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Critical Conversations: Aaron Dennis and Umayyah Cable

On Thursday, February 14, 2019, Aaron Dennis, producer, editor, and videographer at Stone Hut Studios and Umayyah Cable, Assistant Professor of English at Hartwick College staged the third installment of the Department of Film, Television and Media’s Critical Conversations series, speaking to a full house in the Hatcher Library’s Gallery Room 100.

Associate Professor Colin Gunckel introduced the guests, moderated the discussion, and opened the floor to a wide range of questions from the attendees at the end of the discussion. 

Professor Umayyah Cable gave a presentation based on their forthcoming book about Palestinian media activism. Their talk focused in particular on the production and distribution of filmstrips in the 1970s that were intended to raise awareness and support for Palestinians. Focusing on the mode of address apparent in the filmstrips and their grassroots mode of production, Cable excavates an unwritten chapter of U.S.-based advocacy for Palestine and of the history of nontheatrical political filmmaking and distribution.

Aaron Dennis, owner of Stone Hut Studios, talked about his film The People and the Olive. Shot in conjunction with a group of fair trade activists and the Palestine Fair Trade Association, the documentary highlights the ways in which the conflict in Israel and Palestine has affected olive farmers and transformed the landscape of the region. Dennis also discussed his personal history as a filmmaker and producer, offering his perspective on a career as an independent media maker interested in issues of social justice.

Photo credit for above photos, Mary Lou Chlipala