Stanford’s documentary film program to get a forum in France

December 17th, 2013
 "Detroit Party Marching Band," a film co-directed by Stanford documentary film MFA students Katherine Gorringe and Lauren DeFilippo, will be screened in France in January.

“Detroit Party Marching Band,” a film co-directed by Stanford documentary film MFA students Katherine Gorringe and Lauren DeFilippo, will be screened in France in January.

JAN KRAWITZ, professor and director of the MFA program in documentary film and video, will be jetting off to Biarritz, France, in January with two second-year graduate students to participate in the 2014 Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA) film festival. Stanford’s graduate program is one of only five film schools around the globe to be selected for the New Talents section at the festival, and this is the first-ever American program to be included since the inception of the section, which includes documentaries, fiction, animation and experimental films directed by students.

KATHERINE GORRINGE and LAUREN DEFILIPPO, both MFA ’14, are the students who will be packing their bags for that flight to France. Said DeFilippo, “We’re so thrilled by the opportunity to screen our work at such an exciting and carefully programmed festival, and to be able to represent Stanford.”

Gorringe and DeFilippo will join their professor for a presentation after a screening of six Stanford student films, including their short documentary Detroit Party Marching Band, described by the co-directors as a portrait of “a radical marching band, its members, and the city that shapes them.” The film debuted at the quarterly screening last winter quarter and was shown again at “Party on the Edge” at the Cantor Arts Center in October.

“The festival is a great opportunity for us to showcase our program to an international audience of professionals in the field,” Krawitz said. In particular, she noted that FIPA showcases work that highlights the authors’ point of view and concern for form. “It dovetails perfectly with our priorities for student work.”

Documentary film and video students complete four major projects over the course of the two-year MFA program – one each quarter in the first year, and a thesis project in their second year. Many of these projects are recognized as award-winning films before the students even graduate.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be included in the New Talents section,” Gorringe said. “I am most looking forward to meeting the other up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world, and of course showcasing our work about the people of Detroit.”

The other five Stanford student films being screened at FIPA are: Installation, directed and produced by LAURA GREEN, MFA ’12, which explores the process of constructing Richard Serra’s steel sculpture Sequence at the Cantor Arts Center; White Earth, directed by J. CHRISTIAN JENSEN, MFA ’13, a winter portrait of North Dakota’s oil boom seen through unexpected eyes; Bug People, directed by PAUL MEYERS, MFA ’12, an investigation of our culture’s discomfort with all things many-legged; Bhiwani Junction, directed by ABHI SINGH, MFA ’13, about a 12-year-old boy who aspires to win an Olympic Boxing medal and trains at India’s leading boxing gym; and Grave Goods, directed by LESLIE TAI, ’13, a personal film about the objects the director’s grandmother left behind after death.

—ROBIN WANDER