Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stanford Film Lab - Who We Are

The Stanford Film Lab aims to provide students with the means, peer support and equipment to realize their documentary filmmaking dreams. We offer a space in which students can screen their work and we serve as a link between independent filmmakers in the Bay Area and students on the Stanford campus. We hope to complement any film studies courses in theory, history, rhetoric or production offered here on campus. Most of all, the SFL stresses the collective aspects of the art of filmmaking and provides a network for students interested in pursuing the documentary tradition.
We are supported by the PWR Program and the Stanford Writing Center. PWR2 students especially, are encouraged to parlay their multi-media class projects into larger real-world documentary projects. Our overall mission is to serve the Stanford undergraduate community by providing a dynamic creative space in which students can continue to develop and extend learning beyond the classroom with the use of digital video technology and new video streaming capabilities on campus.

Scott Herndon

Board of Directors
Andrea Lunsford - Director, Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Philippe Denis, Dreamworks Animation
Kristi M. Wilson - Soka University
Tomas F. Crowder-Taraborrelli - Soka University
Sangeeta Mediratta - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Laura Ruberto - Director, Humanities Program, Berkeley City College
Donna Hunter - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Joel Burgess - Program in Writing and Rhetoric

Stanford Film Lab News Archive

*****FILM LAB NEWS****

Outgoing Film Lab Directors Kristi Wilson and Tomas Crowder wish to thank everyone for their support over the last couple of years and to welcome Scott Herndon as the new Director, as well as Donna Hunter, Sangeeta Mediratta and Joel Burges as the faculty board members. On board as new Student Directors are Charlie Mintz and Elise Lopez. Will Rogers, as always, is the glue that holds us all together.

Kristi and Tomas' final Film Lab Event (an August 6th screening of "The Take" ) will be part of a film series co-sponsored by the ICA and CREES (Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies) . Read the poster below for more details:

We here at the Film Lab are proud to welcome Philippe Denis of Dreamworks Animation to our Board of Directors. Welcome Philippe! Read more about his work at the IMDB link:



The Film Lab & Cross Cultural Rhetoric have received a Curricular Innovation Grant from the Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts for "The Stanford Mulitmedia Literacy Project."



Attention students--great mix-up film contest for you!!! (dates March 7- May 30, 2008).


Do you care about what you eat and where your food comes from?
Are you tired of our fast food nation? PBS¹s Independent Lens Filmocracy
Contest invites you to make a statement about the politics of food. We
provide the clips. You provide the point of view. Win $1,000 and the chance
to have your film screened throughout the country!

Learn more :

The Film Lab presents:

The Weather Underground (film screening followed by Q & A with director, Sam Green)

Thurs., January 31, 6-9 p.m. -- Educ 128 (Cubberley)

In the 1960s and 1970s, the polarization of the political situation of the USA was becoming acute with the Vietnam War abroad and civil rights at home being but the most obvious issues. For the youth political movement, the seemingly ineffectual methods of peaceful protest and resistance led to the rise of an idealistic faction that want a more extreme approach that the Establishment could not ignore. This faction, called the Weather Underground, attempted to team up with the Black Panthers to violently confront the US government that started with street riots and escalating to bombing government targets. Thorough archival footage and interviews of the veterans of both sides of this conflict, this film covers the resistance movement's campaign of selective violence through this period until changing times and disillusionment brought it to an end while the FBI used unethical and illegal methods to hasten it. Synopsis by Kenneth Chisholm (

The Film Lab and Cross Cultural Rhetoric present:
Wed., Feb. 6th (6-8 p.m.) , film screening
The Take (2004)
In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act - the take - has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head. Armed only with slingshots and an abiding faith in shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against the bosses, bankers and a whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap metal for sale. With The Take, director Avi Lewis, one of Canada's most outspoken journalists, and writer Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo, champion a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century.
The Film Lab presents: "Genocide and Documentary Film"
Monday, Feb. 4 (noon-12:50), Meyer 184
Lecture by Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli
Dr. Crowder-Taraborrelli is a Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford and has produced a couple of documentary films.He is currently working on a co-edited book project entitled Film and Genocide.

