Becky Beamer has also produced an award-winning documentary short film 'PSYCAP' (2019) which was showcased at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York last month.
Becky Beamer, Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at the American University of Sharjah, is expected to complete post-production on her biggest project to date: a feature-length documentary film entitled Machine: Vivat Apparatus. The film, which was made possible through a faculty research grant from AUS and the support of her colleague, Associate Professor Patrick Rhodes at Department of Architecture (CAAD), is expected to be released later this summer.
The film works to dismantle systemic racism, biases and weapons of oppression that surround a secret society—nicknamed The Machine—at the University of Alabama, where Beamer earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and worked at the Center for Public Television.
Discussing the film, Beamer said: “Everything that I have been working for up to this point is culminating in this feature documentary film. I’m very excited about it.
“This documentary highlights the universal threat to democracy that is alive in the greater American political machine. It’s about a lawyer, a pizza-maker and a student who seek justice for their community by fighting toe-to-toe against a secret society—The Machine. For one hundred years the University of Alabama has protected this secret society, thus protecting the status quo. But how do you defeat an entity that doesn’t ‘exist’? Curious, right?”
A film graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York and former Fulbright scholar, Beamer’s films typically focus on issues of social injustice, telling the stories of people and places that would otherwise remain underreported—from women’s reproductive rights in Zambia, to innovative entrepreneurial refugees in Jordan, to a reflective Emirati poet living in Ras al Khaimah.
She also co-produced the critically acclaimed documentary short film PSYCAP (2019) with her colleague, Dr Kim Gleason from the School of Business Administration at the AUS. The film is set in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and based on the Syrian conflict. It was awarded Best in Competition at the 2020 Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts in the category of International Faculty Documentary.