Film & Video

Alumni Spotlight, Academy Award Edition: Jing Niu (MFA | EDA ’14)

Niu is a film and music video director based in Los Angeles. Her work addresses motifs of freedom, mythology and the Asian diaspora in the United States. She worked as an assistant editor and post-production coordinator on A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. Duke Arts and Forever Duke recently caught up with Niu to learn about her work. Read our Q&A below!

Two films by New Day Films founders added to the National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced the annual selection of 25 influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Of the 25, two films by New Day Films founding members were inducted this year. Betty Tells Her Story, by Liane Brandon, and Union Maids, by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein.

Taoyuan Jin, MFA EDA ’22: “sequence”

Taoyuan Jin’s thesis sequence is a short film about being in transit and moving through the illegible American landscapes. Integrating sources from the digital and natural worlds, the film is an account of fragmented memories, momentary spectacles, and the personal journeys of a directionless traveler and narrator.

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Shirin Maleki, MFA EDA ’22: “30/900”

Shirin Maleki's thesis 30/900 is a video installation exploring concepts such as separation, language attrition, memory, reflections on the past and present. The videos read the fragmented experience of an immigrant going through temporary residencies in a forever-liminal otherness between departure and a promised arrival.

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Social Video Art

This program brings together works by Pedro Lasch that are as varied as their settings. Projected in large scale at museums and galleries, all works have been meticulously co-edited with Michael Blair to become video art in its own terms—as opposed to simply documenting Lasch’s social and site-specific art.

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Anya Dombrovskaya ’21: Usya

“Usya” is a short film project centering on my great-grandmother’s reflections on home and motherhood as she remembers fleeing her native city in the south of Russia and having children in the wake of the Second World War.

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Moriah LeFebvre MFA EDA ‘21: “by & by”

Alexa Dilworth interviews Moriah LeFebvre, MFA EDA '21, about her use of drawing and animation to tell highly personal stories, including those in her thesis film, by & by and Works in Rough Going: Recovery Community and Communication During the Pandemic, currently on view in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery and online.

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Jade Chuyu Xiong MFA EDA ‘21: “Mutual Players”

Jade Chuyu Xiong’s film “Mutual Players” juxtaposes movie clips from early English films that feature actors of Chinese descent in Chinese roles. By reediting the original footage, Xiong aims to craft a new narrative that challenges the stereotypical ways in which Asian and Asian American actors are portrayed in Western cinema.

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Bree von Bradsky MFA EDA ‘21: “Lavender Vista”

Bree von Bradsky's “Lavender Vista” is a short experimental film that depicts the disorientating effects of coming out. Through the style of collage, the film weaves together archival home movies, educational films, and commercials to create a landscape that spans from the suburban USA to the celestial.

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Yang Xu MFA EDA ‘21: “Outset”

Yang Xu’s exhibit “Outset” explores her feelings about and understanding of the college entrance examination, which is taken by tens of millions of Chinese students each June. The exam is not only the starting point for students to realize their dreams, but also a battle that requires all-out efforts.

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MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts Class of 2021

We showcase the work of this year’s graduating cohort in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program in this special series of interviews. Fellow artists, MFA EDA alumni, faculty, and mentors interviewed each graduating student about their thesis exhibitions, which are on view at Duke, in Durham, and online May 7 through June 5.

Katelyn Auger MFA EDA ‘21: “Paradise in the Pines”

Katelyn Auger's thesis film “Paradise in the Pines” is the culmination of two years exploring complicated feelings around family, environment, and memory. Auger shares how she reappropriated home movies alongside 16mm footage to create a meditation on forgiveness and understanding.

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Sarah Derris ‘21: false chronology

"false chronology" is an extension of my film by the same name. It is an exploration of the lingering French colonial consciousness in Algeria and the fading traditions of the Algerian Amazigh people, specifically the custom of facial tattoos.

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Daniel Kim ‘21: “The Hollywood Asian” Screenplay

My project is a screenplay that follows Philip Ahn, the first Korean-American movie star, as he rises to stardom while pandering to Hollywood discrimination. This year, I will continue to refine the project through the Studio Duke program in conjunction with UTA literary partner Julien Thuan.

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William Tyler
Corduroy Roads

William Tyler Corduroy Roads DUKE PERFORMANCES PREMIERE: THU, NOV 20 – SUN, NOV 23, 2014 For its 2014/2015 season, Duke Performances commissioned guitar virtuoso William Tyler — who occupies the ...

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Mao Wei MFA EDA ’20: Manual City

Inspired by Plato and the concept of media gatekeepers, Mao Wei’s installation is a fairy tale of projections that prompt the viewer to reconsider reality. With spring thesis presentations postponed, Duke Arts honors the MFA EDA Class of 2020 with interviews that dig into the projects and their makers.

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Lauren Henschel MFA EDA ’20: “Fibers of Being”

Lauren Henschel was finishing her thesis exhibition—a complex, multi-layered installation that speaks to mortality—just as the whole world was confronted by its theme: how our bodies fail us. With spring thesis presentations postponed, Duke Arts honors the MFA EDA Class of 2020 with interviews that dig into the projects and their makers.

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Gabriel Guedes, ‘19: Related By Blood

I completed a 15-minute film that uses the relationships between my extended family and the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 to consider the ways ideology is passed down through the family.

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People of Duke Arts: Vonnie Quest

Vonnie Quest is an interdisciplinary documentary artist from Milwaukee, WI, whose work weaves together family history, Afro-surrealism, and speculative fiction. As Vonnie seeks to piece together details of his grandmother’s life while in residence at the Power Plant Gallery, he is also reimaging new memories and alternative futures.

Sadie Tillery, Artistic Director, Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Full Frame

Learn more about the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival from Artistic Director Sadie Tillery. Tillery shares her inside perspective on what sets this festival apart, while reflecting on the art form: "Documentary is helpful for keeping my eyes wide and trying to understand the people and world around me. Even when it is hard, it also feels essential."


A month-long installation by Duke filmmaking professor Shambhavi Kaul allows her to create a more immersive experience of her 15-minute video loop that distills the essence of "airplane space."

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