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Jan 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm

New York Film/Video Microcinema Summit

With Thomas Beard, Jessica Green, Steve Macfarlane and Christopher Allen

New York City has a diverse history of alternative screening spaces, yet many agree it’s currently undergoing a watershed moment with new crops of intimately-sized venues redefining the way audiences encounter work, interact with each other, and gain exposure to new cinematic forms.

The New York Film/Video Council kicks off 2013 with a panel of owners, organizers and programmers representing some of these venues, all with varying kinds of programming and operating models. Topics addressed will entail everything from organization and administration to programming and outreach: mission statements, volunteer organization, approaches to institutional support, developing programming, working with outside curators, supporting artists, community relations, and more. The tenor of the event will be insightful but not overly formal, eventually developing into an closed discussion between the audience and participants.



Light Industry – Thomas Beard, Co-Founder and Director

Maysles Cinema Jessica Green, Cinema Director

MICROSCOPE Gallery – Elle Burchill, Curator

Spectacle – Steve Macfarlane, Head Programmer/Volunteer

UnionDocs – Christopher Allen, Founder/Artistic Director

Moderated by Rachael Rakes

Organized by the New York Film/Video Council



Light Industry is a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project centers upon a series of weekly events, which are frequently organized in collaboration with an invited artist, critic, or curator. Conceptually, Light Industry draws equal inspiration from the long history of alternative art spaces in New York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and other intrepid film exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of cinema. Bringing together the worlds of contemporary art, experimental film, and documentary (to name only a few), Light Industry looks to foster an ongoing dialogue among a wide range of artists and audiences within the city.


Thomas Beard is a founder and director of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to organizing screenings for Artists Space, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and Tate Modern, he recently co-curated the cinema for Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1 and the film program for the 2012 Whitney Biennial.


The Maysles Cinema, the only independent film house north of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary films, and it provides programming and forum discussions at least four nights out of every week. The Cinema is committed to a democratic experience, one where filmmakers are asked to attend the screenings of their work, and audiences have the opportunity to actively engage the films and each other in post-screening forums. Coupled with its scheduled series, we encourage the programming participation of local social and cultural organizations and citizen-activists to deepen community involvement and provide exposure for under-represented social issues and overlooked artists and their work. We have forged partnerships with organizations as diverse as The National Black Programming Consortium, the New Museum, and the Harlem Historic Parks Association, to name a few. Our suggested-donation ticket model allows for everyone to engage in our programming, regardless of his or her ability to pay. As a result of steady growth in attendance we have recently added capacity to accommodate our frequent overflow audiences.

Jessica Green

Jessica Green is currently associate producing an adaptation of Henry James’ The Beast In the Jungle and producing a documentary on Graffiti titled Anything You Can Get Away With. Green also serves as a consultant on various media and Internet projects, including a television pilot. She got her new media sea legs as the executive editor of BET.com from 2000-2006. She is also a former founder, owner and editor-In-chief of the New York based, independent Hip-Hop magazine Stress (1994-2001). Green has an undergraduate degree fromLang College at the New School for Social Research and was born and raised in New York City.



MICROSCOPE Gallery is an artist-run space specializing in the works of film, video, sound, new media and other time-based artists. The artists we present are independent, radical, experimenters and risk takers who range from the emerging to recognized pioneers and innovators. MICROSCOPE also offers a weekly screening, performance, readings and lecture series complementing the exhibitions and showcasing additional artists.

Elle Burchill is an artist and curator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She works primarily with the moving image and her works screen and exhibit regularly in the US and abroad. Her most recent curatorial project (in collaboration with Andrea Monti) is Microscope Gallery, an art space devoted to film, video, sound, new media and othertime-based arts, which closeded in September 2010.  (www.microscopegallery.com)


Spectacle is a community screening space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, established and staffed entirely by volunteers. Its programming encompasses overlooked works, offbeat gems, contemporary art, radical polemics, live performance and more.

Steve Macfarlane

Steve Macfarlane is a writer, programmer and filmmaker based in Ridgewood, Queens. He is a co-founder of the roving film screening collective Cinebeasts, and a head programmer at Spectacle in Williamsburg. Whenever possible, he writes criticism for publications such as Slant Magazine and The L. He is a native of Seattle, Washington. His first film is expected to leak at some point in 2013.



UnionDocs is a Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas. UnionDocs (UnDo) brings together a diverse community of experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future. Visit  www.uniondocs.org for more information and our complete schedule of weekend screenings and other events.

Christopher Allen (1)Christopher Allen is principal founder of UnionDocs and is currently the Artistic Director. After graduating from Columbia University and studying at Trinity College Dublin, Allen worked as an entrepreneur, documentary director, and new media artist. His individual works and collaborative projects have been exhibited at the MoMA, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the Volksbühne Theatre, DirektorenHaus in Berlin, Independent Film Week, Sonár, DIVA, and Conflux Festivals, among many other venues. He directed the interactive documentary Capitol of Punk, which was part of “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art, and he is currently in post-production on the feature Diamond Vehicle, shot in Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. Christopher was founding-partner of Counts Media, and played a leading role in the invention and execution of many art & entertainment concepts there, such as The Ride NY, a live theatrical and cinematic experience on the streets of the city, and Yellow Arrow, a place-based storytelling project exhibited online and in galleries and museums internationally.



Rachael RakesRachael Rakes is the Assistant Curator of Film at Museum of the Moving Image, Film Section Editor for the Brooklyn Rail, a co-curator at Heliopolis project space, and a programming advisor for UnionDocs. She has also independently programmed experimental nonfiction film for the past ten years, most recently organizing the traveling series Doctruck, taking place in numerous arts spaces around NYC.




NYFVC Logo (1)The New York Film/Video Council is New York’s oldest continuously operating non-profit serving the independent film, video and electronic arts community. For over 70 years, we’ve been a haven for lively discussions, panels and screenings. Founded in the 1940s, the Council was one of the only film organizations operating in New York.  Now, in a rich sea of film and media organizations, the Council is unique in drawing together members for conversation across the breadth of our community. Our monthly programming is FREE with an annual membership, $40 individual, $20 students, and $85 institutions (three members). Find us online at http://www.nyfvc.org/.


Jan 31, 2013
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

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