CITYWIDE


Manhattan Shakespeare Project
September 19, 2012, 7:18 pm
Filed under: New York City, Theater | Tags: , , ,

ImageThis week on Citywide we are happy to feature a conversation with Sarah Eismann of the Manhattan Shakespeare Project. Eismann founded the company, which is one of the few all female Shakespeare companies around today. It is one of the few all female theater companies as a matter of fact. In our conversation, Eismann makes it seem that the all female approach is not meant to necessarily amplify the role of women in Shakespeare (though it is a goal of hers), but to neutralize gender in theater. She points out that when a female gives a monologue for a male character, audiences are given the ability to forget about the gender of the actor and character and instead to notice how Shakespeare’s characters possess both feminine and masculine elements, both good and evil, pride and insecurity.

Eismann and her company travel through the boroughs performing works of Shakespeare to “underserved” communities for little or no cost. The Manhattan Shakespeare project feels that the works of Shakespeare provide an excellent platform for communication. They want to educate NYC youth and less-visible communities to the universally relatable themes Shakespeare provides. New York City is hardly the stopping point though. Eismann is taking her philosophy and love of Shakespeare to Palestine to teach Palestinian actors Shakespeare workshops. She has found that Shakespeare inspires people universally and resonates far beyond the Western context we are accustomed to seeing it in. Visit manhattanshakes.org for more information, or listen to the interview below.

To support Sarah Eismann and the Manhattan Shakespeare Project visit their indiegogo page.

Lucas Green



Update: Land of Songs by Aldona Watts
August 27, 2012, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Film, Life! | Tags: , ,

Earlier this Summer, Citywide covered the start of a new project by WNYU dj Aldona Watts in which she planned to document the lives and traditions of a troupe of elderly folk singer in a Lithuanian village. Aldona has wrapped her project and reports that it was a huge success (congratulations!). We look forward to seeing the final piece, but in the meantime Aldona will be joining us on Citywide once more in the near future to share her experiences first hand.

Here are some production stills to give you a taste-

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Luke Green



Citywide in Paris: First Evaluations
August 18, 2012, 10:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bonjour!

First, an apology. This post is kind of (very) late. I’m sorry. Now back to business.

When August comes around, you always find yourself wondering where the summer has gone, at least I do. And so it came time to reflect upon what I’d seen in Paris, so I got in touch with Shelby Donnelly, a Philly-based artist who ended an artist residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. I stumbled upon her Kickstarter page because I wanted to get in touch with American artists who were working in Paris and her study of the state of leisure in the French capital seemed particularly a propos for the show.

Donnelly, as I mention in the interview, says developing art work is a form of cultural exploration. that was what these shows attempted to do and I thought it might be nice to try to put what came out of these visits into words.

What we end up with is still somewhat bathed in a Midnight In Paris-like light : where the ideal of Paris is impossible to shake and experiencing the city is more of a time travel type of experience. I think an actual sociological and anthropological study of the place of leisure in French society and French art would take much longer than the 30 minutes of our show, but even at this level, it’s interesting to see how the level of fantasy attached to New York is nourished by images of the Beat Generation, Warholian icons and more recently Sex and the City escapades, its status as a model of cosmopolitanism makes the fancy much more contemporary : people come to New York looking for the cool thing happening you need to know about right now, whereas it seems visitors in Paris want to ride around the Concorde like Seberg and Belmondo in Breathless or retrace Hemingway’s steps with A Moveable Feast in hand.

Is that fantasy somehow less valuable than a desire to experience the now? I couldn’t really say, especially since it is a big point of pride for the French; Maybe that’s a question to answer in a future show? Ideas, Ideas…

Listen again to my interview with Shelby below. For more info on her and her work, check out shelbydonnelly.com.



Citywide in Paris: Saint Denis’s 6B
July 19, 2012, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Art, Exhibition, Projects | Tags:

The 6B jungle

Last night I might have spoken a bit too fast when I said that Paris was finally sunny. Though I have not felt any raindrops today, the sky has been decidedly grey and the few rays of sunlight that have managed to come through had to fight a hardy battle to push through the fluffy layer of clouds.

It might seem a bit off-topic to insist on commenting on the weather when, really, this post is meant to concentrate on what I discovered when I visited the 6B, an art center in the parisian suburb of Saint Denis but, I swear, there is a link.

You see, during my conversation with Julien Beller, the founder and director of the space, a lot of time was spent talking about the way the 6B is becoming and increasingly strong influence in the city of Saint Denis, as well as the cultural scene of the Paris area. “Ça rayonne” was the expression that kept being repeated: it shines.

Beller, courtesy of the JSD

The use of that word is not a manifestation of its founder’s arrogance; the verb “rayonner,” to shine, is actually the given term used in French to describe the repercussions of one entity’s energy on others. When used to talk about the 6B, that verb takes on an even stronger signification.

A different work of art is placed on this spot each month.

This space was not created to be the CoolHipArtsy place for Paris. Beller found the location, worked out a deal with the owner to rent a small part of the building then called up his friends to see who would want to be part of the project. It was just born out of a simple desire to work together. As Beller says,

I really couldn’t have cared less about speaking to people who lived in Paris itself. I didn’t come here thinking, ‘We need a new spot, it needs to be bringing in a ton of people, all the parigots [Paris-only minded people] have to be here as well as famous artists…’ I just wanted a space that had meaning and fulfilled the community’s needs. Turns out a lot of Paris people came and found a second wind because they had room to work, they met new people… Since we opened a lot of people have ended up moving to Saint Denis, but others still just come here to work, sometimes after a commute of an hour and 30 minutes.

