These special programs offer audiences a forum for dynamic conversations about festival themes, close looks at unique collaborations, and opportunities to engage with artists and scholars.

Northwest Coast: Past Forward

Saturday, October 25 | 2:00 pm | Linder Theater | Buy Tickets

The American Museum of Natural History’s iconic Hall of Northwest Coast Indians, which opened in 1900, is the oldest of all the Museum’s exhibition halls. It showcases the work of the legendary father of American anthropology, Franz Boas, and features a wide variety of collections representing the diversity of the Northwest Coast, including coastal Washington State, British Columbia, and southeast Alaska.  At this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, we look back at the history of portraying Northwest Coast cultures on film and in exhibitions, while also recognizing how contemporary Northwest Coast communities are representing themselves. Following Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson’s moving film on these transformations, How a People Live, cultural leaders from that region will host a conversation on the critical issues facing various Northwest Coast communities, past, present, and future. 

Culture Labs: Collaborations with Makers, Scholars, and Communities

Saturday, October 25 | 4 pm | Wallach Orientation Center | Free with a 2014 Mead Ticket

It is in the DNA of visual anthropology and cultural storytelling to embrace innovation. The ways in which we look and tell, and the evolution of new methods sometimes say as much about the lives they document as the documentation itself. This year, festival participants will discuss their creative collaborations with diverse communities—from cellphone films in Indigenous Australia to the reworking of archival footage from the Amazon to small town efforts to run their own funerals—exploring the possibilities of a range of interactive media practices and research methods. 

The program is introduced and moderated by Dr. Faye Ginsburg, New York University, Center for Media, Culture and History

Robert Gardner Tribute

Sunday, October 26 | 12:30 pm | Program F28 | People Center | Buy Tickets

In honor of preeminent filmmaker Robert Gardner, who died on June 21, 2014, this year’s retrospective screening will feature Gardner’s iconic ethnographic film Dead Birds (1964, 85 min). Made 50 years ago, it focuses on the Dani people of the Grand Valley of the Baliem in the mountains of West Papua, and their elaborate system of ritual warfare and revenge.  The program will also screen the New York premiere of Gardner’s last film, Dead Birds Re-encountered (2013, 46 min), chronicling his 1989 return to revisit the Dani he had met decades earlier and to share the film he had made about them.