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Jun 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Northside Film Festival: African Shorts | Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry | VICE in the Congo & North Korea
With Dan Atkins, Teddy Goitom and Andrew Dosunmu
6:00pm, African Shorts (92 minutes)
Presented by NYAFF
Cinematographer, Dan Atkins (Tengenenge: Zimbabwe’s Hidden Sculpture Community), Director, Teddy Goitom (Stocktown X: South Africa), Director, Andrew Dosunmu (Hot Irons) will all be in attendance for presentation and discussion following the screening.
Tengenenge: Zimbabwe’s Hidden Sculpture Community by Jacquelyn Lobel, US/Zimbabwe, 17 minutes.
In the north of Zimbabwe, at the foot of the great dyke, beside the ravines and grassy covered slopes, there lies a village called Tengenenge, rich in the many different tribes of the Zambezi river basin. All of the villagers are artists, who make their living by sculpting stone.
Like most Zimbabweans, these are difficult times for the artists. The impact of the economy has affected tourism, and in turn, there are hardly any visitors coming to buy art at Tengenenge anymore. Against all odds, this community has continued to survive because of its peoples passion, energy and solidarity. Tengenenge is a glimmer of joy and optimism in a country on the brink of collapse.
Stocktown X: South Africa will bring you face to face with the new urban Africa, where fashion creators, animators, cultural entrepreneurs, music producers and guerilla filmmakers define what it is to be young, talented and passionate in Africa’s 21st century. The film takes viewers on a road trip across South Africa, capturing the contemporary creative generation of this vivid and pulsating culture. Stocktown X: South Africa introduces viewers to black heavy metal band Ree-Burth, Soweto style setters Smarteez, and Limpop music genre innovator Gazelle amongst others, capturing the creative energy and street vibes of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Hot Irons by Andrew Dosunmu, 16 mm, 50 minutes.
Hot Irons provides a rare look into the social culture of African-American hairstyling, as explained by five Detroit hairdressers in preparation for the annual “Hair Wars” competition. Aided by striking cinematography and a brilliantly eclectic soundtrack, Dosunmu captures the hopes and pressures of the men who were laid off from the automobile industry and now compete for recognition and respect in the fantastically creative world of black hair styling.
Filmmaker Alison Klayma and Art News Editor for ArtInfo, Benjamin Sutton, will both be in attendance for presentation and discussion after the screening.
Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
Ai WeiWei is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.
Winner of Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
10:30pm, Bikelordz by Mikey Hart, 16 minutes.
Presented By Kings County Cinema Society
Filmmaker, Mikey Hart, will be in attendance for presentation and discussion following the screening.
Bikelordz is a short documentary about the self-taught, self-invented bicycle culture that kids in Ghana have created. It follows crews of these young BMX gurus as they try and use their skills to make money, gain recognition and live on their own terms. Filmed on the streets of Accra in 2007, Bikelordz features a soundtrack of all Ghanaian music and shows a side of the city never before seen beyond its limits. A feature adaptation is currently in the works.
VICE Guide to the Congo by Jason Mojica , 38 minutes.
Presented by VICE
Following the program, please join us for a discussion with filmmaker Jason Mojica and veteran author (Shooting War) and documentary filmmaker Anthony Lappé.
VICE founder Suroosh Alvi travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo and makes one of the most grueling treks of his life to see first-hand where this so-called “conflict mineral” comes from and to meet some of the rebels involved in the seemingly never-ending conflict in Eastern Congo.
VICE Guide to North Korean Labor Camps by Jason Mojica, 39 minutes.
VICE founder Shane Smith traveled to far east Russia to uncover what was rumored to be a series of miniature North Koreas dotting the Siberian landscape. Reaching these logging camps, however, forced Shane and the VICE crew onto the revered trans-siberian railway, which turned out to be a long overheated journey with a bunch of drunk Russians. After tussling with a gang of teenage thugs hopped up on the train’s generous supply of vodka, Shane de-boarded and entered into Tynda, the gateway to the world of North Korean loggers. With the help of the local police chief and the local mob, he found his way through the woods to the site where Kim Jong-Il and President Medvedev have conspired to let North Koreans raze the Taiga forest.