Monday, September 25, 2006


Ann Alter

Controversy and personal vision have been used to define the work of independent filmmaker Ann Alter. With five award-winning titles to her credit, Alter’s film, Team Red (16mm, 14-minutes, 2000) had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, won a Silver Medal at the Brno 16 International Film Festival (Czech Republic), was awarded a Special Mention at the Siena International Short Film Festival (Italy) and a Certificate of Merit at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Team Red explores the difficult question: can murder be moral? The film has screened in 11 countries and is broadcasted on SBS Television Network of Australia twice annually.

Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival was Alter’s No Need to Repent (16mm, 27-minutes, 1989). A documentary portrait about an openly lesbian Protestant minister, the film won a Silver Apple Award at the National Educational Film Festival and a Short Documentary Award at the Athens International Film Festival. The film screened in seven countries and in film festivals through the US.

The New York Museum of Modern Art Film Collection has a copy of what many consider to be a shocking film – see dick run (16mm, 14-minutes, 1987). A short nontraditional narrative, this political satire pokes fun at film and television's fondness for fragmenting women's bodies. Through a claustrophobic visual and aural style, see dick run portrays a unique view of masculinity. In addition to screening at festivals across the country, the film has received Honorable Mentions from the Sinking Creek Film Festival, the Oswego International Film Festival and the San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival.

Alter's timely account of a water crisis in rural America, Ten Miles to Fetch Water: A Crisis in the West Virginia Coalfield (3/4" video, 28-minutes, 1989) has been broadcast by public television in West Virginia and Ohio. The documentary received an Honorable Mention at the Sinking Creek Film Festival and was presented in Germany at the Okomedia International Ecological Film Festival.

In addition to her independent work, Alter works collaboratively with university students. In the documentary, Dispensing Cannabis: The California Story (DV, 57-minutes, 2006), voices from inside discuss the practices and issues involved in distributing medical cannabis. Shifting the Paradigm: From Control to Respect (16mm, 41-minutes, 1999) documents the battered women’s movement on the cusp of change as women and men discuss what it will take for us to reach the ultimate goal of zero tolerance for domestic violence. Air Fare (16mm, 22-minutes, 1995), a short documentary exploring the people behind the voices of a unique California public radio station, received a Bronze Apple Award at the National Educational Media Network Film Competition.

Alter has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film from Ohio University. In 1986 she started her own production company, Asymmetry Productions. Alter is a Film Professor and Head of the Cinema Program at Humboldt State University in Northern California.

For further information on Dispensing Cannabis: The California Story, including information on obtaining DVD copies, contact Ann Alter at 707.826.5495.


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