Posts tagged with : Tanya Shilina-Conte
  • Jun 8th 2016

    Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte presents at Film-Philosophy Conference in Toronto

    DMS Lecturer Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte presents her paper, “Folds to Black or White in Minor Cinema: a Deleuzian Approach” at the Film-Philosophy conference “Coming to Terms with Film-Philosophy” in Toronto, Canada, held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

    Link to the conference program:

  • Mar 31st 2016

    DMS Students and Faculty Present at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2016

    Five members of the Department of Media Study are participating in the the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, March 30-April 3, 2016.  Professors Tero Karppi, Paige Sarlin, and Tanya Shilina-Conte, and graduate students Yvette Granata and Mark Durrand are presenting research on a wide range of panels. For details and panel listings, please see the SCMS program here.

  • Dec 10th 2015

    Tanya Shilina-Conte’s project screening at Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center

    PhD candidate Tanya Shilina-Conte will screen her media project, This Video Does Not Exist: Remixing in the Digital Age, at Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center, Market Arcade, 617 Main Street, Buffalo NY, Friday, December 18, 4 p.m. 

    The screening will be accompanied by a short talk on the contemporary remix era, the emerging genre of the cinematic remix and the notions of copyright and fair use in the digital age.


  • Nov 26th 2015

    Tanya Shilina-Conte Lectures at Linköping University, Sweden



    Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte will give a guest lecture entitled “Black Screen, White Page: Convergence(s) and the Post-media Age” at the Graduate School in

    Language and Culture in Europe, Linköping University, Sweden as part of the “Agency/Poetics/Media” workshop.   

    Time: Thursday, November 26, 2015, 1:15 p.m.

    Location: KY26, Key Building, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Sweden.

    The lecture will be open to public and attended by faculty and graduate students
 at Linköping University, Sweden.

  • Oct 20th 2015

    Tanya Shilina-Conte publishes in Word & Image, Routledge

    Tanya Shilina-Conte’s essay, “Black Screen, White Page: Ontology and Genealogy of Blank Space,” has been published in a special issue on “Writing in Film” in Word & Image, A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry, Routledge.


  • Oct 1st 2015

    Tanya Shilina-Conte, DMS Lecturer and PhD candidate awarded Riverrun Liberal Arts Fellowship


    Tanya Shilina-Conte, Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Media Study, has been awarded a riverrun liberal arts fellowship to organize the Global  Screens Film Series at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Fall 2016. The Global Screens Film Series is anticipated to be an annual cultural event and will be curated by two UB faculty members, from the departments of Media Study and English, two graduate students working under their supervision and a representative of riverrun. (more…)

  • Nov 24th 2014

    Day With(out) Art screening

    Alternate Endings
    7:00pm, December 2, 2014
    112 Center for the Arts
    Free and Open to the Public

    A screening of 7 new film shorts commissioned for the 25th anniversary of Day With(out) Art. New works by My Barbarian, Rhys Ernst, Glen Fogel, Tom Kalin, Lyle Ashton Harris, Derek Jackson, and Julie Tolentino about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.


  • Sep 9th 2014

    Buffalo Humanities Festival, Migration Nation: Moving Stories

    Center for Global Media presents:

    Film Screening: Who is Dayani Cristal? (2013), directed by Marc Silver, starring Gael Garcia Bernal
    Time: Thursday, September 25th, 5:00-7:00 pm (part of the Global Media and Culture class)
    Location: Screening Room, 112 Center for the Arts, UB North Campus
    Introduction: Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, UB Department of Media Study
    Post-screening Discussion: Professor Joseph Conte, UB Department of English
    Free and open to the public

    Synopsis: August 3, 2010, Pima County, Arizona. Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert, border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt, they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who—or what—is Dayani Cristal? Marc Silver’s masterful documentary assembles the answers to these questions using beautifully realized dramatic sequences with famed actor Gael Garcia Bernal. Who Is Dayani Cristal? tells the story of one migrant who found himself in that deadly stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death” and how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration.

    ***Saturday, September 27th. “Migration Nation Short Films:”
    This ninety-minute cycle of award-winning short films, curated by Sarah JM Kolberg (Media Study MFA/Visual Studies Ph.D.), will screen four times during the festival. One of the films to be screened is “Unseen Tears” by Ron Douglas, an alumnus of our MFA program.

