Something novel has been happening at CEU this year. Students of social anthropology, business, history, nationalism, public policy, and other disciplines have been turning into filmmakers. As part of their discipline-specific studies, students are attending new documentary filmmaking courses held in the CEU Library’s Mirabaud Media Lab.
On May 23, the CEU community and the wider Budapest public witnessed the inspiring efforts of these students at a special end-of-semester documentary film screening. Representing two winter term courses, Historical Narratives and the Moving Image, co-taught by Oksana Sarkisova and Jeremy Braverman, and Visual Anthropology and Ethnographic Filmmaking, co-taught by Vlad Naumescu and Braverman, the screening featured eleven short films examining an impressive range of subjects. The event was the second such screening, building on the success of a similar event in December by attracting an audience of nearly 200.
The filmmaking courses at CEU are innovative “for their combination of theory and practice, where instructors from the academic disciplines teach the theory, and I teach the practical filmmaking component,” explained Braverman, the CEU Library’s Media and Visual Education Specialist. “The resulting films are a testament to the vibrant learning environment here at CEU, of intellectual curiosity, rigor and excellence, and a desire to seek and speak truth.”
During the Q&A session that followed the screening, the filmmakers spoke about selecting their topics, building relationships with their protagonists, and plans for developing their films further. Several students plan to continue work on their films with the intent of entering them into film festivals and other exhibition platforms. The evening concluded with a lively reception where guests discussed the films, engaged directly with the filmmakers, and met some of the films’ protagonists. The audience’s enthusiasm for the films has helped ensure this new end-of-semester tradition at CEU will continue for years to come.