On December 4, the Center for Documentary Studies will host producer Yvonne Welbon for her case study of The New Black—a discussion of the award-winning documentary’s journey from development to distribution. Director Yoruba Richen’s film captures the complex intersection between faith, racial justice, and LGBTQ rights as it tells the story of how the African American community is grappling with LGBTQ issues in light of the marriage equality movement and the struggle for civil rights. The New Black has been previewed, reviewed, discussed, and blogged about in 140 broadcast, online, and print publications ranging from The Washington Post to The Village Voice to MSNBC to NPR.
Thursday, December 4, 12–1 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies Auditorium
1317 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, North Carolina
Drinks provided; please bring lunch if you’d like
A screening of The New Black followed by a panel discussion will take place at the Nasher Museum the day before this event, December 3, 6–9 p.m. Welbon’s fellow panelists will include Mark Anthony Neal, Blair Kelley, Alexis Pauling Gumbs; Melissa Harris-Perry will moderate. Click here for the Duke Events Calendar listing.
Yvonne Welbon has produced and distributed over twenty films including The New Black, Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis@ 100—winner of ten best documentary awards including the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary—and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her films have screened on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO, and in over one hundred film festivals around the world. Her current projects are Dena Montague’s Paris Rebels, which examines the story of black youth participating in the hip hop inspired Zoulou movement in Paris during the 1980s and 1990s, and “Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making,” a web based online community-building project that includes a book of essays, a documentary, an archive, and a mobile application. Welbon is an associate professor in the journalism and media studies department at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Center for Documentary Studies is cohosting Welbon’s case study with Duke’s Humanities Writ Large.
Watch an interview with our 2014-15 Lehman Brady Professor, acclaimed filmmaker Marco Williams, that was recently featured on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Now. The program “examines the most pressing issues of the day, talks with its most important people, visits the most interesting places in the state, and celebrates our arts and culture.” In the video below—beginning at timestamp 13:32—Williams discusses his unlikely entry into filmmaking and his experiences as a professor at NYU and in North Carolina as the Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill.
“It’s fantastic; I’m around students who are very different than the students I teach at New York University. I teach at a film school, I teach students who want to be filmmakers. Down here in North Carolina, I’m teaching students who are interested in film, but in many ways are exploring film as a tool to understand the world they live in. . . . That’s how I became interested in film: at Harvard when I took filmmaking… we were studying film as a tool for understanding our society. So to be back in North Carolina, and to have a chance to give that to a different set of students has been really invigorating; the classes have been spectacular.” -Marco Williams
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, a program of the Center for Documentary Studies, has been named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine. The top festivals are selected annually by a panel of seven judges who consider such qualities as uniformly excellent cinema, thoughtful panels and educational opportunities, willingness to experiment, and depth of involvement and engagement in the festival’s home city. See all of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals and judging criteria here.
With a board that includes Martin Scorsese, Ken Burns, and Barbara Kopple, Full Frame is an Academy-qualifying four-day affair with round-the-clock panels, discussions, and screenings of over 100 films. “Nicely complemented by refreshing spring weather and the area’s boom in great restaurants,” one panelist puts it, the festival’s “superbly curated line-up” is “matched to smart and appreciative audiences.” Off-season, Full Frame runs an educational doc-making summer camp and a doc-screening roadshow—both entirely free! —MovieMaker Magazine
NOTE: December 15, 2014, is Full Frame’s Late Deadline for the 2015 festival, which will be held April 9–12 in Durham, North Carolina. Film submissions will be considered for both the NEW DOCS and Invited Program categories. For application instructions and more information, click here.
The CDS Meet Up Group, organized and run on a volunteer basis, provides a monthly forum for students at the Center for Documentary Studies and others doing documentary work to network, talk shop, and learn. The next meeting will be led by Carol Thomson, director of the upcoming Southern Documentary Fund film project Liberty Warehouse; Thomson will show sample clips and share her experiences making the film to date.
CDS Meet Up Group: Carol Thomson Discusses Liberty Warehouse
Monday, November 24, 2014, 6 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies library
1317 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, North Carolina
Liberty Warehouse (working title) captures a working class, southern city struggling to hold onto its soul as pioneering artist studios, craft breweries, gourmet restaurants, and tech start-ups pave the way for hundreds of apartment/condo developments and chain stores to rise up around the once-gritty urban core. This half-hour documentary film explores the conversion of one historic tobacco warehouse in Durham, North Carolina, into a mixed-use development (apartments above retail) and the rapid-fire change in both the skyline and the demographics resulting from this “progress.”
You can join the CDS Meet Up Group on Facebook here.
