Hamilton College Professor named Film Scholar by Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

By WKTV News

CLINTON, N.Y. - Hamilton College Visiting Professor of Art History Scott MacDonald was named an Academy Film Scholar for 2012 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each year the Academy’s Institutional Grants Committee chooses two scholars nationwide to pursue a research project.

Dan Streible, associate professor of cinema studies at New York University, was this year’s other winner. Selection is based on manuscript proposals.

MacDonald will use his $25,000 grant to aid in the research and writing of a book project on the history of documentary filmmaking in Cambridge, Mass. The Cambridge Turn in Documentary Filmmaking will focus on two types of nonfiction filmmaking that have been nurtured by filmmaking programs at Harvard and MIT – ethnographic filmmaking (the cinematic depiction of cultures and subcultures--traditionally of distant, pre-industrial cultures, though in more recent decades the reach of ethnographic film has broadened) and personal documentary (the depiction of filmmakers’ own experiences, and often of their experiences with family). He will also explore the careers of filmmakers who have made documentaries in Cambridge, including John Marshall, Robert Gardner, Timothy Asch, Ross McElwee, Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti, Nina Davenport, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, and how their accomplishments have helped transform the understanding of documentary films.

MacDonald received half of his grant on March 19 when he Streible were honored at a luncheon. The remainder of the award will be presented when the completed project is presented as a lecture at a public Academy event.

The Academy Film Scholars program was established in 1999 to “stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures.”

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