Watch Experimental and Documentary Films for Free

Sunday Salon is a community tradition started by Duke’s MFA|EDA program

Filmmaker David Gatten speaks at a Sunday Salon last fall. Photo courtesy of Jason Sudak
Filmmaker David Gatten speaks at a Sunday Salon last fall. Photo courtesy of Jason Sudak

Sunday Salon, a film screening series organized by the Duke Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts program, shares experimental, documentary and other artist films that haven’t been widely viewed with Duke and Durham community members.

The no-charge gatherings are usually held on select Sundays at 6 p.m. at Unexposed Microcinema, 105 Hood Street, Suite 5, in Durham, and incorporate music, snacks and drinks.

“The salons are creating a social environment to view, to discuss and to gather around these films that don’t otherwise necessarily have a home in the world but that urgently need one and require one,” said Jason Sudak, a Duke MFA|EDA graduate student who co-organizes the salons. “It’s a privilege to be able to work to bring these rare and beautiful films to Durham and to bring friends together and meet new folks around this work that is so important to us.”

Sudak and Duke MFA|EDA graduate student Sylvia Herbold create the theme for each Sunday Salon and personally reach out to local, national and international artists, estates, and galleries to connect with films they want to feature. In January, Sunday Salon featured films by Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta and Korean American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

“A lot of it’s based on research and reading we’re doing in our graduate program,” Herbold said. “They are films that we also want to bring to the community and things that are hard to see that we want to build an audience for.”

Members of the Duke community and the public can follow the Sunday Salon schedule on Facebook or email Sudak at and request to join the weekly mailing list.

Here are upcoming Sunday Salon events:

Jan. 29: Shambhavi Kaul, an assistant professor of the practice of Duke Art, Art History & Visual Studies, presents “Planet,” a series of short films that explore science-fictive non-places.  

Feb. 5: William Noland, professor of the practice emeritus in Duke Art, Art History & Visual Studies, will screen his six short films about seeing, watching and attention at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The event starts at 2 p.m. in the East Building's SECU Auditorium. Tickets are free but required for entry.

Feb. 12: The theme “How to be Angry!” will feature archival films collected by Skip Elsheimer of A/V Geeks, who is based in Raleigh and has collected about 24,000 16 mm educational films and travels around the country to screen and discuss them.