    For the full list of Buffalo Humanities Festival events go to:

    Buffalo Humanities Festival in the UB Reporter:

  • Apr 21st 2014

    The Missing Picture screens April 22

    The Center for Global Media, UB Asian Studies Program and Department of History present
    THE MISSING PICTURE (2013), a film by Rithy Panh

    TIME: Tuesday, April 22, 5 p.m.
    LOCATION: Screening Room, 112 Center for the Arts
    Introduction: Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study
    Post-screening Discussion: Professor Liana Vardi, Department of History

    “The missing picture: maybe it’s the images of genocide that don’t exist. Maybe they’re lost, maybe they’re buried somewhere, maybe someone hid them.” Rithy Panh

    “The Missing Picture” is the first Cambodian film nominated for the Academy Award in the foreign film category (2014). It explores the childhood memories of director Rithy Panh who spent four years living in the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia left more than 1.7 million people dead, from starvation, medical neglect, slave-like working conditions and execution. In a bold and imaginative leap, Rithy Panh’s personal story is pictured via carved clay figurines, overlaid by archival footage and narration.

    Note: The film will be screened before its official release in the United States.

    The screening will be followed by an international symposium, “THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE: Twenty Years Later,” to be held on Thursday, April 24, in 120 Clemens Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    UB Reporter:

    ArtVoice film review:



  • Mar 30th 2014

    _Abstract Visions_ screening in Edinburgh, Scotland

    Tanya Shilina-Conte‘s video _Abstract Visions_ will be screened at the Hidden Door Festival, in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 28th, 2014. It will be shown as part of the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival highlights from previous editions of the festival. The video was first screened at The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in 2011 in a program called “Elementals – Landscape of Forms.”

    Links to the event:

  • Jan 25th 2014

    Tanya Shilina-Conte awarded Humaninties Institute Fellowship

    Tanya Shilina-Conte awarded Humaninties Institute Fellowship
    Here is a description of her project.
    Black Screens, White Frames: Moving Image and Negative Mimesis
    This dissertation is the first comprehensive attempt to theorize 
    anti-mimetic strategies in cinema signaled by black and white screens as 
    irrational cuts. It scrutinizes the negative value in mimesis and 
    focalizes elements of absence and invisibility in the cinematic 
    imaginary and evidentiary. My understanding of negative mimesis stems 
    from Theodor Adorno’s observations in _Aesthetic Theory_ on the negative 
    representation of reality in modernity and considers the dialectic of 
    rejection/acceptance along with absence/presence. Rational cuts indicate 
    shifts in time and scene that do not disturb the viewer’s resignation to 
    the conventions of mimesis. However, as Gilles Deleuze contends in 
    _Cinema 2: The Time-Image_, a more radical use of black/white screens 
    serves as a deliberate strategy to evince the incommensurable in 
    artwork. This dissertation argues that if rational montage asserts the 
    visible by finding positive integral pieces of evidence and shaping them 
    into a representation, then irrational montage, by flaunting methods of 
    filmic construction such as cuts and interstices, seams and reveals, 
    ruptures and gaps, underscores the hidden and invisible. These pockets 
    of invisible evidence reveal critical issues dealing with race, 
    sexuality, gender, ethics, trauma and censorship. The consideration of 
    negative mimesis, irrational montage and invisible evidence in cinema 
    enables us to overcome a one-sided ideological reading of any given 
  • Nov 11th 2013


    College of Arts and Sciences Centennial Celebration, Juxtapositions Lecture Series, Department of English and Center for Global Media, and the Department of Media Study present:


    Thursday, November 14, 2013
    4:00 PM Center for the Arts 112
    Q&A to follow.

    Alexander Livergant is Editor-in-Chief of the Russian monthly journal Foreign Literature and Chairman of the Union of Literary Translators, Moscow, Russia. He is a professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities where he conducts workshops in literary translation and lectures on the history of foreign literature. He is an award-wining translator from English and author of articles and reviews on the history of English and American literature. Livergant has translated and published novels by Jane Austen, Jerome K. Jerome, Evelyn Waugh, Tibor Fischer, John Banville, T. Powell, Robert Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, William Trevor, Paul Auster, and Isaac Singer; long and short stories by Henry Miller, John Updike, James Thurber, Somerset Maugham, P.G. Woodhouse, and Woody Allen; essays, articles and sketches by Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, William Hazlitt, Hilaire Belloc, W.B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad, Bernard Shaw, and Graham Greene; letters by Jonathan Swift, Laurence Sterne, and John Keats; diaries by Samuel Pepys, S.T. Coleridge, Arnold Bennett, and Virginia Woolf; and travel notes by Tobias Smollett, Graham Greene, etc.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013
    5:30 PM, Center for the Arts 112

    SCREENING of _THE WOMAN WITH THE FIVE ELEPHANTS_ (1 hr 30 mins), directed by VADIM JENDREYKO, followed by a discussion led by ALEXANDER LIVERGANT.

