“Lynne Sachs has always eluded easy labeling…. She focuses on capturing gestures, inches of skin, fragments of conversations, casual moments in time, personal memorabilia, and weaving them into unexpected patterns….. (She) sublimes the personal into the theatrical …. (and) embraces variegated renditions of filmic language, recording the world, digesting it, and offering it to viewers in its performative beauty.” 

-How Lynne Sachs Turns Spoken Language into Cinematic Language – A retrospective of the feminist artist and filmmaker demonstrates how she explores communication in her work. Ren Scateni, Hyperallergic (2020).

Lynne Sachs is an American experimental filmmaker and poet based in Brooklyn, New York. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in each new project. Over the course of her career, Lynne has worked closely with fellow filmmakers Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, Carolee Schneemann, and Trinh T. Min-ha.

Throughout her career, we can trace the ways that her experimentation dares to confront social and political issues by embracing both familiar and intimate processes. Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Embracing archives, letters, portraits, confessions, poetry and music, her films take us on a critical journey through reality and memory. Regardless of the passage of time, these films continue to be extremely contemporary, coherent and radical in their artistic conception.

Lynne has produced over 40 films as well as numerous live performances, installations and web projects. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel/Palestine, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war — where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions.

Her films have screened at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), Tate Modern, Image Forum Tokyo, Wexner Center for the Arts, and festivals such as New York Film Festival, Oberhausen Int’l Short FF, Punto de Vista, Sundance,  Vancouver IFF, Viennale and Doclisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at MoMI (Museum of the Moving Image), Sheffield Doc/Fest, BAFICI, Cork Film Festival, Havana Film Festival, among others.  In 2021, both Edison Film Festival and Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center gave her awards for her lifetime achievements in the experimental and documentary fields. In 2014, Lynne received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts.

Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press
published her first book “Year by Year Poems”.

Her film catalogue is represented in North America by Canyon Cinema and the Filmmaker’s Cooperative with selected features at Cinema Guild and Icarus Films. Her work is distributed internationally by Kino Rebelde.

Contact: info@lynnesachs.com
Instagram: @lynnesachs1
Twitter: @LynneSachs1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynne.sachs.3

Selected Articles on Lynne Sachs

International Federation of Film Critics: “Two Film Poems Torn Out Of A Cinematic Anthology” by Hannes Wesselkämper, May 9 2023

Screen Slate: “A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs” by Sarah Fensom, October 27, 2022.

Criterion Collection, The Daily: “Perspectives on Lynne Sachs” by David Hudson, January 14, 2021.

MUBI Notebooks: “Lynne Sachs: Between Thought and Expression” by Kat Sachs, January 14, 2021.

LA Times: “Nine children with six women? ‘Film About a Father Who’ untangles director’s family tree” by Robert Abele, January 14, 2021.

Cineaste: “Review of Film About a Father Who”, Feb. 2021

Docs in Orbit – Masters Edition: in Conversation with Lynne Sachs, July 2020

Modern Times Review:  «A new relationship to language and listening in cinema»: Lynne Sachs on her Sheffield Doc/Fest Retrospective,” Interview with Lauren Wissot  June 17, 2020

Ubiquarian: “The Process is the Practice: Prolific and poetic, experimental and documentary filmmaker, Lynne Sachs, lights up this year’s online edition of Sheffield Doc|Fest with a mini-retrospective, annotated lecture and her new feature, Film About a Father Who (2020)” by Tara Judah, June 21, 2020

Hyperallergic: “How Lynne Sachs Turns Spoken Language into Cinematic Language – A long-overdue retrospective of the feminist artist and filmmaker demonstrates how she explores communication in her work.” By Ren Scatani, July 13, 2020.

Lynne Sachs’ Seven Forms of Filmmaking in Fandor.com’s Keyframe

Lynne Sachs interview in Bomb Magazine in 2014

Lynne Sachs interview in Brooklyn Rail in 2013

List of Works by Lynne Sachs
“Ladies Wear”, 3 min. 1983.

“Fossil”, 12 min. 1986.

“Drawn and Quartered”, 4min. 1986. 

“Still Life with Woman and Four Objects”, 4min. 1986.

“Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning”, 9min. 1987.

