Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-9-2016

Embargo Period


Event Date

June 9, 2016; June 10, 2016; June 11, 2016; June 12, 2016


MDOCS, Documentary, Storytelling, Event, Storytellers', Festosium, Screening, Virtual Realities


A gathering that combines the best elements of a festival to showcase and a symposium to bring together a small group of scholars and artists to engage with intellectual and creative work.

MDOCS’ inaugural festosium will be held June 10-12, 2016, with filmmakers, audio creators, visual artists, and virtual reality designers presenting recent documentary work that interrogates the division between fact and fiction, truth and reality.

All events are hosted at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum on the Skidmore College campus. Everything is free and open to the public.

Thursday June 9

8p: Opening Screening & Discussion: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (91 min) by Maxim Pozdorovkin & Mike Lerner

Friday June 10

1:00 p: Welcoming Remarks with Director Jordana Dym

1:30 p : Sneak Peek Screening: Documentary Shorts (90 min)

  • Monsoon-Reflections/Untitled (23 min) by Stephanie Spray
  • El Palacio (30 min) by Nicolas Pereda
  • The Truth about Killer Robots (13 min excerpt) by Maxim Pozdorovkin
  • La Bobera (3 min trailer) by Jeff Silva & Luis Arnias

3:00 p: Institute Fellows Welcome

3:30 p: Festosium Presenters’ Panel: A preview and opening framework for the program

4:45 p: Screening & Discussion: Manakamana (118 min) by Stephanie Spray

7p: Reception and Gallery Opening with Evian Pan '17

8p: Listening event: The Truth that Fiction Can (and Cannot) Reveal

Ann Heppermann and Martin Johnson, founders of The Sarah Awards and hosts of the Serendipity podcast, will present audio works and lead a discussion about how in this Second Golden Age of Radio, fictional works have been used to articulate truths that have primarily been the purview of documentary.

Saturday June 11

10a: Engagement with Borrowed Light exhibit: Doc photography talk led by Sarah Miller and Sarah Sweeney

11a: Panel Discussion: Virtual Realities

Marc Beaudet, founder and director of and Loïc Suty, director of the design team on The Unknown Photographer discuss the creation of research-based virtual realities. Their latest work, their latest work The Unknown Photographer began with a WWI photo album that inspired a documentary film and 20-min virtual reality experience.

2p: Audio Presentation & Discussion: The Evolution of Movies in Our Heads

Ann Heppermann will lead Kaitlin Prest in a discussion about the evolution of her award-winning audio piece Movies in Your Head. The piece is the story about a woman who falls fast in love and begins to imagine the future she will have with her new girlfriend. When things fall apart, she then questions whether every kiss, utterance and conversation was real or imagined. The piece started off as a documentary—more than 20 people were interviewed and a rough documentary was cut. But for Prest, the rough documentary felt less true than the story she felt she could tell in fiction.

4p: Panel Discussion: Crossing Borders: Exploring the Chimeric Paradox of the Real in Documentary Film with Nicolas Pereda, Maxim Pozdorovkin, Jeff Silva and Stephanie Spray

6p: Reception

7p: Screening & Discussion: Summer of Goliath (78 min) by Nicolas Pereda

Sunday June 12

11-1p: Roundtable: Teaching with Documentary

2p: Sneak Preview Screening: Lee & Opal

Description: Deep in Kentucky coal country, Lee & Opal Sexton continue to farm their land along Linefork Creek. Well into his eighties, Lee is a retired coal miner and revered banjo legend, a living link to the deep past of American music. Though hampered by hearing loss, Lee continues to perform at square dances and teach his distinctive style to a new generation eager to preserve a vanishing cultural tradition. Filmed over three years, “Lee & Opal" offers an immersive view of it’s subjects daily rituals and their inherent resiliency, while documenting the raw yet delicate music of a singular musician, linked to the past yet immediately present.