Discipline: Film/Video – documentary

Alexandra Halkin

Discipline: Film/Video – documentary
Region: Chicago, IL
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Alexandra Halkin is a documentary filmmaker, producer, and film distributor. In 2004, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Latin American Indigenous Video Initiative (LAIVI). In 2007, Alexandra was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for the Indigenous Audiovisual Archive (IAA) in Oaxaca, Mexico. During this time, she also produced five short documentaries in collaboration with Mexican human rights organizations—some winning international awards.

In 1998, she founded the Chiapas Media Project (CMP) an award winning bi-national organization that trained over 200 indigenous men and women in video production in Chiapas and Guerrero, Mexico. For the last five years, Alexandra has collaborated with ProMedios (the Mexican NGO that grew out of CMP) to create the Center for the Preservation of Community Audiovisual Archives (CEPAAC) based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

In 2010, Alexandra founded the Americas Media Initiative (AMI) a non-profit organization that works with Cuban filmmakers living in Cuba. Alexandra has organized four Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias Documentary Programs that have brought U.S. documentaries, filmmakers, and programmers to audiences in 14 towns throughout Cuba. In 2013 Alexandra co-curated the New Cuban Shorts Program, part of the Documentary Fortnight Series at the MoMA.

While at MacDowell, Alexandra reviewed more than 80 digitized analogue videotapes from the Chiapas Media Project/Promedios archive. These videos were recorded from 1998 to 1999 and were the first documentation of the Chiapas Media Project's initial video workshops with the Zapatista indigenous communities. The tapes include the first videos made by the communities, interviews with Zapatista authorities, cultural events, religious ceremonies and documentation of human rights violations committed against the indigenous communities by the Mexican military. Some of the footage will be edited into a video selects reel later this year for inclusion in upcoming film development grant applications for the feature documentary, If We Film It, It's the Truth.

Portrait by Francisco Vazquez



Alexandra Halkin worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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