Sundance Film Festival - Family Histories: Archival Explorations in Personal Documentary Filmmaking

Available online on demand
during Sundance Film Festival
Jan 28-Feb 3

Sliding scale, pay-what-you-can rate of $0-$25 per workshop


* Co-presented with Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS), Seattle Asian American Film Festival, and Seattle Documentary Association (SeaDoc)! *

Film can serve as memory, leading us to explore and understand our individual and collective paths, by unearthing histories in deep and meaningful ways. In this panel, filmmakers from around the country provide commentary on using archival footage to tell their own tale of upbringing.



Available online on-demand during Sundance Film Festival, which takes place January 28 to February 3, 2021. All workshops will be hosted virtually via Zoom and have closed captions. See all of our Sundance panels here.

Participating Panelists

Lynne Sachs

Lynne Sachs

Director of Film About a Father Who

“For more than thirty years, Lynne Sachs has constructed short, bold mid-length, and feature films incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, and observational documentary. Her highly self-reflexive films have variously explored the relations between the body, camera, and the materiality of film itself; histories of personal, social, and political trauma; marginalized communities and their labor; and her own family life, slipping seamlessly between modes, from documentary essays to diaristic shorts.” (Edo Choi, Asst. Curator, Museum of the Moving Image)

Thérèse Heliczer

Thérèse Heliczer

Director of The Invisible Father (Local filmmaker)

Thérèse Heliczer graduated from THE FILM SCHOOL and Wesleyan University. As an emerging filmmaker, Heliczer has been very active in the independent Seattle film community for the past several years, and thanks the mentorship and resources from the Seattle Documentary Association, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), Women in Film, and Northwest Film Forum. Heliczer was a programmer for the Post Alley Film Festival which spotlights women filmmakers and was a cast member in the short film Signs Everywhere, as well as the feature film The Boy Who Lived Before. Heliczer has also spent the last 30 years in public sector communications and project management. Currently, she is a project manager at the Seattle Department of Transportation where she manages over $50 million in transportation projects. This experience has given her the skills to produce and direct her first feature-length documentary film, The Invisible Father.

Darol Olu Kae

Darol Olu Kae

Director of I Ran From It and Was Still In It (Previous Sundance Film)

Darol Olu Kae is an artist from Los Angeles. His collaborative, research-based approach to filmmaking is inspired by community histories; it explores themes like filiation and inheritance. His work blurs boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, challenging the medium to express the complexity of Black life and culture. He is currently in pre-production on his next project, Keeping Time, and he is developing his debut narrative feature, Without a Song.

Alvin Tsang

Alvin Tsang


Alvin Tsang is a filmmaker and artist based in New York City. His work explores the more personal human experience to inform on bigger issues such as humanism, community and migration. His award-winning documentary Reunification (2015), about memories of migration and Tsang’s once intact family, was lauded for “explor[ing] the past with a Proustian sensitivity” (The Boston Globe), its “clear-eyed honesty” (Meredith Monk), and being “the film that’s come closest to feeling like a truly distinct Asian-American [film] language” (Salon). Tsang studied film under the tutelage of Babette Mangolte (late Chantal Akerman’s cinematographer) and Jean-Pierre Gorin (co-director of Tout va bien (1972) with Jean-Luc Godard). He is currently working on When Home is Elsewhere (2021), a sequel to Reunification, and is collaborating with artist Siyan Wong on her ongoing Five Cents a Can Art Exhibitions (2019-2022) by creating a “gold mountain” and several other conceptual installations out of 5,000+ gold soda cans in order to shed light on the people (mainly immigrants and elderly) who must collect cans and bottles for a living in our land of plenty.

Sundance Film Festival 2021

Northwest Film Forum is proud to be a Sundance Film Festival Satellite Venue this year! We will be hosting four virtual conversations and panels covering a diversity of topics, and all will be sliding-scale, pay-what-you-can, $0-$25. View all of our programs HERE.

All Sundance Film Festival events hosted by NWFF will take place via Zoom and be subtitled.

Film screenings will be hosted via Sundance, with a discount code for Northwest Film Forum members. Please e-mail to receive your Sundance discount code as a member.

Contributions over $5 are eligible to receive free Sundance schwag, while supplies last! We will follow-up upon your RSVP. (See image below for available items.)

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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