Berkeley, CA, July 5, 2005-The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive announces the appointment of Susan Oxtoby to the position of Senior Film Curator, effective October 17, 2005.
BAM/PFA Director Kevin Consey states, "I am delighted that Susan is joining us. Her wonderful breadth and depth of experience as a film programmer and a director of an institution that shares many elements in common with BAM/PFA promise an exciting future for her and for our museum."
Oxtoby comes to BAM/PFA from Cinematheque Ontario, the year-round public screening division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG). She has worked there since 1993, and became director of programming in 1997. Cinematheque Ontario presents approximately 400 film screenings per year, to more than 50,000 viewers. TIFFG, the parent film institution, hosts the annual Toronto International Film Festival each September, and also includes a reference library, a film archive with special collections devoted to the films of Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg, and a children's film festival. Cinematheque Ontario's activities feature an ongoing lecture series, as well as a touring and publishing program that produces scholarly monographs on film directors.
"I am very excited to join the staff at the Pacific Film Archive, whose work in the areas of programming, archiving, research and documentation is so highly respected within the international film community," comments Susan Oxtoby. "Over the years, I have learned a great deal from the PFA staff on the finer points of film curation, audience development, and the key role cinematheques play in sustaining a vital film culture. I have the highest regard for the quality and focus of PFA's work and look forward to becoming immersed in the local arts community in Berkeley."
At Cinematheque Ontario, Oxtoby has been responsible for a diverse range of directors' retrospectives, national cinema spotlights, thematic series and special events. In 1995, she was instrumental in launching Cinematheque Ontario's series "The Independents," a free weekly forum devoted to alternative film featuring artists with their work. She has programmed series, as well, for the Toronto International Film Festival, notably a Robert Beavers Spotlight for the Festival's Salute to Cinematheque Ontario's 10th Anniversary, and "Wavelengths," TIFF's annual showcase of avant-garde film.
Susan has programmed many historical series, such as retrospectives devoted to G.W. Pabst, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Larissa Shepitko, Ritwik Ghatak, and Djibril Diop Mambéty as well as many retrospectives featuring the works of contemporary filmmakers including Peter Watkins, William Klein, Ulrike Ottinger, Raymond Depardon, Ousmane Sembène, Jean-Marie Teno, Agnès Varda, Chantal Akerman, Ning Ying, and Rithy Panh to name just a few.
Oxtoby has also programmed many national and regional surveys, including historical and recent films from the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Eastern Europe, and prepared spotlights featuring screen icons such as Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Brigitte Helm, Anna May Wong, and Barbara Stanwyck. Her programming experience also reflects a love for thematic series treating such subjects as Film and Architecture, Dante and the Cinema, and The Sound of Silent Cinema, featuring musicians and composers who specialize in silent film musical accompaniment.
Susan Oxtoby recently completed her second consecutive term on the Executive Committee of FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives), a professional association dedicated to the preservation of film with affiliates from 74 countries. In 2004, she was chosen as the guest programmer for the 50th anniversary of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar held at Vassar College. She currently serves on the Flaherty's Programming Advisory Committee.
Before joining the staff of Cinematheque Ontario, Oxtoby worked with the non-profit, artist-run Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre; as a researcher and archivist; and in sound recording and picture editing for experimental and documentary film productions. She has directed two independent films-ALL FLESH IS GRASS (1988) and JANUARY 15, 1991: GULF WAR DIARY (1992), and holds two university degrees: one in English and Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto and another in Media Studies from Ryerson University.