Competition: US & Canada
J.P. Sniadecki is a filmmaker and anthropologist active in China and the United States whose work explores collective experience, sensory ethnography, and the possibilities of cinema. His films are in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and have been exhibited at the 2014 Whitney Biennale, the 2014 Shanghai Biennale, the Guggenheim, Vienna’s MAK, Beijing’s UCCA, the Centre George Pompidou, the Shenzhen Center for Public Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Harvard Film Archive, the Pacific Film Archive, Film Anthology Archives, and the Museum of Natural History. He has screened at festivals such as the AFI, BAFICI, Beijing Independent Film Festival, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Edinburgh, Locarno, New York, RIDM, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Torino, and Viennale.
His work includes Chaiqian/Demolition (2010), winner of the Joris Ivens Award; Foreign Parts (2010, co-directed with Verena Paravel), winner of two Leopards at Locarno and named Best Film at the Punto de Vista Film Festival and DocsBarcelona; People’s Park (2012, co-directed with Libbie Cohn), named Best Anthropological Film at Festival dei Popoli; and Yumen (2013, co-directed with Huang Xiang and Xu Ruotao), named Best Experimental Film and Best Chinese Film at the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival; and The Iron Ministry (2014), an intimate portrait of China’s sprawling railway network, a New York Times Critics Pick that garnered the top prize at L’Alternativa Film Festival and jury prizes at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Valdivia International Film Festival, and Camden International Film Festival. His latest film, El Mar La Mar (2017, co-directed with Josh Bonnetta), presents an ethno-horror depiction of the Sonoran Desert borderlands between Mexico and the United States and won the “Caligari Award” at its premiere at the Berlinale. Co-founder of the traveling film series “Cinema on the Edge” and “China Now,” which showcase new cinema from China, he has been a committed supporter of Chinese independent cinema and has written related articles and interviews about the topic for the Canadian journal Cinema Scope and contributed essays to Visual Anthropology Review and the edited volume DV-Made China (Hawaii University Press). Sniadecki is assistant professor in the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at Northwestern University and teaches film practice and theory in the MFA program in Documentary Media.