John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities


Film Series
Haverford College, Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Spring 2017

STRANGE TRUTH film series, 2017

STRANGE TRUTH 2017 explores the non-fiction imagination in the films of Shirley Clarke, Stephen Winter, Joaquim Pinto, and Nuno Leonel.

These filmmakers wield portraiture, reenactment, autobiography, and ethnography for diverse ends: to charm and shock, to examine the relation between the filmmaker and the filmed, to explore queer love and kinship, and to affirm labor, land, and sea.

All screenings to be held at Bryn Mawr Film Institute or Haverford College. Each will be followed by conversations with filmmakers.

The series is organized by Haverford College faculty Vicky Funari and John Muse (Visual Media Scholars in the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities and Independent College Programs); curated with the help of Hurford Center Emerging Artists in Residencies Harlow Figa '16 and Sarah Moses '16.

The series is made possible by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Leaves of Grass, the House Fund for Distinguished Visiting Artists and Critics, and Independent College Programs at Haverford College. STRANGE TRUTH is co-sponsored by International House Philadelphia.

All screenings are open to the public.
Screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute are free for all Tri-Co students, staff, and faculty.
Screenings at Haverford College are free to all.

  Contact: hcah [at]
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

  Blue Bus transportation provided from Stokes Hall (Haverford) to all screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI), departing Haverford at 6:45 p.m. and leaving BMFI for Stokes at 9:30 p.m.


Still from Portrait of Jason

Portrait of Jason, 1967, 105 minutes
Shirley Clarke

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7:00 pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

For twelve hours director Shirley Clarke interviewed Jason Holliday, aka Aaron Payne, about his life, his loves, his work, and his ambitions. Jason, a 33-year-old hustler dreaming of a career as a nightclub entertainer, describes confrontations with his family, the orgies he has attended, and the hustling that has formed the pattern of his life as a black, gay man. [modified from]

Film and multimedia visual artist Sosena Solomon will introduce the film.

Jason sprawled across a couch, smoking a cigarette

Jason and Shirley, 2015, 89 minutes
Stephen Winter

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
7:00 pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

A fictionalized retelling of Oscar-winner Shirley Clarke’s 1967 film, Portrait of Jason, Stephen Winter’s Jason and Shirley filets the meaty racial, social, and sexual issues raised by the original documentary encounter, ingeniously inverting the gaze of the original: now it’s a black, Jewish gay man probing and prodding the white, Jewish woman of privilege and power with his lens.

Filmmaker Stephen Winter will introduce the film.

A bearded man lying on his stomach in bed appearing distressed

E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me), 2013, 164 minutes
Joaquim Pinto

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
7:00 pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Portuguese director Joaquim Pinto poetically and candidly chronicles a year of his life as he undergoes experimental treatments for his longtime HIV and VHC infections. This deeply personal documentary mirrors the often mind-altering side effects of his medications, traveling fluidly between past and present, provoking an examination of health, memory, and the passage of time. Harlow Figa and Sarah Moses, HCAH Emerging Artists in Residence, will moderate a Q&A with filmmaker Joaquim Pinto after the screening.

Also of Interest:

The New Testament of Jesus Christ According to John (O Novo Testamento de Jesus Cristo segundo João)
dir. Nuno Leonel, Joaquim Pinto, Portugal 2013, DCP, 128 mins. Portuguese w/ English subtitles

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
7:00 pm
International House, Philadelphia

Get Tickets

Profile of a man with a stormy sky in the background

Rabo de Peixe (Fish Tail), 2015, 103 minutes
Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel

Thursday, March 30, 2017
7:00 pm
Sharpless Auditorium, Haverford College

Rabo de Peixe is a village of small-scale fishermen in the Azores that became a home-away-from-home for filmmakers Pinto and Leonel in the late 1990s. Through the daily routines of fisherman Pedro and his community, the filmmakers trace both the pleasures of small-town life and labor and the great changes wrought by the global economy. The Berlinale called Fish Tail “a tender essay rooted in friendship and fascination,” noting its elegant treatment of “rippling fish shoals, fireworks over the harbour, bodies on black sand, the virtue of working by hand, industrial restrictions, the slippery concept of a free man.”

A conversation with filmmaker Joaquim Pinto will follow the screening.

Quotations excerpted from Berlinale/Fish Tail

Filmmakers & Presenters

Shirley Clarke

Shirley Clarke

Shirley Clarke née Brimberg [1925-1997] was a leading figure in the American avant-garde cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, and a pioneer of video in the 1970s.  Winner of an Academy Award for her 1964 documentary film Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel With the World, Clarke also won acclaim for Ornette: Made in America,(1985), a feature-length documentary on jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.  Clarke co-founded (with Jonas Mekas) Film-Makers Cooperative and Film-Makers Distribution Center in New York, which offered alternative distribution methods for independent filmmakers. The recipient of grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation, she taught film and video at the University of California, Los Angeles. Clarke's work has been shown at the New York Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Washington, D.C.; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (a 1971 retrospective), among many other festivals and institutions. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including First Prize at the Venice Film Festival, the Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the American Film Institute's Maya Deren Award. In 1987, Clarke's films and videotapes were the subject of retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Long Beach Museum of Art, California.  —Electronic Arts Intermix

Nuno Leonel

Nuno Leonel

Nuno Leonel (b. 1969, Lisbon, Portugal) works as a set designer, cinematographer, editor and actor. He started directing animation films in the early 90s and has been making films together with Joaquim Pinto since 1996, including Rabo de Peixe / Fish Tail (2015), Fim de Citação (2014), O Novo Testamento de Jesus Cristo Segundo João (2013), E Agora? Lembra-me (2013), and Porca Miséria (2007).

