Terri Sarris is an award-winning media artist and educator whose production interests include experimental media, documentary, and narrative fiction.
Buzzards Steal Your Picnic, her forty-minute documentary profile of Frank Pahl (a Detroit composer and creator of self-playing musical automatons whom Nate Cavalieri of the Detroit Metro Times described as "a one-man quirk force....with the passion of a melodically-obsessed Willy Wonka"), was awarded "Best Michigan Film" at both the 2007 Detroit International Documentary Festival and the 2008 Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Radiant Sun, her documentary portrait of the Michigan modernist textile designer Ruth Adler Schnee, screened at the Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice, Italy, during the Venice Bienalle in spring 2011 and has recently been awarded finishing grants from the Graham Foundation and from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at UM. Her media installations have been included in local galleries, including the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor, the Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, Michigan, and the Kibbell Gallery in Maryland.
Sarris has also been involved in outreach initiatives centered on media literacy and production and was selected by the UM National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) as a faculty fellow for 2007-08 in connection with UM alum Sultan Sharrief, a community practitioner at the Center. Sarris and Sharrief developed the "EFEX Project" (Encouraging the Filmmaking Experience), which began in Spring 2006 as a spring course in community filmmaking and with the summer production of the feature film Bilal's Stand, written and directed by Sharrief. Bilal's Stand, which she co-produced, was one of eight films selected for screening in the <NEXT> category at the Sundance Film Festival.
Sarris is also a member of "Little Bang Theory," a musical trio that plays film scores and original music on toys. “LBT” performed an original toy score with Benshi Kataoka Ichiro to Ozu’s silent masterpiece I Was Born, But, at the Michigan Theater in Fall 2012 and as the opening event of the Detroit Film Theater’s 2013 season.
Recent Courses Taught
SAC 404: Collaborations In Media Production: Screendance
SAC 402: Situation Comedy: “From Studio Multi-Camera to Single-Camera Comedy Verite”
SAC 302: Television Studio Production 1
SAC 290: Introduction to Television, Video, and Film Production