DER’s 50th Anniversary Screenings & Events

DER 50th Anniversary, 1968-2018
Friday, November 16th, 2018
American Anthropological Association Meeting, San Jose, CA
Roundtable discussion – Celebrating 50 Years of Ethnographic Film: Documentary Educational Resources & The Society for Visual Anthropology

Participants: Matthew Durington (Organizer), Alice Apley (Chair/Roundtable Introducer), Kathryn Ramey (Discussant), Sarah Elder (Presenter), Allison Jablonko (Presenter), John Bishop (Presenter), Jake Homiak (Presenter).

Friday, November 9th
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Tim Asch Retrospective

A day-long event celebrating the work of DER founder Timothy Asch, reflecting on his innovative contributions to film as an educational medium with help from Nancy Lutkehaus, Patsy Asch, Michael Renov, Rob Lemelson and others.

Saturday, October 21st
American Museum of Natural History, New York City, NY
50th Anniversary Reception at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

Co-sponsored by DER, NYU Culture and Media Program, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Thursday, October 11th
Harvard University, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
The Cinema of Patience: Reflecting on N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman
Film Screening & Panel Discussion

With panelists Michael Ambrosino, Ilisa Barbash, Sue Cabezas, and Ross McElwee, moderated by Alice Apley. Co-presented with Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Reception to follow.

Thirty years after its release, N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman remains an exemplar of ethnographic filmmaking. Directed and edited by John Marshall and Adrienne Miesmer, the film documents the life of N!ai, a Ju/hoan woman, and the harsh realities of apartheid in 1980s Namibia, offering an intimate portrait of life in one of the last communities to live by hunting and gathering. After the screening, panelists will explore the significance of this film, and Marshall’s work more broadly in relation to the development of documentary styles.

Monday, September 17th
Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA
Directions in Documentary Sound: A Conversation with Stuart Cody, Sarah Elder & Ernst Karel

Along with the historical developments in picture technology, there have been significant changes in the way documentary sound has been recorded, composed, and conceptualized. Join us for a lively discussion with documentary sound artists—whose work collectively spans over a half-century—as they dissect landmark film clips to explore the relationship between the technical and practical innovations and emergent theoretical and aesthetic concerns of ethnographic filmmaking from the 1950s to today.

This evening’s program includes individual presentations by sound innovator and engineer Stuart Cody; Sarah Elder, filmmaker and professor of film in the Department of Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo; and Ernst Karel, sound artist and visiting lecturer on anthropology at Harvard. Their talks will be followed by a conversation, moderated by Ilisa Barbash, museum curator of visual anthropology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

This talk is offered in conjunction with a screening of Buckdancer and The Sound of the Bells, happening shortly after this program, at 8pm at the Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street, in Cambridge. For more information, please visit the Harvard Film Archive website.

Monday, February 26th
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA
House in the Fields Film Screening & Filmmaker Q&A

Co-presented with The DocYard, we kick off DER’s 50th Anniversary with a screening of the 2017 John Marshall Award for Contemporary Ethnographic Media winning film, House in the Fields, with filmmaker Tala Hadid in person.


Still from The Healer and the Psychiatrist

A Work of Love: A Panel Discussion on The Healer and the Psychiatrist

On December 10th, 2020 DER and the Society for Visual Anthropology teamed up for a virtual Talanoa, bringing together filmmakers and scholars from around the world to discuss Mike Poltorak’s The Healer and the Psychiatrist.

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Steven Feld's Voice of the Rainforest at Harvard Art Museums

Screening: Voices of the Rainforest at the Harvard Art Museums

Steve Feld presents his new film, Voices of the Rainforest, at the Harvard Art Museum. Followed by discussion with Feld and Anthropologist Amahl Bishara from Tufts University.

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