News & Events
After three years in production, The Last Flight of Petr Ginz rolled off the assembly line in 2011. First stop—Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. Though largely a Wake Forest event, the screening gave co-directors Sandy Dickson and Churchill Roberts a chance to recognize the support of UF graduates Stephen Cypen and Amy Goldberger and former dean of the College of Journalism and Communications, Terry Hynes. Stephen, trustee of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, served as the film’s executive producer.
As the wheels of redevelopment turn in Gainesville, Florida, the battle lines have been drawn in a heated debate over a meal limit that has been imposed on a homeless shelter in downtown Gainesville. The limit is designed to disperse the downtown homeless population. Some say that the limit is vital to economic growth, while others argue that it is a violation of basic human rights.
Bound by Haiti is the story of Aaron Jackson and John Dieubon – two young international activists forced to deal with the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake first-hand. Raised on a resort in Florida, Aaron has dedicated his life to eradicating intestinal parasites in Haiti. Born and orphaned in Port-au-Prince, John’s mission is to inspire a new, self-sufficient generation of Haitian children.
In shabby recording studios across Kano, Nigeria, young Hausa Muslims escape the harsh conditions of everyday life through artistic expression. Influenced by American hip-hop these aspiring artists have revitalized the music scene in Northern Nigeria and are reshaping the face of youth culture.
My Brother, My Sister is a film about the effects of Florida’s little-known Civil Rights struggle on two white brothers and two black sisters. Dan and Jim Harmeling, students at the nearly all-white University of Florida, started their fight for racial equality in Gainesville and spread across the south. Patricia and Priscilla Stephens demonstrated in the streets of Tallahassee as students at all-black Florida A&M University before sharing the message of civil disobedience across the natio
Oscar nominated filmmaker and DI Advisory Board member Rachel Grady recently took time out of a busy film festival schedule to make a return visit to the DI.
Grady is on the festival circuit promoting her most recent film, 12th & Delaware, which premiered at Sundance and won the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at Full Frame. The film shows how the abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming street corner in America. The film will premiere on HBO this summer.
In addition to providing DI students with the opportunity to view her film, Grady also reviewed their thesis projects and offered valuable feedback on how to fine tune the films before their premiere at the DI student screening on April 30.
Documentary Institute co-director Churchill Roberts taught an intensive course in documentary over spring break at UF’s Paris Research Center. The course focused on France and documentary in World War II and the Holocaust and the French New Wave and beginnings of cinema vérité. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit with pioneer filmmaker Ricky Leacock, whose ideas about direct cinema were often in conflict with those of his close friend, French filmmaker Jean Rouch. Rouch, who died a few years ago, came up with the term cinema vérité, which he named in honor of Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov.
Students visited Cinémathèque Française, the Museum of the Liberation, the Shoah Museum, and made a day trip to Natzweiler-Struthof, the only Nazi extermination camp on French soil. The camp is located near Strasbourg. Roberts said “Paris was cold, Natzweiler was freezing, but fortunately it never rained while we were there.”
Angel of Ahlem, a film produced by the faculty of the Documentary Institute, recently screened at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival The film follows World War II veteran Vernon Tott as he searches for the survivors he photographed in 1945 at a slave labor camp outside Hanover, Germany. The Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival offers a broad selection of high-quality films and related events for members of the San Jose and Silicon Valley communities.
Jessie’s Dad, produced by 2008 DI grads Boaz Dvir and Rebecca Goldman, was recently honored with a Cine Golden Eagle Award in the Documentary Student Division. The CINE Golden Eagle Award acknowledges high quality production in a variety of content categories for professional, independent and student filmmakers.
UF alumnus and DI advisory board member Amy Goldberger recently hosted a reception in her Manhattan home to acquaint people in the New York area with The Last Flight of Petr Ginz. The fundraising event featured a diary reading by Academy-award winning actress Lee Grant and a screening of the film’s trailer.