Thursday, October 10, 2013

October Filmmakers & Other Stuff

Blog Readers -- Well, it's only October, and alas, I'm already terribly behind with the Southern Circuit blog. Apologies galore. A good excuse is I've been busy with all things film! I had the great fortune of being in New York for Independent Film Week in September and kicked off October with the Sundance Institute's Film Forward Program in Maine. So much great stuff happening in the indie film universe! (And I will be sharing additional posts from our September filmmakers. Like I said, I'm behind.)

Back home, Southern Circuit filmmakers are hitting the road! Honored to introduce the following filmmakers to you:

Rob Kuhns, George A. Romero & Esther Cassidy
Rob Kuhns (Director) & Esther Cassidy (Producer) bring us the timely (tis the season for Halloween & Day of the Dead after all), Birth of the Living Dead.

In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed a low budget horror film that shocked the world and became an icon of the counterculture - Night of the Living Dead. It spawned a billion dollar zombie industry that continues to this day. Birth of the Living Dead, a new documentary, shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers -- policemen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner -- to shoot, with a revolutionary guerrilla, run-and-gun style, his seminal film.  During that process Romero and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undead and feasted upon human flesh. This documentary also immerses audiences into the singular time in which “Night” was shot.  Archival footage of the horrors of Vietnam and racial violence at home combined with iconic music from the 60s invites viewers to experience how Romero’s tumultuous film reflected this period in American history. Birth of the Living Dead shows us how this young filmmaker created a world-renowned horror film that was also a profound insight into how our society really works.

Director Max Barbakow & birth mom, Wendy.
Producer Bennett Barbakow shares his director/writer brother Bennett's film, Mommy, I'm a Bastard! with Circuit audiences this month. A sweet & honest film!

A mix-tape of home movies, broadcast news, and heart-spoken letters, Mommy, I’m a Bastard!, is one filmmaker’s portrait of the three diverse families linked by his adoption. But what begins as a joyous tribute to kinship soon evolves into something different with the emergence of a lingering feud between his biological families. Adopted shortly after his birth, Max Barbakow’s adoption always accented the family dialogue. Twenty-one years later, Max urges his families to elaborate more explicitly on a story he can’t remember not knowing, rolling camera to reconcile varying truths, close open wounds, and above all try to understand the complexity, humor, and absurdity of life along the way. 

Co-directors Penelope Manusell & Kenny Dalsheimer

Co-directors Penelope Manusell & Kenny Dalsheimer tour their terrific film, Bending Sticks, The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty, this month

Bending Sticks celebrates the twenty-five year career of internationally renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, who has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures out of nothing more than saplings. The film follows the artist and his collaborators during a year of stick work and reveals Dougherty’s process, personal story and inspirations.The heart of the film is the creation of five Dougherty commissions in different locations – inside the new wing of the NC Museum of Art, on Main Street in Rock Hill, SC, at a private home in Chapel Hill, NC, at the Bascom Art Center in the mountains of NC, and in the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. At each location, viewers see how Dougherty and many others transform piles of sticks into energetic lines and exuberant forms. Dougherty’s projects invite collaboration and engage communities in the making and viewing of his very public art.