Lee Anne Schmitt
Farnsworth Scores
The Farnsworth Scores, a collaboration between the composer Rob MAzurek and Lee Anne Schmitt, premiered at CineMarfa in May 2017.

Purge This Land premiered at CPH DOX 2017
The history of racism and slavery in modern America is retold in a gifted and highly topical film, which spans from the 1850s to present-day USA, where the traces of the past are still present in landscapes and cityscapes, on gable paintings and in forgotten letters. And in the systemic violence that black Americans are still subjected to. John Brown - a white, militant activist and a fierce opponent of slavery - was sentenced to death in 1859 for a failed attempt to start an armed revolution. His story is a prism, through which the contemporary artist Lee Anne Schmitt's beautiful and thought-provoking film takes a clear and sober look at the dark side of American history. The past is never dead, it is not even the past, as Faulkner wrote - and Schmitt finds its traces etched into the material reality like a language with a grammar that only (film) art can decode. 'Purge This Land' is dedicated to Schmitt's own children, who by all accounts can look forward to growing up under the odious yoke of racism. But where civil rights movements are just as little a thing of the past.

Womannightfilm was a part of the Transforming Spaces screening at RedCAt theater in Los Angeles.
Event screening
Film writeup
Womannightfilm premiered at the Viennale in October 2014.
Jihlava International Film Festival
The Last Buffalo Hunt (2011) was a special selection of the Jihlava International Film Festival, and entered their streaming library of films.
California Company Town - Special Screening
In April 2015 California Company Town was screened at the Dryden Museum, part of the George Eastman House as part of a series on mona altered landscape films.
Creative Capital Grant
In January Lee Anne Schmitt was announced as one of the 2015 recipients of the
Creative Capital grant, for her project So That I May Come Back.
Official announcement
Project entry
RedCat Screening on February 13th
Lee Anne Schmitt
The Last Buffalo Hunt
Los Angeles premiere | 76 min., HDCAM, 2010
Created by Lee Lynch and Lee Anne Schmitt
Directed by Lee Anne Schmitt
Produced by Lee Lynch and Lee Anne Schmitt
For five years, filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt and her collaborators followed Terry Albrecht, a guide-for-hire for hunters who want to kill buffalo. Yet Albrecht is tired; his livelihood is threatened by the rising cost of gasoline, and the mystique of the West has become a commodity for nouveaux riches—like the couple posing in Santa costumes in front of their trophy, or the woman who switches pleasures from shopping sprees to insulting a buffalo that wouldn’t die fast enough. The film ends on a melancholy sequence, in a hokey wax museum, where cowboys and buffalo alike become ghosts. In the West, it is the legend that is printed, not the history—because history is repeated twice—once as slaughter, the second time as pageantry.

Preceded by: Three Stories
US Premiere | 2011 | 14 min | DigiBeta
Produced, directed, shot and edited by Lee Anne Schmitt
With a live music performance by Jeff Parker
These three short films are shot without direct sound and dialogue. Lee Anne Schmitt lets Jeff Parker’s music accompany the images… Public and private history form a new, abstract, and yet tangible unity.

