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Scott MacDonald interviews Su Friedrich discussing her website projects reclaiming lost film histories

Film historian Scott MacDonald in conversation with experimental filmmaker Su Friedrich about her two epic website projects restoring the legacies of William Greaves and women film editors to film history

Su Friedrich, experimental filmmaker and website producer

Su Friedrich

Su Friedrich has directed twenty-three films and videos since 1978, which have been featured in eighteen retrospectives at major museums and film festivals, including one at the Museum of Modern Art in 2007.

Friedrich's films have been widely screened at film festivals, universities and art centers, have been extensively written about, and have won numerous awards, including Grand Prix for Sink or Swim at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Her DVD collection is distributed by Outcast Films. She teaches video production at Princeton University.

Scott MacDonald, film historian

MacDonald

Named an Academy Scholar by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2012, Scott MacDonald is the author of  twenty books, including A Critical Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (5 volumes), and has done numerous essays and interviews.

His newest books are American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary: The Cambridge Turn (essays) and Avant-Doc: Intersections of Documentary and Avant-Garde Cinema (interviews).  With Patricia Zimmermann, he has co-written and co-edited The Flaherty: Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema and Flash Flaherty: Tales from a Film Seminar.

He has curated and presented film events for the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Film Archive, the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley and elsewhere. 

Edited By: Women Film Editors

EDITED BY: Women Film Editors is a remarkable, field-redefining compendium of 206 women editors who invented, developed, and revolutionized the art of film editing.

Researched and built by filmmaker Su Friedrich, the project commenced after she read a film production book chapter about editing which mentioned only the director’s names and obscured the editor’s.

EDITED BY represents the field through a selection of editors and an additional group of  “filmmakers who edit." Rather than being conclusive, the project is designed to spur others to research, promote, and honor this most essentialand hiddenaspect of the art of filmmaking.

The site features photographs of the editors, short informational texts,  samples of their own words about their work, posters of films they edited,  and an extensive Appendix with links to articles about, and interviews with, each editor. A special feature includes a downloadable 75-minute companion film, Edited by: The Companion Film, comprised of one-minute clips from a film edited by each of the editors.

William Greaves

Filmmaker Su Friedrich in collaboration with Louise Greaves redesigned and rebuilt the website of William Greaves (1926-2014),  a prolific but somewhat ignored filmmaker, to make his legacy more accessible. 

The site includes background on Greaves, information on his films, news, reviews, and purchase/streaming information, bringing the vast amount of disparate material about his work together in one location.

Over the course of fifty-two years, filmmaker William Greaves created an immense body of work that documented, reflected on, and celebrated the African American experience.

From 1953-2005, Greaves was the producer, writer, director, cinematographer and/or editor of seventy-nine films. Spanning documentary, narrative, and hybrid forms, the films tell a vast, complex story about the major figures engaged in the fight for social justice, equal opportunity, and basic respect.

Special Discount for WILLIAM GREAVES: FILMMAKING AS MISSION

To secure your copy of  Scott MacDonald and Jacqueline Stewart's coedited new book, William Greaves: Filmmaking as Mission, use this discount code on the Columbia University Press website at checkout: CUP30.

FLEFF: A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT