AMERICAN BEAR Discussion & Presentation

September 19, 2014 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

BEAR Talk presentation and dialogue – Presentation of Web Series BEAR Bones

Join filmmakers Sarah Sellman and Greg Grano as they kick-off their


Reserve your FREE tickets HERE! You will be taken to the Red House Arts Center Ticketing Page. Advance tickets encouraged but not required.

American Bear is a feature length documentary film where the filmmakers challenged themselves to rely on the kindreds of strangers as they traveled across the US.

About the BEAR Bones Web Series

While filming American Bear, Sarah and Greg interviewed professors around the country about the dynamics of interacting with strangers. How do we develop trust? What happens in the brain when we meet someone for the first time? What are the sociopolitical challenges Americans face and how can we work through them together? Each professor explores the themes of American Bear through their expertise: neuroscience, gender studies, race relations, sociology, and more.

Those interviews have turned into the web series BEAR Bones. Each episode features content from the overall American Bear project, and animated text to engage audiences of all ages.

In BEAR Bones, scholars examine the kindness of strangers through the lenses of our respective disciplines to explore social justice, trust, the limits of kindness and who is deemed deserving of assistance. for more info and to watch episodes visit

About the film: American Bear
Sarah and Greg set out to critically explore American culture, compassion, and fear by relying on the kindness of strangers for a home each night. Traveling through 30 states in 60 days, they spend every day in a new town, learning why people may or may not be willing to open their homes. Sarah and Greg spend time getting to know their hosts – each uniquely, culturally American – while the film raises questions about how we define American identities. Sarah and Greg’s own social location – white, young, middle class, appearing as a straight couple – guides the way they interact with strangers, complicating the hospitality they receive.

About the Filmmakers:
SARAH SELLMAN graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television, where she focused on writing and directing narrative films. She was nominated for the Oliver Stone screenwriting award in 2011 and received the much-coveted senior allotment for her short film Hold Your Arms Out.  While attending NYU she completed production on American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers, which won the American Documentary Film Pitch Competition in 2012.

GREG GRANO studied Film and Television at New York University, with a minor in music, focusing on writing and directing narrative films. Since then, his work has shifted to documentary, with an eye for American social concerns. Inspired by the kindness and personal connections he experienced on the road, Greg spent three years working closely with students to develop their leadership potential and cultivate engaged citizenship through his position in residence life at Syracuse University. Greg recently received his Master’s Degree in Cultural Foundations of Education, with an emphasis on the potential of art to tell stories that promote social justice.

Free to the Public

See the film! : Check out the tour schedule here

Partnering organizations include; ArtRage Gallery, The Red House, Urban Video Project, Near West Side Initiative, Auburn Public Theater, and University Union