Movies at the 2002 High Falls Film Festival
- BLOODY SUNDAY
- BLUE CAR
- CIVIL BRAND
- GOD IS GREAT, I’M NOT
- THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS
- HIS SECRET LIFE
- HOW I KILLED MY FATHER
- LOCO FEVER
- LOVE LIZA
- MORVERN CALLAR
- NEAR DARK
- NOWHERE IN AFRICA
- PERSONAL VELOCITY
- POSSIBLE LOVES
- ROADS TO RICHES
- THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS
- TAKE CARE OF MY CAT
- THE WEIGHT OF WATER
- WHISPERING SANDS
- AMERICAN STANDOFF
- BLACK CHICKS TALKING
- BLUE VINYL
- DAUGHTER FROM DANANG
- THE EXECUTION OF WANDA JEAN
- GIGANTIC (A TALE OF TWO JOHNS)
- IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN
- LOST IN LA MANCHA
- PARTNERS OF THE HEART
- PHOTOS TO SEND
- RAILROAD OF HOPE
- SISTER HELEN
This year’s Festival films include some of this festival season’s most critically acclaimed and most popular works. The feature films and documentaries that complete the High Falls Film Festival 2002 line-up include many new films that are just beginning to build followings here in the United States and throughout the world, new works by well-respected directors and producers, and first-time achievements by up-and-coming filmmakers.
BLACKBOARDS (Feature, Iran, 85 minutes) is the second feature film directed by Samira Makhmalbaf, the youngest director ever to receive the Jury’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Especially pertinent in today’s international political climate, BLACKBOARDS tells the story of a group of male teachers in the remote Iranian Kurdistan region, and their search for young people who have time for learning and literacy instead of dangerous, politically charged pursuits.
BLOODY SUNDAY (Feature, UK/Ireland, 107 minutes). Controversial and critically acclaimed, BLOODY SUNDAY depicts the events of January 30, 1972, when 27 Irish civilians were shot by the British army during a peaceful civil rights march. The shooting fueled a 25-year cycle of violence between Britain and elements of Ireland. James Nesbitt (Waking Ned Divine) is one of the film’s stars. With Pippa Cross as its co-executive producer, BLOODY SUNDAY received the Audience Award in World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Cross will introduce the film.
BLUE CAR (Feature, US, 96 minutes) invites us into the teenage psyche of Meg, a gifted but emotionally scarred 18-year-old. Haunted by her father’s abandonment of the family and neglected by her overworked mother, she finds solace in writing poetry. Meg’s English teacher, Mr. Auster, recognizes her talent and encourages her to enter a national poetry contest. As tension at home escalates and Meg struggles to find a way to get to the poetry finals in Florida, Auster’s role in her life becomes increasingly complex. Writer/director Karen Moncrieff constructed scenes that push emotional buttons and question our attitudes about forbidden love.
CHAOS (Feature, France, 106 minutes), written and directed by Coline Serreau (THREE MEN AND A CRADLE) with Christine Gozlan as its executive producer. The opening night film at the Little Theatre is the story of a chic, middle-aged Parisian couple whose lives suddenly become intertwined with a young prostitute combines gritty adventure, suspense and offbeat fun. Helene and Paul are on the way home from a party in their sporty car when a young woman careens down an alley toward them, chased by several thugs. She bangs on the car and implores them to save her, but Paul locks the doors–and he and Helene see the woman mercilessly beaten as they drive away. The attack sets off a chain of events that take Helene deeper and deeper into an underworld she has never experienced. While her marriage founders, she soon finds herself in over her head as she tries to keep the young woman out of the clutches of her tormentors.
Lake Placid Film Festival Artistic Director and former New York Daily News film critic Kathleen Carroll will introduce the film.
CIVIL BRAND (Feature, US, 95 minutes). Neema Barnette directs this study of the real-life use of cheap prison labor to manufacture products and generate profits. With a cast that features Mos Def (Top Dog, Underdog), rappers MC Lite and Da Brat, and Clifton Powell as the evil prison captain, CIVIL BRAND explores the abuses rampant in women’s prisons and the powerlessness of the inmates, while telling the uplifting story of one inmate (played by LisaRae) who leads the others in a battle for reform.
