Nov 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm
CIFF x UNDO: Camden Shorts “Air”
Screening to be followed by a Q&A with Lacy Jane Roberts, Luisa Conlon & Hanna Miller, Arshia Shakiba, Zaynê Akyol, and Anna Barsan
Missed the stellar programming at this year’s Camden International Film Festival? Don’t fret. We’ve invited our friends from Maine down to Brooklyn for a weekend long celebration of the short form in documentary. Get to know the team from Camden and some of their most exciting boundary pushing featured filmmakers from this year’s festival program.
Sunday evening we share one of the most popular programs of shorts from this year’s fest, AIR, which presents a collection of personal and politically charged stories that look at the precarity of the places and divisions that define our lives to interrogate notions of freedom and boundaries. “Air is uncontained. The people in this shorts program have crossed the borders of our geographic earth in search for something like the freedom of the winds. Though they remain caught in a series of earthly binds, their spirits soar.”
This program will be preceded on Saturday November 17th by another program of Camden shorts “Fire” and a reception to celebrate Camden coming to Brooklyn. Come through for both programs of the weekend to get the whole experience, and meet the folks from CIFF.
They Came in Crowded Boats and Trains
Minna Rainio, Mark Roberts, 2018, Finland, 20 min.
Refugees from Finland and Iraq struggle across geographical and temporal borders on a journey to find safety. The film interweaves the stories of Finnish refugees during the World War II with the journeys of refugees from Iraq who travelled to Finland in the present day. The division between us and them, the past and the present, becomes blurred.
Arshia Shakiba, 2018, Canada, 6 min.
The Guests takes a look at life in the precarious setting of a refugee camp, where Syrian refugees live in some of the worst conditions imaginable. Leaving their war-torn homes behind, they have settled in the desert not far from the war zone. This film takes us into the refugee camp on a hot summer afternoon to witness the human ability to adapt to harsh conditions.
We Became Fragments
Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller, Lacy Jane Roberts, 2018, United States, 12 min.
After losing his mother and four siblings in a bombing that left him injured, Syrian teenager Ibraheem Sarhan and his father make a new life for themselves in Winnipeg, Canada despite the heartbreak of leaving their home behind. It’s a story about loss, resilience, and one young man’s identity as he adapts to a new country while his home is at war.
jayisha patel, 2018, United Kingdom, India, Canada, 13 min.
CIRCLE is a haunting portrait of a rape survivor, caught in the devious ploys of her family.
Through the poignant and personal story of 13 year old Khushbu, Circle explores her gang-rape, emotional abuse at the hands of her grandmother, who orchestrated the rape, and her child marriage to a man she does not know. Where does the circle begin? And can there be any release?
Anna Barsan, 2018, United States, 12 min.
Undocumented immigrants forced to spend months in detention are turning to private companies to secure their release on bond. In exchange, immigrants pay exorbitant monthly fees for a GPS ankle monitor they can’t remove. See how two New Yorkers cope with wearing the monitors on a daily basis.
Darius Clark Monroe, 2018, United States, 15 min.
Black 14 is an archival social study examining white pathology and cognitive dissonance via media coverage of a 1969 racial protest at the University of Wyoming.
Erin Semine Kökdil, 2016, United States, 5 min.
Amidst the depths of despair, a grieving mother finds her voice to challenge the forces of injustice and inspire hope.
While I Yet Live
Maris Curran, 15 min.
Five acclaimed African American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a rural community, played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights Movement.
Houston native, Darius Clark Monroe, graduated with honors with a B.A. from the University of Houston, and an M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Monroe has received fellowships and grant support from Austin Film Society, Tribeca Film Institute, Charles and Lucille King Fellowship, Spike Lee Fellowship, Warner Bros, Cinereach, IFP, IDFA, DCTV, and the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund. He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and “10 Filmmakers to Watch” from The Independent.
Luisa Conlon is a documentary director and cinematographer based in New York and Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, NBC, VICE, PBS NewsHour, Vogue, NPR & StoryCorps. She most recently directed the New York Times Op-Docs We Became Fragments about a young Syrian refugee coming of age in Canada. The film was released with an accompanying Op-Ed from former UN Ambassador Samantha Power and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. Luisa’s work has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and The Filmmaker Fund. She is a recipient of the Jerry Jensen Overall Graduate Scholarship Award from the Emmy Foundation, the 2016 Robert Whittington Award for Exceptional Reporting from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Hanna Miller is a documentary film director and director of photography from Collins, Mississippi. She splits her time between home and the California Bay Area, where she studied at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Hanna’s cinematic style captures authenticity and raw emotion while maintaining a thoughtful, well composed image. From documentary film to corporate work and commercial opportunities, Hanna’s focus is quality storytelling without judgment or discrimination. Her background is in Russian language, southern womanhood, and sexual misconduct crisis response. She’s been a Fulbright fellow and often speaks at rural universities about the merit of being from nowhere important.
Anna Barsan is an NYC-based artist and media educator working in film, installation, and live video performance. She holds an M.A. in film and new media studies from The New School and a B.A. in international relations and global media studies from the University of Michigan. She teaches film and media studies at SUNY Empire State.
Arshia Shakiba studied Digital Film Productions and graduated from Toronto Film School in 2003. He began his professional career working on a number of commercials and award-winning short films. Starting in 2008, his jobs mainly editing documentary films have been taking him abroad. Arshia is also known for the music videos he created for underground Iranian rock bands. He recently finished his short documentary The Guests, which takes place in a refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. He is currently working on his new feature length documentary.
Zaynê Akyol studied at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communications, specializing in film. Zaynê finished her studies by winning the René Malo Chair/National Film Board of Canada award for most promising documentary filmmaker.
In 2010, she followed up with her medium-length documentary, Iki Bulut Arasinda (Under Two Skies), which won the Jury and People’s Choice awards at the Festival Vidéastes Recherché(e)s, as well as the Vox award at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois festival before touring the international festival circuit. Balancing practice with theory, Zaynê completed her master’s degree in Communications, concentrating on “Film and moving images”.
In 2016, Zaynê released her first feature documentary Gulîstan, Land of Roses. This film won the Doc Alliance accolade at Locarno Film Festival, a prize awarded by seven of the most prestigious documentary festivals in Europe. To date, the film has received over eleven awards and fifty nominations worldwide.
Her second feature documentary, Rojek, One Day is expected to be released in 2020. In the meantime, Zaynê is also producing documentaries. The Guests is her first experience as producer.
Maris Curran studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and also participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. Her debut film Five Nights in Maine, starring David Oyelowo, Dianne Wiest and Rosie Perez, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She is currently working on her second feature film