    Vadim Jendreyko’s documentary, _The Woman with the 5 Elephants_, is a profile of Svetlana Geier, a small but formidable woman who was the preeminent translator of Dostoyevsky’s novels into German. The five elephants refer to her valedictory project, a 20-year effort to retranslate Dostoevsky’s five major novels, which she completed in 2007; she died, at 87, in 2010. Mr. Jendreyko quietly brings into focus parallels between Ms. Geier’s life and her life’s work. The escape from the horrors of occupied Kiev, Ukraine (where her best friend was among the thousands killed at Babi Yar) to a long, rewarding, peaceful career in Germany was an act of translation, with all the compromises, obfuscations and embroideries that implies.

    Introduction: Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study.

    The event is free and open to the public.
    Juxtapositions Livergant

  • Oct 10th 2013

    Documentary filmmaker Su Friedrich’s visit to UB

    Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Su Friedrich will be visiting the University at Buffalo for a screening of her work and an artist talk.

    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24th, 2013:
    Retrospective of Su Friedrich’s films, Center for the Arts Screening Room 112, @ 6-8PM. To be hosted by the Global Culture and Media class, Department of Media Study. Opening remarks by Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study and Sarah JM Kolberg, Departments of Visual Studies and Media Study.

    Films to be screened:
    Scar Tissue (1979)
    Gently Down the Stream (1981)
    But No One (1982)
    Ties That Bind (1985)
    Sink or Swim (1990)

    MONDAY, OCTOBER 28th, 2013:
    Friedrich will give a “clip talk” as part of the Visual Studies Speakers series. For each work, she will give a brief summary of the motivations, ideas, and formal concerns  involved in making the film. Center for the Arts Screening Room 112, @ 6:30 PM.

    Presented by: the Department of Visual Studies Speakers Series; The Leslie-Lohman Queer Art Lecture Series; The Department of Media Study; the Center for Global Media; the Graduate Group in Queer Studies and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

    Su Friedrich is a leading figure in American and European independent experimental film and video. Her films regularly mix things up by combining elements of narrative, avant-garde, documentary, and experimental genres, and move fluidly between the personal and the political, between autobiographical films about family and the investigation of society’s notions of sexual identity. Su Friedrich is the recipient of the Cal Arts Alpert Award in the Arts and has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and  John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as numerous grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Independent Television Service, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films and videos  have been the subject of retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Stadtkino in Vienna, the Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, the National Film Theater in London, and many others. Friedrich’s work is part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal Film Archive of Belgium, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the National Library of Australia. Her complete original film materials are being conserved at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive in Los Angeles. Friedrich’s films have won many awards, including: for The Odds of Recovery, Best Documentary at Identities Festival in Vienna; for Hide and Seek, Best Narrative Film Award at the Athens International Film Festival, Outstanding Documentary Feature at Outfest ’97 in Los Angeles, Special Jury Award at the New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and Juror’s Choice Award at the Charlotte Film Festival; for Sink or Swim, Grand Prix at the Melbourne Film Festival, the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Gold Juror’s Choice Award at the Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Special Jury Award at the Atlanta Film Festival and Best Experimental Film Award at the USA Short Film and Video Festival; for Damned If You Don’t, Best Experimental Film Award at the Athens Film Festival and Best Experimental Narrative Award at the Atlanta Film Festival; and for Cool Hands, Warm Heart, Special Merit Award at the Athens Film Festival. Friedrich also won the Peter S. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

    For more information visit Su Friedrich’s home page or wikipedia entry.

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  • May 31st 2013

    Tanya Shilina-Conte to present at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany


    Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte will present her paper, “Representing the Unrepresentable: Black Screen as Negative Event and post-9/11 Cinema,” at the International Conference Melancholia: Imaging the End of the World, held on June 5–7th, 2013 at Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.

    Conference description: We live in a world at risk. Various prophecies and clandestine calendars point to the end of the world, while serious theorists engage with the idea of scenario planning as a scientific tool for the evaluation of the future. Even the fictions of contemporary reality and social life present narratives of decay and the end of a commonly shared social reality. Despite their orientation towards the future, these catastrophic scenarios function to organize present social reality, and all are reflected in our audiovisual media. The conference Melancholia: Imaging the End of the World will present papers on a broad spectrum of issues and historical moments that engage critically with the topic of Visions of the End of the World, in film, television and digital media.

