Category Archives: DocFilm Forum

Barbara Hammer & Cheryl Dunye in Conversation

The legacy of the SFSU School of Cinema is nothing short of remarkable.  In our most recent forum, we had the opportunity to indulge in that history with film pioneer, Barbara Hammer, alumna and renegade of the Cinema program.  The juicy dialogue led by another SFSU Cinema phenom, Cheryl Dunye, wrapped up Hammer’s visit to campus and master class with aspiring graduate and undergraduate students in the program.

docfilm forum title card

Students take part in the conversation, populating the studio audience and posing questions to Hammer and Dunye that are interesting and provocative.  Hammer and Dunye give generously of themselves and share their past experiences with incredible candor.  They don advice on shooting those intimate love scenes, share moments of questioning their own work and desires and ultimately land on the most important tool each one has to create and continue creating.  For Barbara, it was the Hammer and for Cheryl it was the Dun and the Ye.  All they need is all they have.  The uniqueness of their beings and the courage to reckon with themselves is what they rely upon – and that is all any artist needs to achieve her vision.

It was a delicious afternoon for all who were there.  But, if you weren’t, take a look at how it went down.

Barbara Hammer’s visit to SFSU was co-sponsored by The School of Cinema, The School of Art, Queer Cinema Institute, Documentary Film Institute and the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.  Hammer presented her new film, Welcome To This House to the SFSU community and general public.  She held a master class with graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Cinema and visited classes to view student work.  She was honored with the inaugural Barbara Hammer scholarship presented by the Queer Cinema Institute and won by John Edward Serafica (former DocFilm Intern Extraordinaire)

Written By Soumyaa K. Behrens

DocFilm Forum: Barbara Hammer Master Class Conversation

DocFilm friends and community members,

Visual artist, filmmaker and SFSU alumna Barbara Hammer will be joining State students, faculty, staff and guests for a screening of her 2015 documentary, Welcome to this House on February 10th. Details of this public event can be found below.

On February 11th DocFilm will be recording the Master Class conversation with Barbara Hammer and Professor Cheryl Dunye as part of their ongoing series DocFilm Forum. 

DocFilm Forums are ongoing dialogues that investigate the urgent issues of our time by bringing together experts in the field of Documentary, alongside Social Justice Leaders, NGO Directors, Writers and Policy Makers.  Forums are held in front of a live audience and taped for broadcast and sharing at later dates.

Barbara Hammer

Our Fall 2016 Forum featured a conversation on the film Peace Officer and can be viewed here.

DocFilm Forum: Peace Officer

America is a country where the individual can make a difference. It is a place where one human being challenges the system and changes it by his efforts. What happens when that change takes on a life of its own and becomes an unruly monster that no individual can manage? This question lies at the heart of the recent documentary, Peace Officer.

7-Dub investigates Mathew Stewart home - Brad Barber pic

William “Dub” Lawrence investigates Mathew Stewart home – still from “Peace Officer”

William “Dub” Lawrence is responsible for the creation of the first SWAT team in Utah. His work was intended to make policing safer for everyone involved. But, when a member of his family finds himself engaged with Utah SWAT, everything goes wrong. Dub takes it upon himself to investigate the incident and it opens the door to a number of other cases with similar results. Peace Officer follows him on this quest.

We sat down with filmmakers Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson to analyze this and other related issues the film illustrates. We also invited the film editor, Renny McCauley, John Mutz, a retired LA Station Commander, Barbara Attard of Accountability Associates, the founder of a citizen oversight organization, and Britta Sjogren, Director of the School of Cinema at SFSU to examine and debate the impact of militarization in our national police forces.

Scott Christopherson and Renny McCauley are both distinguished graduates of the MFA in Cinema program at SFSU.

DocFilm Forums are ongoing dialogues that investigate the urgent issues of our time by bringing together experts in the field of Documentary, alongside Social Justice Leaders, NGO Directors, Writers and Policy Makers.  Forums are held in front of a live audience and taped for broadcast and sharing at later dates.