************PREVIOUS FILM LAB EVENTS ***************

Dr. Frank B. Wilderson, III

Assistant Professor: Program in African American Studies/Department of DramaUniversity of California, Irvine will talk about his forthcoming book Red, White, and Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms and will show clips from his documentary film project, Reparations…Now
May 24th, Bldg. 320, room 220 (6:00 to 9:00p.m.)
Reparations…Now, a work in progress, is predicated on the argument that slavery did not end in 1865; instead, the United States simply made adjustments to the force of Black resistance without diminishing the centrality of Black captivity to the stability and coherence of civil society. In short, the poetic argument of the film is that, even in the 21st century, the coherence of the world is still contingent upon by the necessity of Black enslavement. Reparations…Now captures the terror of unnamable loss shouldered by today's descendents of slaves. It is a documentary with an audio track consisting of interviews statements, and direct address from Blacks as they reflect on issues associated with the dilemma of slavery and its ramifications in the 20th/21st century—ranging from the sublime and banal to the vitriolic and bloody.
*******************Attention all filmmakers: AFI/ITVS short film contest****************

Mix It Up.
Make a Statement.
Please join us for a sneak-preview screening of the documentary film KING CORN and hear about a new filmmaking competition in development from Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the American Film Institute (AFI). (

Two recent college graduates embark on a mission to see where America's food comes from – by growing it. In the rural town of Greene, Iowa, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis plant a single acre of the nation's most powerful crop--corn--and then set out to follow it to America's tables. But when they learn what their harvest is destined to become, Ian and Curt realize their experiment has gotten out of hand. We are inviting indie film fans to mash up their own footage with clips from KING CORN and Getty Images to tell their own story about how food production affects their lives. Winners will travel to Los Angeles to showcase their film at the AFI Digital Content Lab in late July. If you are serious about filmmaking, or maybe just curious - this is an excellent opportunity to meet some of the top media professionals in the country and show off your talent!
Come watch the film and learn more about the contest!

Check out the trailer:
DATE: May 30th
9-10:50 a.m. & 11-12:50 (Wallenberg, room 328)

Please RSVP for either of the screenings and short film contest:
When: TUESDAY, 2/27 AT at 7 p.m.
Where: The Stanford Writing Center (460, lower level)
FEATURED SHORTS: "Facebook Livin," by Carolyn Celio and Lauren Harper,
"Scientology: America's E-Meter," by Dylan Keil, "Gay and Catholic," by Shelli Victorino,
"The Pressure's On" (a trailer), by Nathan Fenner and Nana Wilberforce, and "Online Poker in College,"
by Alana Dong and Stephanie Chaparro
MARCH 10 at noon (SOLD OUT!!!!)

WEDNESDAY, January 31st, The Film Lab Presents "The Pinochet Case"
TUESDAY, January 30, Building 260-Room 113, noon
The Film Lab is proud to co-sponsor: "Human Rights and The Future of International Criminal Law"
Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague,
Luis Moreno-Ocampo will speak on the role of
international law in the prevention of genocide
and crimes against humanity. Carlos Castresana will join him.
You can find an article about Moreno OCampo at:

The Film Lab Presents: Documenting Race in the US from a foreign perspective. The short documentaries of Santiago Alvarez.
8-9 p.m. Location: The Stanford Writing Center, Margaret Jacks Hall, lower level
POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY: Tomas Crowder: "The role of
documentary film in the Nuremberg Trials"
ATTENTION ALL PWR2 STUDENTS: If you are interested in documentary film and photography you might be interested in the following PWR2 courseses offered Winter quarter:
"Objects of Argument: Art Arrangement and Design of Museum Exhibitions" (Instructor: John Tinker): Students will prepare public talks in collaboration with the Cantor Center for Visual Arts for their upcoming exhibition on early photographs of Yosemite (including work by Ansel Adams and Eadweard Muybridge).
"Reel Life: the Rhetoric of Documentary Film" (Instructor: Kristi Wilson).
*********** LAST YEAR'S EVENTS**********************
The Film Lab Presents:Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad’s documentary film "The House is Black" (1963). 
Wednesday, May 24, 7 p.m. Stanford Writing Center, Cheryl Greene will screen and discuss this film.

“There is no shortage of ugliness
in the world. If man closed his eyes
to it, there would be even more.
But man is a problem solver. On this
screen will appear an image of ugliness…
a vision of pain no caring human being
should ignore.”

