Event Recap


Maye Faye eventThe Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church at 3361 6th Avenue in north Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.

Our new season has been announced! Here are the details…


Spring 2008 Schedule


Redacted screening 8 PM Fri 2/1 & Sat 2/2

Brian De Palma ("Carrie," "Dressed To Kill," "The Untouchables," "Mission: Impossible") won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 2007 Venice Film Festival for this movie, a fictional story inspired by true events in Iraq.

A profound meditation on the way information is packaged, distributed and received in an era with infinite channels of communication, "Redacted" utilizes a variety of created source material—video diaries, produced documentary, surveillance footage, online testimonials, news pieces—to comment on the extreme disconnect between the surface of an image and the reality of ideas and the truth, especially in times of strife.

"The only Iraq film I would rank alongside ‘No End in Sight’ in the category of essential viewing" — Scott Fondas, LA Weekly

Co-sponsored by Chatham Peace Initiative, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women Against War and Veterans for Peace.

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble performance 8 PM Sat 2/9

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was formed in 1973 by Kahil El’Zabar in Chicago. This was a year after he had returned from the University of Ghana. His goal was to combine concepts of African American music making with the earlier roots of traditional African music and make it something new. After 35 years, this legendary band is still serving the people worldwide with their special brand of 21st century Griot music.

Kahil El’Zabar’s performance with Hamiet Bluett last year at the Sanctuary was named one of 2007’s ten best by Metroland. Don’t miss this one!

Corey Wilkes (trumpet), Ernest Khabeer Dawkins (saxophone), Kahil El’Zabar (composer, percussion, vocals).

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, made possible in part by the NYS Music Fund.

King Corn screening w/ panel 7 PM Fri 2/15

In this feature film documentary about the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation, best friends from college on the east coast move to the
heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm.

Screening includes complimentary organic popcorn and corn-free sodas for all, followed by a panel discussion featuring leaders on local GMO issues and NOFA organic farmers. Co-sponsored by the Honest Weight Food Co-op.

Citizen Journalism workshop 1 PM Sun 2/17

Instructor: Elizabeth Press

Digital media tools are more accessible to amateur journalists and community organizers than ever. In this workshop, participants will examine a variety of examples of citizen journalism, and will learn research and production tips from a seasoned professional and Democracy Now! producer.

Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, made possible in part by the Electronic Media & Film program of the NYS Council on the Arts.

"A Love During the War" screening w/ filmmaker Osvalde Lewat-Hallade 7 PM Fri 2/22

What are the consequences when rape is used as a weapon of war? This moving documentary explores this question from the perspective of women in Africa, where this tragedy is witnessed again and again.

Aziza and her husband were separated when the Congo-Kinshasa war broke out in 1996. Six years later, they reunite in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). They are now rebuilding their family life with their four children. However, the souvenirs of the horrors suffered by other women in eastern DRC during the war still haunt journalist Aziza. She wonders what happened to Feza, the little girl for which she used to care. Soon, she feels obliged to return to this part of the country where women have started denouncing the abuses they suffered during the war.

Director Osvalde Lewat-Hallade opted for film making after serving as journalist for several years. Her first documentary, titled "Upsa’ Yimoowin" ("The Pipe of Hope"), was made in Toronto. It denounces the sidelining of the American Indians. However, the film that brought her international acclaim is "The Forgotten Man" in 2003, based on the true story of a prisoner who was sentenced to four years in jail for a minor crime, ending up imprisoned for 33 years. "A Love During the War" is Lewat-Hallade’s latest documentary film.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Electronic Film & Media program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures performance 7 PM Wed 2/27

The group, formed in 1991, has performed throughout Europe and the United States–and its members have played extensively in North and South America, Europe, Japan, Africa, and Australia. Their collective background spans an wide range of musical experiences, including performances with world music ensembles, 20th century chamber groups and leading artists in the jazz and rhythm & blues fields. The concert repertoire consists of original compositions by Mr. Rudolph which serve as a basis for improvisational dialogue. The performance aesthetic of the ensemble reflects an ongoing search for new sounds and creative processes through which the players can express their thoughts and emotions.

