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Fellows 2004-05

FSC-Harvard Fellows

Diana Keown Allan

Vanessa Bertozzi

Vincent Brown

Peter Galison

Angma Dey Jhala

Liluye Dey Jhala

Jie Li

Robb Moss

Ying Qian

Maple Razsa

Hanna Rose Shell

Noelle Stout

Steven Subotnick

Pacho Velez

Mark Wasiuta

McMillan-Stewart Fellow

Moufida Tlatli

Robert Fulton Fellows

Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij






DIANA KEOWN ALLAN
Diana Keown Allan is a doctoral student in Social Anthropology at Harvard University, with a regional specialization in the Middle East. She has studied and worked extensively in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon and is writing a thesis on the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon. She has produced a video, Chatila (2002), as a collaborative project with children from the camp. At the Film Study Center, she is working on a new video, Min al-Kharaj (From the Outside), set both in the Shateela camp and in Beirut. Following the lives of Nabil, a refugee working illegally as a taxi driver in Beirut, and Abu Rabbiya, a "healer" in Shateela camp, Min al-Kharaj seeks to offer a counterpoint to mainstream media representations of Palestinians by engaging the lived reality of being a camp dweller in terms that refugees might use and recognize.

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VANESSA BERTOZZI
An alumna of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard, and now a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, Vanessa Bertozzi has made black and white shorts, a collaborative documentary on taxidermy, a fiction short, and an experimental thesis film. While studying film, photography, and the history of landscape at Harvard, Vanessa also worked part-time as a sound studio technician and at the Harvard Film Archive. Summers during college she interned at Magnum Photos, worked at the Mongan Center at the Fogg Museum, and lived in Rome on a Radcliffe Travel Fellowship. Since graduating from Harvard College in 2001, she has worked in documentary — with Deb Wasser (producer for HBO), Martha Wollner (formerly of Maysles Films), and Eyepop Productions. At Picture Projects, Vanessa was an associate producer/editor for The Sonic Memorial Project, a national collaboration of independent radio producers and new media documentarians. The Sonic Memorial Project was the first web documentary to win a Peabody Award. It also won a Gracie Award and an Online Journalism Award. At the Film Study Center, she is collaborating with Hanna Shell on SecondHand (Pepe).

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VINCENT BROWN
Assistant Professor in History at Harvard University, Vincent Brown is a multi-media historian with a keen interest in the political implications of cultural practice, who teaches courses in early American history, African diaspora studies, and the history of slavery. He is currently writing Specter in the Canes: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery. The book shows how people in Jamaican slave society strove to achieve their political ambitions and communal desires through the cultural practices that related the living to the dead. At the Film Study Center, Brown is producing Melville and the Motherland, an audiovisual documentary about Melville J. Herskovits, the pioneering anthropologist who established the study of the African diaspora in the United States.

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PETER GALISON
The Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University, Peter Galison was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1997, and was a winner of the Max Planck Prize given by the Max Planck Gesellschaft and Humboldt Stiftung in 1999. Galison is interested in the intersection of philosophical and historical questions such as these: What, at a given time, convinces people that an experiment is correct? How do scientific subcultures form interlanguages of theory and things at their borders? More broadly, Galison's main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of Twentieth century physics — experimentation, instrumentation, and theory. His books include How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), and Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps (2003). In addition, Galison has launched several projects examining the powerful cross-currents between physics and other fields — these include a series of co-edited volumes on the relations between science, art and architecture. He has co-produced a documentary film on the politics of science, Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma and is now working at the Film Study Center on a second film, with Robb Moss, entitled Secrecy, about the architecture of the classification and secrecy establishment.

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ANGMA DEY JHALA
Angma Dey Jhala is pursuing at once a Masters in Religion at Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in Modern History at Oxford. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Masters in History from Oxford. An avid fiction writer, who has worked with novelists Jamaica Kincaid and Gish Jen, while at the Film Study Center she is collaborating with Liluye Jhala on a digital video, Sailing in the Desert, a lyrical narrative on the wedding night of an Indian Maharani. Based upon late colonial archives and contemporary ethnographic oral histories of royal Indian women, Sailing in the Desert is an adaptation of Angma's published short story of the same name, and is shot predominantly in Sauvrashtra, India and Oxford, Great Britain. Poignantly evoking the confusion of two cultures, straddling the divide of a colonial consciousness and soon-to-be independent nation in the very intimate exchange of the bedroom, the story subtly describes the tragedy of cultural and political alienation in the context of sexual politics. The young king, as husband, epitomizes the anglicized, romantic and politically disenfranchised ruler, while his wife embodies virginal sexual desire and Hindu tradition.

