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Faculty Spotlight: Cathy Crane

Cathy Crane directing

Associate Professor Cathy Lee Crane teaches all levels of film production and directing. She's the recipient of the 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film-Video, a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship for Film, and a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Her work enjoyed its first national survey at the National Gallery of Art in 2015 as part of their series American Originals Now. Her feature-length film The Manhattan Front was produced with the assistance of Ithaca College students and alumni and is currently on a national tour. She has also directed music videos, created installations, and photographed numerous films for other directors, and she has lectured on the intersections between queer and experimental cinema. Crane has also curated a dozen short films in San Francisco, New York, and Europe, including the six-part series Queer Innovators, which was co-curated with Jim Hubbard for the 1998 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Professor Patricia Zimmermann—Noted Screen Studies Expert

"I'm NOT on the Menu," a documentary about McDonald's and the #MeToo movement, was part of the "Wages of Work" program.

"I'm NOT on the Menu," a documentary about McDonald's and the #MeToo movement, was part of the "Wages of Work" program.

Screen Studies Professor Patricia Zimmermann recently co-curated a national tour of 41 short documentaries produced by 36 community entities from across the United States by over 90 makers called, "We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media." The "We Tell" website describes participatory community media as a unique form of documentary produced in collaboration with communities and subjects. As a production strategy, think of these works as focusing on the micro rather than the macro. They view local, national, and international issues through the lens of the people who experience them. These works see documentary practice as a way to generate dialogue and galvanize community connections across production, distribution, and exhibition.

A noted scholar in cinema studies, Zimmermann currently serves as a Film Envoy for the US State Department, and she is on the roster of Fulbright Specialists. She is also co-director (with Tom Shevory) of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, a major international festival housed at IC. Unlike at many other universities where senior faculty mostly teach graduate students, at the Park School, first-semester cinema majors take a course she teaches, "Film Aesthetics and Analysis." She also teaches upper-level courses in documentary theory.

Zimmermann is the author of Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Indiana, 1995), States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies (Minnesota, 2000), Thinking Through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places (Palgrave, 2015, with Dale Hudson), and Open Spaces: Openings, Closings, and Thresholds of Independent Public Media (U of St. Andrews Press, 2016). She was coeditor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories (California, 2008), and with Erik Barnouw, she was also coeditor of The Flaherty: Four Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema (Wide Angle, 1996). With Scott MacDonald, she wrote The Flaherty: Sixty Years in the Cause of Independent Film (Indiana University Press, 2017). Her book written with Helen De Michiel is Open Space New Media Documentary: A Toolkit for Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2018), and her current book project on documentary, Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Politics, and Place explores the relationship between historiography, political engagements, and digital art practices across platforms and modes.

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