Displaying items by tag: Documentary

Running today until July 5, the Alone Together Festival will showcase work from over 20 former and current students from the University of Utah Department of Film & Media Arts in an online film festival.

Assistant professors in the Department of Film & Media Arts, Miriam and Sonia Albert-Sobrino, started the festival as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations that eliminated public screening opportunities for emerging filmmakers.

“We created Alone Together to showcase the work produced by Film and Media Arts Students whose plans to share their films with friends, family and colleagues were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” they write on their website. “Furthermore, we are determined to help students raise impact with their films in an attempt to increase their competitiveness for what might be the worst job market in a century.”

Students and alumni from the U jumped at the chance to share their work in this way. From a huge volume of submissions, 22 films were selected for online screening, including five fictional narratives, six experimental or hybrid shorts, four animations, five documentaries, a video essay and a music video. In addition, 12 of the selected films, or 54%, are directed by women. Almost all of the films come from the CFA’s community.

Films will be accessible at Alone Together until this coming Sunday. Check out the trailer here and then settle in for some great new films!


Alone Together 2020 Festival Lineup  

FICTIONAL FILMS [Narrative Shorts]  

“June” by Sara Kenrick 
“Milk and Other Secretions” by Mia Hunt 
“Sugar Baby” by Leila Salari 
“The End” by Sage Bennett
 “The Scarlet Terror” by Ben Mortenson  

DOCUMENTARY FILMS [Mediated Reality Shorts]

“Can You See Me Now” by Thekla Hughes 
“Denzyl Joson Dances” by Sofia Guadarrama 
“Living Moneyless” by Beth Kearsley
“Turtle” by Jordan Boge

EXPERIMENTAL FILMS [Purely Experimental or Hybrid Shorts]

“A Hickory Tree” by Brinton Douglas 
“Drift” by Elizabeth Lowe
“Metamorphoses, Book One” by Eduardo Ayres Soares
“Sunshine Country Club: by Casey Segal
“TUBCake” by Bethany Joy Burr 
“Where the Heck is Goddamn Bologna” by Duke Ross

ANIMATION FILMS [Animated Shorts]

“Fig. Undefined” by Hugo Vaca
“I Met Charlie in the Springtime” by Cloe Hunt
“Limbo” by Emmelyn Redd
“Mel’s Magical Sandwiches” by Nathan Rice

NON TRADITIONAL FILM STYLES

“First Reformed — Cinema of Denial” by Cameron Olsen
“Soul” by Jacob Fabbri  

Published in Finer Points Blog

Out of nearly 1,300 entries, only 60 nominees are selected for the annual Peabody Awards — one of the most prestigious honors in digital media, storytelling, and broadcasting.

Of those 60, only 30 are named as winners. We are delighted to announce that amongst those honored is Emelie Mahdavian, Producer-In-Residence in the University of Utah Department of Film & Media Arts, for her film Midnight Traveler.

In their announcement of the award, Peabody wrote: “Midnight Traveler begins with director Hassan Fazili and his wife Nargis deciding they must leave their home of Afghanistan, accompanied by their two small children. Fleeing a bounty on the father’s head, the Fazili family set out for Europe, and the film offers a first-person account of a yearlong journey to safety. Shot solely on mobile phones, Midnight Traveler powerfully captures the volatility and chaos of the family’s trip, at one moment pausing on a playful debate between the parents, or on a tender moment of parenting and laughter, only to cut to the temporary loss of a daughter or to the imminent threat of anti-migrant protesters trying to force their way into a refugee camp.”

“Throughout, the film stands as an arresting and deeply moving testament to the power of parenting through trauma,” they continued. “It offers a remarkably rare, and remarkably valuable, humanizing picture of the everyday life of a refugee family, while also stopping at points to consider the ethics of filming such a journey. For a major work of documentary filmmaking that is terrifying and uplifting, difficult and easy to watch, beautiful and important, we commend Fazili and Midnight Traveler with a Peabody.”

At public screenings and Q&A’s, including one on the University of Utah campus, Mahdavian has been able to experience firsthand how the film has affected audiences.

“I think we hoped that by telling a personal story and not backing up and giving a lot of outside information, we could express something that was socially relevant,” she explained. “I think the public response indicated that that part was resonating. And, the Peabody Award validates that too, because they aren’t only interested in the artistry but also in how the film is tackling a broader social topic.”

"Throughout, the film stands as an arresting and deeply moving testament to the power of parenting through trauma. It offers a remarkably rare, and remarkably valuable, humanizing picture of the everyday life of a refugee family, while also stopping at points to consider the ethics of filming such a journey. For a major work of documentary filmmaking that is terrifying and uplifting, difficult and easy to watch, beautiful and important, we commend Fazili and Midnight Traveler with a Peabody."


This recognition is further fuel for Mahdavian’s fire. “I think there’s an assumption that when you win an award like the Peabody, you’re really excited because you have been externally validated. But I think the reality for a working artist is that by the time an award like this comes in, that external validation is primarily useful to you in building energy around your new projects,” she said. “You’re not doing the work for the awards or you’d never get there. You’re doing it because you love the work and believe in the stories you are telling.”

Proving this remarkable stamina, she is hard at work on post-production of her next film, Bitterbrush. And, even in the face of the global pandemic, she is also strategizing the next after that, a portrait of her favorite choreographer. Although she is persevering in the circumstances, she is not without concerns for how the coronavirus will affect the film industry going forward.

