The Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology was created with funding from the National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation grant. It is the first facility to incorporate digital cinema technology into anthropological research and the communication of the results of that research to broad audiences. From 2010 to 2012, student and faculty researchers associated with ALVA have completed four broadcast length documentary films. These films have screened in festivals as well as on PBS affiliates on the West Coast. With many more films in the production pipeline, we look forward to transforming the relationships among scholars, students and the mass media.
In 2012 the director of ALVA received a grant from the NSF, Innovation Corps program to explore the commercial potentials of anthropological digital cinema. Since then we have been seeking partnerships with cultural resource management companies as well as state and federal agencies. The goal of these partnerships is to use film as a tool for public outreach and defuse the results of the anthropological research they sponsor to the widest possible audiences.