Pablo Frasconi has been making films since 1969, when, at age 17, REDEVELOPMENT – his film-critique of conditions in his hometown, South Norwalk, Connecticut – won an award at the National Newsweek-Bolex Documentary Film Contest. The film premiered at the Newsweek Building on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and soon after, Frasconi left the U.S. to live on a wilderness island in Nova Scotia, and to study filmmaking in Toronto during the U.S. / Vietnam War. This journey is a part of his recent award-winning film, The Light at Walden, based on Henry David Thoreau’s writings.
Frasconi returned to the U.S. in 1976, and has made films about the U.S. bicentennial, gentrification, childhood literacy, public art, creativity, civil liberties, civil disobedience, and poetry. He has received 20 grants and fellowships from national, regional and private foundations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Film Institute, and the Park Foundation.
His films, including, THE WOODCUTS OF ANTONIO FRASCONI, TOWARDS THE MEMORY OF A REVOLUTION, SURVIVAL OF A SMALL CITY, and, THE LONGING, have been screened throughout the world, including the Festival dei Popoli, Firenze, Italy; National PBS Broadcast; The International Festival of Films on Architecture, “The Future of the City;” the Smithsonian Institution; The Museum of Modern Art (1977, 1981, NYC Premieres); the Havana International Film Festival; The Margaret Mead Film Festival; the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid; The Dia Art Foundation, NYC; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and have received awards at The Awareness Festival, Merit of Awareness Award, L.A. (2015); The International Film Festival: Spiritual – Religion – Visionary, International Award of Excellence, Jakarta, Indonesia (2015); the International Festival of Films on Architecture and Planning (1984, New York City); and the American Film Festival (1983, New York City). He has worked as cinematographer and editor for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Asia Society; and Weston Woods Studios.
His latest film is THE LIGHT AT WALDEN, based on Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and “Walden,” funded by the Park Foundation, New York, and a grant from USC’s Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences; sponsored by the Center for Independent Documentary, Inc., in Massachusetts, had its World Premiere at THE WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL –”where activism gets inspired”– in Nevada City, CA in January 2015, and has since won four international awards.
Frasconi is currently in production on THE FILM OF CHANGES based on the ancient Chinese I CHING, and recently received a USC Zumberge Interdisciplinary Grant, with California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, to complete research on a film about William Everson: The Beat Friar.
He is currently Full Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC in Los Angeles where he teaches Editing; Creating Poetic Cinema; Nature, Design and Media, and The Embedded Story: Designing Digital Landscapes and Languages (in the new Media Arts + Practice Division); mentors advanced graduate projects, and coordinates the first year of the graduate M.F.A. production program. He recently designed and taught the USC-YouTube Creator Institute; the USC/Disney Studios Producing and Directing Course; a seminar in World Building with Alex McDowell; a workshop at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching on Contemplative Pedagogies; and was invited by the USC Provost to conduct seminars in Transmedia and Political Engagement, and, Mindfulness, Meditation, and Guided Visualizations; and, is currently mentoring USC student and alumni adaptations of poems in collaboration with the Motion Poems Project and The Poetry Foundation. He has previously taught at The New School; the State University of New York, College at Purchase; Occidental College; the University of Hawaii; Cinecitta, Rome, Italy; and the Communication University of China, Beijing. Recent speaking engagements include: Text & Subtext: Creating Poetic Cinema, at the Beijing Film Academy; The Tranvergence Summit: The Future of Content (Transmedia and Cross-Platform Storytelling), Los Angeles; The Source: Mindfulness, Meditation & Visualizations in the Creative Process, Graduate Annenberg Fellows Micro Seminar, USC; World Building, Transmedia & Pedagogy at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico; and, “An Evening With Pablo Frasconi,” at Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles.
His films have been distributed by the American Federation of Arts, NYC; The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Filmmaker’s Library, NYC; and, El Museo del Barrio, NYC.