Meet the Filmmaker: Sumner Jules Glimcher
“A Problem of Power”
Date: Monday, April 26, 2010
Location: NY NATAS, 1375 Broadway, Suite 2103
Reception: 6:00-6:30 PM ~ Program: 6:30-8:00 PM
*Free to NY NATAS Members!
$15 for those without current membership
A Problem of Power was commissioned by the National Council of Churches and was meant to portray poverty in Latin America. At that time I was the Manager of the Center for Mass Communication (CMC) at Columbia University, and the small budget for a 45 minute documentary limited our location to one country which we felt was representative of most of South America. Colombia was the country selected. My crew consisted of a cinematographer (who was a native of Bogota), a sound man, a bilingual interviewer selected by the NCC plus one of their representatives, and myself. We brought with us a number of contacts in and around Bogota and began our film interviewing a Protestant missionary who had lived in South America for many years. He identified a rebel Roman Catholic priest who became the narrator and hero of the film. During the course of our one month stay, we interviewed members of the power elite: the rich; and the poor, including many peasants and dwellers of the most primitive shacks in the barrios. I believe we created an intimate portrait of the life of some of the most desperate mass of individuals alive, replete with awesome and telling visuals, as well as much local music. Although the film was made some time ago, I think that their lives and living conditions have not improved very much at all.
A Problem of Power will be preceded by a short titled Fable Safe which I produced at the height of the Cold War, and it opened the New York Film Festival the year it was released.
My career as a filmmaker began with my first job as a page at NBC just after graduating from college. Six years there became my basic training in television, followed by three years at Radio Free Europe in Munich. When I returned to the US I created the first independent-voiced international news service, the precursor of CNN. After a couple of years as manager of Foreign News at WOR and RKO General, I spent two years at PBS and then a decade at Columbia University where I was first hired as Manager of the Center for Mass Communication and then segued into my teaching career. I resigned to found Mass Communications during which time I was a consultant to the United Nations, the Consulate General of Japan, and the President of Harvard. In 1988 I was appointed Director of the Department of Film, Video and Broadcasting at NYU, a position I held until my early retirement. After leaving my day job, I founded Westminster Productions, Inc., which has kept me busy ever since. In addition to the above, I have lectured on eleven luxury cruise lines giving a workshop titled “Creating a Video Documentary of Your Cruise” and have been the principal author of the best-selling text Movie Making: A Guide to Film Production. I am currently editing a series of interviews I created with John Kenneth Galbraith when he was 90 years old.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED DUE TO BUILDING SECURITY. ALL NAMES MUST BE ON GUEST LIST.
PLEASE RSVP via email email@example.com to reserve a seat. Use film title "A Problem of Power" in subject line of email.
Produced & Moderated by Sumner Jules Glimcher