In the Fall of 2015, just as I was graduating from my MFA program at FAMU, I produced the graduate thesis film of my friend the lovely Anna Lyubynetska. We shot in Prague and Kiev. I am happy and honored to announce that this past Saturday Kiev Moscow won the Czech Lion award for best student film of 2016. The film will be making a small tour through cities in the Czech Republic through ishorts and will make its festival debut next month in Dresden. More updates to follow.
Yet, here it is. Just imagine you are watching it in a theater, or gallery, or some other non-networked locale.
There is a Mirror Maze on Petřín Hill, it is from the 1891 General Land Centennial Exhibition- When Prague was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. All of these "temporary" world's fair buildings from a hundred-plus years ago end up being some of my favorite structures (The Palace!). And that is why I chose it as the location for my latest small school assignment (Location Drama).
I spent a chilly Wednesday with my friend, the cinematographer Vladimir Dimoski, shooting inside this Mirror Maze- we got a little lost... and I'm a bit nervous about the editing because I am sure to get lost again... but as I crawled around the floor chasing a green ball and plastic apple, dodging lost children, and tourists snapping photographs I was extremely grateful that this counted as "work."
These past weeks have been filled with magical meetings in a warm apartment near Kampa. Muriel Aboulrouss' 4th CINE-JAM workshop took place in Prague this Fall and I am so grateful to have been one of the participants. The 8 of us in the workshop each made a personal film based on an internal emotion, ferreted out during our first weekend together. It was an incredibly intuitive filmmaking journey, one that is rarely given to film students (structure, what structure?); and it's funny, but I can already see how the techniques we used in this workshop can also be applied to our more "traditional" filmmaking projects-- adding a layer of authenticity and heart that can often be forgotten in a school setting.
There will be two screenings of the fruits of our labor: FAMU screening room, 1st floor
Monday 11 November, 7PM
Saturday 16 November, 4PM
Yuriy Norshteyn came to FAMU yesterday, it was the first time I saw his amazingly delicate and intricate animations. He said something in the discussion afterwards, that might be my favorite thing ever said about filmmaking. He told the story of a man in an asylum scrbbling furiously on a piece of paper. Another man approaches him and asks, "What are you doing?" "I'm writing," the man replies. "Writing what?" "A letter to myself." "What is it about?" the other man asks. "I don't know I haven't received it yet."
And that is what filmmaking is; he then went on to say never to trust anyone who says they know exactly what they are doing. It's good to be reassured (by one of the greats) that the process of discovering is at the heart of filmmaking; because really unraveling that mystery is what makes this work exciting yet somehow we are always expected to present ourselves as having it all figured out. Now to just encourage/find/develop a film funding system that also acknowledges this process of discovery!