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Program 2: Salute to the Social Documentary Program of the School of Visual Arts

  • Cinema Village 22 E 12th St New York, NY, 10003 United States (map)

Salute to the Social Documentary Program of the School of Visual Arts 

A celebration of SVA’s Social Documentary MFA program, with shorts and features from students highlighting the next generation of socially conscious filmmakers.

The program in Social Documentary Film at the School of Visual Arts provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of non-fiction filmmaking, as well as an immersion into the critical and analytical processes necessary to conceptualize and develop film projects with content of significant social relevance. This program represents the convergence of journalism, social activism and the art of filmmaking. These are films from the 2013-2014 school year. Including: 

First Year Student Shorts:

Willets Point - A Different World Within NYC 

 Dana Kalmey's experimental video using auto shop sounds for soundtrack. A short ride on the 7 into Queens brings you into a complex, ethnically-diverse world, vastly different from the city that envelopes it - this is Willets Point. In a place where auto shops line pothole-peppered roads, an ethnically-diverse community of thousands make their living as they continue to struggle day-to-day against the city and eminent domain. Directed by Dana Kalmey in cooperation with Alex White Mazzarella, Arne de Knegt, and Annalisa Iadacicco. 3.00 minutes

Holy Apostles Church Soup Kitchen -  John Redmond's no holds barred portrait of the homeless population of downtown Manhattan, as they come to get the good food provided for the community by the Chelsea Church of the Holy Apostles. We hear what it is like to be homeless in the unequal economy of NYC and how it feels to know your only decent meal of the day will come from a church soup kitchen. 10 minutes

MFA Graduate Student Films: 

Hart Island (trailer)

In NYC the poor, unknown and premature infants were buried quickly and anonymously by NYC’s prisoners in a desolate potters field off the Coast of City Island. Erik Spink  & Amitabh Joshi's Hart Island goes to the root of the indignity, for these already marginalized people, when even in death, or thru death of a premature child, the unequal civic system takes one more shot at pushing them to the bottom of the ladder. 15 minutes

Tooth Fairy

MFA graduate, Andres Arias, follows a 5 foot tall dynamo of a working people’s dentist, as she tries to make her way as a professional, both serving the working class neighborhood of Washington Hgts., traveling to developing countries to offer free dental services and trying to find her own path as a single working woman in the often confusing world of NYC. 40 minutes

Truth Through A Lens

A stunning feature length debut by another SVA Soc Doc MFA graduate, Justin Thomas, who follows the evolution of Brooklyn street kid, subway train tagger and local community organizing legend, Dennis Flores. Dennis had the courage to pick up a camera, when he saw his neighbors being physically abused for simple demanding decent housing and better treatment by the local police.  Of course Dennis himself quickly becomes the target of those for whom telling the truth is not necessarily considered part of the daily job. 65 minutes

Q & A w/ director Justin Thomas & Community Activist, Dennis Flores