These special programs offer audiences a forum for dynamic conversations about the festival theme, close looks at unique collaborations, and opportunities to engage with artists and scholars.
Exhibiting Culture: The New Lens of Virtual Reality
Saturday, October 15 | 8 pm, viewing begins at 7 | Program F1
Free with any Mead Festival ticket
Nomads offers viewers intimate experiences with nomadic and seminomadic peoples through the emerging media platform of virtual reality (VR). Nomads can be seen as part of a longer history of cultural exhibition through previous “new” media forms, each of which helped enable the public’s exposure to our world’s communities: from nineteenth-century live displays, museum dioramas, or early cinematic portraits to TV and internet today. Our discussion explores VR’s place on this continuum and addresses the ways in which Nomads moves beyond "anthropology safari" or “touristic voyeurism” to connect viewers with our human community.
Viewing of Nomads will be available beginning at 7pm.
Moderator: Alison Griffiths, Department of Communication Studies, Baruch College. Author, Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View
Pegi Vail (Anthropology Consultant, Nomads series and Nomads APP co-writer)
Serah Shani (Anthropology Advisor, Nomads: Maasai)
Samsung Gear VR Headsets provided courtesy of Samsung Electronics America.
Focus on Funding
Saturday, October 15 | 3 pm
Free with any Mead ticket or Festival Pass
Three well-respected documentary funders, who represent different perspectives in the film industry, come together to share their insights on fundraising for filmmakers.
Wendy Ettinger, Co-founder, Chicken & Egg Pictures
Dr. Leslie C. Aiello, President, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Mike Raisler, Creative Director, Cinereach
Archival Film: A Wife Among Wives
David MacDougall and Judith MacDougall
1981 | 72 min
Country of Production: Australia
Country Featured: Kenya
Sunday, October 16 | Noon | Program F2
Recently digitally remastered in Turkana with English subtitles, this beautiful and influential third film in renowned filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall’s celebrated Turkana Conversations Trilogy was made over 14 months with seminomadic camel herders in 1970s Kenya. Through reflexive, thoughtful, and witty exchanges as they go about their daily lives, women make clear why they might want their husband to take an additional wife, turning questions about polygyny back on the filmmakers, all against the backdrop of a pending wedding.
Co-presented by the New York University Center for Media, Culture and History
Re:Frame, My Perspective
“We all make films within a frame—which is to say, a frame of mind, the frame of our interests, and the questions at the back of our minds. In selecting what to film we put a frame around reality. But the point isn't to demonstrate what you already know. It's to follow where this process leads you, to explore what you find, and make an analysis with the camera. If you already know what will be in your film, what's the point of making it?”
—David MacDougall | Director, A Wife Among Wives
Bali 1928: Gender, Cross-dressing, and Androgyny in Archival Balinese Film
Sunday, October 16 | 2:30 pm | Executive Dining Room, 2nd Floor
Standby Space Available
Join anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst for an afternoon of rare film footage and unearthed music from early 20th century Balinese dance-drama. Herbst’s archives project Bali 1928 explores the conversation on gender and the fluidity of "femininities" and "masculinities"—an abiding interest of Margaret Mead's work. Through the lens of extraordinary film footage from the 1930s, we see gender-bending in performance roles—males performing as females, females as males, and androgynous performers. Learn how Herbst and his research team visited the families of singers, dancers, and musicians featured in the archive to gain insight into their remarkable lives. A Q&A will follow the conversation.