Sex sells: Dirty Diaries a controversial hit worldwide (S)
Two employees of the Swedish production company Story AB have produced twelve short films under the title “Dirty Diaries”, characterizing their work as “feminist pornography”. All of the sexually explicit films were shot by women. Preceding the project was a manifesto propagating women’s right to live out and portray their sexuality in their own way, not bound by the sexist, patriarchal dictates of the porn industry.
Story AB, based in Stockholm, specializes in short films, documentaries and animated documentaries. Recent titles include the multi-award-winning short film “Slavar” (Slaves) by David Aronowitsch and Hanna Heilborn.
The “Dirty Diaries” are sold on DVD and shown at the cinema in special screenings. Their release has caused a furore both in Sweden and abroad, giving rise to heated public debates. According to Dagens Nyheter – one of Sweden‘s two leading daily papers – the discussion has reached the highest political circles. The reason for all the excitement is that the production received half a million Swedish kronor in funding from the Swedish Film Institute. In September the director of the Film Institute was asked to explain in a letter to the Cultural Affairs Minister why “tax money is being spent on porno films”, in other words, why this project was chosen for support (“Filminstitutet förklarar porrfilmen”, DN 22 September 2009).
Live 2011 Grand Prix competition (FIN)
The Finnish city of Turku has been chosen as European Capital of Culture for 2011. To mark the occasion, a media art competition has been announced that the organizers describe as the biggest one of its kind worldwide.
The competition aims to put the expanding field of digital media in the limelight and to foster its development, while highlighting the importance of social media for the interaction and formation of communities.
Entrants in the Live 2011 competition will vie for a total of 140,000 euros in prize money. There are various deadlines, from 15 November 2009 to June 2010, for participation in the different categories.
Organizer: Turku 2011 Foundation, Turku/í…bo (Finland)
Relaunch of French short film portal 6nema
6nema.com is a streaming platform for short film that began life as an online film magazine featuring reports and film reviews. In late 2007 the beta version of a platform dedicated solely to streaming short films went online. This year film streaming quality has been improved and the information on the films revised by the editors.
6nema positions itself as a quality platform for professional filmmakers who don’t want to promote their films on mass websites like YouTube, but are looking for ways to attract some additional exposure beyond the limited possibilities offered by the cinema.
Today, more than 500 short films can be streamed on the site. Among them are works from prominent French producers such as Autour de Minuit, Lazennec, Les Films Sauvages and Sacrebleu.
Unlike many other platforms, the site provides detailed information on each film, including a synopsis, cast and festival appearances as well as contact data for the production company. Registered users can post comments on the films. A search function is available, but still missing as of this writing are lists of film titles and directors.
All films can be watched free of charge. The website makes an effort to finance its work through advertising, but relies mainly on voluntary donations. Users can show their appreciation after watching a film by donating any amount. Income is split 50:50 between 6nema and the filmmakers – based on a clause in the contract.
The operator is a non-profit organization (“association loi 1901 non lucratif”) based in Paris whose sponsors include CNC and Unifrance.
VideoChannel shows video art from Taiwan
In October, the monthly feature on the online platform VideoChannel is dedicated to Taiwan. On view – as streaming videos – are a total of 11 works by Yu Cheng Yu, Ana Yu, Yin-Ling Chen, Ying-Fang Shen, Jo-Lin Hsieh, Sandra S. Chiu and Yi-Chun Lo.
The programme was curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne – pen name of the founder of The Network (Cologne).
Discoveries in the Vlogosphere – Short film online
_les 20 ans de Bref: “Compression de 20 Cinématons pour les 20 ans de Bref – 1) Les cinéastes” by Gérard Courant (F 2009)
_”Inherent Vice” Thomas Pynchon (PenguinGroup, USA 2009)
_Democracy is … rejected entry by Tino Schwanemann (D 2009)
_”Myth Labs” by Martha Colburn (excerpt, USA 2008)
_”the future generation needs your information” by Celine Keller (D 2008)
_Video Art Taiwan (VideoChannel):
“Switch” by Yu Cheng Yu (Taiwan 2008)
“Levitate IV – Tomato Juice” by Chung-I Yu (Taiwan 2005)
_New Ubuweb additions:
“Beirut Outtakes” by Peggy Ahwesh (USA 2007)
“Cloud Cuckooland” by Shuji Terayama (Japan 1978)
“Go! Go! Go!” by Marie Menken (USA 1962-1964)
“Media Burn” by Antfarm (USA 1968-1978)
Thirteen/ WNET New York shows weekly short films
The public television network Channel Thirteen/ WNET New York shows a short film between a film classic and an indie film every week on its Saturday evening programme “Reel 13″. A special feature of this programme is that viewers select the film they want to see in an online competition.