“Sermons and Sacred Pictures”, 29min. 1989.

“The House of Science: a museum of false facts”, 30min. 1991.

“Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam”, 33min. 1994.

“A Biography of Lilith”, 35min. 1997.

“Window Work”, 9min. 2000.

“Photograph of Wind”, 4min. 2001. 

“Investigation of a Flame”, 45min. 2001.

“First Steps in a Terra Incognita”, 5min. 2001.

“Tornado”, 4min. 2002.

“Atalanta 32 Years Later”, 5min. 2006.

“Noa, Noa”, 8min. 2006.

“The Small Ones”, 3min. 2006.

“States of UnBelonging”, 63min. 2006.

“XY Chromosome Project”, 12min. 2007.

“Georgic for a Forgotten Planet”, 11min. 2008.

“AbecedariumNYC.com”, film-based New York Public Library commission, 2008.

“Cuadro por Cuadro”, made with Mark Street, 9min. 2009.

“The Last Happy Day”, 37 min. 2009.

“Wind in Our Hair”, 40min. 2010.

“The Task of the Translator”, 10min. 2010.

“Sound of a Shadow”, 10min. 2011.

“Same Stream Twice”, 4min. 2012.

“Your Day is My Night”, 64min. 2013.

“Drift and Bough”, 6min. 2014.

“Every Fold Matters”, film performance, 2014 – 15.

“Starfish Aorta Colossus”, 5min. 2015.

“Tip of My Tongue”, 83 min. 2017.

“And Then We Marched”, 4 min. 2017.

“A Year of Notes and Numbers”, 4 min. 2017.

“Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor”, 8 min. 2018.

“The Washing Society”, 44 min. 2018.

“A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer)”, 14 min. 2019.

“Film About a Father Who”, 74 min. 2020.

“Girl is Presence”, made with Anne-Lesley Selcer, 4 min. 2020.

“Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home”, 3 min. black and white 16mm, 2020.

“Orange Glow”, 1 ½ min. by Lynne Sachs and Laura Harrison, 2020.

“Maya at 24”, 4 min. 16mm, b&w, sound 2021.

“E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo”, 5 min. b&w,  2021.

“Figure and I”, 2 ½ min.  music Kristine Leschper, 2021.

“Swerve”, 7 min. with poetry by Paolo Javier, 2022

“She Carries the Holiday in Her Eyes”, 4 min. silent, 2023

“The Jitters”, 3 min. silent, 2023

“Contractions”, 12 min. 2024

Grants, Scholarships, & Awards
Ground Glass Award, Prismatic Ground Film Festival, Maysles Documentary Center. 2021.
Edison Innovation Award, Thomas Edison Film Festival, 2021.
Guggenheim Fellowship in Film & Video, 2014.
Experimental Television Center, finishing funds,1997; residency, 1999; finishing funds 2008.
MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, Selected as Elodie Oborn Felllow 2006-07.
New York University Adjunct Faculty Grant, 2005,2007, 2008, 2010.
New York Public Library Artist Commission, 2006.
National Video Resource, Technical Assistance Award, 2005,2006.
New York State Council on the Arts, grant for film, 2003
Jerome Foundation, grant for film, 2004.
Rockefeller Foundation, media arts fellowship, 2001; Service award 2004.
Trust for Mutual Understanding, media grant, 2001.
Maryland Council for the Humanities, grant for current film project, 2000.
Arts Link Collaborative Project, funded by National Endowment for the Arts, (video/website in Sarajevo) 2000.
Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, 2000.
School 33 Public Art Space, juried invitational show of installation work, Fall, 2000, Baltimore.
Puffin Foundation artist grant for Catonsville Nine Project, 2000.
Maryland State Arts Council Mini-Grant, with the Catonsville Historical Society, 1999.
San Francisco Bay Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award, 1993.
Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowship, Supported by the NEA, 1993
Southeast Regional Media Arts Fellowship, NEA, 1990.
Film Arts Foundation Development Grant, San Francisco, 1987.
Pioneer Fund for Emerging Filmmakers, San Francisco, 1987.
Downtown Community Television Artist in Residence, New York, 1985.
Robert Flaherty Documentary Film Seminar, Scholarship, 1985.