Courtney Stephens is a nonfiction and experimental filmmaker, whose work focuses on language and geography. She was a Fulbright scholar to India, and previously assisted Terrence Malick.
Pacho Velez directs nonfiction films. His previous features have played at NYFF, TIFF, and on CNN. His first feature, Manakamana, won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival (2013). Pacho received his MFA from CalArts, and teaches filmmaking at The New School (NYC).
In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, sections of its 3.5-metre high edifice have been transplanted to the USA and re-purposed as public monuments in sites across the country. Courtney Stephens’ and Pacho Velez’s sharply crafted filmic travel essay catalogues over sixty of these concrete monoliths in their unlikely new locations, documenting each in elegant tableaux. Standing beside the relics, owners, custodians and passers-by are invited to consider what these scattered fragments of history may have come to represent in this strange new context—prompting reflections on ideas of freedom, borders, and the enduring ideological legacy of the Cold War.
Screening includes a Q&A with directors Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez, hosted by Marcus Jack.
Read an essay on The American Sector by Jesse Cumming.
Available: Block 1 (Wed 9th Sept midday – Sat 12th Sept midnight BST)
Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.