Barnette will introduce the film.
FRIDA (Feature, US, 119 minutes), the long-awaited biopic based on the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, will open the Festival at the Dryden Theatre, located at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Selma Hayek stars as Frida Kahlo, with Alfred Molina, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas and Edward Norton rounding out a stellar cast. Directed by Julie Taymor, the Tony-winning creative powerhouse behind the Broadway production of The Lion King, FRIDA was chosen to open the Venice International Film Festival earlier this year, and enjoyed a highly acclaimed North American premiere at the Telluride Festival, with screenings at the Mill Valley and Toronto Film Festivals before coming to Rochester.
Producer Nancy Hardin will introduce the film.
Sponsored by Deborah Ronnen Fine Art.
GOD IS GREAT, I’M NOT (Feature, France, 100 minutes) stars Audrey Tautou, who captivated audiences with her performance in Amélie earlier this year. Directed by Pascale Bailly and written by Bailly with Alain Tasma, GOD is the story of Michelle, a young woman barely out of her teens, and her quest to believe in something–God, Buddha, or a 32-year-old Jewish man named François (Edouard Baer).
THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS (Feature, Japan, 113 minutes). This bizarre black comedy, loosely based on the Korean movie Quiet Family, blends genres to tell the story of a modern dysfunctional family and their shared dream of opening a guest house in the country. Despite all their best efforts, they can’t counteract the house’s unfortunate habit of attracting guests who all turn up dead in the morning. Any situation becomes reason enough for the cast to burst into a full-blown musical number, complete with costume changes and backup dancers. –just the thing for Halloween night at the Festival. “You could poke around in here for some deeper message…” said Seattle Weekly, “but you should probably just call it a midnight movie and roll with it.” Kikumi Yamagishi wrote the screenplay for this kooky film.
HIS SECRET LIFE (Feature, Italy, 106 minutes) tells the story of a married woman who discovers that her adored husband had a lover throughout the last seven years of their marriage. Her quest to find that person takes her on a surprising personal adventure. Co-produced by Tilde Corsi, HIS SECRET LIFE stars the wonderfully incandescent Stefano Accorsi, and Margherita Buy as Antonia, the wife who must face the truth about her husband after his untimely death.
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HOW I KILLED MY FATHER (Feature, France, 100 minutes), co-written and directed by Anne Fontaine, reunites an estranged father with his adult son–but with crisis-level consequences. Jean-Luc is a successful man living in wealthy Versailles with his beautiful wife, but Maurice, his father, profoundly disrupts his son’s idyllic existence with his reappearance and subsequent disdain for everything his son has become. Michel Bouquet and Charles Berling are the film’s stars.
LIFT (Feature, US). The second film by the promising new African-American writing/directing team of DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter. LIFT is a powerful look into a world in which people with no money wear designer labels, and capitalism takes precedence over humanity. Centering on a department store shopgirl in Roxbury, MA, who makes shoplifting her source of alternative income, LIFT follows a caper than goes horribly wrong and leads us to the redemptive power of family and forgiveness.
Star Kerry Washington will introduce the film.
LOCO FEVER (Feature, Chile/Mexico, 94 minutes). When Chilean officials lift the ban on harvesting the shellfish “el loco,” a purported aphrodisiac, greed and lust take hold in the seaside village of Puerto Gala. The prized crustacean attracts a buyer from a Japanese company who wants exclusive rights; a traveling band of prostitutes who accompany the influx of fishermen, and many more. Rosa Bosch and Bertha Navarro are two of the film’s three producers (Andrés Wood is the third).
LOVE LIZA (Feature, US, 90 minutes), written by Fairport native Gordy Hoffman and starring his brother, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This darkly humorous story, shown as part of the closing night awards presentation and film event at the Dryden on Saturday, Nov. 2, follows the travails of a web site designer who tries to make sense of his wife’s unexpected suicide. Women behind the camera include Ruth Charny, one of the film’s producers, and Lisa Rinzler, LOVE LIZA’s cinematographer. This quirky film won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and was picked up by Sony Classics for distribution.
Charny and both Hoffman brothers will introduce the film.
