Columbia Associate Professor Discusses Intimacy Coordination at Milwaukee Film Festival

Photo of Susan KernsSusan Kerns is an associate professor in Cinema and Television Arts.
Susan Kerns, an associate professor in Cinema and Television Arts, joins ARRAY Crew’s Meredith Shea in a discussion about Safe Sets on May 1.

Susan Kerns, associate professor in Cinema and Television Arts, will be participating in a discussion with ARRAY Crew’s Meredith Shea about Safe Sets at the annual Milwaukee Film Festival on May 1 at 4 p.m. Shea is director of industry relations with ARRAY Crew, which provides film and television access to below-the-line crew members (e.g., grips, lighting directors, production designers, costume designers, sound technicians, etc.) from diverse backgrounds. Columbia College Chicago alum and trustee Paul Garnes ’96, HDR ’16 serves as the president of ARRAY Filmworks.

 The Safe Sets discussion will address the intersection of diverse stories, diverse crews, and consent-based set practices, with Kerns—co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Feminist Film Festival—talking about intimacy coordination and her experiences in the role.

“We have all heard horror stories about performers’ boundaries not being respected during the filming of intimate scenes. Hiring an Intimacy Coordinator allows these stories to be told while preserving the safety of the people involved in their creation,” Kerns says. “An Intimacy Coordinator’s job is to support and advocate for actors performing in scenes of physical or emotional intimacy, while communicating with the director to bring their vision to life. Intimacy coordination builds planning and documentation into all stages of filmmaking, fostering consent-based set practices and ensuring that everyone can do their best work.”

The event will be held at Kenilworth Square East, 1937 E Kenilworth Place, Milwaukee.

Learn more about the Milwaukee Film Festival.