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Alfred Guzzetti, Filmmaker

Alfred Guzzetti is an independent maker of documentary and experimental films, including Family Portrait Sittings (1971-75), Scenes from Childhood (1977-80), and Beginning Pieces (1981-86).  The feature-length Family Portrait Sittings was included in the Berlin, Edinburgh and Sundance film festivals.  Beginning Pieces won the Grand Prize for best film at the National Short Film and Video Competition at the 1987 USA Film Festival.  An earlier short, Air (1970-71), received first prize in the experimental category at the 1972 Chicago Film Festival. 

Guzzetti collaborated with Susan Meiselas and Richard Rogers on Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family (1984-85) and the feature-length Pictures from a Revolution (1988-91).  The latter was premiered at the New York Film Festival, received two prizes at the Leipzig film festival, and was telecast by the BBC in the United Kingdom, by MDR in Germany, by RAI in Italy and by MICO in Japan.  Currently he and Susan Meiselas are completing work on The Barrios Family 25 Years Later, a set of 20 short films that carry forward the story of the family portrayed in Living at Risk.

Guzzetti has received three fellowships from The Artists Foundation of Massachusetts and two production grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 1993 he began to work in small-format videotape and to date has completed fourteen tapes.  These include Rosetta Stone (1995), Variation (1996), What Actually Happened (1996), Under the Rain (1997), A Tropical Story (1998)—the latter two were paired in a 2002 solo gallery show at Location One, New York—The Tower of Industrial Life (2000), Down from the Mountains (2002), Calcutta Intersection (2003), History of the Sea (2004), América Central (2004), and Night Vision (2005).  These tapes were shown at a variety of venues, including the New York Video Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Dallas Video Festival, Panaemonium in London, the European Media Art Festival, and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival.  The Tower of Industrial Life was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and was presented in gallery settings at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and The Digital Room in Copenhagen. The Museum of Modern Art has shown América Central, Night Vision, and the more recent Still Point (2008). 

In the summer of 1997, Guzzetti was Visiting Artist in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, University of Dar es Salaam, where he shot and later edited Khalfan and Zanzibar with Ákos Óstör of Wesleyan University and Lina Fruzzetti of Brown, his partners in an earlier project, Seed and Earth (1994), which shared the Prix Planète-Cable at the Quinzième Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris.  Khalfan and Zanzibar, the recipient of a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival, was included in the Göttingen Festival and in the Margaret Mead Festival in New York. 


Guzzetti has collaborated on three projects with composer Kurt Stallmann: SONA, Breaking Earth, and Moon Crossings.  Born in Philadelphia, Guzzetti is Professor of Visual Arts at Harvard University and is the author of the book Two or Three Things I Know about Her: Analysis of a Film by Godard