At Sundance, makers discuss filmmaking for social change

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Sundance Film Festival, Park City Utah: Parsons faculty members Melanie Crean, Erica Fae, Abou Farman, Nitin Sawhney, and Caveh Zahedi discuss how experimental filmmaking can create social change.

During the panel, faculty members took turns discussing their practices and sharing illustrative examples of their work, inviting attendees to consider the use of experimental techniques to conduct social inquiry and probe the empowering effects of unconventional filmmaking. They touched on topics ranging from performance and film as ritual, embodied practice, and the role of memory in storytelling to issues of privacy and ethical conflicts and inspiring social action through film.

Crean walked the audience through Mirror/Echo/Tilt, a performative workshop, curriculum, and video series that experiments with personal histories of formerly incarcerated individuals and explores the way they can be reframed from a position of power as opposed to that of “criminals.”

“My work uses site-specific performances as a mode of inquiry, so people can move, speak, and feel in a way that’s not determined by their incarceration,” Crean said. “My work is about hero stories and who is traditionally a hero, and can be used by other people who are using performance as social inquiry.”

Information and live stream recording here.