Director BIO · LGBT Films

Director BIO: Matt Cusimano (THE LOVE INDUSTRY)

Director Biography – Matthew Cusimano

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Matthew is a film director & cinematographer from Chicago, IL. In addition to filmmaking, Matthew works in education, with past experiences teaching in Chicago Public Schools and Peace Corps. This transformative experience in education led Matthew to focus strictly on nonfiction filmmaking and modes of media representation. Training includes a BA in Film & Video Directing from Columbia College Chicago and MA in Cinema Studies and Culture & Media from NYU. He owns the boutique documentary production company Mango Tree Productions Inc based in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Director Statement

“Generally speaking, our work celebrates reflexivity. Our film, The Love Industry, takes a reflexive look at my relationship as a wedding videographer with that of an online-dating-profile ghostwriter. In both professions we are paid to be invisible: a wedding film isn’t supposed to reveal the filmmaker, and a ghostwritten dating profile is manipulated to make it seem as if there’s a singular author. I believe we all have an agenda, and filmmakers who state that their work is absent of agenda are either lying or unaware. Our agendas may be subtle. My height may accidentally influence my camera angle, my sexuality may influence whom I choose to interview, my politics may influence how I write my film—even if it’s by accident. Reflexivity helps to tell the fuller story: the story of my subjects as well as the story of myself and the motivations behind my inquiry.

I believe this is the world we live in today: a world in which more accessible media technologies have exposed biases that have been built for decades, that have always existed, and are just now being written into our narrative. The idea of total objectivity is becoming an archaic concept. I believe a healthy filmmaking process should always include rigorous debates over the creation of the frame, much akin to the classic Mead/Bateson debate on camera placement and subjectivity. My framing of a subject is just that—it’s my frame, and I have no problem with exposing the edges of my frame so that others can debate what kind of agenda it seems I have created.”

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