MORVERN CALLAR (Feature, UK, 97 minutes). Director Lynne Ramsay catapulted to international prominence with her first Glasgow feature, Ratcatcher, which took numerous awards at international film festivals . MORVERN CALLAR is her eagerly awaited second movie. It’s winter in a remote Scottish Highland seaport. Morvern Callar, a 21-year-old low-paid employee of the local supermarket, wakes up on Christmas morning to find her boyfriend is dead on the kitchen floor. He has left her cash and his unpublished novel on a computer disk. What will she do? Ramsay directed and co-wrote this unusual film.NEAR
NEAR DARK (Feature, US, 95 minutes). Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 journey into the horror genre hints at her later triumphs in suspense filmmaking with K-19: The Widowmaker, Point Break and others–while providing a creepy addition to the Festival’s Halloween line-up. A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. In its original release, the film’s promotional tagline was, “Killing you would be easy. They’d rather terrify you…forever.”
NOWHERE IN AFRICA (Feature, Germany, 138 minutes). Written and directed by Caroline Link, whose Beyond Silence was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1996, NOWHERE IN AFRICA is based on the autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig. This two-continent love story is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel (Juliane Kohler of Aimée And Jaguar) and their five-year-old daughter Regina Redlich each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. As the war rages on the other side of the world, the trio’s relationship to its strange environment become increasingly complicated. NOWHERE IN AFRICA is the winner of five 2002 Golden Lola (German Film) Awards, including Best Film, Director and Cinematography.
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PERSONAL VELOCITY (Feature, US, 92 minutes), Rebecca Miller’s film adaptation of her book by the same name, tells three tales of women as they escape from the situations that stifle them. Greta (Parker Posey), Delia (Kyra Sedgwick) and Paula (Fairuza Balk) have one thing in common: They all struggle to flee from the men who threaten to usurp their personal freedom. Miller is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller; she and Bingham Ray, president of United Artists, are scheduled to attend the screening of PERSONAL VELOCITY at the Festival. Sponsored by Buck & Pulleyn
POSSIBLE LOVES (Feature, Brazil, 100 minutes) is a contemporary romantic comedy featuring rising star Murilo Benecio and Caroline Ferraz, top actress on Brazil’s Globo TV. This unusual film follows three distinct story lines, each a different version of the life of Carlos (Benecio). One is his actual life, another is not his life at all, and the third is the life he’d like to lead. Which is whichThis is the film’s mystery. Sandra Wernick, one of Brazil’s most respected filmmakers, directs this remarkable film.
ROADS TO RICHES (Feature/US). Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Michelle Gallagher, originated in 2001 with the title STRANGE HEARTS. An aging former child star tries to capture the wealth that has always eluded him by latching on to a lucky, younger man, while both men have their eyes on the same girl of their dreams. Rochester native Robert Forster stars as Jack, the down-trodden middle-aged man whose best friend is Moria (Rose McGowan), the mysterious young woman.
THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS (Feature, US, 121 minutes). Based on a series of short stories by A.M. Homes, expertly woven together by writer/director Rose Troche, THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS chronicles four days in the lives of disparate characters who find themselves intertwined as they collide with the past. The ensemble cast features Glenn Close, Joshua Jackson, Patricia Clarkson, Mary Kay Place, Dermot Mulroney, Alex Houe and Timothy Olyphant. Dorothy Berwin and Christine Vachon co-produced this film.
TAKE CARE OF MY CAT (Feature, Korea, 112 minutes), a popular favorite at the Rotterdam Film Festival, provides a character study in which five girlfriends in their early twenties, living in the dingy port town of Incheon, see their paths begin to diverge as they step into the adult world. A quirky story of class structure and coming of age, the film is directed by Jae-eun Jeong, whose short film Yujin’ Secret Codes won the Grand Prix of the Women’s Film Festival in Seoul in 1999.
VELOMA (Feature, France, 100 minutes). When Phillippe finishes dead last in an around-the-world solo sailboat race, he finds it more difficult than he expected to re-adapt to life on land with his partner, Lucie, and their 6-year-old son. He returns to sea and “disappears,” but Lucie doesn’t believe for one minute that he is dead. Marie de Laubier, best known for her documentary films, directed and co-wrote this compelling film. Emmanuelle Collinot is VELOMA’s director of photography.