Featuring Hamid Drake (trap drum set, tabla, frame drums, percussion, vocal), Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn), Ned Rothenberg (shakuhachi, flutes, bass clarinet, alto saxophone), Kenny Wessel (electric and acoustic guitars), Adam Rudolph (handrumset (congas, djembe, tarija talking drum, thumb pianos, udu drums, cajon, gongs, percussion), Steve Gorn (bansuri bamboo flute, soprano saxophone, clarinet), Brahim Fribgane (oud, dumbek, vocal, udu, cajon, sintir, bendir, tarija) and Shanir Blumenkrantz (contrabass, sintir and oud).

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Presenting program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

People To People In Iran 7 PM Wed 3/5

Cultural travelers Priscilla Fairbank, Jonathan Hill and Barbara Spring share visuals and experiences from their December 2007 tour in Iran. The group traveled with Fellowship of Reconciliation to meet with representatives of various Iranian social and cultural organizations while also befriending ordinary people of all ages and walks of life: casual bazaar shoppers, high school and college students, children and parents on the street or in public parks, clerics in seminaries or mosques. Their hospitable reception and personal discoveries while getting to know the cultural complexity of present day Iran make for an an evening of pleasurable enlightenment. You are invited to join the group for casual dinner at 6 PM.

Produced by the Iran Working Group of Upper Hudson Peace Action.

Media Literacy for Educators workshop 1 PM Sun 3/9

Instructor: Andrew Lynn

This session is intended to enhance teachers’ toolkits by providing them resources and methods for using media in the classroom. We live in the most media-saturated time in the history of the world, and media messages are aimed at youth beginning at a very early age. As educators we have a responsibility to help our students become aware of their ability to affect change and read between the lines. Attend this workshop for both practical skills and brainstorming with other regional educators.

Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, made possible in part by the Electronic Media & Film program of the NYS Council on the Arts.

The Yes Men Live! 7 PM Tue 3/18

Anti-corporate pranksters The Yes Men will give the inside scoop on their latest impersonations, from representing Halliburton at a Gulf Coast Reconstruction Conference to being Exxon at Canada’s largest petroleum industry gathering. The Yes Men agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce, ask questions, and then smuggle out the stories of their hijinks to provide a public glimpse at the behind-the-scenes world of business. In other words, the Yes Men are team players… but they play for the opposing team.

Editing Basics workshop (pt. 1) 7 PM Thu 4/3

Instructor: Penny Lane

Have great footage, but need to put it all together? This basic editing class is for you. It will consist of two lab sessions in which participants will work individually and in groups to learn the basics of audio and video editing. Participants who have shot footage over the course of the workshop series are encouraged to bring their material to the lab. If you have a laptop, bring it! Material covered will include the basics of selecting material, planning the sequence of your story, and setting up a basic editing project.

Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, made possible in part by the Electronic Media & Film program of the NYS Council on the Arts.

Strange Culture
screening w/ Steve Kurtz 7 PM Fri 4/4

Lynn Herschman Leeson’s new film "Strange Culture" is a brilliantly conceived documentary that breaks conventional rules out of the necessity to tell the story. Artist and college professor Steve Kurtz was preparing for a MASS MoCA exhibition that lets audiences test whether food has been genetically modified when, days before the opening, his wife tragically died of heart failure. Distraught, Kurtz called 911, but when medics arrived, they became suspicious of his art supplies and called the FBI. Dozens of agents in haz-mat suits sifted through his home and impounded his computers, books, cat, and even his wife’s body. The government held Kurtz as a suspected terrorist, and, nearly three years later, the charges have not been dropped. He still faces up to 20 years in prison.

