Discipline: Film/Video – documentary

Irene Lusztig

Discipline: Film/Video – documentary
Region: Santa Cruz, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2006, 2022

Irene Lusztig is a feminist filmmaker, archival researcher, educator, and amateur seamstress. Beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historic materials into conversation with the present day, mining old images for new meanings that reframe, recuperate, and reanimate forgotten and neglected histories.

Her feature-length films include her debut film Reconstruction (2001), the archival film essay The Motherhood Archives (2013), and the performative documentary Yours in Sisterhood (2018). Reconstruction was screened at MoMA and was awarded the Discovery Award by the Boston Film Critics Society.

Her work has been screened around the world, including at the Berlinale, MoMA, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty NYC, IDFA Amsterdam, Hot Docs, AFI Docs, BFI London Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, DocLisboa, and RIDM Montréal. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, Massachusetts Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, and Sustainable Arts Foundation, and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell, the Flaherty Film Seminar, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Fulbright, and the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship.

At MacDowell in 2006, Irene began work on a collaborative video with Vision Machine Film Project in London. In addition, she began shooting Class Notes, an interactive video piece, and researched a found footage film about tourism. During her 2022 Fellowship, she worked to finalize the edit for Richland, a feature length documentary exploring feelings, belief, denial, and affect in the Easter, Washington community that produced plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb. Lusztig was awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship to support her work on this film.

Made at MacDowell

Fellow Works Supported by MacDowell

Richland (Documentary Film)



Irene Lusztig worked in the Mixter studio.

Built in 1927–1930, the Florence Kilpatrick Mixter Studio was funded by its namesake and designed by the architect F. Winsor, Jr., who also designed MacDowell's original Savidge Library in 1925. Mixter Studio, solidly built of yellow and grey-hued granite, once had sweeping views of Pack Monadnock to the east. The lush forest has now grown…

Learn more