“The photographs in this exhibition are first and foremost presented as individual works of art, as each has its own aesthetic power. Whether beautiful, intriguing, or sublime, every photograph in PhotoVision is worthy of sustained attention.” -Peter Nisbet, interim director and chief curator of the Ackland Art Museum
The Ackland Art Museum at the neighboring University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is currently exhibiting PhotoVision: Selections from a Decade of Collecting. This diverse collection of photographs explores the history of the medium as an art form, featuring over 150 works acquired by the museum in the last decade. As part of the museum’s celebration of the exhibit, Tom Rankin, the director of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts will speak alongside Emily Bowles, the museum’s communications director, on December 7. Part of the museum’s Take Two Tours series, the talk creates a time for patrons and community members to join photography experts in a conversational tour of the exhibition.
Take Two Tour of PhotoVision with Tom Rankin and Emily Bowles
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 2 p.m.
Ackland Art Museum, UNC–Chapel Hill
101 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Directions)
Tom Rankin is the director of the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program and professor of the practice of art in the department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. He is former director of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.
Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s feature documentary Art and Craft, about the infamous art forger Mark Landis, will screen on November 21 as part of the Full Frame Road Show presented by PNC. This is the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival’s last Third Friday screening of the year. Note that while Full Frame Third Friday screenings are free, all attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, available at 9 a.m. on the day of the event.
Friday, November 21, 7:30 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, Power Plant Building, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina
While Landis’s masterful copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, he isn’t in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member’s will, and, most recently, a Jesuit priest, Landis has given away hundreds of works to institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. Art and Craft starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity—but what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose. View trailer.
For more information, including other upcoming Full Frame programming, click here.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies.
Along with UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South, the UNC Southern Oral History Program and the Southern Documentary Fund, two events this month will examine race relations in the South through the lens of documentary arts and the voices of southern filmmakers and scholars.
From George Wallace to New Orleans After Katrina: Southern Race and Politics on Film
Panel Discussion with Paul Stekler, Lana Garland, and Dan Carter, moderated by Malinda Maynor Lowery
Tuesday, November 18, 4:30 p.m.
Freedom Forum, UNC-Chapel Hill
211 South Columbia St., Chapel Hill, North Carolina
A panel discussion using documentary films as the starting point for a larger conversation about how race relations have unfolded in Southern politics. Sharing clips from their own work, our guests will engage the legacies of African Americans who directly challenged Jim Crow, the white segregationists who resisted those challenges, and political actors of all races and approaches. The panelists will explore what has and has not changed in this country’s reckoning with civil rights and racial equality.
Film Screening: Getting Back to Abnormal
Screening followed by Q&A with Directors Paul Stekler and Andrew Kolker
Wednesday, November 19, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina (Map)
A film screening of the feature length documentary Getting Back to Abnormal, a provocative exploration of Southern race and politics on film, followed by a Q&A with Directors Paul Stekler and Andrew Kolker. New Orleans’ long history of political dysfunction and complicated racial dynamics gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four years later, she needs black votes to get reelected. But will her record of blunt racial talk doom her chances? Getting Back to Abnormal follows the unlikely odd couple of Head and her irrepressible black political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans’ treacherous political scene. You can view a behind-the-scenes discussion between the producers about portraying New Orleans on film here.
The Center for Documentary Studies is offering seven summer learning opportunities in 2015 through our Continuing Education program. These intensive Summer Institute sessions, lasting from two to eight days, are open to the general public. Their completion counts as credit toward the Certificate in Documentary Arts for those students working toward a certificate. Registration is now open for the following classes; click links for course descriptions and to register:
Digging In: An Artists’ Retreat with Big Shed
Documentary Video Institute
Hearing is Believing: An Audio Documentary Institute
Intensive Introduction to Documentary Studies
Making It Sing: An Audio Documentary Institute
Master Class: Nonfiction Writing
The Center for Documentary Studies is the host venue for a screening of director Orna Raviv’s Lod Detour, her sixty-minute documentary film about Ilan Hakaray, principal of the Amal High School in Lod, Israel, who offers students who have failed out of other institutions their last opportunity to complete a high school education. The film follow three students’ through their principal’s eyes as he doggedly fights for them to succeed against the odds.
Lod Detour screening
Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
Food will be served, and the screening will be followed by a Q&A with Raviv.
Duke University welcomes applications for Fall 2015 to its MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts (MFA|EDA), a groundbreaking interdisciplinary arts program that seeks applicants from across the arts spectrum, whether based in traditional fine arts such as painting, sculpture, documentary arts, writing, photography, and film, or so-called experimental practice such as computational and new media, sound work, performance, and installation.
The application Deadline for Fall 2015 is January 31, 2015. See the MFA|EDA Apply Page for guidelines and other information.
A unique initiative, the MFA|EDA program couples experimental visual practice with the documentary arts in a rigorous two-year program. Guided by first-year advisors and a faculty thesis committee, students explore a curriculum that blends studio practice, fieldwork, digital media, and critical theory, culminating in the completion of a thesis paper and exhibition. Students work with faculty from the program’s three founding units—the Center for Documentary Studies, the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image—as well as the university at large.