5pm: In Kind, Heart of Now
In Kind by Cameron Bruce Nelson
USA, 2011, 15min
A man, drowned in debt and struggling with unemployment, receives the greatest gift. Robert Drake is dealing with the uncontrollable forces in his life. Trapped in middle-age, unemployed and struggling with debt, he lives an ascetic lifestyle marked only by his daily bicycle rides. Ritual and solitude turn to hope and redemption in this quiet contemplative piece about the nature of family in the modern world. Cameron Bruce Nelson got his start in filmmaking directing, editing, and producing music videos and experimental films. In fall 2011, he will begin attending the University of North Texas as an MFA student in documentary filmmaking. At present, Cameron is co-founder of Rambos Rainbos Productions and Relevant Film Project, a documentary-watching club and community activist group held at a local cooperative, 1919 Hemphill. He lives in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Heart of Now by Zak Forsman
USA, 2010, 89 Min
Heart of Now is a quiet and understated debut feature that explores the inclination to define ourselves by the people who leave us. Amber is a young woman with a profound longing for a sense of family. When she discovers she is pregnant, her boyfriend withdraws and moves out while her closest friends insist that she get an abortion. Abandoned at every turn, Amber willfully seeks a safe haven in Gabe – the father figure that left her and her dying mother a decade ago. Amber is whisked across urban, natural and emotional landscapes where she descends into a downward spiral that eclipses her moral center and shatters her illusions. Stripped of any possibility for self-deception, she confronts the root cause of her suffering and frees herself of its influence in a brief, transcendent moment at the very heart of now. This is the feature-length directorial debut of Zak Forsman, an American independent filmmaker whose emotionally-charged work is known for highly authentic performances and beautiful compositions. His work has been praised by Ain?t It Cool News as “Brilliant” and “Absolutely Gorgeous,” and by Filmmaker Magazine as “Very Accomplished, Amazing.” His stories depict compelling human threads in a poetic and minimalist style. Zak has directed two shorts films, “I Fucking Hate You” and “Model/Photographer” which have won several international audience, jury and festival awards. He is currently developing two new features for production in 2010 and 2011 and serves as editor of the New Breed blog at The Workbook Project.
8 pm: Mumford Farms, Echotone
Mumford Farms by Anna Mumford
USA, 2010, 9 minutes
*Director Anna Mumford in attendance.
Building a local food economy isn’t as simple as growing heirloom tomatoes. After her rooftop garden wilts in the summer heat, filmmaker Anna Mumford leaves locavore-crazed Brooklyn for Indiana where she investigates how our food system still depends on corn and soybeans produced on farms like the one that belongs to her family. As Anna challenges her uncles to question the future of row crop agriculture, she is forced to recognize that changing where our food comes from may require more than she’s prepared to give. Anna Mumford founded the video production company Letitia Productions after working for nearly a decade in strategic communications for labor unions and political candidates. Using the storytelling potential of video, Anna works with progressive organizations for lobbying, advocacy and education campaigns. Letitia Productions clients include the Innocence Project, SEIU, ACLU, Keshet, Added Value and American Farmland Trust. Anna received a master’s degree in international education policy from Stanford University, as well as an undergraduate degree in feminist studies. At Stanford Anna studied documentary filmmaking with Director Spencer Nakasako and was awarded a grant for documentary project in the Dominican Republic. www.letitiaproductions.com.
Echotone by Nathan Christ
USA, 2011, 88 Minutes
*Director Nathan Christ in attendance.
Internationally known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the World,’ Austin’s music culture has led it to become one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. As nearly two dozen high-rises pop up throughout the city amidst economic downfall, how does the working musician get along? Featuring Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Belaire, Sunset, The Black Angels, Ghostland Observatory, Dana Falconberry, The Octopus Project and other Austin favorites, this lyrical documentary provides a telescopic view into the lives of Austin’s vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city. Directed by Nathan Christ and photographed by Robert Garza, Echotone is a cultural portrait of the modern American city examined through the lyrics and lens of its creative class. Nathan Christ is the director of ‘Echotone.’ He is also a writer. His travel memoir Migrations, about his overland travels from Holland to West Africa in a van, is currently finished and seeking representation. Nathan and Reversal Films are also currently developing Echotone into a miniseries, depicting similar struggles in other music cities, including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.
