William Farley

William Farley was raised in a working-class family outside of Boston, Massachusetts, his early life included training as a commercial artist. He was drafted and worked as an illustrator for an Army intelligence unit, which developed tools for spies. After receiving an honorable discharge he attended Maryland Institute College of Art on the G.I. Bill as a sculpture major and won a scholarship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

As a graduate student majoring in sculpture, he took a class on the history of film, at the end of the semester, he had the choice to either write a paper about the films he saw or make a film. He made a film and it was a hit on the film festival circuit and Farley was hooked on cinema. When he received his MFA a year and a half later he had more credits in film making then sculpture.

He taught film production at the Center For Contemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland California for six years and part time at other schools in the bay area, including California College of the Arts, College of Marin, and San Francisco State University.

He has been a member of the board of New Langton Arts, the Film Arts Foundation, George Coates Performance Works, the San Francisco International Theatre Festival, and the Artist Committee of the San Francisco Art Institute.

His live action short films and documentaries have won numerous awards and have been broadcast and screened around the world, including the Mannheim, Chicago, Sydney and New York Film Festivals. He won a Clio for the best public service announcement of the year, for his collaboration with Father Guido Sarducci and George Manupelli, for Become An Artist, for the San Francisco Art Institute.

His first feature film, Citizen, I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away, follows a group of young people and their encounters with a succession of enlightened mad men and eccentrics. It featured Whoopi Goldberg in her first screen performance, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. At the same time it had a month’s run at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1983. Mr. Farley directed his second feature, Of Men and Angels, he co-wrote, starring Theresa Saldana and John Molloy of Dublin's Abbey Theatre. The film tells the story of; three strong- willed individuals who struggle for control of their own dreams and each other's. In 1989, Of Men and Angels premiered in the dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

Farley's next film, Broke, a meditation on homeless people, showed in numerous film festivals in the United States and Europe. In 1998, Mr. Farley re-master his film Sea Space, and was invited to screen it at the Sundance Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.

In the spring of 2000, he co-directed The Old Spaghetti Factory, a documentary, about the last bohemian nightclub in San Francisco's North Beach. It was shown on PBS in over one hundred U.S. cities.  This film was a collaboration between Mr. Farley and Mal and Sandra Sharpe.

In the last fourteen years, he has completed five films: The Stories, a fictional account about a man urgently looking for an intimate connection with his dying father; Darryl Henriques is in Show Business, a documentary about a comedian struggling to reach a larger audience; Arianna's Journey, a documentary about an Italian woman who travels the world in pursuit of her spiritual destiny; Shadow & Light The Life and Art of Elaine Badgley Arnoux, an eighty two year old artist who uses her creativity to forge a greater understanding of herself and to inspire others to see their imperfections as a gift; and The Walk, a meditation on the power of place, a portrait of a small bayside park and its alluring beauty.

Currently, Mr. Farley is in post production on a feature documentary, Objects of Desire, the Life and Art of Jerry Ross Barrish. To be released the Fall of the this year.

[bio courtesy of the filmmaker] 


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