“The community is trying really hard to support people. The tough thing is most of us are freelancers or independent contractors. For me, working at the University provides a level of stability many of my colleagues don’t have. This situation put so much uncertainty out there,” she said. “We are all wondering when in-person festivals will return, but digital film festivals could also pose a massive problem. As a filmmaker normally I go to festivals, then if I’m lucky I go to theatres, then to broadcast, then to streaming. That is a very careful process and timeframe. So, if my film goes to an online festival, according to traditional rules, I may have blown my ability to go to theatres and to broadcast. Filmmakers are hesitant, but trying to think through how it could work...We just have to keep pushing forward.”

We anxiously await the next release. In the meantime, our community celebrates Midnight Traveler’s incredible success.

Published in Finer Points Blog

The Department of Film & Media Arts is pleased to announce a residency with screendance practitioner, curator, and documentary filmmaker Silvina Szperling, who will visit the University of Utah for two evenings of film on October 17 and 19.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17
On October 17th, Szperling will present a curated collection of screendance works from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba. Eleven award-winning Screendance films will be shown in the Carolyn Tanner Humanities Theater, here’s what’s in store:

EN LA HUELLA DEL ANCLA / IN THE ANCHOR PRINT
LEANDRO NAVALL & MERCEDES CHANQUIA AGUIRRE, 6’46’’, ARGENTINA, 2017

LADO A / SIDE A
ALEJANDRINA GROISMAN & MARIA SOL GOROSTERRAZÚ, 6´36´ ,ARGENTINA

PELLEJO / SKIN
(FEDERICO M. PANIZZA, 8:’45’´, ARGENTINA, 2017)

CONNECTION LOST
(MARILU AGUILAR, 4’, MEXICO, 2016)

LISPECTORANDO
(PRISCILA QUEIROZ & MARIO SPATIZZIANI, 9’, BRAZIL, 2015)

WEREWOLF HEART
(DALEL BACRE & CHRISTIAN WEBER, 4’, MEXICO, 2016)

SZIS
(SILVINA SZPERLING, LUCIA CAMPINS & ROSA VIDOMLIANSKY, 11’, ARGENTINA, 2005)

FRAGMENTO / FRAGMENT
(VERÓNICA ABARCA LARA, 4’37’’, CUBA, 2018)

MUERTE AL DOGMA / DEATH TO THE DOGMA
(ADRIANA LOPEZ GARIBAY & LUVYEN MEDEROS, 6’44’’, CUBA, 2018)

YLÒGICO / YLOGIKAL
(CAMILO CONSTAIN, 7’, CUBA, 2018)

TÚ O MI NOCHE EN LA CASA DEL SEÑOR RANA / YOU, OR MY EVENING AT MR. FROG’S
(SAMUEL GRANADOS, 6’, CUBA, 2018)

Don’t miss this amazing collection of films October 17th at 6:30pm, on campus at the Carolyn Tanner Humanities Building (CTIHB) room 101.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
On October 19, there will be a special screening of Szperling’s celebrated documentary, Reflejo Narcisa, which features the work and life of Narcisa Hirsh, who is widely considered to be the “mother of experimental film in Argentina”.

"Narcisa Hirsch (Berlin, 1928) is the mother of experimental film in Argentina. Although her work was born amidst utterly difficult historical circumstances, or maybe for that reason, Hirsch’s films have constituted a space of freedom and resistance. REFLEJO NARCISA (NARCISA REFLECTION) observes a woman in her last journey, witnessing how this woman looks at herself in her work. It will be necessary to take the risk of drowning, in order to know oneself."
- Szperling

Join us for a screening of Reflejo Narcisa, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Silvina Szperling on Friday, October 19 at 7 pm in the Carolyn Tanner Humanities Building (CTIHB) room 101

ABOUT SILVINA SZPERLING
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Silvina Szperling has choreographed since the ‘80s, both for the stage and site-specific pieces. In 1993 she made her first videodance piece Temblor, which received the “Best Editing” Prize in Argentina and is held at the New York Public Library’s Dance Collection as well as the National Museum of Fine Artes (Buenos Aires).

Ms. Szperling is Founder Director of the International Festival VideoDanzaBA, and is founding member of Latin American Forum of Videodance, recently evolved into Ibero American Network of Videodance (REDIV). VideoDanzaBA celebrated its 20th. Anniversary in 2015, and it’s the oldest screendance festival in Latin America. www.VideoDanzaBA.com. Silvina also served for 6 years as co-director for the Contemporary Dance Festival, organized by the city of Buenos Aires. As a curator, she extensively toured programs of VideoDanzaBA, including venues such as The Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC), dance screen festival at The Hague and Brighton, among others.

Szperling currently teaches at the Arts Criticism Department at UNA (Universidad Nacional de las Artes/National University of the Arts), in Buenos Aires. She has been intensively teaching seminars and workshops through Argentina and Latin America for the last 10 years. Highlights are the Cinema School at San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba and the Federal Program of Videodance, which has covered in 2014 the remote regions of Patagonia, NOA (North West) and NEA (North East), giving access to screendance tools to artists and students who live distant to the main cities of the country. In 2015, Szperling was a Visiting Professor at the University of Utah, and the University of California in Berkeley (USA) as well as at TEAK/University of Helsinki (Finland).

 

 

Published in Finer Points Blog