CAMS faculty Cecilia Cornejo has been awarded a SEMAC McKnight Established Artist grant for her upcoming film With the Skateboarders. With the Skateboarders is an experimental documentary that chronicles the efforts of Northfield skateboarders to secure a permanent place to skate. While these efforts date back to early 2000, the film focuses on the events that unfold from early 2012 to the present. Shot in multiple formats—from MiniDV, to HD, to cellphones—and using a collaborative approach, the film offers an examination of the meaning of belonging—particularly within a system that tends to value certain kinds of citizenships over others—and of our understanding of public space—who decides how this space is used, and by whom.
Cecilia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from the University of Iowa and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she taught in the Film & Video and Art History departments while also working as an academic advisor. Cecilia’s work lies at the intersection where private and public worlds meet. Through the use of written and visual poetry, combined with documentary techniques, she creates works of non-fiction that bring a personal dimension to the documentary tradition. Her films have been shown nationally and international at venues such as Arsenale, in Berlin, the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, and most recently, at the Minneapolis International Film Festival.