POV Presents: Cameraperson & Two Towns of Jasper

“Cameraperson” is an award-winning documentary that serves as a “behind the camera witness” to events around the world: from a Texas courtroom where disturbing evidence of a racially motivated hate crime is revealed, to Bosnia where a Muslim family returns home after the genocide, and more. Described by The New York Times as a “found poem assembled out of scraps and snippets of truth,” watch clips and delve deep into discussion with “Cameraperson” director and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, and “Two Towns of Jasper” directors Marco Williams and Whitney Dow.

POV Presents: Cameraperson Two Towns of Jasper

Featuring: Kirsten Johnson, Marco Williams, Whitney Dow

Presented by

POV

Moderated by

Chris O’Falt

Sunday, September 17 | 7PM
Location: Beer Garden

POV is proud to partner with Photoville to present the screening of compelling clips from the acclaimed films, CAMERAPERSON and TWO TOWNS OF JASPER.

“Cameraperson” is an award-winning documentary that serves as a “behind the camera witness” to events around the world: from a Texas courtroom where disturbing evidence of a racially motivated hate crime is revealed, to Bosnia where a Muslim family returns home after the genocide, and more. Kirsten Johnson personal memoir of her work as a cinematographer was described by The New York Times as a “found poem assembled out of scraps and snippets of truth.”

The Peabody Award-winning “Two Towns of Jasper” was uniquely crafted. In the aftermath of a racially motivated hate crime in the town of Jasper, Texas, a Caucasian film crew covered the perspective of the Caucasian town’s people of Jasper, while an African American film crew covered the African American perspective. The narrative from both created a very honest and compelling look at race in America. Despite being filmed over a decade ago, the issues presented in the film are unfortunately still extremely relevant today.

Please join Indiewire’s Editor and Reporter Chris O’Falt, who will lead the three directors in a much-needed dialogue about the process of filmmaking, the representation of identity on film with a look at the Muslim community, as well as how sensitive issues such as trauma, race, and violence are depicted and presented in film.

ARTIST BIO

Kirsten Johnson has worked as a documentary cinematographer and director, and has committed herself to recording human rights issues and fostering visual creativity. She has been the principal cinematographer on more than 40 feature-length documentaries and she has been credited on numerous others.

After graduating from Brown University with a degree in fine arts and literature, Johnson traveled to Senegal to study with acclaimed filmmakers, Djibril Diop Mambéty and Ousmane Sembène. The experience inspired her to apply to La Fémis, France’s national film school, where she studied cinematography. Following her graduation from La Fémis, Johnson served as cameraperson on a number of highly acclaimed and award-winning documentaries, including “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” and “The Invisible War.” Johnson has had a long-standing collaboration with Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras; she was the cinematographer on “The Oath,” “Citizenfour,” and shot Poitras’ new film, “Risk.” Additionally, she shot footage that appeared in Poitras’ visual arts exhibition on surveillance, “Laura Poitras: Astro Noise,” which opened at the Whitney Museum.

Johnson teaches a graduate course in visual thinking at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, a course on cinematography at the School of Visual Arts, and often leads workshops for young camera people and documentarians in countries including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and a film educator. His directing credits include: The Black Fives, The Undocumented, Inside the New Black Panthers; Banished; Freedom Summer; I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education; MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream; Two Towns of Jasper; Making Peace: Rebuilding our Communities; Declarations: The Spiritual Deficit and The American Dream; Without a Pass; In Search of Our Fathers; and From Harlem to Harvard. He is the Co-Director and Co-Producer of, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

His film awards include Guggenheim Fellowship, a George Foster Peabody Award, the Beacon Award, the Alfred I duPont Silver Baton, the Pan African Film Festival Outstanding Documentary Award, the Full Frame Documentary Festival Spectrum Award, and the National Association of Black Journalists First Place Salute to Excellence Award.

Williams received a B.A. from Harvard University, in Visual and Environmental Studies.  He received a Master of Arts degree from UCLA in Afro-American Studies and a Master of Fine Arts also from UCLA in their Producer’s Program.

He is an Arts Professor at New York University at The Kanbar Institute Tisch School of the Arts, Undergraduate Department of Film and Television.

He is a former “Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill”.

Whitney Dow is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator. He has has been producing and directing films focused on race and identity for almost two decades as a partner with Marco Williams  in Two Tone Productions. His directorial credits include documentaries broadcast on public television: Two Towns of Jasper (P.O.V); I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, Unfinished Country (Wide Angle); and When the Drum is Beating (Independent Lens). His credits as a producer include: Freedom Summer (History Channel); Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America (Independent Lens), The Undocumented (Independent Lens), Toots (Menemsha Films/Indiepix) and the Emmy nominated Among the Believers. His films have premiered at festivals ranging from Sundance to Tribeca and been broadcast on networks around the world. His his work has been recognized with: the George Foster Peabody Award; Alfred I. duPont Award; Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award; and the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award as well as many film festival honors.

Dow’s current focus is on the Whiteness Project, a story-based interactive media and research project he is producing in collaboration with Columbia University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE).  Dow is also currently serving as Story Director for the multi-platform Public Media project “Veterans Coming Home” (VCH), a digital initiative by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Dow teaches interactive storytelling in the Integrated Media Arts (IMA) MFA program at CUNY Hunter College y and has a Research Scholar appointment at Columbia University where he teaches in the Oral History Masters of Arts program.

ORGANIZATION BIO

Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for
nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary
filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.

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