Ethnografilm Festival 2015 celebrates the International Year of Light

In the heart of Paris, France, from the 8th to 12th April, the historic Ciné 13 theatre welcomes the second edition of the Ethnografilm Festival – a four day event showcasing academic and documentary films that shine a light on our understanding of the social world. The Festival will celebrate the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) showcasing light in a creative manner.


The Ethnografilm Festival, co-directed by Wesley Shrum of Louisiana State University, Gregory Scott of DePaul University, is sponsored by the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Society for Social Studies of Science, and LSU Video Ethnography Lab.

The Festival consists of more than a hundred films shown over the course of four days. Films that will explore the entire scale of human social existence. Films about strangers. Films about intimacy. Films from 47 countries and covering subjects that decode what it is like to live on this little tiny planet of ours.

The Festival will also include a special French session on Friday 10th April at 6:30 pm, organised by Dominique Desjeux, noted anthropologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Sorbonne Paris Cité, screening movies in French with English subtitles for everyone to enjoy.

It’s a director’s festival by and for directors and is unique as it brings together both academic and documentary filmmakers. One could say the catch phrase is to celebrate and foster excellence in movies that enhance our understanding of the social world. The ultimate goal is for people to hook up and extend their network of filmmakers.

Wes Shrum, Director of Ethnografilm

For more information on the film festival please visit

About Ethnografilm

The term ethnografilm was coined by sociologist and documentary filmmaker Greg Scott. Originally, an “ethnografilm” is one in which the rhetorical structure emerges from systematically collected ethnographic audiovisual data.  However, the use of the term has expanded to include a broad variety of documentaries, including historical films, which have as their main purpose the systematic understanding of the social world.

About the ISSC

The International Social Science Council (ISSC) was established in 1952 as an independent non-government organisation. It is the primary body representing the social, economic and behavioural sciences at an international level. Its mission is to increase the production and use of social science knowledge to help solve global problems.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Charles Ebikeme
Ethnografilm Festival

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015