Acclaimed filmmaker and teacher cites documentary as a tool for social change


CHICAGO--  (Feb. 26, 2013)   Award-winning documentary filmmaker Suree Towfighnia will deliver a lecture entitled, “Through the Lens: The Role of Documentary in Society” as part of the East-West Perspectives lecture series on Tue., March 19, 2013 in the Fourth Floor Auditorium at East-West University, 816 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago.  The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.  Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

Suree Towfighnia is as an independent filmmaker and co-founder of Prairie Dust Films based in Chicago.  Her work as a director focuses on social and environmental justice themes under-represented in mainstream media.

Ms. Towfighnia is currently directing Crying Earth Rise Up, a feature documentary examining the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on water supply. Her previous feature, Standing Silent Nation, tracked a Native American family's struggle for economic empowerment on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  The film was broadcast nationally on PBS’ POV program and won many awards in domestic and international festivals.  Her award-winning thesis project film, Tampico, focused on a Chicago street performer who is the last person left to perform her family’s music.

Suree teaches master classes on media and documentary, and works as a teaching artist.  She co-founded the Lakota Media Project in 2003 to mentor and train Lakota girls and women to document their way of life.  She earned her MFA in Documentary from Columbia College Chicago, where she was technical coordinator and adjunct faculty. She received a BA in History and Latin American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Please note:  The new starting time for this lecture is an hour earlier than past lectures in the Perspectives series.

East-West University is a private, not-for-profit, and non-denominational institution of higher learning in Chicago’s South Loop.  East-West is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and provides affordable, quality higher education to students from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.


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