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LILUYE DEY JHALA
Liluye Dey Jhala is currently an MFA candidate in Digital Media at the Rhode Island School of Design. She completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University with a BA in Art Semiotics within the department of Modern Culture and Media and studied International Relations. She has a background in documentary filmmaking and ethnography. Liluye was a presenter at the MIT Media Lab Asia and National Institute of Design (India) conference of “Storytelling in the Digital Age.” Her digital media work focuses on developing applications for interactive cinema in which she incorporates film, poetry, and painting into media objects building intimate and reflective installations. Her work is on exhibit during Spring 2005 at the RISD Museum in which the movement of visitors triggers sonic narratives of displacement for the immigrant continually navigating the site of origin and the site of arrival. Her work is also featured in the Technotronic Teleologies show at the RISD Sol Koffler gallery during Spring 2005 in which turning the pages of a diary of poetry controls the playback of video memories to create a confluence of actual space and recorded experience. Liluye is a poet and portrait painter and lives between her ancestral home of Dhrangadhara, India and the United States. While at the Film Study Center, she is collaborating with Angma Jhala on a digital video, Sailing in the Desert.

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JIE LI
Jie Li grew up in Shanghai and New York City, which grounded her interest in cross-cultural issues. While an undergraduate at Harvard, she began to work at the Long Bow Group as an intern and researcher for Morning Sun, a film and website about the Cultural Revolution in China. Jie Li made her first documentary film, Safe, as a visual component of her senior thesis, “Palimpsests of Private Life,” on family history and homes in Shanghai, which received the distinction of summa cum laude. After graduation from college, she spent two years studying and traveling in England, Germany, and China, where she and Ying Qian filmed A Village Across the World. While a fellow at the Film Study Center, she and Wing Qian are working on a digital video, From Homeland to Homeland, which follows young Chinese from their natal villages to the cities where they are migrant workers in construction fields and restaurants.

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ROBB MOSS
Robb Moss has twice won American Film Institute/ National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowships and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to shoot rituals in West Africa. As a cinematographer, he has shot films in Ethiopia, Liberia, Greece, Mexico, Hungary, Japan, Turkey, Nicaragua and the Gambia. Many of these films — on such subjects as famine, genocide and the large-scale structure of the universe — were broadcast nationally on Public Television. Earlier work has premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and showed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was on the documentary jury of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, is the past president and board chair of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), and has taught filmmaking for the past eighteen years at Harvard University. Moss's film, The Same River Twice, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, theatrically opened at New York's Film Forum, and was nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award. The film went on to more than thirty domestic and international film festivals and had a theatrical run in more than eighty cities in North America. The Same River Twice was listed by Chicago film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as the Best Documentary (and Cinematography) of 2003. At the Film Study Center Moss is now working on a film about the vast and invisible world of government secrecy, with Peter Galison, with whom he co-teaches a course called "Filming Science."

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YING QIAN
Ying Qian grew up in Shanghai, China. She came to the United States at age eighteen on a scholarship to attend Harvard College. After graduation she spent a year studying in England and two years traveling and working as a journalist in Asia, where she started to make videos. Her earlier works include Today the Wind Sails Here (2001), a feature-story of friendship between three young people and an old man set in Shanghai, and Once There was a Big Fish (2001), an experimental film exploring allegories of the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi through a collage of dreams enacted by a group of Czech sinologists. She is now a doctoral student at Harvard, and a teaching fellow for Screening Modern China and Asian American Cinemas, both courses in Visual and Environmental Studies. As a fellow at the Film Study Center, she is collaborating with Jie Li on From Homeland to Homeland.

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MAPLE RAZSA
Maple Razsa is a doctoral candidate in social anthropology at Harvard University and a documentary filmmaker. He has shot and directed films in Slovenia, Croatia, Mozambique and the U.S. Razsa's decade of fieldwork in the former Yugoslavia has focused on nationalism, social movements, intellectuals, video activism, ethnographic film, and the politics of memory. He is currently writing his dissertation on transnational cooperation among radical activists in Europe based on recent fieldwork with anarchist youth in Zagreb, Croatia. While at the Film Study Center, Razsa is collaborating with Pacho Velez on a feature-length digital video. Bastards of Utopia follows the lives of three Croatian anarchists organizing a radical political movement throughout the former Yugoslavia. The three belong to the Black Bloc, the faction of the anarchist community responsible for the most confrontational episodes at anti-globalization protests. Bastards of Utopia documents how these activists' participation in radical protest is only part of a continuum of political action apparent also in their everyday lives, including also not-for-profit cultural production, do-it-yourself media, and post-consumption lifestyles.

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HANNA ROSE SHELL
A doctoral candidate in the History of Science department at Harvard, Hanna Rose Shell is also a filmmaker and curator. She has published widely on film and popular culture in Smithsonian, Natural History, Documentary Box, and Configurations. Shell graduated from Harvard College (summa cum laude, 1999), and received a M.A in American Studies from Yale (2001). At the Film Study Center, she is directing the experimental installation, Locomotion in Water, and co-directing and producing the documentary film SecondHand (Pepe). At SecondHand’s core is the notion that the circulations (local and global) of secondhand clothing materialize and animate personal, ethnic, and class identities. Through a series of interwoven encounters, SecondHand’s journey stretches through time — from 1890s Jewish rag dealers in Chelsea, through the rise of donation based charities such as Goodwill Industries in downtown Boston, and into today’s Haitian-American enclaves in Dorchester and Mattapan. Firsthand accounts from buyers, sellers, sorters, transporters, distributors and collectors as well as archival footage connect past and present, individual and community.

