Doc Talk with Hira Nabi (Online) October 5th, 1pm


“Hira Nabi’s camera magnificently captures the “ship breaking” industry of Pakistan, which employs the poorest of the poor to disassemble obsolete carrier vessels for scrap.

Eric Althoff, Screen Comment

A powerful commentary on the ocean as a key space of globalization and of the precarious lives defined by shifting economic parameters – one that deftly connects deindustrialization of the North and environmental degradation to the harsh realities experienced by labourers in the Global South.

Emilia Terracciano, Frieze


In this docu-fictional work, ‘Ocean Master’ a decommissioned container vessel is anthropomorphized, and enters into a dialogue with several workers at the Gadani yards. The conversation moves between dreams and desire, the environment, places that can be called home, their own physical vulnerabilities, and the structural violence embedded in the act of dismembering a ship at Gadani. As the workers recall the homes and families they left behind, the long work days mesh indistinguishably into one another, the desperation that they carry with them like shackles rises to the forefront, and they are forced to confront the realities of their work in which they are faced with death every day. How may they survive and look towards the future?


A taxi driver agrees to drive a stranger around a town the man has never visited. Their short journey gives the man a new destination. This film was made during the ‘Filming in Cuba with Abbas Kiarostami’ workshop in Jan-Feb 2016 organized by Black Factory Cinema and Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV).

Hira Nabi works with images and text to tell stories of the everyday. Her practice is concerned with the environment, the often unseen, and a slow process of re-earthing: by which she intends to shift focus away from anthropocentric stories into a more interconnected and larger witnessing of the times we live in. She earned a BA in film and postcolonial studies from Hampshire College, and an MA in cinema and media studies from The New School. She lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan, where she is teaching at the Beaconhouse National University, and researching cinematic cultures, and botanical movements and plant migrations in South Asia.

Please join us for this online screening and Q&A, hosted and moderated by Amir Husak, Director of Documentary Studies and Assistant Professor in the School of Media Studies.

“OK Boomer” featured in Teen Vogue

Congratulations to Amrit Cheng (Doc Studies 2020), whose graduating film OK Boomer is premiering today at Teen Vogue, along with an op-ed from two young activists whom the film features.

This remarkable film chronicles the student-led campaign to integrate the New York City public school system, which is among the most segregated in the country.


Doc Studies Info Session!

Members of the faculty and admission counselors will be present to discuss the program, describe professional opportunities in their field, and answer questions about the application process. Recent alumni and current students may also be present based on their availability. Clips of recent student work will be shared.

Contact Phone:212.229.5150
Starts On:04 Dec 2019 06:00 PM ET
Ends On:04 Dec 2019 07:30 PM ET
Location:The New School – Main Campus
Address:The New School
79 Fifth Avenue, 16th floor
Room 1618

Doc Talk: Penny Lane (Oct.14, 2019)

As a history lesson every bit as clarifying as it is cockeyed, “Hail Satan?” possesses unarguable value. – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.

PENNY LANE (Director) has been making award-winning, innovative nonfiction films for more than a decade. Her third feature documentary, The Pain of Others (2018), debuted at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and went on to Sheffield and BAMcinemaFest. Her previous feature documentary Nuts! (2016) premiered at Sundance, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Editing. Her debut feature documentary, Our Nixon (2013), premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the closing night film at New Directors/New Films.

Festival screenings of her works have spanned the independent and experimental film worlds, including Sundance, Rotterdam, Images, Impakt, Hot Docs, Full Frame, CPH:DOX and Oberhausen. She has been awarded grants from Sundance, Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, Catapult Film Fund, LEF Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and many other organizations. She is possibly most proud, however, of having been named “Most Badass!” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009.

Please join us for this screening and Q&A, hosted and moderated by Amir Husak, Director of Documentary Studies and Assistant Professor in the School of Media Studies.

Doc Talk: Samara Chadwick (Oct.7,2019)

“1999 is one of the most haunting documentaries I’ve ever seen… a philosophical meditation on memory, sorrow, uncertainty, adolescence, and rebellion”  – Astra Taylor

“A profoundly personal but strikingly universal diaristic look back at a particular place and time. Surprising, tender, and charming.” – Pamela Cohn, Filmmaker Magazine

“A powerful meditation on trauma and resilience. Unlike anything I’ve seen this year.” – NOW Magazine

When death haunts a high school in a small town in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle, prismatic film, Samara returns to the town she fled as a teen to re-immerse herself in the memories still lurking there, in its spaces and within the dusty boxes of diaries, photos and VHS tapes. 1999 is not a ghost story, but the ghosts are palpable at every turn. The snow-covered streets, the school’s hallways and lockers are preserved as in a dream. 

The absences left by the relentless teenage suicides still shimmer with questions, trauma and regret. Samara encounters people who are as breathtaking as they are heartbroken, and, finally, 16 years later, the community strengthens itself by sharing the long-silenced memories. Ultimately the film weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how grief is internalized—and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.

Samara Chadwick is a scholar, filmmaker and curator. She has a PhD in Cultural Studies from the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro and Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle. Samara’s first feature documentary, 1999, produced by Parabola Films (Canada), Beauvoir Films (Switzerland), and the National Film Board of Canada, premiered in 2018 at Visions du réel, and has since played festivals worldwide including HotDocs, DokuFest Kosovo, BAFICI Buenos Aires, as well as the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

Samara is also the Senior Programmer for the Points North Institute and the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a much-loved documentary festival, bringing the best of creative non-fiction (features, shorts & immersive) from around the world to the rugged coast of Maine. She has programmed films and conferences for HotDocs, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and the Berlin Biennale (2012). In 2018, Samara curated VR:RV, a year-long German:Canadian Exchange in Virtual Reality by the Goethe-Institut. She has served on juries at The New Horizons Film Festival (Poland), Sunny Side of the Doc (France) and Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK). 

Please join us for this screening and Q&A, hosted and moderated by Amir Husak, Director of Documentary Studies and Assistant Professor in the School of Media Studies.

Doc Talk: Nina Davenport – “First Comes Love”

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. For filmmaker Nina Davenport, that old playground song didn’t go as planned. Single at age forty-one, she decides to have a baby on her own, never minding the odds stacked against her or the extra hurdles of living in New York City…

Nina has spent over a decade turning her life experiences into cinematic essays, following the path of her mentors, documentarian Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March) and Robb Moss (The Same River Twice). Her combined talents as a cinematographer, editor, and storyteller set her apart from the average first-person filmmaker. She develops characters and story arcs better than most Hollywood screenwriters do. In her quest for motherhood, Nina enlists her best friend Amy as a birth partner and her gay friend Eric as a sperm donor. While pregnant, Nina winds up dating the film critic John Anderson in an unusual display of sympathy between a director and a reviewer. The process of baby-making affects all their lives profoundly. Additionally, Nina struggles to cope with the recent death of her mother, who had been a source of strength, and seeks to improve relations with her father, a source of discouragement.

The film taps into the zeitgeist topic of how the modern family is being re-imagined in the early twenty-first century. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Nina’s case, that village is populated by urban sophisticates who have delayed procreation for as long as possible and are late in confronting its joys and chores. Nina is unflinching at exposing her inner and outer self as a case study. She’s refreshingly frank and funny about the trials that women endure in order to get pregnant, give birth and manage the early years of parenting. After watching, you’ll want to thank your mother.

— Thom Powers, Toronto International Film Festival