2009 Online New England Film Festival
Though it has been over a decade since South Africa has become a free and democratic country, human rights violations still occur. Forced evictions of informal settlements, reminiscent of those that occurred during the apartheid regime, have uprooted people from their homes and displaced them in distant locations. Alfred ‘General’ Moyo is one of these evicted persons who have become a part of the Landless People’s Movement in an effort to resist the unlawful and unconstitutional removal of settlements in the Johannesburg area by the provincial government.
Larry, a 93 year-old widower confined to a nursing home, remembers a time when he had more spring in his step. Based on real audio recordings from 2002, animator Kristen Palana uses individually painted digital images to imagine and recreate her grandfather’s first attempts to woo his beloved Roz. Set in both 1943 and 2007, Larry and Roz is a three and a half minute glimpse into one couple’s six decade relationship.
Through a series of interviews conducted with several members of the filmmaker’s family, this film investigates a traumatic event that her mother experienced when she was six-years old. The length of time my mother was there, when this occurred, and if it even occurred are constantly being debated throughout the piece. While memory can be one way of attempting to compile ourselves into coherent individuals, this piece seeks to explore how the boundaries of “who we are” are shaped not only by our own memories but how we negotiate them with others.
After a crushing breakup, Michael journeys through the five stages of grief. With the help of psychologist Dr. Lieber, he conquers his demons, stops obsessing and finally finds true happiness. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe.
Stephen Pace: Maine Master is part of a series of documentaries about Maine artists. Pace, who spent extended summers in the fishing village of Stonington, Maine, spent 50 years as a second generation abstract expressionist in New York after WWII where he met Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. On the GI Bill in Mexico he met and became a protégé of American painter Milton Avery. Upon moving to New York City he found himself in the swim of the art world making friends with Franz Kline, Jackson Pollack, and Hans Hofmann amongst others. The Whitney Museum accepted his work in their Biennials seven times. This film chronicles Pace and his wife Pam’s last days in Maine closing his studio and summer home while being celebrated by neighbors and the community that loved them most.
Inspired by director Chris Chiusano’s countless hours commuting on the train, this film began as a series of opposite-hand drawings. The animation created is a compilation of individual hand-drawn images that have been brought to life through the computer.
The Other Way Out is the story of how one woman escaped a 15-year addiction to opiates. Narrated by herself, she recalls the experience of her addiction and the use of a controversial method of recovery called Ibogaine, which is illegal in the United States. Her tale is illustrated through stop-motion animation and time-lapse photography.
Nine young gay men are interviewed in this unconventional documentary short. All nine men come from various areas across the country (Massachusetts, California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, & New Jersey). However, none of the men are seen on screen, instead nine straight actors portray and lip-sync their appearances. The majority supports the minority in this film, as topics range from stereotypes to coming out, civil rights, and personal opinions.
A Work In Progress is a short experimental film that illustrates one way of understanding how life works, through knitting. In this film, the needles never stop knitting, motions never cease, and the most important people never truly leave. Scenes and sounds from a classic French film put you in a state of nostalgia no matter what year you were born. Yet it’s the unmistakable scratch of super 8 home movies fused with intimate and far away views of the knitter that stitch together the idea that our lives begin way before we know and will always be “a work in progress.”