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NOELLE STOUT
A doctoral candidate in Harvard's Department of Social Anthropology, Noelle Stout received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Anthropology and Feminist Studies from Stanford University. At the Film Study Center, she is working on her first feature-length documentary, Luchando, which is based on her dissertation research. Luchando reveals the ingenuity, vivacity and vulnerability of gay hustlers struggling to survive in Havana, Cuba. The title, Luchando (struggling), has historically referred to the fight for the revolution and has recently been appropriated by hustlers to describe their work with foreign tourists. Shot over the course of a year, the digital video uses a cinéma vérité approach to capture the daily adventures of four hustlers as they confront the contradictions and ironies of contemporary life in Cuba.

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STEVEN SUBOTNICK
Visiting Lecturer on Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard University, award-winning animator Steven Subotnick's films explore myth, fable, and history with dark humor and a painterly approach. His works include Devil's Book and Hairyman. He also teaches, writes, and works commercially. Currently creating interactive animations designed to teach children music, Subotnick is completing his latest work, Glass Crow, at the Film Study Center. A poetic meditation on the Defenestration of Prague, Glass Crow consists of densely layered images of crows, battles, and landscapes — representing, respectively, levels of nature, humanity, and spirit.

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PACHO VELEZ
Pacho Velez is a graduate of Harvard University and now works as an independent filmmaker between Boston and New Haven. He has directed two feature-length documentaries: Occupation (2002), made with Maple Razsa, and Orphans of Mathare (2003), made with Randy Bell. His films have won several prizes, including the Rosa Luxembourg Award at the New England Film and Video Festival (2003) and the Best Documentary Award at the Ivy Film Festival (2003 and 2004). Additionally, his films have screened at festivals and on television in North America, Europe, and Asia. At the Film Study Center, he is collaborating with Maple Razsa on Bastards of Utopia (see above).

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MARK WASIUTA
Mark Wasiuta is a student in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. He has a background in architecture and design, as well as having experimented with film and video. After completing his undergraduate degree he worked as an assistant to the Canadian artist Mark Lewis. At the architectural office of Diller and Scofidio in New York, he has been responsible for several major projects with film and video components. He was the project leader for the exhibition, The American Lawn. Among other aspects of the project he conducted video archive research, and managed the scripting and editing of the video sequences of Power Lawn. For Scanning, an exhibition at the Whitney Museum, he shot and edited the video loop, Undressed. At the Film Study Center, he is working on a digital video, Inversion Layer: Smog in LA, which is focused on the image, perception and transformation effects of smog in Los Angeles. While this is a study of comparative atmospherical qualities, the project’s particular concern is the appearance of smog itself, attending to the characteristics and visual traits of this phenomenon.

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Visiting Fellows

MOUFIDA TLATLI
The McMillan-Stewart Fellowship in Distinguished Filmmaking
Born in Tunisia in 1947 and trained at l'IDHEC in Paris, Moufida Tlatli was the leading film editor in the Middle East for two decades before she directed her remarkable debut feature, Saimt El Qusur, or The Silences of the Palace (1994). Her editing credits include Merzak Allouache's Omar Gatlato (1976), Nahla (1979), Aziza (1980), Traversées (1982), Les Baliseurs du desert (1986), Sama (1988), Ferid Boughedir's Halfaouine: Child of the Terraces (1990), Cantique des pierres (1990), and Habiba M'Sika (1994). With The Silences of the Palace, Tlatli burst onto the international film circuit with a work whose luminosity and intimate sensibility were unlike anything that had previously appeared from North Africa, immediately establishing herself as the Arab world's leading woman filmmaker. It was selected for the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, where it received Special Mention for the Caméra d'Or, and went on to win the International Critics' Award at Toronto and to earn Tlatli the Best Director citation at the All African Film Awards in 1995. Her remarkable aesthetic sensibility and penchant for allegory were also evident in her haunting second feature, The Season of Men (2000), which won the Grand Prix from the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Set on Djerba, The Season of Men conveys the loneliness, frustration, and desperation on an island that is a virtual prison for the women through the most minute glances and gestures, effortlessly cutting across past and present, cause and effect.

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JEROEN DE RIJKE / WILLEM DE ROOIJ
The Robert E. Fulton III Fellowship in Non-Fiction Filmmaking
Dutch filmmakers Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij make highly mannered, non-narrative, 16 and 35 mm films, which are occasionally accompanied by photographs. Their films are made to be screened in a specially constructed viewing area in museums and galleries and shown at regulated intervals. The images are concentrated, near-static, often exquisite studies of, for example, a flower, a church interior, a shantytown or a love affair. In a world of visual overload these films, even while referencing film and painting, offer some respite. What is important to de Rijke and de Rooij, according to Dale McFarland in frieze, is "the preservation of unique images [...] a kind of aesthetic autocracy in which the work itself must be protected from over-exposure." Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij are based in Amsterdam and are represented by Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Cologne and Regen Projects in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Zürich; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne; the ICA, London; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.

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