MassArt Class Screening December 17, 7pm

This semester I taught a Continuing Education course at MassArt modeled after the second semester of an intro film course I taught twice at Harvard. It's called "Group Documentary," and (as you might guess) involves all of the students collaborating on one film. By working together, students are able to learn from each other and to create a more ambitious project than they could individually. And it's a great opportunity to learn about collaboration in one of the most collaborative of art forms.

My class had only three students, which made it quite a heavy workload for them. They chose a compelling subject (though one which - by total coincidence - was for me uncomfortably similar to that of my last feature doc, Monkey Dance): the Gund Kwok Asian Women Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe based in Boston's Chinatown. They chose to focus on three dancers. What emerges is an interesting story about how this traditionally male dance form helps its members balance work, motherhood, and their own passions.

Please join us for our class screening on Thursday, December 17 at 7pm in Film Screening Room 1 at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston. Refreshments will be served.


Monkey Dance in Amherst November 15

My film Monkey Dance will be showing at University of Massachusetts, Amherst together with a performance by Angkor Dance Troupe on Sunday, November 15 at 3pm. I will be there to do a Q&A, along with one or two of the subjects of the film. Click here for info and tickets.

Han Bennink Inspires

I had an inspiring evening on October 27, seeing Dutch percussionist Han Bennink - a legend in European free jazz / improvised music circles. I've heard Han play before, introduced by my husband (saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra), but he certainly impressed me anew. A lanky, white-haired man in his late 60s playing with such a high level of energy, intensity, and humor... it convinces me again that half of being a good artist is remaining committed to one's ideas, carrying them through as purely and consistently as possible.

Dynamic Report on After School Time

I was just looking at the website of one of my clients - the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time - and noticed that they had done a great job integrating the several videos I made for them in an interactive report. The report includes data, anecdotal evidence, and videos about the importance of after school activities for the state's children. I produced video interviews with the Commission co-chairs, portraits of three strong after school programs, and a montage of testimonies from several hearings across the state.

Very satisfying to see the media I produced being put to good use, in an accessible way.

In Memoriam Sokhorn Sem

I am sad to report that Sokhorn Sem, mother of Monkey Dance film subject Samnang Hor, passed away on October 4 after a long battle with cancer. Services were at the Khmer Temple (Wat Triratanaram) in Chelmsford yesterday and today. A survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide, Sokhorn worked for years at Cambridge Tool and as a wedding planner. She leaves behind a large and loving family, including Samnang, his wife Yary Na, and their daughter Jarronai.

Labor & Dreams Festival

My short video 25th & Mission will show at San Francisco Video Fest Thursday, October 15 at 8pm, at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco (around the corner from where the piece was shot).
And while we're talking about 25th & Mission, here are some pictures of the installation version of this piece, that ran August 4-10 in 25th Street Cleaners: