Alex Cunningham 2019-2020

After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: “Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.” - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life.

Alex Cunningham chooses to interpret the world through the medium of the moving image; he is a filmmaker. His works have varied in mode from documentary, narrative, experimental, installation, performative, and interactive as well as in media, from 16mm film to VHS to HD video and everything in between. What is explored in his films tend to rest their concern and interest on humanity’s place in this crazy world. Sometimes that means an exploration of personal, micro histories of trauma, change, and growth. Sometimes his films turn to the natural world for answers on the mysteries of life. They may focus on billboards, aliens, poetry, rising oceans, love, and even cinema itself. An upcoming film will trace the US Census Bureau’s practice of plotting a “Mean Center of Population” throughout the nation’s history, and the populations and peoples ignored, forgotten, and harmed by their practices.

Alex has made a fair amount of his work in India, and travels there as often as he can to engage deeper with different places, histories, and people. He has also worked as a professional cinematographer on documentaries and narrative film productions. Alex works too in curating and programming the work of others at galleries, festivals, and screening series. His own films have shown at film festivals across the country and internationally.

Earning his MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University in 2016, Alex Cunningham quickly found a loving home in teaching film to undergraduate and graduate students at Duke and UNC Chapel Hill. He has taught a wide variety of courses from the theoretical, historical, aesthetic, and technical and loved every minute of it. As a Hine Fellow, Alex looks forward to taking his love of teaching and collaboration out of the university classroom and into the community, where the stories of every individual involved create the tapestry of life.

Alex will be working with the Center for Court Innovation.

To see his work, please visit: