The 2013 True Vision Award was given to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, co-directors of Leviathan and instructors at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab.
Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab turns academic anthropological theory into irreducible, immersive cinema, discovering a captivating beauty in the interconnected web of human and animal life. In Sweetgrass (2009) Lucien Castaing-Tayler recorded modern day cowboys conducting one last sheep drive across the stunning and hazardous Absaroka-Beartooth mountains of Montana.
And in Verena Paravel and J. P. Sniadecki’s Foreign Parts (T/F 2011) we enter an otherworldy economy of wrecks and refuse in the ill-fated Willets Point industrial zone.
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s Leviathan, as well as Lucien’s previous feature Sweetgrass, will be playing at True/False this year. Leviathan is a revelatory, immersive work of nonfiction that, at times, feels more horror film than documentary. It takes place on board (and, breathtakingly, overboard) a commercial fishing vessel off the coast of Massachusetts (not coincidentally, the same waters that would inspire Melville to write Moby Dick). Shot with an armload of waterproof, lightweight cameras, the action is vertiginous and dynamic, even when the ship is quiet. This is Sensory Ethnography fully realized – a work of art that lives in the “real” and conveys more than just recorded experience.
Castaing-Taylor and Paravel are leading a revolution in observational cinema and True/False is honored to present them with the 2013 True Vision Award.
The True Vision Award, the only award given at True/False, is presented annually to a filmmaker (or filmmaking team) whose work shows a dedication to the creative advancement of nonfiction filmmaking. It is designed and cast in bronze by mid-Missouri sculptor Larry Young. This year’s award is sponsored by Timothy D. McGarrity, MD.