Underground Film Journal

Sharon Couzin

Sharon Couzin is a retired American experimental filmmaker who began making films in the early 1970s. Her work is known for its complex visual layering that reflected a personal, autobiographical point of view.

While her actual film output was not that prolific and thusly has not received the sort of analysis and study her work deserves, Couzin was also a highly significant figure in building and promoting the experimental film community in the American midwest, specifically in Chicago, Illinois. In 1983, while teaching filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Couzin helped found the Experimental Film Coalition, an organization that held regular monthly screenings, created the Onion City Film Festival and published several periodicals. Couzin served as the Coalition's President until 1988.

Couzin studied filmmaking at SAIC, earning a BFA there in 1976 and an MFA in 1977. After continuing on to teach at SAIC, she served as Chair of the Film Department for a decade.


Gradiva (1989)
Bouquet (1988)
Shells and Rushes (1987)
Pauline (1985)
OdilonOdilon (1984)
Salve (1981)
A Trojan Horse (1981)
Deutschland Spiegel (1980)
Roseblood (1974)


Experimental Film Coalition: Onion City Film Festival
This is Part Three in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their annual experimental film festival. You can read Part One here and Part Two here. In addition to their monthly screenings, the Coalition founded what was initially called either the Festival of Experimental Film or the Experimental Film Festival. The first
Experimental Film Coalition: The Monthly Screenings
This is Part Two in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their screening series. Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.
Experimental Film Coalition: The Founding
This is Part One in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers the organization’s inception. In 1983, a group in Chicago, Illinois formed the Experimental Film Coalition to promote and provide support for independent, avant-garde, experimental and underground filmmakers. In their hometown, the Coalition hosted monthly screenings, founded a long running film festival