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The Lives of Animals, a program of innovative documentaries curated by The Flaherty, spans six Wednesdays in March and April at New York City's 92YTribeca.

Flaherty NYC, an offshoot of The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, is a screening series that concerns itself primarily with generally obscure works by serious documentary filmmakers. Their work in particular is best served by in-depth discourse, which the series definitely provides. This season, its fifth, is furrier than past programs. For the Spring 2012 Flaherty NYC Co-curators Kathy High and Jim Supanick have chosen to explore The Lives of Animals.

As is typical for the Flaherty series, each event includes a post-screening discussion focusing on the creative process of producing these films. If you’re in New York, you can join the conversation Wednesday nights into mid-April at the 92 Y Tribeca. Here’s a closer look at what’s coming up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Entire Ecosystems: Works by Arne Sucksdorff and Marina Zurkow

Filmmakers Sucksdorff & Zurkow have created a series of short film that deal with animals and their ecosystems. “Synthesizing plein-air cinematograph and close-ups staged in the studio, Sucksdorff’s film depicts predator and prey over the course of a winter night.” Filmmakers in attendance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Animals Speak the Words of Humans: Films by Shelly Silver, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

The title speaks for itself. In this series of shorts while animals may mouth the words, this is no Babe: Pig in the City. Filmmakers in attendance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Speculative Empathy: Nancy Andrews and Jim Trainor

Off-beat and humorous looks at animals. Filmmakers in attendance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Prized Animals: ManDove: Kian Tjong and Jim de Seve

ManDove follows the magical perkutut birds casting spells on men, taking them away from their wives, and pitting them against each other to prove their masculinity. In a peculiar travelogue, two filmmakers dive into an ancient rite of manhood in Islamic Java — the tender and raucous sport of the singing doves. With its rich human dimension, it is one of the most unusual bird documentaries ever made.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Recognizing the Animal: Isabella Rossellini, Sam Easterson and Cynthia Chris

Works by the titular three filmmakers. Cynthia Chris in attendance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Avant-garde Pioneers: George Kuchar and Carolee Schneemann

Shorts by the two avant-garde filmmakers followed by Carolee Schneemann who talks cats with curator Kathy High.

The series continues on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. through April 11. Tickets are sold individually or in packages. For more information about tickets, visit the 92 Y Tribeca website. Find out more about the series at flahertyseminar.org.

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Guest blogger Adam Schartoff is a freelance film journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. He's the founder and programmer of the Brooklyn-based film series Filmwax.