I have been a bit MIA on my blog. There is a reason. The reason is that I have been working on a short documentary for my Masters in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. After about two years of work though, completion is on the horizon.
The short documentary, Photos by Kirk, is about an Armenian immigrant that was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and who worked as a photographer in the Bronx, NY for over 50 years. He documented generations of people through his photographs of weddings, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, local events, family portraits and other varied occurrences that were of importance to the people in his Bronx neighbourhood.
The film constructs the world of this photographer, telling his life story through interviews of his family, past clients and historians who provide context for the time period and people in his life. I used an excerpt of photographs from the archive of photographs he left behind after his death in 1979 to show how the local photographer while often overlooked in the history of photography was quite important to the social history of America.
His daughter, Mimi Vang Olsen, who is a painter and longtime family friend, was an invaluable resource and source of encouragement to completing this film. Through the memories of her childhood and her father, I was able to construct a multi-dimensional look at both history and his life story.
The film is going to have a “sneak preview” showing at the Doc Now Festival in Toronto, Canada which is a student-organized festival for the graduates of the Documentary Media MFA program. It will be shown on June 5th and June 28th . For more information please go to: docnow.ca, docnow.ca/artists/jamie-fleck