A chance meeting in Havana with legendary Cuban film propagandist Santiago Alvarez changed the course of Travis Wilkerson’s life. He now makes films in the tradition of the “third cinema,” wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. His films have screened at scores of venues festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam, Vienna, Yamagata, the FID Marseille and the Musée du Louvre. Last year, he was named one of the top 50 avant-garde filmmakers of the decade by the Film Comment critic’s poll.
His best-known work is an agit-prop essay on the lynching of Wobbly Frank Little called An Injury to One. His other films include Accelerated Underdevelopment (on the filmmaker Santiago Alvarez), Who Killed Cock Robin? and the National Archive series. In 2007, he presented the first ever performance art at the Sundance Film Festival with Proving Ground, a live multi-media rumination on the history of bombing described by critics as “one of the most daring experiments in the history of Sundance.” His latest feature, Distinguished Flying Cross, premiered in the main competition at Cinema du reel, where it was awarded the International Jury Prize. It was subsequently awarded the Special Jury Prize in the International Competition at Yamagata.
Wilkerson remains active in the US anti-war movement and is contributing to Far from Afghanistan, an anti-Afghanistan war omnibus film, to be released virally on the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Recently, he co-founded the artist/activist front Creative Agitation, focusing on revolutionary street art and direct action.