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The 2017 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar took place from June 17-23 at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Since 2009, LEF New England has supported an annual fellowship program for four New England-based artists working in non-fiction film/video to attend the seminar. This year's LEF New England Fellows included Sarah Bliss, Allison Cekala, Madsen Minax, and Darian Stansbury.

This week, we share some notes and images from Allison Cekala's experience at the Seminar:

Allison writes:

It is hard for me to try to synthesize my experience this past week at the Flaherty Seminar. It felt like entering an otherworldly, never-ending, immersive world of documentary film, film criticism, and non-stop discussion. It was exhausting and intense, but I have come away with new friendships, connections, and a deeper understanding of cinema.

As one of the 35 fellows this year, I arrived a day before the rest of the participants. We were able to get to know each other, and each others’ work as well as attend a master class by Trihn T. Mihn Ha, a highlight for me. When the rest of the participants arrived we became part of a 175-member community of makers, critics, academics, and film enthusiasts from 22 different countries; a community committed and devoted to not only talking about film, but larger the implications of cinema and documentary, questioning representation, authenticity, performativity, truth, class, race, aesthetics, and a myriad of other concerns both about the world at large and the medium of filmmaking... (continued)

New England