The Puerto Rican documentary Seva vive / Seva Lives by Francisco Serrano was screened last Monday with the attendance of the filmmaker as part of the Flaherty NYC series at Anthology Film Archives in downtown Manhattan. The screening was presented in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Film Society and Cinema Tropical in the context of the 50th anniversary of the 7th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, that was held in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, and was programmed by Dorothy Olson.
The Flaherty Seminar and Puerto Rico had a strong ongoing relationship for many years, as some American documentary filmmakers participated with the Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO), Puerto Rican government agency under the Department of Education created in the mid 40s with the purpose of integrating the rural population into the modernization and industrialization process in the island. The agency brought together a group together of artists of different backgrounds, and produced films about different issues including education, hygiene and democracy that mainly featured nonprofessional actors from rural areas. Filmmaker Willard Van Dyke, who would later serve as Board President of the Flaherty and Director of MoMA's Department of Film, made the film El de los cabos blancos / One Lucky Horse for the DIVEDCO in 1957.
Pictured: Film publicist Soldanela Rivera with filmmaker Francisco Serrano following the screening.