Experimental Cinema Group was ushered in by Carla Selby and Gladney Oakley and was later influenced by Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage. It is now called First Person Cinema and the curator is Don Yannacito. This program was started in 1955 with the intention of bringing an awareness of the personal cinema to Boulder, and has become a highly respected, international showcase for the makers of personal film. It is the longest existing program in the world that has been continually screening avant-garde film and video work.

The Stan Brakhage Film Series will continue to show films by Brakhage on the first Sunday of every month at 8:00pm in ATLAS 100. All shows are free and open to the public.

Student Award Showcase

Student Award Showcase

Monday, January 31, 2011
7:00 PM

Winners of The Grillo Awards

Made possible with funds from the Arts and Cultural Enrichment Fee. Free admission. The Grillo awards are designed to encourage excellence in filmmaking and help defray some of the expenses required to pursue a degree in film production. A total of up to $17,000 of Grillo funds is distributed each year to four tiers of production students. Final recipients and individual award amounts will be determined each semester by in-class student votes and a panel of judges made up of CU Film Studies faculty and outside professionals. A selection of award winning films will be shown one night only. The Grillo Awards are drawn from a University of Colorado Foundation fund set up in the early 90s by the founder and former chair of the CU Film Studies Program, Virgil Grillo (1938-1994), whose dedication and vision helped shepherd Film Studies from its modest beginnings in the 1970s to an undergraduate degree program boasting some 600 majors.

Phil Solomon

Phil Solomon

Monday, February 21, 2011
7:00 PM

What's Out Tonight Is Lost

The film began in response to an evaporating relationship, but gradually seeped outward to anticipate other imminent disappearing acts: youth, family, friends, time .... I wanted the tonal shifts of the film's surface to act as a barometer of the changes in the emotional weather. Navigating the school bus in the fog, the lighthouse in disrepair ....

Adopting its title from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, WHAT'S OUT TONIGHT IS LOST is an elegaic film sifting through the unrecoverable. The film is a reflecting pool where vision breaks up. The home we recognize is swallowed in the brume, the light barely penetrates; and the yellow school bus steals us away, delivering us into new clouds, embracing fear. The film has a surface of cracked porcelain and intaglio: the allergic childhood skin of cracks and bruises. This is a film of transubstantiations, the discorporation of human forms into embers. Air looms and blossoms into solidity and nearness ... I hear it breathing .... -- Mark MacElhatten

16mm, silent, 8 min., 1983, restored by the Academy Archive

American Falls

American Falls is a single-channel triptych adaptation of a 55-minute, six-channel, 5.1-Surround installation commissioned by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. It was inspired by a trip that I took to the capital at the invitation of the Corcoran in 1999, where I first encountered Frederick Church's great painting Niagara; took note of a multichannel video installation by Jennifer Steinkamp, projected onto the walls of the Corcoran rotunda; and went on walking tours of various monuments to the fallen throughout the DC area.

The architecture of the rotunda in the vicinity of Niagara invited me to muse on creating an all-enveloping, manmade "falls"; I imagined my commission as something akin to a widescreen version of a WPA/Diego Rivera project at century's end, where mediated images of the American Dream that I had been absorbing since childhood would flow together into the river with the roaring turbulence of America's failures to sustain the myths and ideals so deeply embedded in the received iconography. Emerging historical currents continuously break down and revert to their molten, primal forms and amber waves of pageantry, all eventually converging over the falls (in every sense of the term) as the great unanswered question posed by Charles Ives at the dawn of the last century echoes: Whither America? American Falls was supported by funding from the University of Oklahoma/Thatcher Hoffman-Smith Award and the University of Colorado grants-in-aid program; it's dedicated to Annie Edson Taylor and Jean François Gravelet (The Great Blondin). The first went over, the second walked above...

HD video, 5.1 surround, 55 min., 2010

The Uncanny Valley

An excerpt from a forthcoming Western

HD video, 5.1 surround, 10 min., 2010-11

John Columbus

John Columbus

Monday, March 7, 2011
8:00 PM at Naropa University Performing Arts Center

Free show!

Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting edge works from independent film and video makers. With previous Oscar-nominated and international award-winning shorts, the festival is widely known for its national public exhibition program, which remains loyal to featuring a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection of 50 award winning films and videos. Now in its 29th year, the Black Maria Festival awards more than $10,000 in cash to independent filmmakers, distinguishing itself as a cornerstone for artists to express the inventive, insightful, and uncommon spirit. Festival Director John Columbus will present a program of the 2010 winning shorts, ranging from a variety of narrative, animation, documentary, and experimental.