Eligible to compete are films in English in all genres, up to a running time of 12 minutes. A pre-jury decides which films will be offered for online voting. The winners are broadcast on the show and receive a bonus of $500. Films submitted thus far are available online in the “Library of Short Films”.
Library of Short Film URL: http://www.thirteen.org/sites/reel13/category/shorts/
URL for film upload: http://www.thirteen.org/sites/reel13/submit-short/
Spanish film portal Experimental Cinema launches experimental film wiki
In August 2009 the experimental film portal expcinema.com, operated by Marcos Ortega (Madrid), sent out a request for contributions to an experimental film wiki. The wiki is to provide information on themes from the fields of experimental and avant-garde film and video art.
The “Experimental Cinema Wiki” enlists the usual MediaWiki software and will be published in two languages – English and Spanish. The project is still in the beta version and is ready and waiting to be fed with information.
Open Gallery launches competition for video paintings
The British Open Gallery (London), which specializes in artistic video paintings, is now holding a video painting competition. The “Open Prize” is designed to support young video artists and encourage them to try their hand at this art form.
The ten best works will be presented in October at a prominent exhibition venue. A jury will then select one winner to take part in the Artscape Project at the gallery. The associated cash award is to be devoted to the production of new projects. Students who reside in the UK are eligible to take part in the competition.
According to the Open Gallery’s definition, a video painting should be created in a single shot without any camera movement or editing and last from 4 to 20 minutes.
Note: We presented additional definitions and further information, including on the Open Gallery and on the history of video paintings, in our <a”opens href=”http://www.shortfilm.de/?id=3146#10794″></a”opens>Topic article of 4 May 2009<//a> .
URL: Open Prize http://www.opengallery.co.uk/videopaintingcompetition/
Drama Festival in Greece offers “mini talent lab” workshops
The International Short Film Festival of Drama (GR) is offering three workshops to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The advanced training offered as part of the festival’s “mini talent lab” is designed to provide an opportunity for young talents to profit from the knowledge and experience of established filmmakers.
In the first workshop, “From a small concept to the big screen”, participants will learn how to formulate a concept and draft a screenplay. During the second workshop, titled “A Stranger in Drama”, the British director and actor Leon Herbert will help the participants to create a short film on site. The workshops are accompanied by master classes conducted by Greek and international guests of the festival.
Registration and information: Short Film Festival of Drama, Sophia Georgiadou, e-mail: email@example.com
Nordisk Panorama opens an “Open Source Clinic” in Reykjavik
During Nordisk Panorama, which takes place at the end of September this year in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, an “Open Source Clinic” will give documentary filmmakers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the possibilities for collaborative online film production and the methods involved.
Daniel Cross and Brett Gaylor (EyeSteelFilm, Montréal) – founders of the remix portal www.opensourcecinema.org – have been recruited as directors of the clinic. The website Cross and Gaylor set up for the production of their collaborative project “RIP: A remix Manifesto 2.0″ will now be made available for further remix film projects. Registered filmmakers can upload material and exchange it with others or use it for their own or joint projects. With the help of a remixer tool the material can also be edited online by several collaborators.
During the “Open Source Clinic”, Cross and Gaylor will present their now completed film and the Open Source Cinema Project. In a second phase, projects submitted by the participants will be discussed and developed further. This will include addressing methodological questions that result from the open source working method, such as the use of others’ film material, the advantages and disadvantages of multiple narrative perspectives, as well as non-linear film structures and specific features of online films in comparison with work in other media and other distribution channels.
The “Open Source Clinic” is designed for participation by five documentary filmmakers. Thanks to the support of Nordisk Film & TV Fond, it is possible to award one of the projects support in the amount of 50,000 NOK.
URL of the remix portal: http://www.opensourcecinema.org
Discoveries in the vlogosphere – Short film online
_Michael Jackson in memoriam: “Eternal Moonwalk” (Studio Brussel)
_Animate Projects: “Phantoms of Nabua”, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/UK 2009
_Animal protection: Banksy’s Animatronics Leopard from the exhibition “The Petstore and Charcoal Grill”
Petstore URL: http://thevillagepetstoreandcharcoalgrill.com/
_From the web gallery of the Netfilmmakers (Copenhagen): “Paper Cup” by Sí¸ren Thilo Funder, DK
(demands some patience, even though only 60 seconds long!)