THE WEIGHT OF WATER (Feature, US, 113 minutes). The latest film from K-19: The Widowmaker director Kathryn Bigelow, THE WEIGHT OF WATER is an intense and sexually charged drama of repression, love and loss, both in the past and in the present. A contemporary woman’s obsession with a notorious unsolved crime from the 1800s leads her to confront devastating truths in her own life. THE WEIGHT OF WATER stars Catherine McCormack, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas and Elizabeth Hurley, and is being distributed by Lions Gate Films.
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WHISPERING SANDS (Feature, Indonesia/Japan, 106 minutes), directed by Nan Achnas, explores the relationship between an overprotective single mother and her adolescent daughter, who dreams of her traveling salesman father’s return and longs for liberation. Set in a remote areas of Central and East Java, the extraordinary landscapes, both seashore and trackless sands, function like characters, making their own marks on the unfolding drama.
AMERICAN STANDOFF (Documentary, US, 95 minutes), with Oscar winner Barbara Kopple (American Dream and Harlan County, USA) as its executive producer and Kristi Jacobson directing, chronicles the bitter four-year union battle, still unresolved to this day, between the Teamsters Union and Overnite Transportation over the company’s refusal to allow its workers to unionize. Vividly capturing the role of unions in modern times, AMERICAN STANDOFF is the next chapter in the “America Undercover” specials produced by HBO. This film is being shown in conjunction with the Annual Labor Film Series at the Dryden Theatre.
Shown in conjunction with the annual Rochester Labor Film Series.
BLACK CHICKS TALKING (Documentary, Australia, 55 minutes). Producer/director Leah Purcell, working with Brendan Fletcher, makes her directorial debut as she follows the lives and intricacies of five Aboriginal women, all of whom are making their positive mark on Australia. This film explores the diverse life experiences of these feisty women, and gives a strong message about the choice to fight racism with talent instead of fists.
BLUE VINYL (Documentary, USA, 98 minutes) is a four-year odyssey filled with humor and chutzpah, as Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and co-director Daniel B. Gold travel the country to find an alternative building material to the ever-popular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) siding that covers many American homes. The result is a funny but sobering exploration of the relationship between consumers and industry, filled with observations on the director’s own life and family.
Helfand will introduce the film.
Sponsored by Motion Picture Studio Mechanics I.A.T.S.E. Local 52
DAUGHTER FROM DANANG (Documentary, US, 81 minutes), produced by Gail Dolgin and directed by Dolgin with Vicente Franco, chronicles the emotional pilgrimage of one Vietnamese orphan who was removed from her native country as part of “Operation Babylift” at the end of the war. Twenty-two years later, she returns to Vietnam to find her birth mother. Journeying from the war to Pulaski, Tennessee and back to Vietnam, DAUGHTER FROM DANANG tensely unfolds as cultural differences and years of separation take their toll. Already this film has received awards for Best Documentary at Sundance, the Texas Film Festival and the New Jersey International Film Festival, among others.
Sponsored by HCR
THE EXECUTION OF WANDA JEAN (Documentary, US, 88 minutes) follows the life-and-death battle of Wanda Jean Allen, the first black woman to be put to death in the United States in the modern era. By telling one woman’s story, the film is an exploration into the roles that poverty, race, sexuality and mental health play in the criminal justice system. This film is directed by Oscar-nominated director/producer Liz Garbus, who has produced award-winning documentaries for more than ten different television broadcasters and for theatrical distribution.
GIGANTIC (A TALE OF TWO JOHNS) (Documentary, US, 102 minutes) is the first feature film for producer Shirley Moyers, whose work has received a 2000 MTV Video Music Award, two Music Video Producer Association awards, a Kerrang! UK award for Best Video of the Year, a Billboard Award and a National Emmy Award, among others. Shot over seven months in 2001, the film follows the pop music sensation They Might Be Giants as they prepare for their first studio recording in five years. Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, Janeane Garofalo, Michael McKean, Annette O’Toole, Andy Richter and Harry Shearer are just some of the many celebrities who make guest appearances.