7th Annual Brakhage Center Symposium

7th Annual Brakhage Center Symposium

Friday, March 11, 2011
through Sunday March 13

Begins Friday March 11th, 7pm in Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus. All other events take place in the Visual Arts Complex auditorium, room 1B20, on the CU Boulder campus.

The Brakhage Center Symposium, already a tradition in the not very traditional world of avant-garde filmmaking, will again be hosted this year by the University of Colorado at Boulder. In a weekend dedicated to the exploration of new ideas in cinema art, guest curators Sally Berger, Scott MacDonald, and Bill Nichols will explore expanded notions of documentary and ethnography. Presenters will include James Benning, Nao Bustamente, Alfred Guzzetti, Abraham Ravett, and Lucien Taylor. The symposium will feature the Regional Premier of Sweetgrass (2010) by Lucien Talyor and Ilisa Barbash, presented in 35mm on opening day. Sweetgrass follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's breathtaking and often dangerous Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains for summer pasture. New Yorker, Movies' Pick 2010, New York Times, Critics' Pick 2010 , Village Voice, Film Pick 2010, Washington Post, Critics' Pick 2010 , Best Feature, 2010 Play-Doc Festival, Spain.

Sponsors of the 2010 Brakhage Center Symposium include The William H. Donner Foundation in conjunction with The Brakhage Center (Daniel Boord, Director), The University of Colorado College of Arts and Sciences, and the CU Film Studies Program, CU Anthropology Dept., Center for the American West, Roser Foundation.

Also see the Brakhage Center Symposium website. For additional information contact: DonYannacito at Donald.yannactio at, or Eric Coombs at coombs.eric at

Sponsored by

The William H. Donner Foundation
The Brakhage Center
The CU Film Studies Program
CU Anthropology
The Center for the American West
The CU Art & Art History Dept
Center for Media Arts & Performance in ATLAS CEAVCO Audio Visual Inc.

Shana Moulton

Shana Moulton

Monday, March 28, 2011
7:00 PM

Shana Moulton's videos and performances are in many respects the product of her own fears and anxieties. Surrounded by hysterically colorful and studiedly kitsch scenarios, her filmic alter ego, Cynthia, is obsessed with her health and well-being. Her adventures mirror the insecurities of whole generations while also exploiting stylistic forms and tropes excavated from the recent history of mass-mediated culture. Moulton was born in Oakhurst in California, and lives and works in New York. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Skowhegan and De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include: Art in General, New York; Migros Museum, Zurich; Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam; The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Gimpel Fils Gallery, London; Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld. Moulton has shown her work in group shows, screenings and performances at P.S.1, Performa 2009, The Kitchen, Participant INC, Electronic Arts Intermix, Impakt Festival, Rencontres Internationales, European Media Arts Festival and Migrating Forms.

Whispering Pines 1

2002, 1:55 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 3,

2004, 7:33 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 6

2006, Video, 5:45 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 7

2006, 4:43 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 8

2006, 7:34 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 4

2007, 10:53 min, color, sound

Sand Saga

2008, 10:32 min, color, sound

The Sentimental Futurist

2009, 4:51 min, color, sound

Whispering Pines 9

2009, 9:48 min, color, sound

Ashish Avikunthak

Ashish Avikunthak

Monday, April 18, 2011
7:00 PM

"I will be showing a selection from a body of film work that has emerged in contemporary India called 'Cinema of Prayoga'. Prayoga in Sanskrit refers to a theory of practice that emphasizes the excessive possibility of any form of contemplation -- ritualistic, poetic, mystic, aesthetic, magical, mythical, physical or alchemical. Prayoga can be defined as an intensive process of 'fore-action' of any act. In cinema it is a practice of filmic interrogation that is devised as quest toward a continuing process in time and space. Here representation usurps reality. The ontological efficacy of prayoga as a theory of cinematic practice represents an epistemological alternative both to the conceptual hubris of the experimental and the avant-garde and challenges all forms of film practice in India."

Ashish Avikunthak is an experimental filmmaker from India making films for the more than fifteen years. He is an Assistant Professor in Film Media at the University of Rhode Island and has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University. His films have been shown in film festivals and museums worldwide.

Kshya Tra Ghya

DVD, 21 mins, Color, Sound, 2006, Dir: Amit Dutta


DVD, 28min, 1996, 28mins, Color, Sound, Dir: Kabir Mohanty

Egotic World

DVD, 21mins, B&W, Sound, 2000, Dir: Vipin Vijay

Kalighat Fetish (Kalighat Athikatha)

16mm, 22 mins, Color and B&W, Sound, 1999, Dir: Ashish Avikunthak