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May 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Scene: Brooklyn – A Master Class with Filmmaker Jem Cohen

With Jem Cohen.

Filmmaker Jem Cohen will screen and discuss rarely seen films including Real Birds, the Patti Smith portrait, Long for the City, some of the Gravity Hill Newsreels (about Occupy Wall Street) and excerpts from recent projects including the multi-screen live show, We Have an Anchor, and his upcoming feature.

In regards to documentary, Cohen believes storytelling is overrated, ambiguity is underrated, and the mystery of the real can’t be beat, sold, or reduced to a formula.

Cohen has made about fifty films. Some are personal/political city portraits made on travels around the globe. Others are portraits of friends, artists, and musicians. His feature-length films, Chain and Benjamin Smoke, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Instrument, his collaborative document of the band, Fugazi, showed at the Rotterdam Film Festival and Whitney Biennial. Lost Book Found is in the collections of MoMA, the Whitney, and the Jewish Museum. Cohen has had retrospectives at venues including the NFT in London, Oberhausen Film Fest, and Punto de Vista documentary fest. His works have been broadcast by PBS, ZDF/ARTE, BBC, and The Sundance Channel. As an activist, Cohen was extensively involved in overturning proposed restrictions on street photography in New York City. Recent projects include a collaboration with writer Luc Sante in Tangier and films for Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s past and current tours.

Cohen will be joined in discussion by UnionDocs’ Programmer Steve Holmgren.

Scene: Brooklyn runs May 2-6, 2012. Click here For the full lineup.


Scene: Brooklyn, Independent Film and Media Arts is the cornerstone of Brooklyn Arts Council’s film activities, showcasing the tremendous and diverse film talent based in Brooklyn and bringing independent Brooklyn filmmakers together with new audiences. Scene: Brooklyn includes a May screening and discussion series; special screenings, parties and discussions in partnership with local film and media organizations throughout the year; professional development seminars for filmmakers and film & media organizations; and filmmaker meet ups and social gatherings.

This project is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (www.NYSCA.org www.eARTS.org).


May 6, 2012
8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

Summer Documentary Labs

A tightly structured and supportive program for filmmakers working on their first or second documentary feature.

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