Adolfas Mekas, filmmaker and professor, dies at 85

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- Adolfas Mekas, a member of the avant-garde New American Cinema movement of the 1960s and longtime professor of film at New York's Bard College, has died at age 85.

The college said Wednesday the Lithuanian-born artist died Tuesday at a Poughkeepsie hospital. The cause of death was not released.

Mekas immigrated to the U.S. in 1949 after time spent in a Nazi concentration camp and later in displaced persons camps in Germany.

In the U.S., he and his brother Jonas founded the journal Film Culture and the Filmmakers' Cooperative independent cinema distribution house. His feature "Hallelujah the Hills" played at the Cannes Film festival in 1963.

Mekas founded the film program at Bard in 1971 and taught until his retirement in 2004. He lived in Rhinebeck.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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