Filmmaker Ryan Sarnowski
Mark talks to the doc|UWM co-director about the film program, his history with documentaries and his latest project: a doc following the last acolyte of a religion/social movement called Lawsonomy.
In the film program of UWM’s Peck School of the Arts, developing artists cultivate their craft through a number of outlets. One of the increasingly prominent ones is doc|UWM, a cross-over program that blends academic study with real-world execution. Since its inception in 2007, student-filmmakers have worked with doc|UWM on projects including My Way Home, a feature-length documentary about a Hmong-American filmmaker trying to learn about her heritage, “Water Docs,” a collection of short videos about freshwater researchers in Southeast Wisconsin, and Cream City Soundcheck, a series of short documentaries about local Milwaukee bands.
Among the instructors guiding these young filmmakers is Ryan Sarnowski, co-director of doc|UWM and a filmmaker in his own right, currently working on The Last of the Lawsonomists, a documentary about the final acolyte of philosopher and aviation pioneer Alfred Lawson, who preached a social justice movement long ago swept aside. Mark met with Sarnowski in our office/studio, where the two discussed that film as well as how Sarnowski ended up in Milwaukee, what he loves about documentaries and his other work with doc|UWM.
“Backstage with Mark Metcalf,” a 2011 Milwaukee Press Club award-winner, is engineered and produced by Sahan Jayasuriya. The series, focusing on many of Milwaukee’s behind-the-scenes personalities, alternates between short (10-15 min.) and long (25-30 min.) segments. For the full archive of these podcasts, check out TCD’s Podcasts page.
Cover photo from The Last of the Lawsonomists, currently in-progress by Ryan Sarnowski.