October 15, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newsreel, the radical filmmakers’ group that captured the energy
and imagery of sixties’ activism on film, will screen and discuss
their seminal works in a 2-day seminar at Sarah Lawrence College,
202 Heimbold Film Theater, in Bronxville, NY—it opens Friday,
November 14th at 8pm.
Newsreel (NR) films of 60’s activism, organizing and civil
disobedience were the cinematic embodiment of voices of progressive
change and social justice-–the documentaries were committed
productions that were revolutionary in spirit and commitment. Interest
in Newsreel’s films and the impetus for the seminar came out
of the dedicated efforts of a Sarah Lawrence student organizer looking
to better understand Newreel's dynamics and the organizing benefits
of political filmmaking in the 60’s and now.
Newsreel‘s story and its seminal productions speak, even today,
to the importance of documentary art in building and sustaining movements
for radical social change. The seminar features screenings and
panel discussions of NR classics, including, "COLUMBIA REVOLT",
the story of the Columbia University student takeover; "OFF THE
PIG", one of the first films made about the Black Panther Party;
and "PEOPLE'S WAR”, a reflection on U.S. involvement in
The Sarah Lawrence event opens on November 14th at 8:00pm with remarks
on the history of the organization from Newsreel members Norm Fructer
and Roz Payne. This will be followed by screenings of three Newsreel
films, Strike City, Off the Pig, and The Young Lords. After
the screenings, there will be a discussion featuring Dhoruba Bin Wahad
(activist and former Black Panther), Mickey Melendez (former member
of the Young Lords Party, author of "We Took the Streets"),
and Roz Payne (curator of the Newsreel film collection & Black
Panther Party Video Library).
On November 15th, during the first half of the day, 10:00am to 1:00pm,
seven Newsreel filmmakers will screen their films, which cover a range
of social actions, from peace demonstrations, the veterans anti-war
movement, the 60’s counter culture, to the Vietnamese anti-colonial
movement. In the afternoon, between 2:00pm--5:00pm, the centerpiece
of the 2-day event will feature the Newsreel classic, Columbia Revolt
(50 min), with a panel discussion to follow, including historians,
activists, and the filmmakers.
Two of Newsreel's feminist films, Up Against the Wall Miss America,
the filmed disruption of the 1968 Miss America pageant, and Make Out,
a short documentary perspective of a woman’s POV on making-out
in a car, will be screened beginning at 5:30, Saturday. Academy Award
winner and NR member Deborah Schaffer, who directed Make Out, will
lead the discussion.
The lineup for the closing program, 7:30 Saturday, will be Summer
'68, a film on the organizing efforts around 1968 Democratic Convention
in Chicago, and Finally Got The News, which documents activities of
the League of Revolutionary Black Workers of Detroit. The filmmakers
themselves, along with activists and historians will hold a Q&A
following the screenings.
The event is free and open to the public and it’s sponsored
by Sarah Lawrence College, the Office ofthe Dean of the College, the
Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Students, the Office
of Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Campus Engagement, the Women's History
Program and the Global Studies and Visual Arts faculty groups.
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Revisited: Radical Filmmaking in the Sixties
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