Holly Fisher | Filmmakers on Folkstreams

Holly Fisher

Holly Fisher has been active since the mid-sixties as an independent filmmaker, teacher, and editor of documentaries, including the 1989 Academy Award Nominee Who Killed Vincent Chin? Her personal works (director, camera, editor) have been screened in museums and film festivals worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, two Whitney Museum Biennials, and Centre Pompidou. Her first documentary Watermen, co-made with filmmaker Romas V Slezas in 1968, recently resurfaced to great acclaim when recently screened on Maryland Public TV and at The Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC. Fisher's first solo feature Bullets for Breakfast, made via JK optical printing of layers of S8:16mm, received “Best Experimental Film” at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1992. Two of her works have had world-premiers at The Berlin International Film Festival, including Bullets for Breakfast and her first poetic documentary concerning Burma, Kalama Sutta: Seeing is Believing, in 2001.

With an on-going interest in human rights, perception, and media, Fisher followed with a second Burma project –– Deafening Silence (118 minutes, 2012), in which she travels to The Goldenland’s eastern frontier, on foot and under-cover with guerrilla soldiers, to document life in a village of internally displaced ethnic Karen people. A Question of Sunlight, links 9/11 with the holocaust via 'the telling of memories' by NYC artist José Urbach, who was witness to both. Currently Fisher is expanding into video installation and large-format digital prints, in preparation for her first gallery exhibition, fall 2014. Rejecting strategies of agit-prop, Fisher’s films are open-ended essays, both long-form and short, in which she fuses linear narrative with non-linear and increasingly layered and cyclic structures, as a way to position the viewer at the subject/center of the work as it unfolds –– in pursuit of presence, or 'empowerment,' for want of a better word.