Institute News

Award-Winning Filmmaker Michael Apted to Give Keynote Address at USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Student Voices Master Class Presented by HBO

LOS ANGELES–October 5, 2011–Michael Apted, prolific British film director and former President of the Director’s Guild of America, will be speaking to the public about testimonies and documentary filmmaking at 5 p.m., Sunday, October 9, at the Ray Stark Family Theatre at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Apted’s film credits as a director include:  Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In the Mist, Nell, James Bond:  The World Is Not Enough, The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as well as the HBO drama series Rome, just to name a few. He has been lauded for his pioneering work on the UP series of documentaries.

His keynote address will culminate the first of a two-day Master Class organized by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute and generously presented by HBO.

The Master Class will present participants with an in-depth introduction to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive, which contains nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses. Several panels will explore the deep complexity of incorporating these life stories to construct novel narratives. The class will also will provide several hands-on training sessions for cinematography, audio capture, and post-production techniques. Panel discussions will include:

Speaking about Genocide: The Ethical Use of New and Traditional Media. With USC Cinema School Professors Steve Anderson, Michael Renov, and Holly Willis.

Documentary Filmmaking and Testimonies: Conscientious Juxtaposition, Association and Metaphor. With award-winning filmmakers June Beallor, Ted Braun, Mark Harris, James Moll, and Deborah Oppenheimer.

Participants in the Master Class include past and future participants of the Institute’s Student Voices Film Competition. With the support of HBO, the Institute held its inaugural competition this past year, attracting dozens of USC students from a variety of disciplines; participants produced seven short films that utilized the Visual History Archive to construct a meaningful narrative. They explored the following themes: Discrimination and Violence; Responses to Genocide; and The Role of Videotaped Eyewitness Accounts. Now in its second year, the Student Voices Film Competition offers USC undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines a unique opportunity to use testimony from the Visual History Archive to develop short films focused on genocide and human rights. Michael Apted’s lecture is free and open to the public.

"In addition to giving students the opportunity to learn the basics of documentary film production from talented professionals, the Master Class will provide training on the use of the Visual History Archive and prepare students to think critically about the ethical responsibilities involved in using genocide survivor testimony for film projects," Stephen D. Smith, USC Shoah Foundation Institute Executive Director, said. "The Institute is grateful to HBO for making this learning opportunity possible, and we are honored to have such an accomplished filmmaker as Michael Apted deliver the keynote address."