Announcing Our Spring 2020 Season Guest Curator

Cambridge, MA – The DocYard, Boston’s home for artful non-fiction cinema, has announced that Abby Sun will be the Guest Curator for the Spring 2020 season.

The DocYard, founded in 2010 by Sara Archambault, Ben Fowlie, and
Sean Flynn and a program of the LEF Foundation, is an award-winning documentary
film and discussion series at the Brattle Theatre.  Over the past decade, it has been recognized
with a Special Commendation from the Boston Society of Film Critics and a 50 on
Fire Media Award for its contributions to Boston’s documentary film community. Sara
Archambault has been involved in curating the series since its inception and
will have presented over 175 programs by the close of the Fall 2019 Season,
when she will be stepping down from her curatorial role after a ten-year

The DocYard’s Spring 2020 Guest Curator Abby Sun is a filmmaker,
photographer, film writer, and programmer. After graduating from Harvard College
in 2013 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, Sun returned to her
hometown of Columbia, Missouri to work as a programmer for True/False Film Fest
for three years. She has also programmed for Hot Springs Documentary Film

According to Sun, she first began to think about movies in high
school. During that time, she attended True/False screenings and started going
to Ragtag Cinema, an independent movie theater in Columbia. At Harvard, she was
accepted into a year-long Sensory Ethnography course with filmmakers Lucien
Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, and soon she was making her own short films
in addition to writing about film. Sun’s latest short film, “Cuba Scalds His
Hand” (with Daniel Garber) premiered at Maryland Film Festival in 2019. Her
film criticism includes bylines in Film Comment and Hyperallergic.

While at True/False, Sun programmed feature films and shorts, as well as speakers and industry guests. Sun spearheaded partnerships with groups such as Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Women on Docs. She is passionate about advocating for a more equitable and culturally diverse documentary industry.  In particular, Sun is interested in how we engage with and judge films made by filmmakers from the global south, East Asia, and from vulnerable communities.

“I believe in programming as one of many tools to hold space for
and to champion daring films and forward the conversation on documentary. I
believe films should be complex because humans and humanity are complex,” she
shared. “I want to move beyond the liberal framework of the current
conversation around diversity and inclusion that calls for more complete
representation but ignores the power dynamics in the documentary form’s
inherent smudging of reality. I am interested in exploring ways of presenting
film selections that resist taking an authoritative stance on what is and
should be important, which frequently makes patronizing assumptions about

Sun says she is thrilled to be returning to Cambridge after
several years away. In programming the DocYard’s next season, Sun is excited to
connect with the audience and re-invest her time and energy into local
filmmakers, writers, students, exhibitors, and viewers.

“The DocYard is a rare project that allows for more time to
reflect and to respond to the unique circumstances of each maker, project, and
audience,” she explained. “It represents something that isn’t tied to the
institution that it’s housed in, fitting a crucial middle ground between
academia, independent film festivals, and commercial releases. Instead, it
builds capacity for ambitious, distinctive programming that incorporates local
filmmakers in substantive ways.”

“We are thrilled to have Abby be a Guest Curator,” said Lyda Kuth,
Executive Director of the LEF Foundation, “as she clearly understands and is
excited about carrying out the mission of the DocYard as a ‘home for artful non-fiction’.” 

The DocYard community will have an opportunity to meet Abby Sun at
upcoming screenings during the remainder of the Fall 2019 Season, including the
November 4 screening of COMBAT OBSCURA, and the final screening of the Fall
2019 season on December 16, PRESENT.PERFECT, where Sun will be moderating the