Film series: Guest Filmmakers

Student working on film projector

image from Joshua Bonnetta’s film THE TWO SIGHTS (AN DÀ SHEALLADH)

image from Joshua Bonnetta’s film THE TWO SIGHTS (AN DÀ SHEALLADH)

Over Cornell Cinema’s 50+ year history, hundreds of filmmakers have visited to present their work and enrich the viewing experience for patrons, but the pandemic made that impossible last year. Thanks to the magic of Zoom, though, we still managed to engage several filmmakers in discussion about their work after it was made available via our virtual screening program.

This Spring we’ll offer a mix of both in-person and virtual filmmaker presentations, with the Zoom discussions projected on the big screen. Two programs feature in-person visits by local filmmakers with international reputations, Ithaca College professors & artists, Josh Bonnetta and Cathy Lee Crane.

Bonnetta will present The Two Sights (An Dà Shealladh) which explores the disappearing tradition of second sight in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The film connects locals’ accounts of supernatural phenomena with striking 16mm images and a carefully curated sonic montage of the physical and aural environment, creating an ethnographic marvel.

Crane will be joined by filmmaker and Cornell alum Jason Livingston ’94 for (X)-trACTION, a collaborative of four+ media artists whose work examines the technical and common use of the term “extraction” but also investigates their positions as artists grappling with making art in ways that extract images, ideas, and stories from their subjects, both human and geographical.

Artist, filmmaker and educator Jessica Bardsley has just joined the Dept of Performing & Media Arts to teach film studies. We’ll welcome her with a program of her short films on March 23.

We'll do a live Zoom Q & A with filmmaker Shatara Michelle Ford on March 9 following a screening of their acclaimed debut feature, Test Pattern, which follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after the woman is sexually assaulted. The film has been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead (Brittany S. Hall).

Ethiopian-Mexican filmmaker Jessica Beshir’s documentary Faya Dayi is one of fifteen films shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and Beshir will join us for a pre-recorded Q & A that will be projected after the screening of the film on March 16. The immersive, dreamlike film explores the lives of people affected by khat, a stimulant leaf that is also Ethiopia’s most lucrative cash crop.

Related films

image from the film Faya Dayi

Faya Dayi


image from the film The Two Sights

The Two Sights


image from the film (X)-trACTION



image from the film Rocks, Stars, and Other Feelings

Rocks, Stars, and Other Feelings


image from the film Test Pattern

Test Pattern


image from the film A Shape of Things to Come

A Shape of Things to Come