Ariana Gerstein, Associate Professor and Chair, began making experimental films in the 1990's as a graduate of the Cinema Department at Binghamton University. She left Binghamton to receive her M.F.A. in Filmmaking from the School of Art Institute of Chicago on the prestigious Trustees Merit Scholarship.
In Chicago, she taught at Columbia College, worked for the Chicago International Children's Film Festival and performed locally with Jelly Eye Drum Theater. Her independent productions have included digital video, sculpture, installation and performance. Her films have been screened and awarded prizes at festivals worldwide including International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, London International, European Media Arts Festival in Osnabrueck, Germany, Media City in Canada, New York Film Festival, SXSW, and others. She has had shows at MOMA, San Francisco Cinematheque, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Film Archives in Berkley, and other locations.
Ariana was awarded a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship (known after 2008 simply as the Media Arts Fellowship with funding switching to Tribeca Film Institute. However, the fellowship is still national and one must still be nominated rather than apply) along with Monteith McCollum for their collaborative work documentary. Also, New York Council on the Arts twice, New York Foundation of the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and from Illinois Arts Council. Her short films Alice Sees The Light and Milk in The Land, were nationally broadcast on the P.B.S. series P.O.V. She has served on the artist advisory board of the New York State Council of the Arts.
Professor Vincent Grenier, was born in Québec City, Canada. He has lived largely in the US. mostly New York City. In spite of this, he was a frequent contributor to the Montreal Art scene of the 70's and 80's as well as the SF bay areas in the early 70's. He has made experimental films since the early seventies when he received an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in California. Grenier's films have been shown in the United States, Canada and Europe at showcases such as the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Anthology Film Archives, the Pacific Film Archives, the Collective for Living Cinema and Cinéma Parallel in Montréal. His films and videos have earned him production grants from the Canada Council, and in New York State, from CAPS, NYFA, and ETC.
He has made over two dozen films and more recently videos, such as TABULA RASA (7.5 min. 2004), 2nd prize Media City Festival, Windsor, Canada; Views from the Avant Garde, New York Film Festival and Onion Film & Video Festival, HERE (6.5 min, 2002) Awarded Gold for best Experimental film, New York Film Expo, COLOR STUDY (4.5 min, 2000) Rotterdam Film festival, London and Toronto Film Festivals , Lincoln Center, Second prize at the Black Maria Film Festival and MATERIAL INCIDENTS, (6 min. 2001), Rotterdam Film Festival. & New York Video Festival, FEET (27 min., video, 1994) won second prize at the 1995 Black Maria Festival and was shown in the WNET series Reel NY. His films include: OUT IN THE GARDEN (1991)--Best Documentary, 1992 Ann Arbor Film Festival, Best Experimental Documentary, 16th Atlanta Film/Video Festival, shown on WNET and London Film Festival; YOU (1990)--Black Maria Festival; TIME'S WAKE--(1987) Prize Winner Black Maria Festival; INTERIEUR INTERIORS (1978)--Prize Winner, San Francisco Are institute Film Festival; WORLD IN FOCUS (1976) Second Prize Winner, Ann Arbor Film Festival; and WINDOW WIND CHIMES (1974)-- Prize Winner, Bellevue Film Festival in Oregon. Seven of his films & videos were curated in the Whitney Museum of American Art 1970-2000 American Century Film program. Films by Grenier are included in the Donell media library in NYC, the National Film Archive, Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, AGO, Toronto and at many other institutions in Canada and the US.
Grenier has been active as a film programmer throughout his career, notably, at the Canyon Cinematheque in San Francisco and the Collective for Living Cinema in NYC. He has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Adelphi University, and Ithaca College.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Ken Jacobs, was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1933. He studied painting with one of the prime creators of Abstract Expressionism, Hans Hofmann, in the mid-fifties. It was then that he also began filmmaking (Star Spangled To Death). His personal star rose, to just about knee high, with the sixties advent of Underground Film. In 1967, with the involvement of his wife Florence and many others aspiring to a democratic -rather than demagogic- cinema, he created The Millennium Film Workshop in New York City. A nonprofit filmmaker's co-operative open to all, it made available film equipment, workspace, screenings and classes at little or no cost. Later he found himself teaching large classes of painfully docile students at St. John's University in Jamaica, Queens. In 1969, after a week's guest seminar at Harpur College (now, Binghamton University), students petitioned the Administration to hire Ken Jacobs. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, the Administration -during that special period of anguish and possibility- decided that, as a teacher, he was "a natural." Together with Larry Gottheim he organized the SUNY system's first Department of Cinema, teaching thoughtful consideration of every kind of film but specializing in avant garde cinema appreciation and production. (Department graduates are world-recognized as having an exceptional presence in this field.) His own early studies under Hofmann would increasingly figure in his filmwork, making for an Abstract Expressionist cinema, clearly evident in his avant garde classic Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son (1969) and increasingly so in his subsequent devising of the unique Nervous System series of live film-projection performances. The American Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, hosted a full retrospective of his work in 1989, The New York Museum Of Modern Art held a partial retrospective in 1996, as did The American House in Paris in 1994 and the Arsenal Theater in Berlin in 1986 (during his 6 month stay as guest-recipient of Berlin's DAAD award). He has also performed in Japan, at the Louvre in Paris, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, etc. Honors include the Maya Deren Award of The American Film Institute, the Guggenheim Award and a special Rockefeller Foundation grant. A 1999 interview with Ken Jacobs can be seen on the Net as part of The University Of California at Berkeley's series of Conversations With History.