_Trash from ohm:tv (Cologne, Barcelona, Toronto): Mobisode “The Adventures of Wankboy”
_Second Life avatour: “Chris Marker L’Ouvrier”, Fiteirocultural
(see also Report in this issue)
_Ad: Dancing Evian Bébés by Michael Gracey (Partizan, London/Paris)
Evian website: http://www.evianliveyoung.com/babies/
On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOs0rajQTyM
Lebanese Dabka remake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFR7hUpmJv4
Africala African Cinema puts on online competition
The México-based Festival de Cine Africano, “Africala”, has launched the “Africala Vote Film Festival”. The online short film competition format was chosen in order to promote young, independent African film and to bring African films to an international audience. The website set up by the festival expressly for the competition gives users the option to both vote and comment on the films streamed online.
Film project looks at taste and food
NISI MASA, the European network for young cinema, is planning a project on the topic of “Taste: Food and Culture” in 2009. The project comprises a call for short films, a film festival (July 2009) and a subsequent touring programme.
The organizers of the project would like to encourage the European public to reflect on dietary habits and their cultural background. The complex theme has been divided into three main areas: “Philosophies about Food”, “Eating Habits” and “Food, Industry and Ecology”.
A website was set up shortly to call on filmmakers to submit their work. Short films by young Europeans are eligible to apply. A selection of films will then be presented to the public at a festival mounted by the project organizers.
New short film by Pedro Almodóvar
Concurrent with the Spanish release of his new fiction film, “Los abrazos rotos”, Spanish old master Almodóvar is presenting his first short film in 30 years. “La concejala antropófaga” (The Cannibalistic City Councillor”) was made during the shooting of the director’s latest feature-length film, borrowing one of the actresses, Carmen Machi. In terms of content, however, the short film has nothing to do with the longer work – instead, Almodóvar picked up on motifs from his film “Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios”. The film consists mainly of a humorous kitchen monologue by the protagonist on the subjects of sex and imagination.
After its broadcast on Canal+, the film can also be seen on YouTube:
ATA Film & Video Festival (San Francisco) – Film festival with cable link
The ATA Festival annually puts on two international programmes of short films in San Francisco’s Mission District. The next event is scheduled for October 2009. Films from the festival programme are also broadcast throughout the year on the festival’s own local cable television station, ATV.
In addition, the festival offers a touring programme, which was on view in 2008 at venues including the “Reindeerland” experimental film festival in Iceland and the Cine Fantom Club in Moscow.
The organizers are now looking for independently produced experimental short films (S8 or 16mm) and videos for the upcoming festival. Entry deadline is 29 May.
_Lux: George Barber Video Works 1983 -2008
Under the title “Beyond Language” Lux has released a retrospective of the works of the video artist George Barber. The collection includes early scratch videos, commercials such as the “Schweppes Ad” and new videos, among them “Automotive Action Painting”.
PAL, Region=0, 120 min, English; extras: audio commentary by George Barber, essay; price: Â£20
Further information: http://shop.lux.org.uk/index.php/beyond-language.html
_Lux: Films by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson
The films of Polish avant-garde pioneers Stefan and Franciszka Themerson were evidently just as influential as they are unknown today. The filmmakers made groundbreaking photograms and experimental works in 1930s Poland that for the most part are unfortunately lost. The Lux DVD “The Films of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson” helps to close the gaps in our knowledge of the duo’s career. The collection includes, for instance, the 1930s surrealistic work “Przygoda czlowieka poczciwego” (The Adventure of the Good Citizen). Also featured are two films the Themersons shot in British exile: the anti-Fascist short “Calling Mr. Smith” (1943) and the abstract experimental film “The Eye and the Ear” (1945).
PAL, Region=0, 60 min., English/Polish; Â£20
Further information: http://shop.lux.org.uk/index.php/dvd/lux-dvds/the-films-of-stefan-and-franciszka-themerson.html
_Microcinema: Experiments in Terror 3
The third edition of the DVD series curated by Noel Lawrence for the Provocateur label contains films on the themes of terror and horror by authors including Mike Kuchar, Guy Maddin, J.X. Williams and Ben Rivers.