The House is Black begins with a black screen and simple voice-over.
Farrokhzad’s work is an unconventional documentary project that demands
viewers to contemplate the pain from those suffering with leprosy. Her work
transcends neat categorization and shocked viewers of its day because of its
combination of poetic elements and unrelenting look at bodily pain and
disfigurement. Reciting her own poetry along with religious passages from
the Koran throughout the film, Farrokhzad’s hauntingly beautiful voice is
as unforgettable as her images of this isolated community.
MAY 8-9, The Film Lab Presents: URBAN ART TWO-FER!!!!
Monday May 8, 8-10 p.m., in the Stanford Writing Center (460 lower-level)
 Nic Hill will screen his latest film "Piece By Piece," a journey into San Francisco's mysterious graffiti underground. Hill documents 20 years of creation and destruction. His film features first-time, historical footage drawn from over 100 hours of interviews.
Tuesday May 9th, 7-9 p.m. (Bldg. 160 Wallenberg Hall Theater). The Film Lab and IHUM present:
 Timothy "Speed" Levitch, will speak after a screening of the award-winning documentary centered on his life as a New York city tour guide. "The Cruise" (1998) is directed by Bennett Miller (director of "Capote" 2005). Levitch has appeared in such films as "Waking Life" (2001) and "School of Rock" (2003).
2006 United Nations Association Film Festival Call for Entries

Feb. 24 th,2006 at the Stanford Writing Center (bldg. 460, lower-level) 
PWR and the Stanford Writing Center presents:  
A panel discussion with:
Annelise Wunderlich , Producer at Independent Television Service in San Francisco ( )
Kristi M. Wilson (PWR, Stanford University)
Tomás Crowder , (IHUM, Stanford University)
Join us for a roundtable discussion, short screenings of independent work, and the first planning meeting for the SWC/PWR-sponsored new student documentary group.

Annelise Wunderlich is a Production Manager at ITVS (Independent Television Service) in San Francisco. She is the direct liasion between ITVS-funded independent producers and PBS.
Kristi M. Wilson and Tomas Crowder are both founding members of Cinecampesino (a bay area film collective). With Cinecampesino, they produced two short documentaries filmed in Honduras. Segments from both Cinecampesino documentaries have aired on "Latin Eyes," a syndicated TV program (KRON). Crowder and Wilson are both on the advisory board of the non-profit economic sustainablity organization, Un Mundo. Wilson is the co-editor of Radical Fantasy: Italian Neorealism's Afterlife in Global Cinema(forthcoming from Wayne State University Press, 2006).

Stanford Film Lab - Filmmaker

Here we invite our guest filmmakers and artists to write a few words about the medium of documentary film:
"If film has the ability to change people's hearts and minds, then documentary filmmaking is truly a powerful weapon because it deals with reality.  Although I antically made 'Piece By Piece' for graffiti writers, I quickly realized that the movie has a far greater impact on those that know nothing about graffiti.  If people walk away from a film with a new insight or motivation to learn more about the subject matter, then I feel like documentary has done its job."
-Nic Hill, director of "Piece by Piece"
"You really don't know where you are in life until you sit down for a tete-a-tete with a group- bordering-on-a-crowd of undergrads who live as Gods; as young, healthy minds and bodies in an Eden of voluptuous woods and thick, clean air where their lives are housed in palatial structures. At the end of my visit to Palo Alto, I felt as any mortal would who had danced in such surroundings and lived to tell of it -- damn lucky...
My visit included a seated-Q and A session in the afternoon and a screening of the film "The Cruise" in the evening that was followed by a standing-Q and A with the crowd of kids who had just watched it.  The themes covered in both sessions were varied dances around the fires of disillusionment's purposes, illuminating mundane, and uniting discontent with joy.  There was five tons of laughter...
Many of the students were poets, others were cinephiles, and I'm sure many other specialties were represented in the room that I didn't have the chance to discover. I'm not sure exactly what we all shared but I am sure we all shared something."
Timothy Speed Levitch, "The Cruise"

Stanford Film Lab - Board of Directors

Scott Herndon

Board of Directors
Andrea Lunsford - Director, Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Philippe Denis, Dreamworks Animation
Kristi M. Wilson - Soka University
Tomas F. Crowder-Taraborrelli - Soka University
Sangeeta Mediratta - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Laura Ruberto - Director, Humanities Program, Berkeley City College
Donna Hunter - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Joel Burgess - Program in Writing and Rhetoric

Student Board
Will Rogers
Charlie Mintz
Elise Lopez

Board of Advisors
Jasmina Bojic - Director, United Nations Association Film Festival
Annelise Wunderlich - Filmmaker, Producer, Independent Television Service, San Francisco
Carlos Castresana - Court Magistrate, Spain, Co-author of the case against General Augusto Pinochet, Visiting Professor at USF
Ken Hutz - Director, Un Mundo Non-Profit Organization for Sustainability, Honduras
Roland Hsu - Senior Associate Director Undergraduate Advising Programs
Corrine Arraez - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Marilenis Olivera - Program in Writing and Rhetoric
Galen Davis - Introduction to the Humanities Program
Rob Wessling, Associate Director, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

Stanford Film Lab - Student Work Blog