    For more info about the conference:

    philipps university

    About Phillips University:

  • Apr 28th 2013

    Tanya Shilina-Conte publishes in “Border Visions: Identity and Diaspora in Film”

    Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte’s essay, “Imaginal Border Crossings and Silence as Negative Mimesis in Elia Suleiman’s Divine Intervention, will appear as the first chapter in the volume Border Visions: Identity and Diaspora in Film (Scarecrow Press, 2013), set for a July release.

    Over the last several decades, the boundaries of languages and national and ethnic identities have been shifting, altering the notion of borders around the world. Borderland areas, such as East and West Europe, the US/Mexican frontera, and the Middle East, serve as places of cultural transfer and exchange, as well as arenas of violent conflict and segregation. As communities around the world merge across national borders, new multi-ethnic and multicultural countries have become ever more common. Border Visions: Identity and Diaspora in Film offers an overview of global cinema that addresses borders as spaces of hybridity and change. In this collection of essays, contributors examine how cinema portrays conceptions of borderlands informed by knowledge, politics, art, memory, and lived experience, and how these constructions contribute to a changing global community. These essays analyze a variety of international feature films and documentaries that focus on the lives, cultures, and politics of borderlands. The essays discuss the ways in which conflicts and their resolutions occur in borderlands and how they are portrayed on film. The volume pays special attention to contemporary Europe, where the topic of shifting border identities is one of the main driving forces in the processes of European unification. Among the filmmakers whose work is discussed in this volume are Fatih Akin, Montxo Armendàriz, Cary Fukunaga, Christoph Hochhäusler, Holger Jancke, Emir Kusturica, Laila Pakalnina, Alex Rivera, Larissa Shepitko, Andrea Staka, Elia Suleiman, and István Szabó. A significant contribution to the dialogue on global cinema, Border Visions will be of interest to students and scholars of film, but also to scholars in border studies, gender studies, sociology, and political science.

    Tanya Shilina-Conte’s chapter focuses on the depiction of two prominent instances of border transgression in the Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s film Divine Intervention (Yadon Ilaheyya, 2002). As the title of the film suggests, Divine Intervention invokes a spiritual imagination that transcends the nation-state politics in force at the border. The essay argues that in his film Suleiman supplements a literal portrayal of the divide between the Israeli and Palestinian territories with what the author describes as imaginal border crossings, drawing on the theory of the imaginal world (mundus imaginalis) by philosopher and scholar of Islamic mysticism, Henry Corbin. The chapter further demonstrates that Suleiman purposefully calls upon the attributes and aesthetics of the silent film era. As opposed to conventional narrative, Suleiman structures his film as a nonlinear series of isolated tableaux, shot with a static tripod-mounted camera. Signaling dispersed and fragmented representation, these cinematic tableaux provide an oblique commentary on disjointed Palestinian realities, while the immobile camera signifies the inability of Suleiman’s characters to negotiate their space freely and effectively. Finally, relying on Theodor Adorno’s ideas in Aesthetic Theory, the author contends that the expressive silence of Suleiman’s onscreen persona could be interpreted as a form of negative mimesis that implies an ideological resistance to dominant culture combined with an aesthetic strategy of meaningful absence.

  • Apr 28th 2013

    Tanya Shilina-Conte awarded Princeton–Weimar Summer School Fellowship

    The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies provides advanced training in the study of media and cultural techniques. Focusing on one special topic annually, it affords a select group of graduate students the opportunity to work with distinguished international scholars from all fields of media studies in an intimate and highly focused context and provides a platform for participants to engage in dialogue with other doctoral students from around the world working in similar or related fields. This year the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies will take place in Weimar, Germany, on June 15-22, 2013. In addition to the University at Buffalo, other participants include doctoral students at Princeton, Stanford, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cambridge University, and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

