CINEMA AND SANCTUARY
HANS RICHTER AND AMERICA'S FIRST DOCUMENTARY FILM SCHOOL
TAFFNY VIRTUAL CINEMA
JUNE 26, 2020. 5:30 PM.
Followed by a live-streamed Q&A with award-winning director Dave Davidson, moderated by Professor Jerry Carlson
ORIGINAL TITLE: Cinema And Sanctuary
Hans Richter And America's First Documentary Film School
DIRECTOR: Dave Davidson
Date completed: 2019
Film Category: Documentary
Length of Film: 62 min
"Cinema and Sanctuary" tells the astonishing story of Hans Richter and the first documentary film school in the USA—The Institute of Film Techniques at The City College of New York. The program exposed thousands of working class kids raised on Hollywood movies to the power of documentary. And it introduced them to artistic movements and ideas far beyond their ken, thanks to their professor, a European intellectual named Hans Richter. Richter was a radical, a DADAist, and a pioneering experimental filmmaker. He collaborated with some of the most famous modern artists of the 20th century, before fleeing the Fascists and the Nazis. Once in America, he continued making groundbreaking art. Moreover, he became a teacher who influenced generations of new artists and filmmakers.
Dave Davidson is an independent documentary filmmaker and media educator whose work focuses on social issues, culture and the arts.
Davidson has directed over twenty award-winning documentaries, many broadcast nationally on PBS. These include, A Place Out of Time - The Bordentown School (2010), Into the Light – The Furious Birth of The American Film Industry (1996), The Dancing Man - Peg Leg Bates (1992) and Cissy Houston - Sweet Inspiration (1988). From 2010 to 2013, Davidson was Director of Photography and Co-Producer on the 9-part PBS series, Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.
Davidson is a professor and the founding director of The MFA in Media Arts Production Program (recently re-named The MFA in Film) at The City College in Harlem, where he has taught since 1984.