MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017

Media Lab Director's Fellows Sheila Hayman's Documentary Film Festival

Sheila Hayman, Media Lab Director's Fellow, Filmmaker

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/10
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: none

During the month of January the Media Lab will screen some of Director's Fellow Sheila Hayman documentary films once a week. On the week of January 23rd, Sheila will be at the Lab, and will host an informal conversation about her films with the students interested in watching them, on January 27, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. The subjects of these films go back to the times when Internet was just being introduced to the masses, and many other technological advancements and discoveries. Sheila believes it might be good to show parts of all of these as a way of introducing where she comes from, creatively, and what we might do together, next. The films will include:

Films to be shown:

Jan. 11: A Short History of the Future: The City (1986) 

Jan. 18: A Short History of the Future: The Spaceship (1986)

Jan. 27: Horizon: The Electronic Frontier (1993) (Sheila Hayman will be in attendance)


Contact: Claudia Robaina, E14 Third Floor Atrium, 917-573-8682,

A Short History of the Future: The City

Jan/11 Wed 04:00PM-05:00PM E14 3rd Fl. Atrium

As a young filmmaker, Sheila began to wonder where our image of 'the future' came from: all those self-driving cars, helicopters, teleportation machines and automatic everything. She discovered that it all started at the turn of the 20th century, a period as exciting as our own, when motorcars, electricity, X-rays, cinema, the telephone, radio and metal framed building technology arrived within a couple of decades.

Claudia Robaina - Coordinator, Media Lab Director's Fellows Program

ShortHistory of the Future:The Spaceship

Jan/18 Wed 04:00PM-05:00PM E14 3rd fl Atrium

Originally supposed to be a single film, it became two when I discovered the extraordinary story of the codependency of the film and space industries in 20th century America. The movie business gave a concrete form to dreams of space travel before it even existed: the space industry gave the movies great stories in which dilemmas of the time were, and are, played out in allegory.

Claudia Robaina - Coordinator, Media Lab Director's Fellows Program

Horizon: The Electronic Frontier

Jan/27 Fri 04:00PM-06:00PM E14 3rd fl. Atrium

Made in 1993, this was the first network documentary to tell the story of the digital revolution, then unfolding on the West Coast of America. From online communities to the vanishing High St, from invisible digital retouching and graphical user interfaces to copy-and-paste editing, it's all here. It also includes the first major interview with Bill Gates, then just a fresh-faced nerd in a Seattle office.

Claudia Robaina - Coordinator, Media Lab Director's Fellows Program, Sheila Hayman - Media Lab Director's Fellow, Filmmaker