    The 2013 topic of the summer school, “Reveals: Seams, Scars, Thresholds, and Frames,”  will focus on a topology of transitions by exploring a wide range of seams, scars, thresholds and frames in art, media, and other cultural practices such as religion, architecture, and design. Reveals play an essential role in both late medieval and modern art as figurations of thresholds, for instance between figure and ground. Similar figures of mediatic self-reflection can be observed both in more narrative cinema (Jean Epstein, Robert Bresson and Alfred Hitchcock), and of course in the more avant-garde manifestations of involution from Dziga Vertov to Paul Sharits. The most prominent reveal in art, of course, is the frame; it is the obvious case of a liminal organization which has a constitutive role in generating images. Nearly 600 years after Alberti and more than a century after the invention of cinema we may well be witnessing with the proliferation of digital imaging another fundamental transformation of the very definition and status of the frame – both in cameras that can “stitch together” image sequences into panoramic surrounds, and in what could be called the post-frame condition of contemporary cinema both at the level of the physical delivery system (the sequentiality of successive photograms displaced by the “refresh” of myriad pixels) and at the level of visual syntax, where new zones of semiosis are being explored in the hybrid fields of sequences saturated by special-effects, resulting in image types (heterochronic, heterotopic, etc.) where the homogeneous signifying field has been replaced by various types of seams and threshholds operating within the image. At the same time a vast arsenal of practices that serve to hide reveals, to produce effects of so-called “seamlessness,” are amongst the most central of cultural technologies. Seams, scars and thresholds also have a decidedly temporal aspect, evoking past actions, pointing to the time where things were once joined or separated. By studying how these delineations are negotiated – how they are revealed and/or hidden – one can investigate how effects of realities (or their interpretations) are generated through space- and time-based media. Indeed, it might just be that seams, scars, thresholds and, in a wider context, frames constitute one of the most important (and still all-too under-examined and under-theorized) dimensions of our current media landscape. This is the landscape that will be explored by the 2013 Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies.

    Tanya Shilina-Conte’s doctoral dissertation, Black Screens, White Frames: Moving Image and Negative Mimesis, is the first comprehensive attempt to theorize anti-mimetic strategies in cinema signaled by black and white screens as irrational cuts. It scrutinizes the negative value in mimesis and focalizes elements of absence and invisibility in the cinematic imaginary and evidentiary. The dissertation argues that if rational montage asserts the visible by finding positive integral pieces of evidence and shaping them into a representation, then irrational montage, by flaunting methods of filmic construction such as interstices and gaps, underscores the hidden and invisible. These pockets of invisible evidence reveal critical issues dealing with race, sexuality, gender, ethics, trauma and censorship. The consideration of negative mimesis, irrational montage and invisible evidence in cinema enables us to overcome a one-sided ideological reading of any given representation.

  • Apr 1st 2013

    Konrad Steiner in person screening his new film _way_

    Please join us for a screening of _way_ (2012; 70 min; 35 mm print), by experimental filmmaker Konrad Steiner, in collaboration with (the late) Leslie Scalapino.
    Q & A with Steiner after screening.

    Time: Tuesday, April 9th, 5:30pm
    Location: 112 Center for the Arts (Screening Room), University at Buffalo North Campus
    This event is co-organized by the Poetics Program and the Center for Global Media
    Introduction/Moderation: Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study

    Over a decade in the making, Konrad Steiner’s innovative film _way_ comprises six segments of filmic accompaniment to Leslie Scalapino’s serial poem _way_, winner of the American Book Award (1989). Part montage of original analog footage and part highly processed found and original digital video, Steiner’s film unfolds as Scalapino reads the entirety of her poem—becoming a visual ambient through and against which to hear, hold, release, and process Scalapino’s words.

    Konrad Steiner is a Bay Area experimental filmmaker who has worked extensively with musicians and poets. A scholar of documentary and avant-garde film, Steiner has served as a curator for a number of film series, including the San Francisco Cinematheque, Artists Television Access, and kino21 film and performance series. Steiner is also an important inspirational and organizational force behind the recent neo-benshi (film narration) revival, and has worked with groups of poets all over the U.S. in this artform.

    Leslie Scalapino (July 25, 1944 – May 28, 2010) is the author of thirty books of poetry, prose inter-genre-fiction, plays, and essays. She was the founder and publisher of O Books, a press dedicated to publishing innovative works by young and emerging poets, as well as prominent and established writers. Scalapino taught creative writing for nearly 25 years at various institutions, including Bard College, Mills College, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of Arts. In 2010, the year of her death, she published five books: The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom (The Post-Apollo Press); Flow-Winged Crocodile and A Pair / Actions Are Erased / Appear (Chax Press), two plays published in one volume; The Animal is in the World like Water in Water (Granary Books), a collaboration between Scalapino and artist Kiki Smith; and Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows (Starcherone Books). A revised and dynamically expanded version How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (Litmus Press) was published in 2011.


  • Mar 25th 2013

    SCREENING OF “IN GOD’S LAND” by Pankaj Rishi Kumar (in attendance)

    in god's land

    IN GOD’S LAND (2012, 74 min) by Pankaj Rishi Kumar. Conversation with the director following screening.