NTSC, Region=0, 109 min, English; $19.96
Further information: http://www.provocateurdvd.com/eit3.html
_Canyon Cinema: Bruce Baillie (1)
The first of five planned DVDs of newly restored Bruce Baillie films contains: “Tung” (1966), “Mass for the Dakota Sioux” (1964), “Valentin de las Sierras” (1967), “Castro Street” (1966) and “All My Life” (1966).
Price: $50 (home use); $300 (institutions)
Further information: http://www.canyoncinema.com/new_releases.html#Baillie
_European Foundation Joris Ivens: DVD box
To mark the retrospective put on by Cinémathèque Franí§aise a DVD box is coming out with Joris Ivens’ most important films, among them: “De Brug” (1928), “Regen” (1929), “Nieuwe Gronden” (1933), “Borinage” (1934), “The Spanish Earth” (1937), “Indonesia Calling” (1946), “Le 17ième Parallèle” (1969) and “Une Histoire de Vent” (1988).
The DVD box is sold in France by ARTE, in the Netherlands by Just Entertainment and in the USA by Facets/MoMa.
5 DVDs, 14 hrs 50 min; 39.95 €
Further information: http://www.ivens.nl/upload/?p=191&k=1&t=2&m=1
_INDEX033: Maria Lassnig – Animation Films
In March 2009 INDEX-DVD published a DVD of all animated films by artist Maria Lassnig. The films were made from 1970 to 1976 when Lassnig was teaching in Vienna. The DVD also contains “Kantate”, in which the artist tells her life story.
PAL, Region=0, English/German, 80 min, extra: booklet; 28.80 €
Further information: http://www.index-dvd.at/de/program/033/index.html
_National Film Preservation Foundation: Treasures IV – American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986
This anthology compiles on two DVDs 26 major American avant-garde films, from abstraction to documentary. Digitized in high quality for the first time, the films are based on restoration work undertaken by the foremost American avant-garde film archive. Included are films by Baillie, Brakhage, Breer, Cornell, Frampton, Lawder, Mekas, Menken, Sharits and Warhol.
2 DVDs, NTSC, Region=0, 5 hrs 25 min; extras: booklet, filmmaker portraits; $35.99
Further information: http://www.filmpreservation.org/dvd/treasures4_dvd.html
_Red Avocado Films: Paul Winkler – Australian Icons
Founded by Ingo Petzke (Würzburg), this label is for the first time releasing films by Australian filmmaker Paul Winkler on DVD, among them the classics “Sydney Harbour Bridge” (1977), “Bondi” (1979) and “Rotation” (1998).
PAL, Region=0, 94 min, bonus: portrait film; 25 €
Further information: http://www.redavocadofilm.com/archives/26
Man with a Movie Camera – Global Remake
New York artist Perry Bard is taking advantage of Internet technology to launch a global participatory film project. Participants from all over the world are invited to contribute their own footage to “Man with a Movie Camera – The Global Remake”. Dziga Vertov’s film classic from 1929 forms not only the conceptual point of departure here, but also serves as model in terms of structure and content.
On the website every single shot from Vertov’s film is available as video clip. Newly made scenes of the same length and with similar visual content can be uploaded and juxtaposed with the old shots. To help filmmakers align their work with the original, exact information is provided on running time, along with short descriptions and stills.
Special software was developed for the project to archive, sequence and stream the uploads, making it possible to view the participants’ remakes next to the original – in a rotation that changes daily. This creates a globally produced montage of scenes in the same rhythm as the original, but with “updated” pictorial content and cinematic statements.
In the film’s opening credits, Dziga Vertov declared his intentions in making the film: “This experimental work aims at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema based on its total separation from the language of theater and literature.” It’s therefore not only a documentary film about a day in the big city, already compiled in the original of scenes shot in various locations, but at the same time meant to demonstrate an international vocabulary of film, at that time a new medium.
On Perry Bard’s website we can now see to what extent creating this kind of universal language of cinema is possible with the help of digital media.
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal exhibits Ishida and Kawamura
The Museum for Contemporary Art in Montréal is dedicating a new event series, called “Projections”, to the lyrical power of moving images projected on the big screen.
