Josetxo Cerdán, the Artistic Director of Punto de Vista, is preparing the programme of the next Flaherty Seminar, to be held in June 2012. The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar began in 1955 when Flaherty’s widow, Frances, convened a group of filmmakers, critics, curators, musicians, and other film enthusiasts at the Flaherty farm in Vermont to present and discuss their work.
For over fifty years, the Flaherty Seminar has been firmly established as a key event in the documentary film industry. Past programmers include such first-rate film personalities as Jay Ruby, Erik Barnouw, Scott MacDonald, Chon Noriega, Ed Halter, John Gianvito, Michael Renov, and Dennis Lim. The 2011 edition was curated by Dan Streible, member of the NYU Cinema Studies faculty and organiser of the Orphan Film Symposium since 1999.
In its long history, the Flaherty Seminar has been attended by such great filmmakers as Richard Leacock, Satyajit Ray, Joris Ivens, Jean Rouch, Shirley Clarke, Robert Gardner, Jonas Mekas, Agnès Varda, Bill Viola, Bruce Conner, Johan van der Keuken, Dennis O’Rourke, Amos Gitai, Péter Forgács, Ken Jacobs, Harun Farocki, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Phil Solomon, Andrés Di Tella, Zoe Beloff, Ximena Cuevas, Pedro Costa, Lisandro Alonso, and Sergei Dvortsevoy, who showed their films before they were known generally in the film community. The Flaherty Seminar has welcomed many old friends of Punto de Vista: Ursula Biemann, Kevin Everson, Naomi Uman, Rebecca Baron, Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, and Jem Cohen.
The Flaherty Seminar is a one-week event held in June, consisting of film screenings and discussions with filmmakers. The programme is a secret every year; only the subject, the names of a couple of filmmakers who are attending the event, and the name of the curator are known in advance. The last two editions focused on “Work” (2010) and “Sonic Truth” (2011).