In person: Lee Anne Schmitt
The Last Buffalo Hunt will be part of the Unkown Pleasures Festival in Berlin in January, 2012
Bowers Cave as part of CATE at the Gene Siskel Center in Chicago
Bowers Cave was screened as part of an evening about Landscape and the archive, curated by Thomas Comerford, I was there for a rolicking Q and A with the audience and filmmaker Bill Brown.
I will appear at the DIRM festival in Montreal, screening The Last Buffalo Hunt and appearing on a panel with the director's of Putty Hill and Dragonslayer.
The Last Buffalo Hunt at ZINEBI festival, in a CALARTS showcase curated by Laida Lerxtundi
The Last Buffalo Hunt will be part of a screening of films from CalArts curated by Laida Lerxtundi.
The Last Buffalo Hunt at DocLisboa
The Last Buffalo Hunt screened at the 2011 DocLisboa Festival.
Retrospective in Vienna
I was honored to have a retrospective at this year's Viennale. You can see a link to the show on my link page.
Genevieve Yue's writeup of films from Rotterdam 2011, including The Last Buffalo Hunt
Max Goldberg's writeup of films at the San Francisco International Film Festival
Here is a link to Max Goldberg's writeup of films at the San Francisco Film Festival, including The Last Buffalo Hunt.
The Last Buffalo Hunt as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival on April 23, 26, 27th....
The Last Buffalo Hunt at the BAFICI Festival April 6 to 13th in Argentina
The Last Buffalo Hunt in the International Competition of the Jeonju Film Festival
We are honored to be part of the competition in the Jeonju Film Festival 2011
French DVD of the Last Buffalo Hunt available through docnet
DocNet has released a french subtitled version of The Last Buffalo Hunt, as part of a series of films from the 2011 version of Cinema du Reel.
It is available here:
A writeup of the films shown at Punto de Vista, including The Last Buffalo Hunt
The Last Buffalo Hunt at the Cinema de Reel 2011
The Last Buffalo Hunt will screen at the Cinema du Reel at the George Pompidou Center in Paris at the end of March 2011.
The Festival website can be found here:
The Last Buffalo Hunt in Mexico City
The Last Buffalo Hunt will screen as part of the first annual FICUNAM festival in Mexico City, running from February 24 to March 3.
A link to the festival website is here:
The Last Buffalo Hunt at Punto de Vista in Spain
The Last Buffalo Hunt shows at the Punto de Vista Festival in Pamplona, Spain from February 22-27, 2011.
The link to the festival is here:
The Last Buffalo Hunt premieres at Rotterdam
The Last Buffalo Hunt has its premiere as part of the Bright Futures program at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
CCT in Brazil
California Company Town is playing as part of a curated program; here is the link:
http://www.fcs.mg.gov.br/agenda/detalhes.aspx?IdAgenda=1860, and the text for the seminar is below:
Entre os dias 3 e 10 de novembro o Cine Humberto Mauro abrigará o Ciclo Cinema, Estética e Política, composto por duas partes distintas, porém relacionadas: a “Parte I” conta com seminário ministrado pelo professor e pesquisador português André Dias e a “Parte II” apresenta uma mostra de filmes contemporâneos, marcados pela problematização da relação entre cinema e política.

No seminário Papel Ateia Cinza: Filmes Perante W. G. Sebald, serão exibidos os filmes D`est (Chantal Akerman), California Company Town (Lee Ann Schmitt), Complexo Volkswagen (Hartmut Bitomski) e Artistas do Teatro Queimado (Rithy Pahn). O foco das discussões será a relação entre cinema e política através da relação desses e mais alguns filmes com a obra do escritor W.G Sebald. Já a segunda parte será composta da mostra de filmes intitulada Estados do Mundo, na qual serão exibidos os filmes Plataforma (Jia Zhang-Ke), Em Construção (Jose Luis Guerin), Pacific (Marcelo Pedroso) e A Oeste dos Trilhos (Wang Bing).

Durante o Ciclo poderá ser avaliada a forma como o cinema contemporâneo trabalha a relação entre imagem e política, tanto em relação aos fatos a serem filmados, como a maneira de filmá-los. Compreender um pouco mais o processo de transformação por que passa o mundo atual, a partir do cinema, suas imagens e também sua relação com a obra de W.G Sebald.
Interview and Film at UniverseCine
There is an interview with me, and a link to a VOD of the film on the UniverseCine site. You need to be in France to watch the film, but you can see the interview here:
CCT at Le Semaine du Cinema Ethnographique December 2010
I am proud to show California Company Town at the upcoming Semaine du Cinema Ethnographique in Caen.
More information can be found here:
International Jury at FID Marseilles
I am honored and surprised to be included as part of the International Competition jury at the upcoming edition of FID Marseilles.
Lee Anne Schmitt and CCT as part of the Berlin Documentary Forum
I will be attending the first annual Berlin Documentary Forum in early June, with the film California Company Town. It is an honour to be there, and to show in the company of some of my favorite filmmakers, such as Ben Russel and Uruphong Raksasad.
My program is curated by Eduardo Thomas.
Bowers Cave in Oberhausen Film Festival
Bowers Cave shows as part of Oberhausen Film Festival May 2, 2010. It is the film's German Premiere.
CCT at the Union Theater in Milwaukee
CCT played at the Union Theater in Milwaukee on April 6, 2010.
Bowers Cave at Ambulante
Bowers Cave plays as part of the Ambulante Film Festival in Mexico through the Spring. It will be be in Tijuana the weekend of April 17th.
CCT at Eau Claire Film Festival
CCT shows at the Eau Claire Film Festival on April 17, 2010.
Bower's Cave in Korea
Bower's Cave will have its South Korean premiere in May 2010 at the Jeonju Film Festival.
Bower's Cave
Bower's Cave will have its German premiere at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in April.
CCT at Girl and a Gun Conference in Paris
CCT is part of the student run conference "Girl and a Gun" in Paris.
CCT at Le Petit Cine in Brussels March 12-16
CCT will play in Brussels form March 12-16, 2010
California Company Town at SCMS Conference in Los Angeles
California Company Town will be part of the SCMS Conference in Los Angeles from March 17-21
California Company Town at Cinema Planeta in Cuernavaca, Mexico
California Company Town will play March 5 to 13 at the Cinema Planeta Festival in Morelia, Mexico
CCT at the Quebec Cinematheque
California Company Town played at the Quebec Cinematheque on January 27, 2010. The link can be found here:http://www.cinematheque.qc.ca/index.html
CCT in Le Monde