Because Kurtz cannot legally talk about the case, Leeson enlists actors, including Tilda Swinton, Josh Kornbluth, and Peter Coyote, to interpret the story. Leeson skillfully weaves dramatic reenactment, news footage, animation, testimonials, and footage of Kurtz himself into a sophisticated documentary about post-9/11 paranoia and the risks artists face when their work questions government policies.

Steve Kurtz will be in attendance for this benefit event, which is co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI.

"Single-Shot Cinema" workshop 1 PM Sun 4/6 screening 7 PM Sun 4/6

Instructor: Leonard Retel Helmrich

The "single-shot cinema" theory is a method to carefully compare film
history with the history of other forms of art, like painting, sculpture,
architecture, music and poetry, "to get this close to the skin of the

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI.

Leonard Retel Helmrich talk/screening 7 PM Sun 4/6

Leonard Retel Helmrich is an internationally award-winning Indonesian filmmaker. His work includes the short fiction film "DE DRENKELING" ("THE DROWNING MAN"), the feature-length film "THE PHOENIX MYSTERY," and the multiple award-winning documentary "MOVINF OBJECTS" (1991). He shot several short documentaries before, during and after Suharto stepped down as president of Indonesia. With his feature documentary "THE EYE OF THE DAY," he instantly became famous in the documentary film world and won many
international awards. "SHAPE OF THE MOON," a follow-up to "THE EYE OF THE DAY," was selected for many important festivals including the top documentary award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Departyment at RPI.

African Film Festival 7 PM Tue 4/8

Raquel Cepeda, Sierra Leone/USA, 2007, 90min.
(English and Krio with English subtitles)

"Bling: A Planet Rock" is a feature documentary that takes a hard-hitting look at how "blinging" in the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone. This film takes U.S. hip-hop celebrities Paul Wall, Latin hip-hop artist Tego Calderon, and Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan on a journey to Sierra Leone’s diamond mining communities, introducing them to former child soldiers, refugees and local hip-hop artists.


Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe, 2005, 30min.

After living a high profile life as a model and wife to the then coach of the Zimbabwe national football team, Tendayi Westerhof stunned the nation by becoming the first high profile person to go public about her HIV positive status in 2002. Her enemies increased, some going to the extent of calling her disclosure a publicity gimmick. This beautiful woman has gone on to become a public figure in a very different way, as an elegant and glamorous AIDS activist in the world of modeling and the public media.
Pamela Kanjenzana lives a very different life with her HIV infection in one of Zimbabwe’s high density suburbs. Nevertheless she also manages to survive by living positively. Two remarkable examples of how living with the virus has changed.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Electronic Film & Media program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

African Film Festival 7 PM Wed 4/9

Cheick Fantamady Camara, Guinea, 2007, 113min.

At the age of twenty-five, the artist-caricaturist BB finds himself faced with an impossible choice. Son of Karamo, the inflexible imam (who is also the guardian of his village’s ancestral traditions), BB is chosen to be his father’s worthy successor. But he refuses to accept his destiny, preferring to fight to exert his trade freely and to live his love for the beautiful young computer scientist, Kesso, to the full. At the risk of provoking his father’s wrath …


Seke Somolu, Nigeria, 2006, 26min.

The power of food to transform, rescue and wreak revenge is eloquently demonstrated in this Nigerian film. A single woman, who makes and sells street food, is struggling to bring up her family. Rent and school fees are months in arrears, and her young son desperately needs kidney treatment.

Just when it seems things can get no worse, a gang of armed youths break in to the house. They demand food and threaten to kill the family if the meal is not tasty. The food is delicious, and the gang, mollified, leaves. They return regularly, giving the family money and household items in return for the woman’s delicious cooking.

But when a robbery goes wrong, they kill the young boy’s kidney specialist, and the cosy relationship gives way to a dangerous atmosphere. The mother decides that the gang must go, and prepares a meal to send them on their way.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Electronic Film & Media program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

Editing Basics workshop (pt. 2) 7 PM Thu 4/10

See above.

African Film Festival 7 PM Tue 4/15

Balufa Bakupu-Kanyinda, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2007, 97min.

