Peter Yost, Rise of the Drones, 53:04, color, sound. Produced by Pangloss Films for WGBH, 2013. Photo courtesy of WGBH.

Film Screening & Conversation: Peter Yost

February 16, 2016
6p reception, Kemper Art Museum; 6:30p film screening, Steinberg Auditorium

New York City-based film director and producer Peter Yost will screen his acclaimed 2013 film Rise of the Drones, followed by a conversation moderated by associate professor Monika Weiss, as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. This lecture is supported by the Brabson Library & Educational Foundation as part of a grant for the course Digital Filmmaking: City Stories, and held in conjunction with the exhibition To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare, on view January 29 through April 24 at the Kemper Art Museum.

Yost has written, directed, and produced dozens of long-form projects for clients including NOVA, National Geographic Television, NBC, CBS, PBS, Discovery-Times, and others, and won festival awards and foundation grants for his independent work. In addition to recent projects for NOVA that include Rise of the Drones, Secrets of the Viking Sword, and Invisible Universe Revealed (commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope), he created Inside North Korea (nominated for an Emmy), Solitary Confinement (which helped lead to reform of this controversial practice in Colorado and elsewhere), and Area 51: Declassified (the first film to tell the secret history of the storied base in the voices of those who actually worked there). Yost's innovative independent and commissioned films explore an eclectic range of subjects including tribal traditions in Africa (National Geographic Television), the impact of public relations on the media (NBC News), the lives of Mississippi River ship pilots (CBS News), anacondas and environmental conservation issues in South America (National Geographic Television), the "greening" of Big Oil companies (an Emmy-nomiated investigation for The New York Times and Discovery), the dying tradition of cockfighting in rural America (Independent), and the plight of Tibetan refugee children in Northern India (PBS/Independent).

Yost's documentaries have been reviewed by The New York Times, featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and screened at film festivals worldwide. Over the years, he has conducted extensive interviews with a wide range of individuals from the Dalai Lama to Robert Redford, and made films in places from India to Togo and everywhere in between.

Yost was born in Japan and grew up in the United States. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1992 with a major in political science, and attended the Goethe Institute in Berlin just after the fall of the wall. Before becoming a filmmaker, he founded and directed a series of educational reform programs for middle school children in the Roxbury section of Boston.

Rise of the Drones: A conversation with director Peter Yost & professor Monika Weiss from Sam Fox School on Vimeo.