Film Programme



Royal Anthropological Institute   Coordinating Anthropological Film Festivals of Europe

The screening program has been curated by Susanne Hammacher, Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), UK; Caro Macdonald, independent filmmaker and anthropologist, Metje Postma, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, Chair of CFE, and Lisa Stefanoff Ph.D, CRC Remote Economic Participation, University of South Australia. In collaboration with CFE and CAFFE (Coordinating of Anthropological Film Festivals in Europe) and the Royal Anthropological Institute, UK.

We have enjoyed curating this screen media program as a complement to the conference theme of Public Anthropology. It is an interesting time for the world of film and anthropology. New technologies permit ever broader uptake and production of high quality screen work combined with a myriad of potential distribution platforms. A growing number of films reflect a passion for using visual media to explore, research, and communicate anthropological topics. Communities are enthusiastically using digital media to document their own lives, cultures and sub-cultures. Anthropologists from all corners of the world are adopting digital media as part of their practice. At the same time, non-anthropologists are using film to explore topics with anthropological themes.

The 2011 IUAES/AAS/ASAANZ film program explores the possible roles of screen media in a public anthropology for the 21st century, by drawing together recent work from a range of different sources –cinema, television, community media – with styles ranging from ethnofiction, to reportage documentary, observational narrative, archival salvage and participatory collaborative media. A number of the films selected were sourced from the Coordination group of Anthropological Film Festivals in Europe with the assistance of Susanne Hammacher (RAI) and Metje Potsma (University of Leiden). Two additional sessions curated by Caro Macdonald (Independent) and Lisa Stefanoff (University of South Australia) showcase new Australian Aboriginal media. These demonstrate some of the fresh and innovative approaches being adopted by Aboriginal filmmakers and community storytellers working in remote locations to represent cultural knowledge, ideas and vibrant local modes of being traditionally modern. We also look back at ethnographic films from the 1970s and discuss the impact of ethnographic filmmaking from an earlier era. Climate change sits at the heart of two sessions that draw our attention to how two radically different communities on the fringes of the nation-state are poised to endure radical physical transformations of the world as they know it.

We hope you enjoy this diverse line-up of films.

Susanne Hammacher
Caro Macdonald
Metja Potsma
Lisa Stefanoff