Kongo lives in Brussels, in the Matonge district on which he is writing a book. His editor wants a kind of traveler’s book spiced with ethnic ingredients. However, the writer is inspired by the vision of complex and tormented souls that he meets at all crossings. Kongo Congo follows invisible ways connected to the Congolese history and its ghosts. How is it possible to stand upright in this chaotic history? By having the “juju,” self confidence, and Beatrice’s love.


Daniel Taye Workou, Ethiopia, 2006, 21min.

A lot can happen in the Ethiopian countryside on the long way to the market. A father and his son follow everybody’s good advice… and come back to their senses. Adapted from a traditional Ethiopian folk tale, Menged is very much a parable for Ethiopia today: A country in transition between modernism and traditional belief.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Electronic Film & Media program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

African Film Festival 7 PM Wed 4/16

Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Cameroon, 2005, 92min.

After an eight-year absence, maverick director Jean-Pierre Bekolo ("Quartier Mozart," "Aristotle’s Plot") returns with his magnum opus, "Les Saignantes," a superbly photographed, stylishly edited, and tastefully scored film about two young femmes fatales who set out to rid a futuristic country of its corrupt and sex obsessed powerful men. In this sci-fi-action-horror hybrid, Majolie and Chouchou, exquisitely played by Adèle Ado and Dorylia Calmel, navigate a sordid world where sex, money, politics and death are perniciously imbricated. Young, attractive, fashionable and lethal, they are on a mission to change the destiny of their country. Reveling in its display of excess, committed to aesthetics of cool, "Les Saignantes" is one of the first science fiction films to come out of Africa.


Teboho Malatshi, South Africa/Lesotho, 2006, 19min.

A haunting tale spiced with magical realism, "Meokgo & the Stick Fighter" is the story of Kgotso, a recluse stick fighter who lives a solitary life high up in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. Whilst tending sheep and playing his concertina, he sees a beautiful and mysterious woman staring at him dreamily from the water. This story of unrequited love and sacrifice captures both the cruelty and the beauty of African magical beliefs.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, with support from the Electronic Film & Media program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

Fay Victor Ensemble performance 8 PM Sat 4/26

Fay Victor is the rare singer who can instill silence and focused attention into an audience, as well as command infectious joy and occasionally raucous energy whenever she performs. Her new release Cartwheels through the Cosmos is easily the most consummate outing of her career, bringing everything together in one concise package: the vocal jazz tradition as a basis for improvising in the sense of Ornette Coleman/late Coltrane and beyond, held in check by a healthy earthy soulfulness expressed through a focused set of originals that offer taut construction and witty lyrics.

Victor’s approach to jazz is unique among today’s vocalists. She instructs her musicians to free themselves from the self-imposed shackles commonly associated with working with singers. Right now, the Fay Victor Ensemble might rage like a storm, or make you hear a pin drop. Fay sounds like a Cassandra Wilson with great communicative powers, in charge of a full-tilt band, resulting in something that Betty Carter might have done, had she grown up in the seventies.

Fay Victor (vocals), Anders Nilsson (guitar), Ken Filiano (bass), Michael “TA” Thompson (drums).

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, made possible in part by the NYS Music Fund and the Performance program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

Blogs, Vlogs & Other Web 2.0 Adventures workshop (pt. 1) 7 PM Thu 5/1

Instructor: Andrew Lynn

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about an array of free resources available for getting media out to the world. We will discuss and demonstrate techniques for compression, syndication, promotion and offer the resources to learn more. Each participant will have a chance to create his/her own blog. Have your own laptop? Bring it! Participants from previous workshops who have produced short videos will post them online.

Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, made possible in part by the Electronic Media & Film program of the NYS Council on the Arts.

Madeleine Kunin 7 PM Fri 5/2

Former three-term Vermont Governor and Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine Kunin asks: What will it take for women to assume their rightful places in the political corridors of power? What difference do women make? What is the worst part of politics, and what is the best part? What inspires women to run, and how do they prepare themselves for public life? How do they raise money, protect their families’ privacy, deal with criticism and attack ads, and work with the good old boys? Her new book is "Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead."

