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Franco-Americans Film-Makers

Bernier | Levine

Don Bernier

Bernier is a film/video maker who has been producing both experimental and documentary work for the past decade. He comes from a long line of Quebecois who, in the late 1800s, moved to Maine to work in textile mills along the Androscoggin River. Don received a BFA at Kansas City Art Institute before going on to earn a graduate degree in Media Study at SUNY-Buffalo. He has taught media production and theory in colleges and community-based technology centers from New England to northern California. Since 1992, he also has been working on Album: An Epic of the Ordinary, an ongoing oral history video project chronicling the lives of an extended Quebecois family residing in small town Maine since the late 1800s. Most recently, he directed a feature documentary, In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and was nominated for a 2005 IFP Gotham Award.

Bernier lives in New York City with his wife, Tina, where he works as an editor on PBS television programs.
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    • Website - mimetic media

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Ben Levine

  • Levine is a Video Artist and Documentary Film Maker. Originally trained as a clinical psychologist, he had worked in Civil Rights, with the mentally ill, and with Vietnam Era heroin addicts where he developed active video feedback outreach techniques that make his documentary style intimate, engaged, and thoughtful.

    As a founding Director of Peoples Video Theater and Survival Arts Media in New York's Soho, he was active in the 1970's Video Art and Community Television movement and is known as a Video Pioneer. His work has been seen at the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hayden Planetarium, and on US and European Television. He has produced and performed in live multi-image media events at the Kitchen, the World Trade Center, Lincoln Center, and many universities.

    Based in Maine for over 25 years, Ben Levine has been an Independent Producer writing and directing documentary-style educational, public interest, and corporate video and television programs for clients ranging from National Semiconductor to the Prudential, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Maine Office on AIDS, and the Baobab Institute in Dakar, Senegal. His productions have earned Gold and Silver Awards from ITVA, IFTVA, Broderson and others.

    Ben has developed film and video community-based education programs in film festival formats including Accès Cinéma Africain in Montreal, and the Franco-American Film Festival in Maine. And he has served on panels including Membre du Jury, Vues d'Afrique, and the Maine Commission on the Arts, Media Panel. He has taught documentary video at Maine Film and Television Workshops and at the University of Maine.

    His current film on Franco-American cultural survival: Réveil - Waking Up French revisits the themes of his first film on that subject made in 1980: Si Je Comprends Bien (If I really Understand). See what Amy Calder said when the film opened in 2002.

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    • Websites - Waking Up French and Language Revival
    • Biography - See website
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Last updated: July 17, 2007