showing the Director’s Cut of this film, which is rarely screened in the U.S., and will be offering an exclusive advanced preview screening of his latest film, The Look of Silence.

Free screenings will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20008.

THURSDAY, December 4th
4:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Marriott Ballroom): Exclusive Screening: The Act of Killing Director’s Cut (159 min) followed by Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer.  Free and open to the public.

SUNDAY, December 7th
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Marriott Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North and East) Advanced Preview Screening of The Look of Silence (99 min) followed by Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer, Joseph Saunders (Human Rights Watch), and Max White (Amnesty International), facilitated by Eben Kirksey.  Open to AAA members.  RSVP required for members of the public.

SUNDAY, December 7th
12:00 PM-1:45 PM (Marriott Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North and East) AAA Panel: Ethnographic Tactics

The Act of Killing

Nominated in the “Best Documentary” category for the 2013 Academy Awards, The Act of Killing (2012) has generated extensive debate across a multiple fields for its troubling subject matter, uncanny approach, and uncomfortable conclusions about memory, filmmaking, as well as the human capacity for empathy. This special event will feature a screening of the film followed by a Q&A session with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer.  The Act of Killing poses unique questions and challenges to anthropologists, including the role and function of fiction in ethnographic and documentary productions (whether textual or visual), approaches to understanding memory and traumatic experience, and the critical distances (or closeness) between engagement and collaboration. The film itself has generated much praise and criticism since its release, particularly regarding reenactment as a mode of reflection and response in documentary film.  This special screening of the Director’s Cut, the uncut version of the film as it was released in almost all countries apart from the US, “gains in depth, taking you into a vortex of fever dreams, pulling you deep inside the nightmares of the protagonists,” according to Werner Herzog. “You find yourself drawn irrevocably into the darkest souls, and time acquires a different role, as if you and the world had stopped breathing. The shorter version is trimmed down mostly to emphasize its political content, but Joshua Oppenheimer’s film is much more than a political documentary. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking, full of depth, surrealism, and stunning silences that will outlive the political message.”  The Q&A session, facilitated by Eben Kirksey, will explore anthropological concerns on the complicated nexus of fiction, reality, and representation. Joshua Oppenheimer will also present an exclusive advanced preview screening of his new film, The Look of Silence, and participate in a panel discussion about “Ethnographic Tactics” on Sunday.  Screening presented in partnership with Film Platform and with support from the Committee on World Anthropologies.

The Look of Silence
(Open to AAA members.  RSVP required for members of the public)

look-of-silence-00001-venice-2014-joshua-oppenheimer-s-the-look-of-silence

“One of the greatest and most powerful documentaries ever made,” according to Errol Morris. “A profound comment on the human condition.”  “The Act of Killing was about the mechanisms of moral delusion, mass-murderers escaping the implications of their pasts by turning them into performance,” writes The Telegraph, “but The Look of Silence connects the dots back up, and turns the focus back on culpability and complicity…while Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated 2013 picture showed the death squads’ leaders gleefully re-enacting the butchery in a series of surreal, ghoulish theatrical tableaux, this second film zooms in close, finding unfolding fractal patterns of horror-within-horror in the story of a single victim’s plight.”  A family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered and the identity of the men who killed him. The youngest brother is determined to break the spell of silence and fear under which the survivors live, and so confronts the men responsible for his brother’s murder – something unimaginable in a country where killers remain in power.  “The Look of Silence,” writes the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, “is a poem about a silence borne of terror – a poem about the necessity of breaking that silence, but also about the trauma that comes when silence is broken. Nothing will wake the dead. We must stop, acknowledge the lives destroyed, strain to listen to the silence that follows.”  The Look of Silence has not yet been released in US theaters and this exclusive screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Joshua Oppenheimer and a panel discussion on “Ethnographic Tactics” (12:00 PM-2:00 PM) featuring comments by Natasha Myers (York University) and Andrea Ballestero (Rice University).  Screening presented in partnership with Film Platform and with support from the Committee on World Anthropologies.

Ethnographic Tactics
Ethnographers are stealing tricks and tools from lawyers, artists, historians, film makers, and biologists.  We are also pushing the bounds of the political with performative interventions.  In order to study elusive facets of power, anthropologists and allied culture workers are adding new tactics to the tool kit of ethnography.  Tactical interventions for Michel de Certeau (1984), involve using texts and artifacts in creative and rebellious ways, constantly manipulating events and seizing opportunities on the wing.  The Tactical Media movement of the 1990s in the arts, whose heroes included the prankster, the hacker, and “the camcorder kamikaze,” drew on de Certeau’s ideas to develop an aesthetic of poaching and tricking (Garcia and Lovink 1997).  Cheap Do It Yourself (DIY) media—consumer electronics and laboratory equipment—enabled artists in this movement to interrogate political, economic, and ethical questions by designing video games, setting up elaborate hoaxes, and even creating their own genetically modified organisms (Marcus 2000, da Costa and Philip 2008, Raley 2009, Fortun 2012).  Ethnographers have become infected by the DIY ethos and are dabbling in new fields as amateurs (de-skilling) and acquiring new specialized training (re-skilling) to responsibly enter new domains (Bishop 2011).  This panel will showcase a range of new tactics available to anthropologists by bringing ethnographers into conversation with scholars in allied disciplines as well as creative practitioners.  Dehlia Hannah, a philosopher, will chronicle her participation in a “performative experiment” which involved staging an outdated pregnancy test (involving a live Xenopus frog) to get us thinking and speaking differently about gender, multispecies entanglements, and the social epistemology of laboratory protocols.  Eben Kirksey will depart from insights about “tactical biopolitics” gleaned from bioartists at The Multispecies Salon, an art exhibit, to reframe anthropology’s engagements with the natural sciences.  Nicholas Shapiro will talk about the ethnographic tactics he developed at the intersection of chemistry, art, and biology to track toxic domestic ecosystems from the FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina to tightly-sealed high-end green homes in Silicon Valley.   The Oscar-nominated director, Joshua Oppenheimer, will discuss how he had perpetrators of mass murder reenact their crimes for his film, the Act of Killing.  Ryan Shapiro, a historian and transparency activist, will describe how he has used Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as a tactic to learn about FBI surveillance practices of animal rights advocates and environmental activists.  If anthropology was once in an “experimental moment” with cultural critique (Marcus and Fischer 1986), the presentations on this panel will describe emergent modes of experimental practice at the intersection of art, science, and politics.

