The Experimental Cinema Group at CU Boulder was ushered in by Carla Selby and Gladney Oakley and was later carried forward by Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage. It is now called First Person Cinema and the curator is Don Yannacito. This program was started in 1955 with the intention of bringing an awareness of the personal cinema to Boulder, and has become a highly respected international showcase for the makers of personal film. It is the longest running program in the world screening avant-garde film and video work.

Most screenings are Mondays at 7:00pm in the Visual Arts Complex Auditorium 1B20 / Admission is free.

Student Award Showcase

Student Award Showcase

Monday, February 3, 2020
7:00 PM

Winners of The Grillo Awards

Made possible with funds from the Arts and Cultural Enrichment Fee. Free admission. The Grillo awards are designed to encourage excellence in filmmaking and help defray some of the expenses required to pursue a degree in film production. A total of up to $17,000 of Grillo funds is distributed each year to four tiers of production students. Final recipients and individual award amounts will be determined each semester by in-class student votes and a panel of judges made up of CU Film Studies faculty and outside professionals. A selection of award-winning films will be shown one night only. The Grillo Awards are drawn from a University of Colorado Foundation fund set up in the early 1990s by Virgil Grillo (1938-1994), the founder and former Director of the CU Film Studies Program, whose dedication and vision helped shepherd Film Studies from its modest beginnings in the 1970s to an undergraduate program with some 600 students.

Sarah Christman

Sarah Christman

Monday, February 17, 2020
7:00 PM

Sarah Christman makes non-fiction films that explore the intersections between people, technology and the natural world. Christman’s work has screened widely, including the MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Filmforum. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her film “Dear Bill Gates,” and Jury Awards from the Ann Arbor Film Festival for “Gowanus Canal” and “As Above, So Below.” She is an Associate Professor in the Film Department at Brooklyn College/CUNY. “Swarm Season” is her first feature length film.

The 16th Brakhage Center Symposium

The 16th Brakhage Center Symposium

Saturday, March 14, 2020
March 14 and 15

Uncertain Voyages, Unstable Terrains

The 16th Brakhage Center Symposium will focus on the interface between travel and space, real and imaginary geographies, dislocation andidentity. It will examine the complex circulation of bodies within the ever-shifting political and cultural spaces of contemporary life and the reformulation of concepts such as centers and margins, land and territory, home and homelessness. There will be presentations and screenings on March 14 by Ben Russell, Ephraim Asili, and Shambhavi Kaul (whose installation, Modes of Faltering, will be on view in the Black Box), followed by two programs on March 15 devoted to Latin American avant-garde cinema, curated by Jesse Lerner. Venue: ATLAS 100. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please go to

Peter Burr

Peter Burr

Monday, April 13, 2020
7:00 PM

Peter Burr (b. 1980) is an artist from Brooklyn, NY. A master of computer animation with a gift for creating images and environments that hover on the boundary between abstraction and figuration, Burr has in recent years devoted himself to exploring the concept of an endlessly mutating labyrinth. His practice often engages with tools of the video game industry in the form of immersive cinematic artworks. These pieces have been presented internationally by various institutions including Documenta 14, Athens; MoMA PS1, New York; and The Barbican Centre, London. Previously Burr worked under the alias Hooliganship and founded the video label Cartune Xprez through which he produced hundreds of live multimedia exhibitions and touring programs showcasing a multi-generational group of artists at the forefront of experimental animation. His practice has been recognized through grants and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), a Creative Capital Grant (2016), and a Sundance New Frontier Fellowship (2016). He is currently a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alone with the Moon

Burr creates a slow, liminal illusion in black-and-white, switching perspectives and matrices and crescendoing in time with Christopher Doulgeris’s portentously pulsating soundtrack.

2012, 13 min, digital

Special Effect

Channeling Tarkovsky’s STALKER, this film’s fractured and spiraling narrative is traversed through a hypnotizing blend of live action and various digital animation styles.

2014, 22 min, digital

Green | Red

Burr conjures a shape-shifting world where the sidewalks are endless, the radio is playing electric, and the night sky is broken open by a cataclysm of shuddering stars.

2014, 10.5 min, digital

The Mess

This film follows the perspective of a solitary woman who descends into an abandoned subterranean ‘arcology.’ She is tasked with cleaning up the mess that has spawned from this feral structure, becoming lost in the process.

2016, 14 min, digital

Pattern Language

Architect Christopher Alexander’s design theories are applied towards a generative video game labyrinth, resulting in this rhythmic animation made of rippling, skipping, and strobing arrays of light infused with programmatic digital pixelation.

2017, 10.5 min, digital

Grad Student Showcase

Grad Student Showcase

Monday, April 27, 2020
7:00 PM

Laura Conway is a filmmaker based in Denver. Her films are performative and experimental in nature, exploring the pull between systems of power, and human sensuality. Populated by friends and influences from within her immediate community, Laura’s film responds to life in late capitalism with absurdity and humor. Film : The Length of Day (2020). A science-fiction documentary that re-investigates the contents of a long forgotten archive.

McKenzie Blake is a filmmaker whose work revolves around personal memory, narratives and found footage. She works with digital and analog formats as well as experimenting with the process of animation.

Jona Gerlach is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist whose work explores history, memory, and place. He works in film, video, and installation to explore the relationship between landscape, people, and systems of power in the Western United States

Kate E. Hinshaw is a filmmaker who shoots and destroys 16mm and super 8mm film through bleaching scratching and burning the emulsion. Through the tactile disruption of moving image, her work grapples with internal conflicts of memory and nostalgia. She also works as a cinematographer with film and digital cameras alike and runs the film publication Analog Cookbook.

Emily Van Loan is an experimental filmmaker and artist. She creates diaristic, autobiographical works with the intention of fostering connections between audience and maker, or perhaps within an audience.