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Scott Christopherson to Speak on Using Spiritual Guidance to Represent Others Through Documentary Filmmaking

Department of Theatre and Media Arts professor Scott Christopherson shares his perspective as a documentary filmmaker on the relationship between spirituality and representation.

Scott Christopherson headshot

The lecture will take place on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall In February’s Faith + Works lecture, Department of Theatre and Media Arts professor Scott Christopherson will share his perspective as a documentary filmmaker on the relationship between spirituality and representation. “Representing human beings is an extremely difficult and complex process,” said Christopherson. “There’s a lot at stake when documentary subjects allow themselves to be vulnerable. When I’m vulnerable as a director and in my own daily communion with God, my ability to represent someone deepens.” Christopherson is passionate about film as a means to enact social change and influence communities. Much of his work has been focused in Thailand, where he created a non-profit organization called the Thai Film Fund as a way for the people of Khao Lak — a coastal region hit hardest by the 2004 tsunami — to share their stories through art. Christopherson is also interested in exploring urban landscapes through film. His first feature-length documentary — “Peace Officer” — centers around police-involved shootings in the United States. While navigating the documentary’s sensitive social context and deciding how to represent the officers in the film, Christopherson found himself relying on prayer and guidance from the Spirit. “In his omniscience, God understands the subtleties of everyone I choose to portray,” said Christopherson. “As I’ve prayed for help in representing them, I’ve found creative energy, even creative revelation. Representing someone isn’t perfect, but sometimes there’s a truth revealed through that imperfect representation.”

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