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Alister Sanderson


Emeritus Professor of Communication and Media Arts


Communication and Media Arts





Prof. Alister Sanderson holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Oxford University and the M.A. and Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University, where he was a George Amberg Doctoral Research Fellow and specialized in WWII British documentary film.

Before coming to MMC, he taught at New York University, Drew University, the School of Visual Arts and Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He also made experimental films, served on the board of directors of the Millennium Film Workshop, and founded and edited the Millennium Film Journal, the leading international publication devoted to avant-garde film-making.

In commercial television, Alister was Hearst/ABC’s ARTS’ and A&E’s Creative Director and senior producer during the launches of those networks. He went on to head up his own communications and production company which was hired for the launches of Lifetime, Lifetime Medical Television, Request Television (America’s first pay-per-view channel), the Sci-Fi Channel and TNT. Among other clients were HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Nickelodeon, National Geographic, the New York Times, USA Network, The Long Island Philharmonic, Artpark, Pilobolus, Parsons Dance, and the NYC Refugee Employment Project.

In the last few years, Alister has produced, written and directed for the History Channel (for which he received the American Advertising Federation’s Addy award) as well as for Biography, the Kennedy Space Center, the Smithsonian, and the National Constitution Center. His own films include the award-winning A Little Tour of Manhattan, Sun Tea and All the Time in the World. Chase Games, made with Prof. Elizabeth Higgins and featuring MMC dance students, was shown at the Utah Arts Festival and the Independent Film Festival in Florida. A number of his films, including Herbarium (2013), which explores the scientific mission of the New York Botanical Garden, can be seen at

Among the courses Alister teaches are Sense and Medium: Introduction to Creative Media, Survey of Film & Video, The Films of Alfred Hitchcock and The Avant-garde in Performance, Film & Art.

Alister established and was the founding director of the Dept. of Communication Arts’ Theresa Lang Center for Producing, which provides the production facilities for MMC students to work creatively in video, sound design, graphic design, and new digital media.


B.A., Oxford University
M.A., New York University
Ph.D. New York University

Recent Work


Herbarium: inside the New York Botanical Garden (2013) A race against time at one of the world’s great scientific institutions to record and preserve the world’s bio-diversity.

The Life of Things (2011 - 2012) Riddle sonnet films

My Left Hand Makes Breakfast (2010). My right hand holds the camera while my left hand makes toast, a fried egg and tea.

The above work can be viewed at

Video Viewbook Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York (2011)

Television and theatrical commercials for Kingsborough Community College (2009)


Currently working on To Make Music, a film about making and playing musical instruments featuring Daphna Mor, Rachel Begley and Patrick von Huene, 


Survey of Film and Video

The Avant-garde in Performance, Film and Art

Themes in Video: Experimental and Poetic Film

Video Workshop

Special Topics: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Sense and Medium: Introduction to Creative Media

Professional Experience

Producer, writer, director, creative director, communications consultant for commercial television and for arts, educational and other not-for-profit organizations