The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar is an annual showcase for cutting edge documentaries and experimental cinema typically at a University in upstate New York founded in 1955. The 2009 Flaherty Seminar, Witnesses, Monuments, Ruins was curated by Irina Leimbacher, and explored the act of bearing witness - bringing memory, experience, and history into the present - through an eclectic range of topics and formal approaches, in works from the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States.
Moving images have become the most common mode of relating to the events of our times – whether catastrophic wars, political change, or precious moments of everyday life. These images capture the words and gestures of those who speak before a camera. They observe the monuments and ruins left by the past. And they also interpret, intervene in, and re-invent the testimonial act itself.
Next year's Seminar will explore the theme of Work, and is curated by New York based critic and editor Dennis Lim. For more information visit www.flahertyseminar.org
Screening and discussion
Presentation by Steve Holmgren
UnionDocs is a nonprofit documentary arts space in Brooklyn, New York City. They feature documentary movie screenings, as well as documentary radio, photography, and other events, often featuring post event discussions with artists and scholars. In addition to public events, UnionDocs has a new educational component for emerging media makers called the UnionDocs Collaborative. This is a year long program with 12 participants who collaborate on guided group work in addition to taking part in weekly masterclasses and workshops with artists, curators, producers, and various industry professionals. UnionDocs seeks to support compelling, creative work in this field believing that documentary art, when paired with thoughtful context and open debate, is an invaluable tool for understanding the complexities of contemporary life and creating a better society.