Kate Hennessy

By

November 1, 2014

SVA Film and Media Festival – Special Events and Screenings

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

The SVA Film and Media Festival, with the generous support of the 2014 Executive Program Chairs, is excited to announce three special events and film screenings during this year’s AAA Annual Meetings in DC!

We are really pleased to bring critically acclaimed filmmakers Trinh T. Minh-ha and Joshua Oppenheimer to DC for exclusive screenings and discussions. Additionally, in line with our commitment to help promote ethnographic filmmaking and visual research, we have organized a roundtable discussion on how to distribute and promote ethnographic films.

Thursday, December 4, 2014
11:00-12:45, Marriott Wardman Park (Coolidge Room)
Ethnographic Film Production and Distribution: Current Practices and Possibilities

A Roundtable Discussion featuring Karen Nakamura (Yale), Alice Apley (DER), and Cindy Wong (CUNY), moderated by Harjant Gill (Towson University)

As the number of submissions to the SVA Film and Media Festival steadily increases every year, it is clear that the production of ethnographic film (considered in multiplicity of forms, from short to feature length films, multimedia and online projects) remains an important practice for many anthropologists. The rapid changes in digital media production and distribution possibilities, however, means that ethnographic filmmakers are afforded greater opportunities and challenges in terms of funding, producing, and distributing their works. This special panel will feature filmmakers, practitioners and scholars engaged in various aspects of media production and distribution. Speakers will include media studies scholar Cindy Wong, who has researched and published extensively on film festival networks and distribution; anthropologist and filmmaker Karen Nakamura whose most recent ethnographic monograph was published with two corresponding films on DVD as a part of the book; and Alice Apley, the current executive director of DER Documentary Educational Resources (DER).

4:30-7:30, Marriott Wardman Park (Marriott Ballroom Salon 2)
The Act of Killing (2012) and Ethnographic Film: Screening and Discussion with Director Joshua Oppenheimer

Nominated in the “Best Documentary” category for the 2013 Academy Awards, The Act of Killing (2012) has generated extensive debate across a multiple fields for its troubling subject matter, uncanny approach, and uncomfortable conclusions about memory, filmmaking, as well as the human capacity for empathy. This special event will feature a screening of the film followed by a Q&A session with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, who will also be participating in a regular meeting session on “Ethnographic Tactics.” Oppenheimer’s film poses unique questions and challenges to anthropologists, including the role and function of fiction in ethnographic and documentary productions (whether textual or visual), approaches to understanding memory and traumatic experience, and the critical distances (or closeness) between engagement and collaboration. The film itself has generated much praise and criticism since its release, particularly regarding reenactment as a mode of reflection and response in documentary film, and this special screening and Q&A will bring some of these debates into consideration within the context of anthropological concerns on the complicated nexus of fiction, reality, and representation. The Q&A session will be facilitated by S. Eben Kirksey.

____________________________________

Saturday, December 6, 2014

12:00-3:00, Marriott Wardman Park (Coolidge)
Feminist Perspectives on Ethnography and Film, 25 Years after Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989): Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha

In honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s critically acclaimed film, Surname Viet Given Name Nam, this special event featuring the director will explore the impact and challenges of her work and feminist perspectives more broadly on ethnographic filmmaking and visual analysis in anthropological research. Structurally and aesthetically, since its release in 1989, Surname Viet Given Name Nam has occupied as central place in reconceptualizations of cultural “otherness,” gendered histories, and the critical possibilities of visual representations of experienced realities. Nevertheless, specifically feminist perspectives remain under-explored in conversations on both ethnographic filmmaking as well as the theoretical challenges of ethnography in a filmic mode. What has ethnographic film learned from the film? What has or has not changed in the past twenty-five years? This discussion with director Trinh T. Minh-ha will focus on both how the lasting influence of the film on concepts of ethnographic film, as well as the ongoing significance of acknowledging, unearthing, and facilitating feminist perspectives through ethnographic filmmaking practices. A screening of the film (108 minutes) will precede the discussion. The session will be facilitated by Jenny Chio.

Photo credit: Still from Surname Viet Given Name Nam, courtesy of Women Make Movies, www.wmm.com.

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