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Award-winning filmmaker Lee Ann Schmitt to visit SIU March 21

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Date(s) - 03/21/2023
2:00 pm

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Award-winning 16mm analog film director Lee Anne Schmitt will discuss her film essays and filmmaking process later this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Schmitt, director of the film directing program at the California Institute of the Arts, will give her presentation at 2 p.m. March 21 in the Communications Building Room 1116, the Soundstage. The discussion is free and open to SIU students, faculty and the general public. The lecture is supported by the School of Media Arts’ Fine Arts Activity Fee.

Much of Schmitt’s work revolves around landscape, objects and the traces of political systems left upon them. Schmitt’s work has addressed American exceptionalism, the logic of utility and labor, gestures of kindness and refusal, racial violence, cowboyism and the efficacy of solitude.

Heather M. O’Brien, assistant professor of cinema and interdisciplinary media in SIU’s School of Media Arts, said Schmitt’s visit is particularly timely as it aligns with one of her courses, Film as Text: The Cinematic Essay as Form. The class explores the relationship between poetry and prose in experimental cinema, with a particular focus on the film essay as a form, she said.

“Lee Anne Schmitt is an inspiring essayistic and documentary filmmaker, and her films have been a monumental influence on my work,” O’Brien said. “I am grateful SIU students will be able to learn from her experimental and politically engaged work.”

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