    Time: Thursday, March 28th, 5 p.m.
    Location: 112 Center for the Arts, UB

    This event is organized by the Asian Studies Program and the Center for Global Media, Department of Media Study

    Introduction: Prof. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Media Study
    Moderation: Prof. Walter Hakala, English

    FILM REVIEW by Tanushree Bhasin, The Sunday Guardian:

    We recognize now that in a bid to make India the next Shanghai, the way of life of millions of people is being altered, inconspicuously. What is curious is the fact that these transformations are hardly ever spoken about by the urban media
    which seems content to focus on the gloss and leave the details of corruption, land grab, harassment and exploitation out of their stories.

    Documentary films have played a huge role in initiating a debate around development politics. Pankaj Rishi Kumar’s new film titled In God’s Land does just the same, presenting the viewer with arguments from all sides. The film documents the journey of a tiny village, Inam Alungalam in Tamil Nadu, which is robbed off its land in order to construct a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Interestingly, the SEZ and the politics of such a concept of development are notdirectly spoken about in the film. “It was a conscious decision to not make it an all-out anti-SEZ film. Rather, I wanted to look at all aspects of life in that village without taking sides”, said Pankaj Rishi Kumar, the director of the film. The film’s stand is pretty clear though not thrust in your face, a directorial choice that works brilliantly for it allows the audience to engage with the issue on their own, making up their minds individually without being spoon-fed a ‘point of view’.

    In God’s Land also raises some very interesting questions about the nexus between the state and temple authorities of the Vanamamalai Temple which owns and controls land worth millions in surrounding villages. “How does a temple come to own so much landed property in independent India?” the film asks. While continuing to pay rent to the temple, the villagers claim rights over the land through accounts of oral history tracing their lineage back to the original six clans who turned the barren land into a wet and fertile one. Here Kumar uses some wonderfully done animation to chart the mythical birth of their village. “Oral history accounts are difficult to relate on film. Animation allowed me to recreate in some way the emotion with which these stories were narrated to me” he added. It is in these animation sequences that Kumar’s stand on the issue comes through most clearly, in the way he satirizes temple authorities or in his critique of exploitation sanctioned by religion.


    Having graduated from Pune’s Film and Television Institute in 1992 with the specialization in Film Editing, Pankaj was an assistant editor on Sekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen. After editing documentaries and TV serials, he made his first film KUMAR TALKIES. Subsequently, Pankaj has become a one man crew producing, directing, shooting and editing his own films (Pather Chujaeri, The Vote, Gharat, 3 Men and a Bulb, Punches n Ponytails, Seeds of Dissent, Pichwai). His films have been screened at festivals all over the world. He has won grants from Hubert Bals, IFA, Jan Vrijman, Goteberg, AND (KOREA), Banff, Majlis, Padma and Sarai. Pankaj was awarded an Asia Society fellowship at Harvard Asia Center (2003). He was a TA at the first Asian Film Academy (Pusan). Pankaj also curates and teaches.

  • Feb 28th 2013

    Professor Hamid Naficy visits UB March 5th

    The Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture, the Department of English and the Center for Global Media, and the Department of Media Study present:Professor Hamid Naficy’s Talk: History of Cinema and Modernity in Iran
    Tuesday, March 5 at 4 p.m.
    CFA Screening Room (room 112)

    Talk synopsis: This talk focuses on the just released 4-volume book, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, a work that took nearly four decades to complete. The volumes’ overarching argument is the significant and signifying role of film and cinema in overdetermining modernity in Iran. As a work of social history and
    theory, the volumes deal not only with the chronological political developments in society and in the film industry but also with the synchronic contexts, formations, dispositions, and maneuvers that overdetermined modernity in Iran and a dynamically evolving film industry and its unique products. I locate the film industry and its mode of production, narratives, aesthetics, and generic forms in the interplay of deeply rooted Iranian performative and visual arts and what was
    imported, adopted, adapted, translated, mistranslated, and hybridized from the West. The interplay between Iranian and Islamic philosophies and aesthetics
    complicated and channeled cinema, particularly that involving women, in certain specific ways unique to Iran. Likewise, the contribution of Iranian ethnoreligious minorities, both widespread and profound, gave Iranian cinema additional specificity.

    Hamid Naficy is Professor of Radio-Television-Film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication at Northwestern University, and he has an affiliate faculty appointment in the Department of Art History. He is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas. His areas of research and teaching include these topics as well as documentary and ethnographic cinemas. Naficy has published extensively on these and allied theories and topics. His English language books are: An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking ; Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place (edited); The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles; Otherness and the Media: the Ethnography of the Imagined and the Imaged (co-edited); and Iran Media Index. His latest work is the four-volume book, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, which was published in 2011-12.