Moyers will introduce the film.
Sponsored by K2 Design
IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN (Documentary, Austria, 103 minutes) chronicles the life of film theorist Maya Deren, who led the underground film movement. The film features plenty of clips from Deren’s films, and original recordings of the filmmaker talking about her own work. Martina Kudlácek wrote and directed this documentary.
Also showing at the festival: A TRIBUTE TO . . . MAYA DEREN
LOST IN LA MANCHA (Documentary, UK, 90 minutes) This film may be the first-ever “un-making of” documentary–the story of a movie that did not reach completion. LOST IN LA MANCHA offers a unique, in-depth look at the harsher realities of filmmaking by presenting a film that disintegrated during production: Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote, an epic undertaking confronted with a series of epic disasters. Amazingly, Mr. Gilliam continued his pledge of total access for the documentary filmmakers even as the production foundered. It’s a movie buff’s dream. The cast includes Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort. Lucy Darwin made her producing debut with this film; Rosa Bosch is an associate producer.
Darwin will introduce the film.
PARTNERS OF THE HEART (Documentary, US, 57 minutes). Against the backdrop of segregation, a black carpenter’s apprentice and a renowned white surgeon dared to defy medical gospel by forging a partnership that changed the course of medical history. Vivien Thomas and Dr. Alfred Blalock worked together to develop one of the century’s major breakthroughs: a daring heart operation that saved thousands of children afflicted with a congenital heart defect known as “blue baby syndrome.” Produced, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Andrea Kalin, PARTNERS OF THE HEART tells the compelling story of personal triumph over the adversities created by society.
Kalin will introduce the film.
Sponsored by Craig Autometrics
PHOTOS TO SEND: RETRACING DOROTHEA LANGE’S TRAVELS THROUGH IRELAND (Documentary, US, 89 minutes) reunites the people in Ireland’s County Clare who were first captured in black-and-white still photography in 1954 by renowned photojournalist Dorothea Lange for the March 21, 1955 issue of Life. Using the photos and notes she gathered from Oakland Museum’s Lange archive, producer/director/writer Dierdre Lynch traveled to Ireland in 1997 to retrace Lange’s steps. This intensely moving film received the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in May 2002.
Lynch will introduce the film.
Sponsored by Messenger Post Newspapers
RAILROAD OF HOPE (Documentary, China, 56 minutes). Directed by Ning Ying, who is best known for her trilogy of features about three generations of Beijing residents in post-Mao Chinese society, RAILROAD OF HOPE received the Grand Prix du Cinema du Reel in Paris earlier this year. The film provides what may be a first-ever opportunity to hear Chinese peasants from poor interior regions speaking openly and sincerely about their lives, as they travel more than 3,000 kilometers by train towards China’s far-west Xinjiang Autonomous Region, where endless cotton fields are waiting for the harvest.
SISTER HELEN (Documentary, US, 90 minutes) takes us to the tough Mott Haven section of the South Bronx to meet Sister Helen Travis, a 69-year-old Benedictine nun who runs a 23-bed halfway house known as the John Thomas Travis Center. This drug- and alcohol-free haven helps men get a second chance on life. Rebecca Cammisa co-directed this film with Rob Fruchtman.
Cammisa will introduce the film.
Thursday, October 31, 10:45pm
Directed, produced and edited by Kirsten Carthew
Written by Kirsten Carthew and Michael Sawatsky
Canada (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories), 2002
11:00 minutes, color, digital video
By the moment, in the moment. A realization or an awakening. The knowledge that it’s all been done, or is being done, by everyone. Doing it better than you. Doing it without you. Sometimes standing your ground is standing in place. No direction, no movement. How did this happen?
TAKEN is Kirsten Carthew’s fourth short film. She is currently working on a coming-of-age feature-length script about a young woman in the arctic.
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Written, directed and edited by Amalia Zarranz
Produced by Amalia Zarranz and Esther Duran
US (New York, NY), 2001
15:40 minutes, color, 35mm
6’3″ Tamunda has a crush on 5’2″ Tommy. They play streetball together but she wants more. After seeing Tommy with Rosie, Queen of East Harlem Feminity, Tamunda makes a wish that challenges her fate, forcing her to choose who she really wants to be.
