The Experimental Cinema Group at CU Boulder was ushered in by Carla Selby and Gladney Oakley and was later carried forward 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 running program in the world screening avant-garde film and video work.

Most screenings are Mondays at 7:00pm in the Visual Arts Complex Auditorium 1B20 / Admission is $5.00, or one punch on the IFS punch card, and free for students.

Student Award Showcase

Student Award Showcase

Monday, September 18, 2017
7:00 PM

Winners of The Grillo Awards

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 1990s by Virgil Grillo (1938-1994), the founder and former Director of the CU Film Studies Program, whose dedication and vision helped shepherd Film Studies from its modest beginnings in the 1970s to an undergraduate program with approximately 600 students.

P. Adams Sitney

P. Adams Sitney

Monday, October 9, 2017
7:00 PM

P. Adams Sitney will screen films yet-to-be-announced and promote the republication of Stan Brakhage’s METAPHORS ON VISION.

Ephraim Asili

Ephraim Asili

Monday, October 23, 2017
7:00 PM

Ephraim Asili is a filmmaker, DJ, and traveler whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Milano Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, MOMA, MoMA PS1, MOCA Los Angeles, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and the Whitney Museum. As a DJ, Asili can be heard on his radio program, In The Cut, on WGXC, or live at his monthly dance party, Botanica. Asili currently resides in Hudson, New York and is a professor of film in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College.

Forged Ways

Photographed on location in Harlem and various locations throughout Ethiopia, the film oscillates between the first-person account of a filmmaker, the third-person experience of a man navigating the streets of Harlem, and day-to-day life in the cities and villages of Ethiopia.

2011, 15 min

American Hunger

Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, AMERICAN HUNGER, explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront American fantasies. African fantasies confront American realities. American realities confront African fantasies…

2013, 19 min

Many Thousands Gone

Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), MANY THOUSANDS GONE draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to to create an interpretative score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score.

2015, 8 min


The fourth film in an ongoing series of 16mm films exploring Asili’s relationship to the African Diaspora. This one was shot in Hudson, NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the establishment of a treaty between the two sides. The treaty signed under British governor Edward Trelawny granted Cudjoe’s Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Trelawny Town and Accompong in the Cockpits and a certain amount of political autonomy and economic freedoms. Cudjoe, a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united the Maroons in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree—a large, ancient mango tree that is still standing. The tree symbolizes the common kinship of the community on its common land.

2016, 12 min

Fluid Frontiers

FLUID FRONTIERS is the fifth and final film in an ongoing series of films exploring Asili’s personal relationship to the African Diaspora as a whole. Shot along both the Detroit and Windsor sides of the Detroit River, FLUID  FRONTIERS explores the relationship between concepts of resistance and liberation exemplified by the Underground Railroad, the Detroit River being a major terminal point, and more modern resistance and liberation movements represented by Dudley Randell’s Detroit- based, independent publishing company, Broadside Press (approx. 1965-1975), as well as the installation, sculptural, and performance works of local Detroit Artists. All of the poems are read from original copies of Broadside Press publications and all of the recordings are one take only without any rehearsal prior to the recordings. All of the readers are natives of the Detroit Windsor region and were approached to read while the film was in production.

2017, 23 min

Robert Beavers

Robert Beavers

Friday, November 6, 2020
7:00 PM

Born in Massachusetts in 1949, Robert Beavers moved to New York at age sixteen and made his first film. He then moved to Europe with filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos; in the 1970s, they founded The Temenos, a private archive of work by both filmmakers. Retrospectives have been organized by the Whitney Museum, Tate Modern, Pacific Film Archives and Österreichisches Filmmuseum. In 1999, he was honored by the National Society of Film Critics. He currently lives and works in Berlin and Massachusetts.

The Hedge Theater

“THE HEDGE THEATER complements Salzburg’s Hekentheater as an emblem of cinema’s perspectival depth and representation of the natural world with lovingly recorded details from Roman churches built by Fracesco Borromini and pairs a tailor’s hand sewing a buttonhole on a white shirt with Il Sassetta’s panel painting of St. Martin of Tours ripping his cloak to clothe a beggar.”—P. Adams Sitney, Artforum, Sept. 2007

1986-90/2002, 16mm, 35mm, color, sound, 19 min

The Stoas

“THE STOAS also gives the viewer the fruits of Beavers’ lifetime project of sussing and summoning rare bits of captured life through hand-made cinema. First comes all the pleasures connected to technique. Then comes ... the special essential sweetnesses.”—Ed Halter, New York Press

1991-97, 35mm, color, sound, 22 min

The Suppliant

“Robert Beavers’s THE SUPPLIANT (2010) is an exquisitely wrought, five-minute portrait, both of the small statue of the title and of the artist/friend in whose ...apartment it resides.”—Tony Pipolo, Artforum (online) Oct. 27, 2010

2010, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min

Listening to the Space in My Room

“My own movements in the ground floor apartment below them—the shifts in perspective, the sudden turns in a different direction, or passing a threshold to the outdoors—take on a sense of constant questioning.”—Robert Beavers

2013, 16mm, color, sound, 19 min

Laura Kraning

Laura Kraning

Monday, December 4, 2017
7:00 PM

Laura Kraning’s moving-image work navigates landscape as a repository for memory, cultural mythology, and the technological sublime. Exploring absence and the fluidity of time, she evokes liminal spaces of neither past nor present but a landscape of the imagination. Kraning’s work has screened widely at international film festivals and venues, such as the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde and Projections, MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Visions du Réel, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Rencontres Internationales, REDCAT, and Los Angeles Filmforum, among others. She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation John H. Johnson Film Award; the Leon Speakers Award and Jury Awards at the Ann Arbor Film Festival; and the Film House Award at the Athens International Film and Video Festival. Kraning currently resides in New York, where she teaches in the Department of Media Study at University of Buffalo.

Meridian Plain

2K, 18 min, B & W, sound, 2016

Irradiant Field

HD, 10 min, color, sound, 2016

Port Noir

HD, 11 min, B & W, sound, 2014

Devil’s Gate

HD, 20 min, B & W, sound, 2011


DV, 10 min, color, sound, 2009