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Pluralities - Nonfiction Film Conference - Spaces, Places, Belonging

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San Francisco State University

Seven Hills Conference Center

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132

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Pluralities Nonfiction Film Conference Full Schedule

Spaces, Places, Belonging

Join us NOV 6th and 7th at San Francisco State University for an exciting line-up of filmmakers, researchers, VR, and discussion about all things nonfiction. We welcome keynote speakers Jules Rosskam (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Sharon Daniel (University of California, Santa Cruz).

Jules Rosskam will present the day one keynote, Borders, Boundaries, and Bodies, or How I Got To Be Here: Jules Rosskam, screen his newest film, Paternal Rites and give workshops during the conference, while interactive and participatory media artist Sharon Daniel will present the day two keynote, The Evolution of "Public Secrets." We are excited to also host artist, video maker and cinematographer Arthur Jafa in conversation with musician, producer and artist Greg Tate.

To close out the conference we will be screening the documentary, Survivors. Member from the Survivors team will be present for a Q&A following the film. "Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a heart-connected portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake."

Check out the full schedule here and register today. Attendance is FREE.


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Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

VR Arcade - Both days, all day

9:00 am: Coffee/Tea - All are welcome


9:30 am - 10:45 am, Who Can Occupy this Space?

Jennifer Arin (SF State), The Marvel of Sevilla

Heather Cassano (Emerson College), The Limits of My World

Brian Favorite (SF State), Parish

Meriam Salem, Unnatural Disasters


11:00 am - 12:15 pm, Arthur Jafa & Greg Tate in Conversation

Arthur Jafa - Artist, video maker, and cinematographer

Greg Tate - Writer, musician, and producer


12:30 pm - 1:45 pm, All is Not Lost: Claiming our Past, Present and Future

Brad Barber (Brigham Young University), States of America: Wisconsin

Anita Chang (CSU, East Bay), Tongues of Heaven, Root Tongue

Elizabeth Ramirez-Soto (SF State) & José Miguel Palacios, Message from Chile: Letters in Exile Cinema

Valerie Soe (SF State), Love Boat: Taiwan


2:00 pm - 3:15 pm, Borders, Boundaries, and Bodies, or How I Got To Be Here: Jules Rosskam

Keynote – Jules Rosskam


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm, Special Screening, Paternal Rites

with filmmaker Jules Rosskam


5:30 pm - 6:15 pm: Reception



Wednesday, Nov 7th, 2018

VR Arcade - Both days, all day

9:00 am: Coffee/Tea - All are welcome


9:30 am - 10:30 am, The Evolution of Public Secrets

Keynote – Sharon Daniel


10:45 am - 12:00 pm, Documenting Place: Collective Storytelling, Community Engagement and Documentary Practice

Laura Chipley (SUNY College, Old Westbury), Collective Storytelling Through Experimental Documentary Practice

Samara Smith (SUNY College, Old Westbury), Engaging Community and Audience in Public Through Documentary Practice

Rachel Stevens, Place of the Big River: Entangled Stories from an Altered Landscape


1:00 pm - 2:15 pm, Explorations in Race & Queer Sexuality

Celine Shimizu (SF State), Introduction and moderator

Anaiis Cisco (MFA Candidate, SF State School of Cinema)

David Mai (MFA Candidate, SF State School of Cinema), ( )

Mychal Shanks (MFA Candidate, SF State School of Cinema)

Kiera Abdur-Rahman (MFA Candidate, SF State School of Cinema)


2:30 pm - 4:00 pm, Beyond Inclusivity: New Trends in Documentary Funding and Representation

Marc Smolowitz (13th Gen), Moderator

Sabereh Kashi and Jennifer Crystal Chien, Re-Present Media

Debbie Ng, SF Arts Commission

Jenny Slattery, SF Film

Lisa Burger, Independent Arts and Media

4:15 pm - 6:15 pm, Case Study: Survivors

Directed by Arthur Pratt, Lansana "Barmmy Boy" Mansaray, Banker White, Anna Fitch

Q&A moderated by Eric Talbert with Banker White and video comments by Arthur Pratt & Barmmy Boy

"Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a heart-connected portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake."



6:15 pm - 7:00 pm: Reception



Pluralities: A Project of San Francisco State University’s Documentary Film Institute

In the next conference and publication we hope to address themes such as spaces, places and belonging, not limited to, public space, space of the real, access to spaces (literal and figurative), relationship of race and gender to space, exhibition spaces, virtual spaces, funding spaces, accessibility, space of social platforms, boundaries and borders, conflict over borders, expanding boundaries, globalism versus nationalism, are some spaces only for some people, safe spaces, patrolled spaces, surveillance, should all spaces be diversified, should we have communities that only allow certain people access? We especially encourage papers and presentations that challenge the traditional boundaries of documentary media and demonstrate innovation in form and substance.

Pluralities’ vision is to be part academic journal, part aggregator of underserved global voices and part provocateur to the field of nonfiction film and the visualization of the humanities.


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San Francisco State University

Seven Hills Conference Center

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132

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