Amalia Zarranz is currently finishing a new short film with Lea Delaria, Angela Pietropinto and Sherry Parker Lee. Prior to Columbia University Film School, she produced and directed documentaries that aired on PBS, and acted. She was born in Havana, raised in Las Vegas and now lives in New York City.
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Directed by Georgia Lee
Written by Jane Chen and Georgia Lee
Produced by Celine Rattray and Cherry Montejo
US (New York, NY), 2002
11:00 minutes, color, 35mm
A Chinese American girl is plunged into a surreal and deadly world of familial obligations and societal pressure after she accidentally walks in on her best friend’s suicide attempt.
EDUCATED is Georgia Lee’s third short film and her first since starting to work with mentor Martin Scorsese. She is currently developing her first feature film for which she won the Jerome Foundation New York Media Arts Grant Award. Lee graduated from Harvard University and is currently a Consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York City.
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Written, directed and produced by Michael Connor, Jackie Passmore and Cathy Shive
Cinematography by Jackie Passmore
US (Austin, TX), 2002
4:00 minutes, color, digital video
A study of the dance of the everyday, an elegy to cubicle culture, mixing the absurd and the familiar. Office supplies have never looked so good.
Jackie Passmore teaches video art to at-risk youth in Austin, Texas. She holds a BS in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin, studied photography at New York University, and photography and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Cathy Shive is currently pursuing an MFA in Electronic Arts at Rensellear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Written, directed and produced by Cristina Pronzati
USA (New York, NY), 2002
7:10 minutes, color and black/white, 16mm
Two New York City apartments. A guy and a girl get ready for their date, but the evening doesn’t turn out as expected.
Cristina Pronzati’s acting credits include THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. RENDEZ-VOUS is her first film as a writer/director/producer.
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Written, directed, produced, edited and cinematography by Tamara Tracz
US/UK (Los Angeles, CA/London, England), 2001
6:00 minutes, black/white, 16mm
A short, self-reflective film about time.
Tamara Tracz has completed seven short works, which have been screened at festivals around the world. She recently graduated from The California Institute of the Arts and now lives in London, working on an experimental narrative feature.
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Directed, produced and cinematography by Nadine Patterson
Poetry by Ursula Rucker
US (Philadelphia, PA), 2001
6:00 minutes, color and black & white, digital video
This experimental short combines documentary footage with music and poetry to bring the viewer into the world of children living in an urban environment. It is a multicultural look at the joys and stresses of childhood.
Nadine Patterson has worked as a director, producer, programmer and media arts educator for the past 14 years. Her award-winning works include the documentaries ANNA RUSSELL JONES: PRAISESONG FOR A PIONEERING SPIRIT, I USED TO TEACH ENGLISH, MOVING WITH THE DREAMING and TODO EL MUNDO DANCE!
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NOËL EN FAMILLE (FAMILY CHRISTMAS)
Directed by Aruna Villiers and Fabienne Berthaud
Written by Fabienne Berthaud
Paris, France, 2000
11:00 minutes, color, 35mm
On Christmas Eve, members of the Vimondiere family decide to offer themselves a holiday celebration in the purest tradition—of black comedy that is.
Fabienne Berthaud is a published fiction writer, as well as a screenwriter. She is also an actress, playing in full-length features. NOEL EN FAMILLE is her first film as director. Aruna Villiers has been working as a screenwriter for many years (including JEANNE D’ARC by Luc Besson; ALIEN 4 by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, DÉLICATESSEN by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro) and more recently as a director. She is currently in the finishing stages of shooting a feature film.
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Winner of a Student Academy Award for Animation
Written and directed by Brooke Keesling
US (Studio City, CA), 2001
5:00 minutes, color, 1/2” video
This engaging animation follows a young girl as she gets what she wishes for and then changes her mind.
Brooke Keesling won the Student Academy Award for Animation for BOOBIE GIRL while a student at the California Institute of the Arts.
