Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Film/Video – experimental, Film/Video – feature

David Petersen

Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Film/Video – experimental, Film/Video – feature
Region: Brooklyn
MacDowell fellowships: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2017

David Petersen’s films have exhibited at numerous international museums and festivals, including Centre Georges Pompidou, The Museum of Modern Art, The Hirshhorn Museum, The National Gallery of Art, and The Library of Congress. His films are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His Academy Award-nominated documentary Fine Food, Fine Pastries, Open 6 to 9, received first place prizes in numerous international film festivals and his PBS documentary If You Lived Here You Would Be Home Now was an Independent Spirit Award Nominee. His screenplay for the dramatic feature film I Run and Feel Rain was optioned by Miramax Films to star Sissy Spacek, Tim Roth, and Samuel Jackson. His feature-length documentary Let the Church Say Amen, was an official selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival among many others, premiered on the PBS series “Independent Lens,” and was honored as “one of the best documentaries of 2004” by the Academy Award Documentary Committee. His most recent films include Journey of the Bonesetter’s Daughter which premiered on PBS in 2011, the dramatic short Hinterland, 2 Months to be Quiet which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art; Vila Aliança, and LIFT, two feature length documentaries now in production, and the dramatic film Billy and Ray, co-written with New Yorker writer Alex Kotlowitz and produced by Mike Ryan (Junebug) and Amy Hobby (Secretary). Petersen has received numerous artist fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, VCCA, Blue Mountain Center, and The Ragdale Foundation. As a writer, he has received commissions from La Jolla Playhouse, Squonk Opera, Miramax Films; and his fiction has appeared in various literary journals in the United States and overseas. He is now assistant professor in the Media Culture Department of City College of New York at Staten Island.



David Petersen worked in the Kirby studio.

Erected in memory of Sarah L. Kirby, who had left a bequest to MacDowell, this studio was the first — and remains the only — brick building on the grounds. Built by local mason Augustus Beaulieu, the load-bearing masonry walls rest on a fieldstone foundation. The design of the boxlike building is simple and compact…

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