Ungerer, Walter

Walter Ungerer (born 1935, NYC) graduated from Pratt Institute (BFA 1958), and Columbia University (MA 1969). He learned his basic filmmaking skills working on various productions: THE COOL WORLD, a theatrical film directed by Shirley Clarke; and FREEDOM FOR THY PEOPLE, a United Church of Christ documentary shot in Nigeria. He produced his own experimental films MEET ME, JESUS and A LION’S TALE soon after. Then came the OOBIELAND films, which gave him recognition as an artist. The Museum of Modern Art included UBI EST TERRAM OOBIAE? Part Two of OOBIELAND, in a program that toured the world, representing filmmaking in the United States. In the next few years the OOBIELAND films (there are five parts), received awards at such experimental film festivals as Ann Arbor, Foothill, Bellevue, and Baltimore. In 1969 Ungerer left New York for Vermont and a job teaching filmmaking at Goddard College. He tapped into resources at the college, namely personnel for cast and crew (including BREAD AND PUPPET THEATRE) for the longer narrative films he was beginning to produce. For thirty-three years he lived in Vermont creating feature length experimental narrative films: THE ANIMAL, THE HOUSE WITHOUT STEPS, THE WINTER THERE WAS VERY LITTLE SNOW and LEAVING THE HARBOR; using local actors. In the late twentieth century several factors changed Ungerer’s way of working. He was no longer able to find funding for his projects, though he was the recipient of national and regional awards: American Film Institute filmmaker grant, National Endowment on the Arts grant, National Endowment of the Humanities grant, and Vermont Council on the Arts grants.

Ungerer moved to Maine in 2003. His methods are now different, methods he began to accept at the end of the twentieth century, working with computer editing systems and dslr cameras. Nonetheless, he still relies on an intuitive approach to decision making with a predilection for the themes of nature, earth, the unknown and unknowable. In 2013 GREEN EYE was included at the Venice Biennale. In 2014 ICI was at the Directors Lounge, Berlin Film Festival; Alchemy Film Festival, Scotland; Black Maria Festival (2nd Prize); and Experimental Film Festival, Portland.

Contact person: 

Walter Ungerer



91 Le Grand Drive
04843-4351   Camden, Maine
United States
Phone: +1 2077066025
Fax: +1 2072360278
44° 13' 35.0112" N, 69° 6' 26.0892" W