• Maysles Institute Maysles Institute


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Mission Statement

The Maysles Institute exhibits independently curated films to inspire dialogue and action and advances community produced films through education programs. Our cinema and education programs engage multi-generational communities in creative self-expression, communicating ideas and advocating needs. We are committed to working with and representing residents of our Harlem neighborhood, documentary filmmakers and activists, community members and community-based organizations engaged in social, political and cultural change. Our goal is to bring these diverse audiences together, creating cross-cultural dialogue, relationships and empowerment through documentary film and filmmaking.


The Maysles Cinema, the only independent film house north of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary films, and it provides programming and forum discussions at least four nights out of every week. The Cinema is committed to a democratic experience, one where filmmakers are asked to attend the screenings of their work, and audiences have the opportunity to actively engage the films and each other in post-screening forums. Coupled with its scheduled series, we encourage the programming participation of local social and cultural organizations and citizen-activists to deepen community involvement and provide exposure for under-represented social issues and overlooked artists and their work. In the past year, we have forged partnerships with organizations as diverse as The National Black Programming Consortium, the New Museum, and the Harlem Historic Parks Association, to name a few. Our suggested-donation ticket model allows for everyone to engage in our programming, regardless of his or her ability to pay. As a result of steady growth in attendance we have recently added capacity to accommodate our frequent overflow audiences.

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