Keith Wilson to premiere new film ‘I Didn’t See You There’ at Ciné

I Didn’t See You There,” a new film produced by Keith Wilson, a lecturer in Grady College’s Department of Entertainment and Media Studies (EMST), will make its Georgia premiere at Ciné on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The screening is one of two upcoming local events involving Wilson.

The film, which had its theatrical opening at the Firehouse Cinema in New York City on Sept. 30, won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It follows a disabled filmmaker who launches into an unflinching meditation on spectacle, (in)visibility and the corrosive legacy of the Freak Show, after a circus tent goes up outside of his Oakland apartment. 

“About three years ago, I saw some early footage the director had shot for the film, and it quite literally changed the way in which I moved through the world,” said Wilson, a director, creative producer and visual artist. “In 76 cinematic minutes, it manages to convey joy, anger, criticality, messiness and perfection while presenting a perspective that is new to most audiences. I’m grateful to Grady and the EMST Department — particularly Kate Fortmueller and Jay Hamilton — for making it possible to bring ‘I Didn’t See You There’ to Athens.”

Ciné Athens is located at 234 West Hancock Avenue. The screening is at 8 p.m.

Performative Lecture: Gangway

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, one week prior to the the screening of “I Didn’t See You There,” Wilson will be presenting a live documentary performance about a 106-year-old San Francisco gay bar called The Gangway. The event will happen at The Athenaeum. 

Before its closure in 2018, The Gangway was the site of police raids, community organizing, early HIV-AIDS activism and general joy-making. Combining archival material, 3D models and performance, this immersive piece explores new models for experiencing lost places and the creation of future narratives. 

“I am thrilled to present the Gangway in Athens at the Athenaeum, which is such an exciting, new venue for contemporary art in the Southeast,” said Wilson. “The live documentary piece not only introduces viewers to an important piece of queer history, it also questions the notion of what a film, a lecture, a performance is or isn’t.”

The Athenaeum is located at 287 West Broad Street. The event is at 6 p.m.

Keith Wilson awarded Sundance documentary grant

Keith Wilson, a lecturer in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies, was named recipient of a grant from the nonprofit Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.

The fund offers non-recoupable support for nonfiction projects that continue to elevate and advance cultural dialogue and break new ground in creativity and innovation from filmmakers with a distinct voice and vision, and a meaningful connection to the work they create.

Wilson is the producer of the film, “I Didn’t See You There,” a documentary about a disabled filmmaker who launches into an unflinching meditation on freakdom and (in)visibility when a circus tent goes up near his apartment. The film is directed by Reid Davenport.

“Receiving this grant is transformative for our project,” Wilson said of the grant. “Securing funding for independent, artist-driven documentary work is always an uphill battle, so the financial piece of the award is greatly appreciated.”

Wilson was named a 2021 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow for the same film project earlier this year. The Fellowship included participation in a week-long Producers Summit, as well as year-long mentorship, creative support and networking opportunities with industry professionals.

“In many ways, the intangible support the Sundance Institute has provided us in the form of mentorship, professional development, and access to industry networks, have been even more essential than the finances,” Wilson added.  

The Documentary Fund supports the work of nonfiction filmmakers from around the world. The fund has been a critical force in supporting work that has expressed the world in creative, complex, and provocative ways, and has created cultural and social impact around some of the most pressing issues of our time.

A total of $600,000 in unrestricted grant support has been provided to the projects in various stages of production and distribution, including eight in development, eight in production, three in post-production, and one in post-production and impact. The projects’ subject matter feature topics of disability, feminist history, globalization, grief and loss, and housing inequality, among other areas. A complete list of recipient projects can be viewed here.

Grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Kendeda Fund.

This cycle, eight out of the ten U.S. films granted are helmed by at least one BIPOC director. This statistic reflects the fund’s commitment to emerging artists whose voices have been historically marginalized in hegemonic Western societies.

“With this expansive cohort, the Documentary Film Fund is holding true to its commitment to independent storytelling. As we celebrate 20 years of funding hundreds of films, these films are a tangible representation of all that we stand for and value,” said Carrie Lozano, Sundance Institute, Director of Documentary Film Program and Artist Programs.