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VCU professor’s Garry Winogrand documentary premieres in Virginia

"Los Angeles," by Garry Winogrand. (Photograph by Garry Winogrand, Collection Center fo...
"Los Angeles," by Garry Winogrand. (Photograph by Garry Winogrand, Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona)

A Virginia Commonwealth University professor’s feature documentary on iconoclastic photographer Garry Winogrand will have its Virginia premiere at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Produced and directed by Sasha Waters Freyer, chair of the VCU School of the Arts Department of Photography and Film, “Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable” is the first documentary film on the life and work of the acclaimed photographer. An epic storyteller in pictures of America across three turbulent decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, Winogrand’s artistry encompassed the heartbreak, violence, hope and turmoil of postwar America.

Sasha Waters Freyer.
<br> Photo by Steven Cassanova
Sasha Waters Freyer.
Photo by Steven Cassanova

“Photography today, more than any other medium, shapes how we think about our world,” Waters Freyer said. “I am thrilled to share this film, five years in the making, with the VCU and Richmond communities, so many members of which were supportive of this project as crowdfunding contributors, as providers of feedback on early edits, and as my amazing colleagues and students at VCUarts.”

Winogrand, who died suddenly three decades ago at age 56, left more than 300,000 images unseen — until now. “All Things are Photographable” highlights images of a bygone era — from the New York of “Mad Men” and the early years of the women’s movement to the birth of American suburbs and the glamour and alienation of Hollywood — to discover what Winogrand's pictures say about America in the 20th century, and to reveal how they might help us navigate the flood of images in the 21st, Waters Freyer said.

Endorsed by his estate, “Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable” is the first cinematic survey of his legacy. The film tells the story of an artist whose rise and fall was — like America’s in the late decades of the 20th century — larger than life, full of contradictions and totally unresolved.  

“We are thrilled to host the Virginia premiere of Sasha Waters Freyer’s award-winning documentary,” said Sarah Eckhardt, Ph.D., associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the VMFA, who will have a conversation with Waters Freyer following the film. “‘All Things are Photographable’ deepens and complicates our understanding of an artist whose images continue to influence our understanding of photography, especially from the 1960s.”

In celebration of this event, the VMFA will exhibit a selection of Winogrand’s photographs from its collection in the Sydney and Frances Lewis Galleries so that visitors can see his work before and after the film.

“All Things are Photographable” had its world premiere in March at the SXSW Film Festival. Since then, it has screened in the Maine International Film Festival, the New Zealand International Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles in September, with a national rollout to follow, courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment, the U.S. distributor.  It also will air this year as part of the PBS series “American Masters.”

For more information on the film, visit https://www.winograndmovie.com/.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.