10:30pm: Following Crickets, La Faute des Fleurs: a portrait of Kazuki Tomokawa
Following Crickets by Iva Radivojevic
USA, 2010, 5 minutes
*Director Iva Radivojevic in attendance.
Every new experience tends to be interpreted through a past one; how we connect to a landscape, a person, a situation echoes previous experiences, thoughts and identifications. Following Crickets portrays a personal encounter with North Carolina’s landscape. Iva Radivojevic spent her early years in Yugoslavia and Cyprus before settling in NYC to pursue her artistic goals over a decade ago. Having contracted a permanent travel bug, her films are excerpts of people and situations she encounters. The films explore the themes of identity, belonging and immigrants and have screened at various festivals and galleries around the globe. Iva’s currently pursuing her MFA at Hunter college and is working on her first narrative short. Sporting the titles of a director, editor and cinematographer, she is happiest when behind the camera lens where she’s transported into another world…follow what she’s up to at ivaasks.com
La Faute des Fleurs: A Portrait of Kazuki Tomokawa by Vincent Moon
France, 2009, 69 minutes
“An artist who miraculously embodies the romance of the vagabond poet, a rarity in an age where our very freedom means we have forgotten how to live” sing me to film a Japanese musician, a certain rare folk artist named Tomokawa something. It took me 4 more months to re-read the email until the end – and discover that this fan was actually inviting me to Japan to make a movie about his idol. We went there for 2 weeks, in March 2009, and this filming experience was by far the most important of my life. Kazuki Tomokawa, that’s his name, 59 years old man, at first the exact idea you could get of a cinema character straight from a yakuza movie, a guitar in his hand and a scream in his mouth. But then the camera allows you to explore more and makes you discover the multiple layers of his existence and belief in life, his past as an actor for Oshima or Miike, his passion for bike race gambling, his unstoppable addiction to alcohol, his amazing skills as a painter, and his troubled past with his son, you soon got the feeling there’s only one Kazuki Tomokawa. As there was only one Rimbaud. The other day, while working on the edit of ‘La Faute des Fleurs’, a friend of mine was helping to translate certain sequences. At some point, she would suddenly burst into tears. At the question what happened, she turned to me and said, “it’s the way he speaks… he is like a poem”. Tomokawa, the screaming philosopher. Born in Paris in 1979. At the age of 18, Vincent Moon decided he wanted to see it all, to learn things on his own, out of curiosity, even if that could have led to overfeeding, and so for ten years. From that experience, images came out, through photography first, which he studied under the influence of Michael Ackerman and Antoine D’Agata. Some years later, as he discovered the work of Peter Tscherkassky, his images gained movement/motion. He made use of the Internet and developed various projects related to music, directing videos for Clogs, Sylvain Chauveau, The National. In 2006, he created with Chryde the Take Away Shows project, La Blogotheque’s video podcast (www.takeawayshows.com). This series of outdoor/wild documentaries consists in improvised video sessions with musicians, set in unexpected locations and broadcast freely on the web. In 3 years, he managed to shoot over a hundred clips with bands like REM, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear and many more. He perfected a style immediately recognizable of intimate, fragile, dancing and shadowing long shots, and at the same time changed the whole idea of what should be a music video. The whole ‘concept’ has been then exported throughout the world by lots of young filmmakers inspired by his natural organic approach to music. Another part of Vincent’s life is now dedicated to long portraits on cult and rare musicians – created with Antoine Viviani and Gaspar Claus, longtime collaborators, the serie Musicians of Our Times – two volumes have been finished so far, Little Blue Nothing on the Havels, a mythical couple from Prague, and La Faute des Fleurs, often considered to be his best work, on Kazuki Tomokawa, extreme Japanese folk singer.
DIY Filmmaking Competition Guidelines:
The winning feature and short will receive a Rooftop Films screening held on Friday, July 1, on the lawn at Automotive High School in Williamsburg, along with a Canon 7D Deluxe Kit week rental (or equivalent equipment/post services) courtesy of DCTV. The runner-up feature and short will each be awarded a pass to to IFP’s Independent Film Week, September 18-22, at their new home at Lincoln Center.The short winner will be selected by our jury: independent producer Ted Hope, actress Rosie Perez, MoMA Chief Curator Rajendra Roy, concert organizer Todd P, and Patricia Swinney Kaufman of the NY State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development. The feature winner will be determined by audience vote.