Ann Alter

Controversy and personal vision have been used to define the work of independent filmmaker Ann Alter. She has been making award-winning films since the mid 1980s. Her work has screened at film festivals in 11 countries including world premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival. Three of her short films have been broadcast on television in the U.S. and abroad. She is currently working on a documentary film about a sacred and very ancient Jewish text. Filming for The Story of Our Torah includes locations in California, Poland, Israel, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Cuba.

Professor Alter has a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Ohio University. She is the 2008 recipient of California State University Media Arts Outstanding Faculty Rosebud Award. In 2010 she was one of 23 documentary experts that traveled overseas as a delegate with the American Documentary Showcase (a U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program).

Award-winning films produced, directed, filmed and edited by Ann Alter:

    • The Story of Our Torah explores how this most sacred and ancient scroll can bring progressive Orthodox and Reform Jews together. Humboldt film students have an opportunity to work on this professional production. (Currently in production.)
    • Team Red explores the difficult question: can murder be moral? International premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. Broadcast contract with SBS Television Network in Australia. Recipient of multiple awards from international film festivals. Humboldt film students had an opportunity to work on this professional production. (16mm, 14-minutes, 2000)
    • No Need to Repent: The Ballad of Reverend Jan Griesinger is a documentary portrait about an openly lesbian Protestant minister working in Appalachia. International premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Recipient of multiple awards from international film festivals. (16mm, 27-minutes, 1989)
    • Ten Miles to Fetch Water: A Crisis in the West Virginia Coalfield presents a timely account of a water crisis in rural America. Regional public television broadcast. Used for social advocacy initiatives in Washington, D.C. (3/4" video, 28-minutes, 1989)
  • see dick run is a political satire that portrays a unique view of masculinity through a claustrophobic visual and aural style. Housed in the Museum of Modern Art Film Collection in New York. (16mm, 14-minutes, 1987)

In addition to her independent work, Alter works collaboratively with university students on social change films and select client-based projects. Following are a few highlights:

    • Never Have I Ever is a short fiction film aimed at reducing sexualized violence. Written by two Humboldt students, this project is made in collaboration with the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, and the Sexual Assault Prevention Committee for their on-line orientation program for incoming Humboldt transfer students. Client-based project. (HD, 6-minutes, 2012) 
    • Arcata From Dawn Till Dusk observes people working, playing and being in community. Ten teams of Cal Poly Humboldt students, participated in this documentary that is the United States’ representative in The World From Dawn Till Dusk, an international series including film schools in Albania, Australia, China, Croatia, Iran, Poland, Slovakia and Russia. (DV, 42-minutes, 2010) 
    • This Place We Call Home is a short documentary that includes interviews with large landholding ranchers in Humboldt county. Client-based project made for the Northcoast Regional Land Trust as an outreach and fund raising tool. (DV, 9:30 minutes, 2009)
    • Dispensing Cannabis: The California Story provides an unprecedented glimpse into the quasi-legal business of medical cannabis distribution. (DV, 56-minutes, 2006) 
    • Shifting the Paradigm: From Control to Respect documents the battered women’s movement on the cusp of change as women and men discuss what it will take for us to reach the ultimate goal of zero tolerance for domestic violence. Used throughout the state of California by domestic violence service providers. (16mm, 41-minutes, 1999)
    • Air Fare explores the people behind the voices of a unique California radio station, KHumboldt-FM, diverse public radio for the North Coast. Pledge drive premium for KHumboldt-FM. (16mm, 22-minutes, 1995)

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