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June 1, 2009

The new MFA Social Documentary Film Department is getting ready to open its doors this fall, and is spending part of the summer opening people’s eyes to some of the latest examples of socially conscious filmmaking. For two days in the first week of June, the department is presenting programs at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street: The feature-length documentary Witnesses to a Secret War, directed by faculty member Deborah Dickson, examines the history of America’s clandestine war in Laos through the stories of the Hmong soldiers who fought alongside the Central Intelligence Agency and were forced to flee when the war was lost to the Communists in 1975. Witnesses will be screened on Tuesday, June 2, at 7pm; admission is free, but audience members are asked to RSVP to

The following evening, June 3, is Media That Matters Film Festival, an annual showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day, presented in association with MFA Soc Doc. The festival will begin at 6pm with the impACT Salon, which includes appearances by filmmakers and information about using short films as part of community activism; at 7pm, 12 short films will be screened, covering issues with local and global impact. Admission is $10 for the general public, but members of the SVA community with a valid SVA ID can get tickets for $8. Visit for more information.

Image: Deborah Dickson, still from Witnesses to a Secret War, 2009.

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