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Saturday, November 2, 5:15pm
Winner of the Technicolor East Coast Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking
Written and directed by Linda Rabiet
Produced by Efterpi Charalambidis
US (New York, NY), 2002
14:45 minutes, color, 35mm
Fresh out of a long-term relationship in which she lost custody of her dog, Janey passes the end of her day on her new front stoop. When an older woman, Mutt, an eccentric hustler with a heart, and her dog Fort pass by, Janey’s solitude is forever changed.
Linda Rabiet grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley where she made her first films. She currently attends the MFA program in Filmmaking at Columbia University where she has written feature-length screenplays. STRAYS is her directorial debut on the festival circuit. Efterpi Charalambidis studied Journalism in her native Venezuela, where she worked for several years as a writer, director and producer of corporate and institutional videos. She is currently in the MFA program in Filmmaking at Columbia University.
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HOW TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS FROM THE JAPS
Written, directed, produced and edited by Julia Cowing
US (New York, NY), 2001
4:00 minutes, color, 1/2” video
A subversive piece that combines text from a Time Magazine article of December 1942 with a slide show of stock photos of Asian males, set to a tune by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame).
Julia Cowing is a photographer and video artist living in Manhattan. Her current work is ethnicity and race-based.
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Written, directed, produced and edited by Hadar Friedlich
Cinematography by Talia Gal’on
Jerusalem, Israel, 2000
22:00 minutes, color, 16mm
A day in the life of a Jerusalem taxi driver—the day he buries his son, who committed suicide while serving in the army.
Hadar Friedlich graduated from the Maale School with a degree in Cinema and Television Studies. GRIEF is her diploma film.
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THE GENTLE CYCLE
2001 Silver Award Winner at Worldfest-Houston
Directed by Peter Nolan
Written by Serena McDonald
Produced by Serena McDonald and Gina Rotondo
Edited by Debra Wakefield
With Perry Bruskin and Karl Geary
US (New York, NY; Maywood, NJ), 2000
6:25 minutes, color, 35mm
A moving tale about a streetwise laundromat attendant who befriends a customer in need. This film marks the cinematic debut of writer Serena McDonald and award-winning television director Peter Nolan.
Serena McDonald stands on the shoulders of the film’s incredible female filmmakers who include Craft Service/Angel/Mom: Barbara McDonald, Editor: Debra Wakefield, Assistant Camera: Amy Silverman, Script Supervisor: Luci Westphal and fellow Producer: Gina Rotondo. She dedicates the High Falls screening to them, in gratitude and awe of their talent and hard work.
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A CONVERSATION WITH HARIS
Winner of the Best Animated Film at the Humboldt International Short Film Festival
Directed, produced and animated by Sheila M. Sofian
US (Pasadena, CA), 2001
6:00 minutes, color, 16mm
Haris, an 11-year-old Bosnian immigrant to the United States, recounts his experiences during the Bosnian war, including the tragedy it inflicted on his family. Illustrated with painting-on-glass animation.
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LA MILPA (THE CORNFIELD)
Written and directed by Patricia Riggen
Produced by Patricia Riggen, Miguel Urbina and Alvaro Donado
Mexico/US (Guadalajara/New York, NY), 2002
27:00 minutes, color, 35mm
Angela reminisces over her youth during the Mexican Revolution, a time when myths, sensuality, war and pain were everyday occurrences.
Patricia Riggen was born in Guadalajara. Her film career began as a writer for a documentary series and she later worked as an executive producer for the Mexican Film Institute. She is presently a graduate student at Columbia University’s Film Division.
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Sunday, November 3, 1pm
Written and directed by Inara Kolmane from a story by Edmunds Fridvalds
Produced by Inara Kolmane and Janis Juhnevics
Riga, Latvia, 2001
18:00 minutes, black & white with color, 35mm
In the mid-1960s, Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union and everyone lived identical lives. Only their dreams and desires for something different set them apart from each other. In the cold of winter, little Dace finds a sparkling miracle and tries to keep it.
Inara Kolmane is the co-founder and co-owner of the film studio Devini. A prolific director and producer of documentaries, commercials and industrial films, she makes her short fiction debut with FROSTY FLOWERS.
