John Gianvito is a director, teacher, and curator, based in Boston, Massachusetts. His films include the dramatic features THE FLOWER OF PAIN (1983), THE MAD SONGS OF FERNANDA HUSSEIN (2001) (Jury Prize at the BAFICI Festival, first “Rosa Luxemburg Prize” and Best Independent Film at the New England Film/Video Festival) and the documentary PROFIT MOTIVE AND THE WHISPERING WIND (2007) (“Best Experimental Film of the Year” by the National Society of Film Critics [US], Grand Prize for Documentary Feature at the Belfort EntreVues Film Festival).
In 2010, the magazine Time Out (New York) voted PROFIT MOTIVE in a critics’ poll of the 50 Greatest Documentaries of All Time. Additional works include the collective film FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN (2012), and the nine-hour diptych FOR EXAMPLE, THE PHILIPPINES comprising the films VAPOR TRAIL (CLARK) (2010) and WAKE (SUBIC) (2015), cited as one of the top-ten films of 2015 in Artforum, Sight & Sound, and Senses of Cinema. His latest documentary essay, HER SOCIALIST SMILE, an exploration of the political imagination of Helen Keller, premiered in the 2020 New York Film Festival.
His films have screened widely and have included the Toronto International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, FID Marseille, BAFICI, London Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Centre Pompidou, Cinematheque Francaise, the Tate Modern, and Pacific Film Archives. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at the VIENNALE Film Festival, the I Mille Occhi Festival, Cinéma du Réel, and Seoul Independent Documentary Festival. He is the editor of the book Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi) and served for five years as curator of the Harvard Film Archive. Gianvito is currently a Professor in the Department of Visual & Media Arts at Emerson College.