Joyce Jesionowski received her PhD in cinema studies from Columbia University and is the author of Thinking in Pictures: Dramatic Structure in D.W. Griffith's Biograph Films (University of California Press). She has served in various decanal capacities in New York City and for the past seven years has been a part of "The Griffith Project," the production of a multi-volume collection of essays on all of D.W. Griffiith's films and published by University of California Press for the British Film Institute, in association with Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, Italy.
Brian Wall completed his PhD at the University of Western Ontario, reading Samuel Beckett's plays for radio, television and film through Theodor Adorno's dialectic of the modernist work of art and the culture industry. His primary research areas include critical theory-particularly that of Adorno and Benjamin-and the historical avant garde (in a variety of media); other research interests include film noir, Weimar cinema, paracinema, Marxism, psychoanalysis and phenomenology. He has published articles on Beckett, Bataille, The Big Lebowski and Buffy, and most recently a book, Theodor Adorno and Film Theory: The Fingerprint of Spirit (2013).
Monteith McCollum is an independent filmmaker, musician and educator who has taught at various schools in Chicago, Illinois and upstate New York such as Columbia College, Broome Community College and Ithaca College. He has been a visiting artist at colleges including Boston Museum School, Art Institute of Chicago and University of Iowa.
As director of the award winning feature documentary Hybrid, Monteith has traveled extensively showing his work and speaking about film. In 2002 he was selected to tour on the Southern Circuit where he showed work and toured to Universities and high schools in the South. Monteith has served as a juror at various film festivals including the Bermuda International Film Festival, Slamdance, Ann Arbor, and Big Muddy at the University of Illinois. Since 2002 he has served as an advisory board member in film for the New York Foundation for the Arts. Hybrid was broadcast nationally on PBS and Arte in France. It premiered in New York at MOMA's New Directors/New Films. It also garnered many awards, including the IFP/Direct TV truer than fiction Independent Spirit Award in Los Angeles Ca,
Monteith has received grants from NYFA separately in both film and sound composition, two grants from NYSCA and the prestigious NYFA Prize, which is awarded to one NYFA winner in competition with all others across categories on a given year. With Ariana Gerstein, he was named a Rockefeller Fellow for their collaborative work in documentary. Other honors include over a dozen best of festival awards at San Francisco International, Amsterdam Documentary Festival, Slamdance, Ann Arbor, Bermuda, Nashville, South by Southwest, and Amsterdam International Documentary Festival to name a few. His short films Lawn and Milk in the Land were shown on PBS as part of the P.O.V. series.
Tomonari Nishikawa started filmmaking in 2001 at Binghamton University. His works have been screened at film festivals worldwide, including Berlinale, Hong Kong International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Media City Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. His film, Market Street, received Film Award at EXiS: Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, South Korea. In 2010, he showed a series of Super 8 and 16mm films at MoMA P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Nishikawa also works on installation projects, and such works have been exhibited at Disjecta Art Space, Headlands Center for the Arts, and San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. One of his installations, Building 945, received the 2008 Grant Award from the Museum of Contemporary Cinema. Since 2006, Nishikawa has been curating screening programs for various venues, including Early Monthly Segments in Toronto, Segal Centre in Montréal, and Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions in Tokyo. He is one of the co-founders of KLEX: Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival in Malaysia. In 2010, he was appointed as a screening program consultant for the Aichi Art Triennale in Japan. He served as a juror for the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2010 and Big Muddy Film Festival in 2012. Nishikawa is a recipient of 2008-09 Asian Public Intellectual Fellowship, spending one year in Malaysia and Thailand to research about personal filmmaking scenes in the region. He was a member of the 2008-10 Board of Directors of Canyon Cinema, a distribution company of experimental films. In 2011, he was invited to conduct a 3-day filmmaking workshop at WORM in Rotterdam, as a conjunction of International Film Festival Rotterdam.