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Rybicky Earns Documentary Attention, Support

Dan Rybicky and "outsider" artist Peter Anton filming Almost There.
Photo: Aaron Wickenden
So far, 2013 has proven very lucky for Film & Video faculty member Dan Rybicky. Not only did he recently find out he was awarded a tenured faculty appointment, but Rybicky also learned that, after a highly competitive process, his film Almost There was one of four chosen from across the country to receive funding from the International Television Service (ITVS). This organization is best known for presenting and promoting award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television and cable, including on the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens and POV.

Almost There, which Rybicky is writing, co-directing, and co-producing with Chicago documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films, explores the ethical complexities surrounding the discovery of the work of 82-year-old “outsider” artist Peter Anton. With funding now in place, Rybicky and his collaborator Aaron Wickenden have begun hiring a post-production crew, including two Columbia College alumni. He hopes to complete the six-year project by December before screening it at festivals and premiering on PBS later in 2014.

In his role as documentary coordinator of the Film & Video Department, Rybicky is working with students and colleagues to refresh the college’s Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary Film. On April 16-18, 2013, he and an impassioned group of students and faculty from the Film & Video, Radio, Journalism, Photography, Television, and Interactive Arts + Media departments launched #DocYourWorld, a guerilla-style microsymposium created to explore what "documentary" means in today's changing world. The event featured several noteworthy speakers and screenings, including: