March 11: Virtual screening/discussion with Paper Tiger TV founder and Deep Dish Satellite Network co-founder DeeDee Halleck, moderated by Avery LaFlamme from the University of Chicago Department of Cinema and Media Studies.
On 3/11/21, Media Burn and the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago presented our next entry in the free series Virtual Talks with Video Activists. This screening/discussion featured media activist and maker DeeDee Halleck, and was moderated by film scholar Avery LaFlamme.
DeeDee presented and screened an overview of her career in independent media, beginning with her first film, Children Make Movies (1961), and continuing through her work in the 1980s and ’90s with Paper Tiger Television and Deep Dish Satellite Network.
DeeDee Halleck is a media activist who began making films in the 1960s. She made Children Make Movies in 1961 and several portrait films. In 1971 she cut negative for Winter Soldier, an important anti-war film. She founded a film workshop at Henry Street Settlement and then at an NYS youth correctional facility. In 1978 she was president of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) initiating a campaign to “make public television public.” This work ultimately led to ITVS and grants for production funds for independents, the POV series on public TV, and other independent series. Halleck founded Paper Tiger Television in 1981, which operated as a collective for almost four decades. In 1986 Paper Tiger rented a commercial satellite to distribute to public access stations around the country called The Deep Dish Network. Halleck was “outreach producer” for THE 90’s TV series, working with Media Burn’s founder, Tom Weinberg, and others programming for a maverick network of over 100 public television stations. Halleck’s films and videos have been shown in museums and festivals and her book Hand Held Visions has been used in many media classes. Before the iPhone and ever since Children Make Movies, she has taught literally thousands of people to make their own images and tell their own stories—as a Professor at UCSD, at elementary schools, senior centers, and in girls’ media tech workshops in Harlem.
Avery LaFlamme is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. His research centers on black filmmaking, specifically amateur and documentary film practices, as well as historical and contemporary film exhibition.