    A Social History of Iranian Cinema:
    Volume 1: The Artisanal Era, 1897-1925
    Volume 2: The Industrializing Years, 1941-1978
    Volume 3: The Islamicate Period, 1978-1984
    Volume 4: The Globalizing Era, 1984-2010


  • Jan 21st 2013

    Screening of “Adda: Calcutta, Kolkata” with director in attendance


    “Adda: Calcutta, Kolkata” (2011, 52 min), a film by Surjo Deb
    5 p.m.  Thursday, January 24th, 2013,  Center for the Arts 112
    The film will be introduced by Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study
    Refreshments to follow after the Q&A with the director, Surjo Deb and scriptwriter, Shayani Bhattacharya
    Free and open to the public

    Surjo Deb is an independent filmmaker from Calcutta, India. He has worked on several award-winning documentary films while assisting renowned filmmaker Ranjan Palit. Following a brief stint in advertising films in Mumbai, Surjo has also worked on Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” and assisted Terrence Malick on his upcoming feature. His own shorts and documentaries have won awards and been screened at film festivals across the globe. Through his films, he explores the human condition in urban environments that are constantly changing, struggling to strike a balance between tradition and modernity.

    The city of Calcutta is undergoing gigantic changes — malls and high-rises replace the old architecture of the skyline, the youth move out of the city looking for better opportunities, the traffic gets worse and the city’s name changes. Yet the conversations (adda) never stop. Calcuttans love to talk, and they talk about everything under the sun. The film chronicles some of these conversations as it presents an intimate and free-flowing portrait of the city in an effort to capture its elusive character.

    Golden Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival 2012
    Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Doha 2012
    3rd i South Asian International Film Festival, San Francisco 2012
    River to River Florence Film Festival, 2011
    SIGNS 2012, Kerala International Documentary Film Festival 2012
    Mediawave Film & Music Festival, Hungary 2012
    Open Frame Documentary Film Festival, New Delhi 2011


  • Nov 8th 2012

    screening and lecture: “You Don’t Like the Truth: Four Days Inside Guantanamo”

    You Don’t Like the Truth: Four Days Inside Guantanamo, directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Henriquez
    with lecture by Professor Brenda Longfellow, Department of Film, York University, Toronto, Canada

    Film Screening: 6 p.m.  Wednesday, November 14, 2012  Center for the Arts 112
    Lecture:  8 p.m.  Wednesday, November 14, 2012  Center for the Arts 112
    Free and open to the public.

    “You Don’t Like the Truth,” directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Henriquez, is a documentary based on security camera footage that reveals the encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and Canadian-born Omar Khadr, who has been detained in Guantanamo since his capture in Afghanistan at the age of fifteen in 2002. The film investigates the case of Khadr, who was tried by a military commission tribunal, a venue reserved for non-American enemy combatants captured in the “War on Terror.” After ten years in detention at Guantánamo Bay, Omar Khadr, the only Canadian citizen imprisoned as an enemy combatant in Afghanistan, was finally repatriated to Canada on September 29, 2012. Currently held in a high-security prison in Ontario, he is awaiting a decision on his case for parole. Was he a child soldier forced into a combat role or a willing supporter of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network?

    Lecture: “Complex Regimes Of Truth: Surveillance and Affect in ‘You Don’t Like the Truth: Four Days Inside Guantanamo.'”
    Professor Brenda Longfellow, Department of Film, York University, Toronto, Canada

    Brenda Longfellow is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and film theorist. Her productions include Our Marilyn (1987); Gerda (1992); A Balkan Journey/Fragments from the Other Side of War (1996); Shadow Maker: Gwendolyn MacEwen, Poet (1998); and Tina in Mexico (2002). Her most recent film, Weather Report (2008), is a feature-length television documentary that explores the effects of climate change on communities around the world.

    This event is organized by Prof. Tanya Shilina, Department of Media Study, and Prof. Joseph Conte, Department of English, and made possible by the generous assistance of the Government of Canada, the University at Buffalo’s Canadian-American Studies Committee, and the Departments of Media Study and English.


