Blau is co-founder of the Department of Film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which he chaired for twenty years. Widely known for its experimental and interdisciplinary orientation, in 2011 the UWM Film Department was named one of the twenty-five best film schools in the world by the Hollywood Reporter. Blau has mentored numerous prize-winning students. Among them is filmmaker Chris Smith, whose American Movie, won the Grand Prize for Documentary at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and was later listed as one of the 1000 best films ever made by the New York Times.
Although primarily a photographer, he has made several 16mm films himself and collaborated on a number of videos as well. His films (Up The Block One Sunday, 1982, Tintinnabula (co-maker Dawn Wiedemann) 1986, and Jidyll, 1990, are distributed by Canyon Cinema. His new piece, A Polish Easter in Chicago, 2012, played at the Cannes Short Film Festival.
Selections from my new photofilm, A Polish Easter in Chicago, will be screened at New Visions: Experimental Film, Art and Anthropology at the musee du quai Branley in Paris on March 30. (More information on the symposium.)
The work of Dick Blau discussed in Experimental Film and Anthropology, edited by Arnd Schneider and Caterina Pasqualino.