Kunin teaches history and women’s studies the University of Vermont and serves as president of the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a nongovernmental organization that she founded.

Blogs, Vlogs & Other Web 2.0 Adventures workshop 7 PM Thu 5/8

See above.

Trio Tarana performance 8 PM Sat 5/17

Utilizing Indian rhythms as the foundation for a new creative musical experience, Momin’s compositions find that ground where fiery solos, sonic explorations and exciting group interactions occur. The powerful and harmonically rich voice of Sam Bardfeld, one of the most diverse, creative and accomplished violinists on the scene, along with Brandon Terzic’s deep and melodic oud, round out the trio, and thus enable the creation of a modern music that is respectful of tradition, yet constantly searching to re-invent itself. Their new recording "Miren (A Longing)" was recently released on Cleenfeed records.

Sam Bardfeld (violin), Ravish Momin (drums, percussion, tabla), Brandon Terzic (oud, saz)

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, made possible in part by the NYS Music Fund and the Performance program at the NYS Council on the Arts.

Termite TV Collective talk/screening 7 PM Fri 5/30

Founded in 1992, Termite TV is a video collective with members based in
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Buffalo. The mission of the Termite TV
Collective is to create experimental and activist media that challenges the status quo and provides an alternative to corporate media.

To date Termite TV has produced more than 40 programs which have been broadcast nationally on television and screened at festivals and museums worldwide.

They will be screening a number of short pieces, including THE WAR SHOW (2003), TERROR (2005) and DEMOCRACY (2006).

Venezuela Rising screening w/ Jennifer Wager 8 PM Sat 5/31

This documentary follows grandmother and community organizer Gladys Bolivar and her compatriots five days before it is to be decided by popular referendum whether Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will continue in office or step down. The entire nation has been mobilized – will it be SI – yes he will be recalled, or NO – he will remain in office. Most in Venezuela feel that no less than the entire future of their country is at stake.

Issues of democracy and politics are addressed–what constitutes a free and fair election–and is that enough to ensure citizen participation? How are elections the ultimate measure of a thriving democracy?

"Venezuela Rising" gets behind the headlines and into the neighborhoods of Caracas to find out how participatory democracy works on the ground.

Jennifer Wager is a NYC media educator and director of the film. She has created several online experimental education projects, including the Smithsonian-award winning W.E.B. Du Bois Virtual University. Ms. Wager holds a M.A. in African Studies from Ohio State University and a M.A. in Communication and Technology from Georgetown University.

Digital Storytelling workshop 1 PM Sun 6/1

Instructor: Jennifer Wager

Everyone has a story to tell! The goal of the workshop is to design and produce a 3-5 minute digital story. Students craft and record first-person narratives, collect still images and music with which to illustrate their pieces, and are guided through computer tutorials which enable them, with teacher support, to edit their own stories. Youth and adults welcome.

Produced by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, made possible in part by the Electronic Media & Film program of the NYS Council on the Arts.

Edward "Kidd" Jordan performance 8 PM Sat 6/7

Veteran New Orleans saxophonist Edward ‘Kidd’ Jordan is probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world. The list of bands and artists Jordan has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program, from Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin and the Supremes. And the list of jazz musicians he has performed with is even longer, from Ed Blackwell and Ellis Marsalis to Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley and Cecil Taylor. Fortunately, this fact has not been lost on his appreciative European audiences, as Jordan was recognized by the French government with a knighthood for his contribution to the performing arts.

In addition to his live performances, Kidd Jordan has long been associated with music education due to his position at Southern University at New Orleans, his work with children, documented by 60 Minutes, and his educational programs in Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali.

Kidd Jordan (saxophone), others TBA..

Co-sponsored by the Arts Department at RPI, made possible in part by the NYS Music Fund.