Global Perspectives on Amateur Film Histories and Cultures

Edited by Masha Salazkina and Enrique Fibla
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 01/05/2021
Format: Paperback 42 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-05203-2
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For too long, the field of amateur cinema has focused on North America and Europe. In Global Perspectives on Amateur Film Histories and Cultures, however, editors Masha Salazkina and Enrique Fibla-Gutiérrez fill the literature gap by extending that focus and increasing inclusivity.

Through carefully curated essays, Salazkina and Fibla-Gutiérrez bring wider meaning and significance to the discipline through their study of alternative cinema in new territories, fueled by different historical and political circumstances, innovative technologies, and ambitious practitioners. The essays in this volume work to realize the radical societal democratization that shows up in amateur cinema around the world. In particular, diverse contributors highlight the significance of amateur filmmaking, the exhibition of amateur films, the uses and availability of film technologies, and the inventive and creative approaches of filmmakers and advocates of amateur film.

Together, these essays shed new light on alternative cinema in a wide range of cities and countries where amateur films thrive in the shadow of commercial and conventional film industries.

Author Bio

Masha Salazkina is Research Chair in Transnational Media Arts and Cultures and Associate Professor at Concordia University. She is author of In Excess: Sergei Eisenstein's Mexico and editor (with Lilya Kaganovsky) of Sound, Speech, Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema. Enrique Fibla-Gutiérrez is Researcher, Professor, and Curator at Concordia University.


"This important volume opens up what has, to date, been the relatively Anglocentric field of amateur film studies to encompass a broad range of media cultures, practices, and geographies."

Alice Lovejoy, author of Army Film and the Avant Garde

"These essays capture moments, instances, and movements that give depth and resonance to the study of alternative cinematic practices."

Mark Neumann, author of Recording Culture and On the Rim

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Global Perspectives on Amateur Film Histories and Cultures / Masha Salazkina and Enrique Fibla-Gutiérrez
Part I: Medium Specificity and Expanded Media Ecologies
1. Understanding (Amateur) Cinema: Epistemology and Technology / Benoît Turquety
2. "Crossing the Amateur Line: The Lesson of Even—As You and I" / James Rosenow
3. "I give you a toast to the Pioneers!" The Movie Maker Ten Best Video Competition 1982/3 / Graeme R. Spurr
4. From Insiders to Outsiders: Tracing Amateurism in Chinese Independent Documentary of the 90s and the 00s / Margherita Viviani

Part II: Institutions, Industry, and the State
5. Seeking Advice: A Political Economy of Israeli Commemorative Home Videos / Laliv Melamed
6. Amateur Film in the Factory: Forms and Functions of Amateur Cinema in Corporate Media Culture / Yvonne Zimmermann
7. The Ambitions of Amateur Film in Vichy France / Julie Guillaumot
8. On the Amateur Origins of Fernando Birri's Documentary School of Santa Fe / Mariano Mestman and Christopher Moore

Part III: Politics of Legitimization and Subversion
9. The Wind from the South: Experiences of Substandard Filmmaking in Galicia in the 1970s / Pablo La Parra-Pérez
10. Super-8 in Mexico / Jesse Lerner
11. The Videogiornale: Social Movements and Amateur Media Technologies in Bologna Between the Late 1980s and the Early 1990s / Diego Cavallotti
12. "A Vital Human Place" for the Counterculture: Fifth Estate and Amateur Film Culture in Detroit, 1965-1967 / Joseph DeLeon
13. Ingvars Leitis's Subversive Ethnographic Documentaries, 1975–89: Cover Stories and National Representation / Inese Strupule

Part IV: Transnational Networks: Amateur Cinema Travels
14. Worldly Matters: Distributed Histories of Tunisian Amateur Cinema and the Screening of Nontheatrical Film / Samhita Sunya
15. Early International Super 8 Film Festivals: The Case of Caracas 1976-1980 / Isabel Arredondo
16. A Gift to Mother (1963): "The Most Universally Appealing Kind of Film That Any Amateur Can Hope to Make" / Maria Vinogradova
17. Postcards from Yiddishland: Amateur Filmmaking and Vernacular Yiddish Culture / Rachel Webb Jekanowski