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VMA Professors Awarded Seed Money for New Documentary Projects

malic amalya in front of structure
Assistant Professor Malic Amalya

Assistant Professor Malic Amalya and Professor John Gianvito were awarded Moving Image Awards from the LEF Foundation to support upcoming feature-length documentary projects.

Amalya and Gianvito, both faculty in the Visual and Media Arts department, each were awarded $2,500 Early Development seed funds from the LEF Moving Image Fund, which supports New England-based filmmakers.

In Amalya’s Slinging Cartoon Rifles, controversy over the local high school’s mascot, the Rebels, rocks South Burlington, Vermont in 2015, as a former history teacher speaks out against the school’s historical alliance with the Confederacy. Racist vandalism, stalking, legal disputes, and a “kill list” ensued.

Amalya’s film will trace the origins of South Burlington High’s mascot, histories of colonialism and slavery in Vermont, acts of white supremacy, and the anti-racist activism led by students of color that ultimately persuaded the school board to drop the Rebels mascot in 2017.

john gianviot with film reels behind him
Professor John Gianvito

Too Dark to See is the working title of Gianvito’s project. In it, he revisits the legacy of forgotten American documentarian Allan Francovich. Francovich, who died in 1997 under murky circumstances, made a series of films focused on hidden histories of U.S. governmental malfeasance: from 1960s Mississippi to collusion with Central American death squads in the ‘80s, to decades-long involvement with terrorist networks in Europe and Africa.

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