Tony Buba is one of the most unique voices working
in American independent filmmaking today. With humor, compassion,
and a complete dedication to the working-class heroes of his hometown
of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Buba has created a body of work which
documents the rise and fall of a steel town with unblinking accuracy.
David Lynch goes into neighborhoods and finds the germs and
bugs beneath, Buba explained, I go into neighborhoods
and find the life. Growing up in Braddock and witnessing its
decline first hand has taught Buba that there are no quick fixes
for the problems he examines. I get a lot of attention in
Braddock, Buba said, but people who are doing community
work day after day, keeping the community alive, get none.
Buba tries to correct this problem, one film at a time, by listening
to those in his community who have important stories to telland
for Buba that means everybody.
Buba has made over twenty films exploring working-class
issues in and around his hometown since 1974. Buba began his career
with "The Braddock Chronicles," a dozen short documentary
portraits of the stubborn signs of life in a dying milltown. Buba's
work has been showcased in one-person shows at The Museum of Modern
Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Carnegie Museum of
Art and more than 100 museums and universities. His awards include
fellowships from the NEA, AFI, and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim
Foundations, and grants from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
In the Fall of 2001, Buba will be in residence at
the University of Wisconsin-Madiso in the Communication Arts Department
under the auspices of the Arts Institute Interdisciplinary Arts
Residency Program. His residency, co-sponsored by the Creative Writing
Program in the Department of English, the School of Journalism and
Mass Communication, and Wisconsin Public Television, will involve
interdisciplinary filmmaking courses, a master class for producers
at Wisconsin Public Television, and public screenings and discussions
of his films co-sponsored by local labor groups.