Kicking off the series are films and videos by Japanese filmmakers Takashi Ishida and Yuki Kawamura, on view from 15 January to 15 March 2009. Originally a painter, Ishida began making films in the 1990s (including THE ART OF FUGUE, 2001 and FILM OF THE SEA, 2007). Yuki Kawamura comes from the electronic music scene and has made three other short films, among them the fiction short SENKO. Works by both artists have been shown in Germany at venues including the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
The next part of the exhibition series from 6 May to 20 June will feature a work by Canadian artist Kelly Richardson, who lives in the UK. “Exiles of the Shattered Star” – a surreal landscape tableau with fireballs – was shot in England’s Lake District.
Between the two shows, the museum will play host from 19 to 29 March to the renowned Festival International du Film sur L’Art.
“Play” at Moderna Museet Stockholm
From 7 February to 19 April 2009 Stockholm’s Museum for Contemporary Art, Moderna Museet, is showing a film and video exhibition on the theme of “Play”. The title refers not only to the “Play” button on playback devices and the play behaviour of children and adults, but also to the play-acting in film and theatre. The underlying cultural significance of play is explored, a phenomenon that lays the basis for transcending reality and for artistic creativity.
Featured are works by contemporary artists including Dara Birnbaum, Bruce Nauman, Pipilotti Rist and Jesper Just, as well as examples from the history of film.
United Nations announces short film competition
To celebrate International Democracy Day, the United Nations is organizing an international short film competition called The Democracy Video Challenge. Filmmakers from all over the world are invited to submit videos that complete the sentence “Democracy is …”. The aim is to promote a global dialogue on democracy.
One film will be recognized from each of the seven continents: after a jury puts together a shortlist, the winner will be then be selected by means of a worldwide online vote. Entry deadline is 31 January. Online voting will take place from May to June 2009 on YouTube.
Reelisor.com – Network for European documentary professionals
Discovery Campus e.V. (Munich) has created a new European documentary film platform. The community platform carries the Discovery Campus education and networking concept that has proven its effectiveness over the past ten years into the online world. Documentary filmmakers from all over Europe can register their personal profile at www.reelisor.com and take up contact anytime with other “Reelisors”, editors and experts.
Cooperation partners on the project are EDN, Sunny Side of the Doc, Institute of Documentary Film in Prague, BRITDOC, The D-Word, ZeLIG, DOK Leipzig, Dragon Forum and Documentor.
Currently, “Reelisors” is holding a short film competition in conjunction with the new lifestyle video magazine “TheCrane.tv” (based in Zug, Switzerland) (entry deadline: 18 February 2009).
Los Angeles: Fabrik Media Group launches online TV channel for artists
The Fabrik Media Group, publisher of the art magazine “Fabrik Magazine”, has announced a new online TV channel specially designed for artistic films and films about art.
The objective of the project is to create a platform for artists who would like to present their films to a worldwide online audience. The organizers have issued an open invitation to filmmakers to submit films, documentaries, experimental videos, flash videos, short films and music videos.
The current website, “Experimental Cinema”, features news, reviews and articles together with extensive directories of books and films – an ideal place to research artistic titles available on DVD. In addition, the website’s own photo gallery documents the works of avant-garde filmmakers. Films can already be viewed online in the Video section, but up until now these have been linked in, i.e. hosted on other filesharing platforms. The website is in both English and Spanish.
Credits – Shorts on TV
00:55 Court-Circuit-Magazine: Unter der Lupe – Jérôme Ters / Zoom – Schauspielerausbildung
A Letter to Colleen, Carolyn London, USA 2007
Skhizein, Jérémy Clapin, F 2008
01:40 Portraits: Ensuite, ils ont vieilli, S. Louis, F 2004
00:15 Court-Circuit-Magazine: Zoom – Brigitte Sy / Private Lesson – Handpuppen und Marionetten / The first time – Emilie Deleuze
L’endroit ideal, Brigitte Sy, F 2008
00:20 Our Wonderful Nature, Tomer Eshed, D 2007
00:25 Les volets, Lyèce Boukhitine, F 2005
00:10 Court-Circuit-Magazine: Zoom – Darren Thornton / Zoom – Der Prinz / Rencontres – Berlinale Kurzfilmstress
Frankie, Darren Thornton, Ireland 2007
Cand se stinge lumina, Igor Cobileanski, ROM 2005
The Pearce Sisters, Luis Cook, UK 2007
00:10 Court-Circuit-Magazine: Special Oberhausen / Portrait – Herbert Fritsch / Zoom – Unreal Asia
Echo, Magnus von Horn, PL 2009
The Conservatory, Matilda Tristram, UK 2008
Marker, Susanna Wallin, UK 2009