Trois beaux documentaires sur le capitalisme
LE MONDE | 28.02.09 | 14h56 • Mis à jour le 02.03.09 | 09h22

Trois films, parmi les trente-sept que compte la compétition du festival Cinéma du réel (5-17 mars), à Paris, éclairent la crise économique actuelle. Nous avons pu les voir et ils sont remarquables. Il s'agit de California Company Town, de l'Américaine Lee Anne Schmitt, de L'Argent du charbon, du Chinois Wang Bing, et de La Chine est encore loin, de l'Algérien Malek Bensmaïl.
Ces films récents ne partagent pas seulement le fait d'être réussis. Ils évoquent la manière dont l'Histoire économique et politique, avec sa grande hache, inscrit ses stigmates dans le paysage géographique et humain, au risque de le vitrifier.
Dans California Company Town, défilent des villes crées par l'industrie à l'époque du boom économique, puis abandonnées à leur sort lors de la disparition de ces entreprises. Ces villes, qui ont pour nom Chester, Scotia, Calico, McCloud ou Corcoran, sont aujourd'hui comme mortes, transformées dans le meilleur des cas - à moins que ce ne soit le pire - en parc fantomatique du Far West.
D'une époustouflante beauté, le film feuillette chacune de ces villes comme on le ferait d'un rutilant album de souvenirs. Peintures publicitaires de l'âge d'or des années 1950 et extraits d'archives sonores comportant des discours officiels ou syndicaux se joignent à la voix off de la réalisatrice pour faire remonter à la surface le passé de ces paysages dépeuplés, figés dans l'éternité de leur abandon.
De ce passé remonte jusqu'à nous des utopies sociales avortées, des résistances syndicales écrasées, des expansions industrielles qui finissent par se dévorer elles-mêmes. Cette topographie de la mémoire sociale, qui se termine ironiquement sur le fleuron de la Silicon Valley, est une étonnante nature morte de la Californie, un tableau crépusculaire du rêve américain proche de la science-fiction.
Loin de ce rêve exsangue, à l'autre bout du monde, Wang Bing nous amène, par les moyens du cinéma direct, à la renaissance brutale du capitalisme en Chine. L'auteur de A l'ouest des rails (2003), chef-d'oeuvre du documentaire contemporain, s'intéresse ici au convoyage du charbon depuis les mines de Mongolie intérieure. Traversant un paysage quasiment lunaire, les chauffeurs routiers, forçats noircis de sueur sortis d'un monde qu'on croyait révolu, tentent tout au long de la route de vendre leur marchandise au meilleur prix à des revendeurs qui ne s'en laissent pas compter. Filmées au plus près, ces âpres négociations délivrent un message plus général sur les rapports marchands, mélange de violence réelle, de jeu symbolique et d'absurdité beckettienne.
C'est pourtant bien à ce "miracle" chinois que rêvent les laissés-pour-compte algériens de La Chine est encore loin. Dans ce film, Malek Bensmaïl, qui avait consacré un excellent documentaire à un hôpital psychiatrique de Constantine (Aliénations, 2004), tient la chronique désenchantée d'une petite ville des Aurès, Ghassira, considérée comme le berceau de la révolution.
Le 1er novembre 1954, un couple d'instituteurs français y fut victime du premier attentat perpétré par les nationalistes algériens. Plus d'un demi-siècle plus tard, le réalisateur revient sur les lieux pour prendre la mesure du rêve d'émancipation et de justice qui naquit ici. Entre une carcasse de voiture, des égouts à ciel ouvert et une MJC fermée depuis belle lurette, le réalisateur suit particulièrement des personnages, parmi lesquels deux remarquables figures d'instituteurs.
En centrant son film autour de leur enseignement, en accusant la distance tragi-comique qui les sépare de leurs élèves ("lâche-moi avec les moudjahidin"), en questionnant de manière critique l'attentat perpétré contre leurs prédécesseurs français, en dévoilant en un mot la distance entre le mythe officiel et la réalité sociale du pays, Malek Bensmaïl réalise un film d'un courage, d'une sensibilité et d'une pertinence remarquables.
Jacques Mandelbaum