Paul Sharits, 50, filmmaker and installation artist known for his experimental approach to cinema, died July 15 in Buffalo of natural causes.

Born in Denver in 1943, Sharits began experimenting with film as a teenager.

He studied painting as an undergraduate at Denver University and visual design at Indiana University, founding experimental film groups at both schools.

In the early ’70s, Sharits also developed an undergraduate film program at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He was director of undergraduate studies at the Center for Media Study at the State University College at Buffalo.

Sharits created extensive installations of continuously running film clips, often involving multiple projectors, which were often featured in international film and video festivals and showcased in art galleries and exhibitions.

A retrospective of Sharits’ films was held at the Anthology Film Archives in New York in 1978. His work is also represented in major museums, libraries and film centers.

Sharits’ marriage to Frances Niekerk ended in divorce.

Survived by his father, Paul; a son, Christopher; and two grandsons.

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