Joaquim Pinto

Joaquim Pinto

Joaquim Pinto (b. 1957, Porto, Portugal) is a sound designer, producer, and director.  He has been sound designer and mixer on more than 100 films, working with such directors as Manoel de Oliveira, Raúl Ruiz, Werner Schroeter, and André Téchiné. From 1987-1996, he produced some 30 films, including João César Monteiro’s Recollections of the Yellow House and God’s Comedy, both awarded at the Venice Film Festival. Some of his recent works are collaborations with Nuno Leonel: Rabo de Peixe / Fish Tail (2015), Fim de Citação / End of Quote (2013), O Novo Testamento de Jesus Cristo Segundo João / The New Testament of Jesus Christ according to John (2013), Porca Miséria / Pig of a Story (2007), and Sol Menor / G Minor (2007). Pinto’s recent solo work is the biographical documentary E Agora? Lembra-me / What Now? Remind Me (2013).  The film won a Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Award at the Locarno Film Festival and Best International Film Awards at FIDBA, Valdivia and DocLisboa.

Sosena Solomon

Sosena Solomon

Sosena Solomon is an award winning social documentary film and multimedia visual artist from Ethiopia.

Intuitively selecting subjects and stories, she is particularly interested in spaces of transition and change, acting as a cultural preservationist. Her work, whether presented as a film or an immersive 3-dimensional experience, explores cross sections of various subcultures and communities in flux, carefully teasing out cultural nuances and capturing personal narratives via arresting visual storytelling and cinéma vérité stylings.

Sosena has worked for many years in the commercial and nonprofit sectors and has worked as a Director and Cinematographer on many short film projects including “Sole”, a documentary on sneaker culture that premiered on PBS affiliate MINDTV, and “MERKATO”, filmed on location in one of Africa’s largest open-air markets and exhibited internationally as an audio, visual, and sensory installation.

Sosena earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Social Documentary Film from The School of Visual Arts in New York, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Television Production from Temple University. She is a recipient of The Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant (2013) and the Transformation Award (2014).

Sosena is a freelancer currently lecturing in the Fine Arts Department at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and in the Media Studies and Production Department at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication (SMC). She has previously lectured at University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

Stephen Winter

Stephen Winter

Stephen Winter's feature film debut as writer/director Chocolate Babies (1997) premiered at the 47th Annual Berlin Film Festival. He has worked with Lee Daniels on films such as The Butler (2013), Precious (2009), The Paperboy (2012), and Shadowboxer (2005).  He was lead producer of Jonathan Caouette's landmark documentary Tarnation (2004) which screened at Sundance, Cannes, and was featured on the AFI DOCS Top 50 Documentaries to Watch Before You Die list. Winter was lead story editor for How to Survive A Plague  (2012), co-writer of New York, I Love You (2009), and an actor in the horror thrilled Kiss of the Damned (2013). His most recent directorial projects include a short film with M. Lama, Speculum Orum, a short documentary called Death is Lame (2011) and Jason and Shirley (2015), which Richard Brody in The New Yorker called “one of the year’s finest.” He received an M.F.A. from New York University and a B.F.A. from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Vicky Funari

Vicky Funari

Vicky Funari is a documentary filmmaker, editor, and teacher. Her films include the feature documentaries MAQUILÁPOLIS (2006), Paulina (1998), and Live Nude Girls Unite! (2000). These award-winning, critically acclaimed films have screened in many of the world's most respected film festivals, including Sundance, Locarno, Havana, Rotterdam, SXSW, and Tribeca, and have aired nationally on public and cable television. From 2006-2009, Funari directed the MAQUILÁPOLIS binational Community Campaign, working with activist organizations and factory workers to promote public dialogue and social change. She is a Creative Capital grantee, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. She has been teaching at Haverford College since 2009. Her current documentary, now in post-production, tells a story of healthy aging, community, and ladies in a pool.

John Muse

John Muse

John Muse is Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College.  His most recent projects include conference papers on Roland Barthes, Alvin Lucier, Roni Horn, Omer Fast, and Ruben Pater on the topics of object oriented aesthetics, drone culture, and reenactment.  In January of 2016, he and longtime collaborator Jeanne C. Finley screened four short films at San Francisco Cinematheque.  He also curates exhibitions, occasionally collaborates with artist Carmen Papalia, and continues to document small cairns built at the corner of Ardmore and Lancaster Avenues in Ardmore PA and elsewhere.

Harlow Figa

Harlow Figa, HCAH Emerging Artist in Residence

Harlow Figa, Haverford College '16, is an emerging documentary filmmaker and media anthropologist exploring online digital media, the gendered body, disability, and modes of expressing personal narratives. Harlow recently graduated with High Honors from Haverford College, where they studied Anthropology, Health, and Gender/Sexuality, and completed a multi-media thesis studying formation of transgender identities within online communities. Harlow currently lives in Philadelphia and is co-directing a feature documentary on Harry Bertoia, with support of their position as an Emerging Artist in Residence at HCAH. In Summer 2016, Harlow attended the Flaherty Seminar as an HCAH Flaherty Student Fellow.

Sarah Moses

Sarah Moses, HCAH Emerging Artist in Residence

Sarah Moses, Haverford College '16, is a filmmaker interested in both documentary and narrative film as mediums through which to explore politics, social justice, and identity narratives in the world around us. Sarah is co-directing a feature documentary on Harry Bertoia and is a Fall 2016 HCAH Emerging Artist in Residence. In Summer 2016, Sarah attended the Flaherty Seminar as an HCAH Flaherty Student Fellow.