Lee Anne Schmitt

I am a writer and director of both film and performance events, working in film, writing, photography, and performance to create work that elevates the everyday elements of American life towards the level of cultural ritual. I have set out to explore the juncture between fiction and documentary that defines the ‘essay film’. All of my work begins with landscape, the experience of living in a particular place at a particular time, the phenomena of time and space, and the space between the ideology and the reality of the spaces we live within.

History is always marked upon the land, a process made remarkable in California, a state whose very geography has been recharted to serve specific uses. While sold as an open space, a limitless land expansive with free opportunity, California was actually, from its beginning, fissured by the interwoven needs of private and state interests. The reality of our world was born out of very specific moments and choices, a construction that is neither organic nor inevitable.