  • Oct 29th 2012

    Screening of Stalin’s Funeral by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    Stalin’s Funeral by Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    starring Alexei Batalov, Vanessa Redgrave, Maya Bulgakova, Denis Konstantinov, Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    OCTOBER 31, 2012, 7 PM
    Center for the Arts (CFA) 112 – first floor auditorium (UB North Campus)

    Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a world renowned poet, will be coming to Buffalo to take part in the performance of Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 13: Babi Yar,” which was inspired by Yevtushenko’s verses.  Babi Yar (or “maternal” ravine) in Kiev, Ukraine is the location of the largest single massacre of the Holocaust, where almost 34,000 Jews were killed by Nazis in September 1941. Mr. Yevtushenko, who turned 80 this year, graciously donated his time to UB. Yevtushenko witnessed Stalin’s funeral, a major turning point in world history, and made a film based on his personal memories. The film will be introduced by Mr. Yevtushenko and followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study. The event is free and open to the public. Join us for this truly unique event on October 31st!

    more information about the event:

    Buffalo News:

    UB Reporter:

    Art Voice:

    Other events with Mr. Yevtushenko:

    Thursday November 1:

    4:30-5:30 Open discussion with students. All are invited to attend an open Q&A discussion with Mr. Yevtushenko, Baird Hall 250.

    7:00 p.m. A Poetry Reading. UB North Campus in the Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall (reception & book signing to follow). The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. For tickets, contact Slee Hall Box Office (M-F, 9-4) or CFA Box Office (M-F, 10-6)

    10:30am Friday, Nov 2 & 7pm Saturday, Nov 3: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. (883-3560 /, $31-$51. Pre-concert talk with Yevgeny Yevtushenko, JoAnn Falletta and Tanya Shilina-Conte.

  • Oct 16th 2012

    UB’s Tanya Shilina-Conte lectures at Aalborg University, Denmark


    Guest lecture by Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte at Aalborg University, Denmark: “Black
    Screens, Skins and Veils: Cinema and Negative Mimesis”

    Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte will give a guest lecture entitled “Black Screens, Skins
    and Veils: Cinema and Negative Mimesis” in the Department of Media Study at
    Aalborg University, Denmark.

    Time: Friday, October 26th from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
    Location: Room 2.126 på Kroghstræde 3, Aalborg University, Denmark.

    The lecture will be open to public and attended by faculty and graduate students
    in the departments of Media Study and English at Aalborg University, Denmark.









  • Apr 24th 2012

    Tanya Shilina-Conte: Abstract Visions


    Tanya Shilina-Conte’s  Abstract Visions won Best Experimental Video
    @ The 2012 Delta International Film and Video Festival.

    When: March 28th-March 29th, 2012

    Where: Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, Cleveland, MS

    Link to the festival:


    About:  Tanya Shilina-Conte holds a PhD in English from Saint-Petersburg Herzen State University. She defended her dissertation, Expositional Retardation and Reconstructional Mode in Literary Narrative, in 2004. She is the author of a book, Midway upon the Road: A Study of Openings in Contemporary Short Fiction (U of Kostroma P, Russia, 2011). Her Interdisciplinary M.A. thesis is also devoted to the study of narrative but in the area of cinema, and entitled The Delay of an Establishing Shot in Narrative Film Openings (UB, 2012). She is currently pursuing her second PhD in Film and Media Study from the University at Buffalo, where she is doing research on Moving Image and Negative Mimesis. In addition, she teaches a wide variety of courses on Film Theory, Theory of Film Narrative, Contemporary Cinema and Gender and Film in the departments of Media Study and English.

  • Oct 2nd 2011

    Abstract Visions at the Alchemy Film Festival


    Abstract Visions by Tanya Shilina-Conte
    Screening Date:
    October 23, 2011
    Alchemy: Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scottish Borders, UK

    Venue: Tower Mill
    Screening Time: 12:15
    Programme: Elementals: Landscape of Forms
    Festival Dates: October 21-23, 2011

    Tanya Shilina-Conte, Media Study PhD candidate and Adjunct Instructor will present her video work Abstract Visions as part of the Elementals: Landscape of Forms Program at the Alchemy: Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick, Scottish Borders. Abstract Visions consists of four pieces, namely Untitled, Mosaic of Life’s Gravity, Fire and Ice, and 5,778K5,778 K. Each abstract piece stands apart in terms of style, color, atmosphere and the emotional response they evoke. The video is non-figural, non-narrative and makes an attempt to break established patterns of visual conventions.

    The annual festival is themed each year, retaining a focus on screening work that in some way relates to the natural world, to landscape and to mankind’s relationship with natural forces. The festival’s 2011 program revolves around the notion of landscape and the four elements with a focus on high quality artistic projects and experimental short film aiming to mix thematically related feature length screenings.

    For ticket information, click here.