Passion and excitement for contemporary video and film has reached the art department at Mills, as visiting professor Samara Halperin boldly states that video art is the future.
Halperin comes to Mills with a 13-year background in film and video. She has worked as a director, production designer and writer. Heer productions include “Tumbleweed Town,” a stop-motion film, “Shari Shapiro’s Slumber Party” and “Sorry Brenda,” her most widely screened film. She is currently in pre-production on her first feature film, “Up Town By Midnight.”
Before making films, Halperin sculpted ceramics. But she wanted to start a new venture with her visual art and writing experience. Thus, film and video became her new artistic journey.
“I wanted to start making art that was non-object-based,” said Halperin. “I didn’t want to lug heavy, fragile sculptures around for the rest of my life.” Instead she carries heavy, expensive video equipment.
Halperin’s specialty is producing short films for queer youth. Her video and films are viewed worldwide in festivals and galleries.
Her recent production, “By Hook or By Crook” was selected at last year’§ce Film Festival.
“I love being a filmmaker, that’s why I love to teach. Everyone can be a filmmaker and I want to spread the word,” said Halperin.
Halperin’s decision to teach at Mills was influenced by the contemporary video program that Mills has to offer. She believes Mills is a very special place and describes how rare it is to have a video class with an emphasis on contemporary video.
“Video is the medium of communication,” said Halperin. “Art can change the world and video is the ultimate vehicle for mass communication.”
Halperin’s love for video is obvious in her enthusiasm for video art, and her students encourage her enthusiasm.
“Her class is very open,” said junior Katherine Pierce. “I am able to explore on my own and not have to conform.”
Halperin received her BFA in film and video from the Rhode Island School of Design and continued her MFA at California College of Arts and Crafts. She is the new video production professor at Mills.