Cinema and Sanctuary DVD

$19.95 (excluding tax)

*Price listed is for home video only. For institutional pricing with full Public Performance Rights please contact Distribution@hudsonwest.org

WATCH THE TRAILER

Cinema and Sanctuary tells the astonishing story of the first documentary film school in the USA—The Institute of Film Techniques at The City College of New York.  Under the watchful eye of  DADAist, pioneering experimental filmmaker and radical thinker, Hans Richter, this unique program exposed thousands of working class kids raised on Hollywood movies to the power of documentary.

In 1941, the mission of CCNY’s new Film Institute was to train young Americans to make effective wartime non-fiction films that would respond to the powerful screen propaganda being churned out by the Nazis before and during World War II. Richter knew its effectiveness first-hand, having just escaped from the Nazi SS, labeled a “degenerate artist”.

To meet the challenge, he assembled a stellar faculty of social documentary makers – among them Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Leo Hurwitz, Willard Van Dyke, and Joris Ivens. Through war years and well-beyond, Richter mentored a remarkable range of students at the Institute, from Oscar-winners Alan Heim, Martin Starger, Lawrence Silk and Nestor Alemendros, to legends of American experimental film, Jonas Mekas and Shirley Clarke.

Despite Hans Richter’s extraordinary accomplishments, The Institute of Film Techniques proved to be too far ahead of its time. It was closed in 1966 by a college president who claimed that the most powerful art form of the 20th Century belonged, as he put it,  “in a vocational school—and not at a college”.  But the legacy of Richter’s singular program remains. It stands alone as the original incubator for the teaching of documentary film – the foundation on which so many schools now stand.

Produced and Directed by DAVE DAVIDSON

Edited by PAMELA RALAT

Cinematography: ULADZIMIR TAUKACHOU

Supervising Sound Editor / Music Supervisor PAUL KOZEL

Narrator: MARK ZEISLER

60 Minutes

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*Price listed is for home video only. For institutional pricing with full Public Performance Rights please contact Distribution@hudsonwest.org

WATCH THE TRAILER

Cinema and Sanctuary tells the astonishing story of the first documentary film school in the USA—The Institute of Film Techniques at The City College of New York.  Under the watchful eye of  DADAist, pioneering experimental filmmaker and radical thinker, Hans Richter, this unique program exposed thousands of working class kids raised on Hollywood movies to the power of documentary.

In 1941, the mission of CCNY’s new Film Institute was to train young Americans to make effective wartime non-fiction films that would respond to the powerful screen propaganda being churned out by the Nazis before and during World War II. Richter knew its effectiveness first-hand, having just escaped from the Nazi SS, labeled a “degenerate artist”.

To meet the challenge, he assembled a stellar faculty of social documentary makers – among them Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Leo Hurwitz, Willard Van Dyke, and Joris Ivens. Through war years and well-beyond, Richter mentored a remarkable range of students at the Institute, from Oscar-winners Alan Heim, Martin Starger, Lawrence Silk and Nestor Alemendros, to legends of American experimental film, Jonas Mekas and Shirley Clarke.

Despite Hans Richter’s extraordinary accomplishments, The Institute of Film Techniques proved to be too far ahead of its time. It was closed in 1966 by a college president who claimed that the most powerful art form of the 20th Century belonged, as he put it,  “in a vocational school—and not at a college”.  But the legacy of Richter’s singular program remains. It stands alone as the original incubator for the teaching of documentary film – the foundation on which so many schools now stand.

Produced and Directed by DAVE DAVIDSON

Edited by PAMELA RALAT

Cinematography: ULADZIMIR TAUKACHOU

Supervising Sound Editor / Music Supervisor PAUL KOZEL

Narrator: MARK ZEISLER

60 Minutes

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