Throughout the year, CDS offers continuing education courses in the documentary arts to people of all ages and backgrounds. Some choose to enroll in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program, which offers a more structured sequence of courses culminating in the Final Seminar in Documentary Studies, where students finish and present a substantial documentary work—photography, film and video, audio, multimedia, and writing projects that often move out into the world in the form of exhibits, installations, screenings, websites, and more.
Nine students completed projects in this past fall’s Final Seminar, taught by filmmaker Randolph Benson. In December they presented their work to the public. Here are descriptions of all of the projects, along with videos of seven of them.
Angela Alford | Granny’s Got Game [Video]
Angela Alford is a first-time filmmaker, a former software engineer, and will forever be a basketball player. Angela played for USA Basketball and for Vanderbilt University, where she earned her degree in electrical engineering and computer science. Granny’s Got Game follows a group of septuagenarian women, the Fabulous Seventies, who don’t let age and ailments stop them from doing what they love—playing basketball.
William Bailey | Picturing Fletcher’s [Photography]
William Bailey was born in New Jersey, and has lived in Virginia, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. He currently lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he’s a lawyer. When spring comes, he fishes the shad run at Fletcher’s, an old fishing camp on the Potomac. Fletcher’s has been meeting the steady demand for bait, tackle, and boats over the last hundred years, but it’s also a place for releasing the pressures of city life for those in the know.
Bill Erwin | Two Expats: Leaving for Love, Changing for Life [Audio]
Bill Erwin’s first audio project was a sound yearbook of his senior year at C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, recorded in 1964–65. He is Ryan Erwin’s father and Courtney-Anne Erwin’s uncle; his project documents Ryan and Courtney-Anne, two American expats who left the U.S. for an overseas girlfriend and boyfriend, respectively, and the lessons they’ve learned about how to adapt without losing one’s roots.
Lauren Feiring | Oscillare [Film & Audio]
Lauren Feiring was born and raised in the Inland Empire, a network of commuter towns scarring the valleys between Los Angeles and the desert. After college, she moved to New York City, and ten thousand walks over the Williamsburg Bridge later, to Durham, North Carolina. Oscillare, shot on Super 8 film, follows Alyson Bowles, who has been in the process of transitioning from male to female for the last fifteen years in the Inland Empire city of San Bernardino.
Marc Maximov | Grandpa Gives You the Bird [Video]
Marc Maximov took his first class at CDS in 2006, where a course on audio documentary got him started as a sound designer for local theater companies; he is also a frequent contributor to the Independent Weekly. Maximov’s video documents his grandfather Marshall Salzman, who has been folding and handing out origami birds—20,000 of them by a conservative estimate—for years, a source of joyful interaction for the retired architect.
Jordan Montgomery | Durham Loupe: Taking Another Look [Photography]
Jordan Montgomery recently relocated from Seattle, Washington, to Durham, North Carolina. On his first visit downtown, he found himself fascinated with the cityscape—particularly the “Durham Loop,” the heart of the downtown area—and was compelled to document and share what he had witnessed of its revitalization, particularly as the city gains attention as a thriving urban environment. Montgomery has a BFA from the University of North Carolina–Greensboro.
Jennifer Nolan | Schizo Spirit [Audio]
Jennifer Nolan is a research fellow at the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. Her research interests focus on non-pharmacological approaches for improved functioning and quality of life in living with severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. Her audio documentary is a first-person perspective on living with schizophrenia and finding meaning, a sense of purpose, and renewed identity.
Nina Paukovic | Not at the Mall [Photography]
Nina Paukovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb. She lives in France, where she works as an administrative assistant at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Her photos focus on flea markets as places of marginal/alternative economic activity, which allows them to become alternative spaces for the reinterpretation of sociocultural meanings by cultural minorities—a complex, dynamic, and often humorous interplay.
Sarah Stacke | Betty and Bob: Scenes from a Kitchen Table [Photography]
Sarah Stacke is a professional photographer based in Durham, North Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York. In May, Stacke will graduate from Duke with an master’s in Liberal Studies with a focus in African and African American Studies This intimate portrayal of her grandparents uncovers Betty and Bob’s legendary World War II love story and explores their sixty-four years of marriage.