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Directed by Benita Raphan and Clayton Hemmert
Written and produced by Benita Raphan, Clayton Hemmert and Dr. Frank T. Miller
US (New York, NY), 2001
11:00 minutes, color, 35mm
This experimental documentary made for HBO is a fascinating portrait of mathematician Dr. John F. Nash, Jr., who suffered a schizophrenic breakdown in his 20s and was awarded a Nobel Prize several decades later for his early work in economics. Nash’s story was recently made into the feature film A BEAUTIFUL MIND, directed by Ron Howard.
Educated in New York City and in London, Benita Raphan is an award-winning short filmmaker as well as a graphic designer and illustrator. Her films have been exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Walker Art Center in Minnesota, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and she has work in the permanent collection of The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.
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Written and directed by Marie Regan
US (New York, NY), 2001
13:00 minutes, color, 16mm
When 92-year-old Dorothy’s driver’s license is revoked, she feels the restrictions of a lifetime. When she hires Flash, an individualistic teenager, to drive her around, they both arrive where neither expected to be.
Marie Regan is currently pursuing a MFA in Filmmaking at Columbia University. She continues to work professionally on film, music video and documentary projects, and is a volunteer video mentor to students in New York area public schools. TRAVELER is Marie’s directorial debut on the festival circuit.
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TRAILER OF TEARS
Directed and edited by Pat Falconer
Written by Lisa Fancher, Sarah Eckhardt and Fred Williamson
Produced by Lisa Fancher
Cinematography by Pat Falconer and Caroline O’Connor
US (Austin, TX), 2001
3:30 minutes, color, 1/2″ video
In this animated short influenced by Busby Berkeley, THELMA AND LOUISE and THE WIZARD OF OZ, four women in a bar lament the loss of their man (and his trailer home).
Pat Falconer is a painter from Austin, Texas who worked as an animator for Flat Black Film, creators of the film WAKING LIFE. She also teaches drawing at the Austin Museum of Art. TRAILER OF TEARS is her first solo effort.
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WHO HANGS THE LAUNDRY?: WASHING, WAR AND ELECTRICITY IN BEIRUT
Directed and edited by Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir and Tina Naccache
Cinematography by Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir
Reykjavík, Iceland; Beirut, Lebanon; and US (San Francisco, CA), 2002
19:55 minutes, color, Beta SP
Plagued by the lack of water and electricity because of the war, Tina Naccache, a Beirut housewife and human rights advocate, describes the gymnastics of doing the laundry. Moving intimately through the privacy of her home, her non-conformist views on feminism, war and servitude are revealed through the dogma-style creation of Icelandic filmmaker Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir.
Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. She has worked in documentary film in the US and Iceland for the past 11 years. Tina Naccache is a graduate of the Institut de Démographie de l’Université de Paris. She worked in Beirut as a demographer and urban planner until the war sent her to California as a refugee in 1976. Returning to Lebanon in 1985 she has since dedicated her time to human rights work and recently to documentary films.
Print source: www.krummafilms.com
Directed and produced by Stephanie Maxwell and Allan Schindler
Visual design animation by Stephanie Maxwell
Music by Allan Schindler
US (Rochester, NY), 2002
6:00 minutes, color, digital video
This abstract work conjures an atmosphere in which an aerial mobile is magically suspended in a three-dimensional space. The floating pendants of the mobile each reveal a mysterious world filled with unique visual and aural forms, movements and gestures. The images were created using hand-cut animated mattes digitally layered with hand-painted and hand-etched clear and black 35mm motion picture film. The computer-generated music consists of variations and transformations of a simple theme in a choral setting.
Stephanie Maxwell teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology.
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SIZE ‘EM UP
Written and directed by Christine J. Russo
Produced by Gail Sanchez and Kathy Mazza
US (Los Angeles, CA), 2002
15:00 minutes, color, 35mm
A light-hearted coming-of-age story, this film follows teen jock Samantha’s visit (at her mother’s insistence) to an old-fashioned lingerie shop where she finds herself in the unlikely hands of the “bra ladies,” three women who help her discover new ideas about breasts, femininity, sexuality and how to improve her soccer game.
Christine J. Russo is living her California dream working in the entertainment industry for Eastman Kodak during business hours, and surfing on the weekends. Her short films have screened at over 100 festivals worldwide and have aired on both Showtime and the Women’s Entertainment Network.
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