Along the path, across the way from the 6B

That genuine and organic gathering of like-minded people really does turn the 6B into a bright spot in the neighbourhood. The walls of the pathway along the water that leads you to the center is covered in colourful graffiti and the little signs pointing the way, thus reassuring you that you’re not just walking to a dead end–before seeing the building, I could just see a lock on the canal in the distance, convincing me I’d gone the wrong way–are in fun, pastel colored paint and written in a soft, round-lettered font.

The Fabrique à Rêves’s watering hole

You truly get a sense of how unique the place is when you actually enter inside the gates and are face to face with the Fabrique à Rêves (or Dream Factory), a large outdoor installation made to host concerts, performances, and playful activities of all kinds. This is where you’ll see the residents getting lunch on warm, sunny days as well as the sheep of the sheep barn and the guerilla vegetable patches!

Someone’s growing fennel in a little crate outside…

The 6B also shines a new light on an area often dismissed because it still carries the burden of a violent, drug-filled past and the feeling that its population, often of humble or immigrant background, was never made to feel like they belonged. With his constant desire to integrate the many and to fill the gaps in the resources offered by cities, Julien Beller and his crew managed, through their work at the 6B, to ignite a new fire in the area by giving it a place where homegrown culture could grown and radiate far beyond the borders it was once confined in.

For more info, visit www.6b.org.

Sedera



Two Inspiring Projects We Think You Should Know About

On Citywide, we interview passionate and driven people on a regular basis. It is our hope that the conversations we have with these people encourages our audience to seek out artistic expression that isn’t mass produced or packaged for the lowest common denominator. Ideally, people listen to our show and take a personal investment in the stories they hear, maybe even realize the possibility of composing their own something for everyone else to experience.

It’s understandable why many of us hesitate before seeing an independent movie, reading an unreviewed book, or investigating a new band. These experiences are not yet validated and nobody wants to feel like they have lost time with an unworthy experience. Even so, there are many of us who thrive on the prospect of untempered ground. Who crave to be the first to understand our new mythology as it changes. These people listen to Citywide. They also make projects like the two featured below-

LAND OF SONGS, a documentary in progress by Aldona Watts of WNYU

This documentary is the main feature of Citywide this week. It is made by Aldona Watts, or DJ Dona, host of Crucial Chaos at WNYU. Those of us at the station acquainted with Aldona know her for the way she pursues several projects at the same time with equal dedication. At any given time, Aldona is able to discuss the dozens of projects that occupy her time from teaching children about radio, to organizing events for Her Girl Friday, to hosting Crucial Chaos. In a way, it’s not all that surprising that she can leave her life in New York City to fully invest herself in filming a documentary in Lithuania. This week on Citywide we sat down with Aldona to discuss her motivations for traveling across the world to record the movements of an elderly group of folk singers. Their story is even more inspirational. Check out Aldona’s kickstarter below the interview below-

[audio https://files.nyu.edu/ltg219/public/land%20of%20songs_sedera.mp3]

this is the kickstarter

DETROPIA, something real

A still from Detropia

Detropia is the work of two filmmakers we hope to have on Citywide very soon. Listeners may recognize the work of Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, the two documentarians behind Jesus Camp. Much like Aldona, their new film takes place somewhere outside most New Yorker’s regular awareness. In their case though, it’s set in a situation many people choose to ignore because of its nearness to our lives here. For Detropia, Rachel and Heidi turned their camera to the relic of American post-industrialized living, the city of Detroit. Caroline Libresco describes their film this way-

Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.

Besides creating a daring and earnest film, Rachel and Heidi with Loki Films are attempting to distribute their film independently. This means they forgo the step most films take in which a distribution company takes control of a film and its marketing. Detropia will go on tour with the filmmakers as they screen it in various independent theaters and festivals across the country. Check out the trailer below and the screenings you might find below that. Tune in to Citywide in the coming weeks to hear what Heidi and Rachel have to say themselves.

See their kickstarter here.

Silverdocs Documentary Festival
Silver Spring, Maryland
Thursday, June 21st @ 7:30pm
Friday, June 22nd @ 10:30am
BONUS SCREENING!!!
Saturday, June 23rd @ 10:45pm

Nantucket Film Festival
Nantucket, Mass.
Thursday, June 21st @ 6pm
Friday, June 22nd @ 6:30pm

BAMcinemaFEST
Brooklyn, New York
Wednesday, June 27th @ 9:30pm
Q&A with Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

Aspen Ideas Festival
Aspen, Colorado
Friday, June 29th @ 8pm

Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs Series
East Hampton, New York
Saturday, July 21st @ 8pm
Followed by a discussion between Alec Baldwin and the directors Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady

Indianapolis Independent Film Festival
Indianapolis, Indiana
Monday, July 23rd @ 5pm

Woods Hole Film Festival
Woods Hole, Mass.
Tuesday, July 31st @ 7pm

Rooftop Films Summer Series 2012
Brooklyn, New York
Saturday, August 11th @ 8pm

Opening Theatrically: IFC CENTER
New York, New York
Friday, September 7th

Screening at The Avon Theatre
Stamford, Connecticut
Wednesday, October 10th

Lucas Green



Citywide In Paris: Futur en Seine
June 22, 2012, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Exhibition, Technology

On my first day on my freshman year floor, our RA Jenna chose “Two Truths and a Lie” as our inaugural icebreaker. When my time came to make my new floormates what my lie was, I told them that my uncle was a huge rockstar in Madagascar and that I loved computers (I can’t remember what I gave as a third option). Immediately, everyone guessed the computer one was the lie. They were right; other than their practical nature, I saw nothing particularly appealing about computers then–try to tear me away from it now though and you might have a different answer. I thought I had been so smart by putting in something ridiculous to throw them off, but I guess my un-techy-ness was visible from the get-go, even to complete strangers.

All this to say that Futur en Seine, the digital innovation festival going on in all of the Parisian region until the 24th, is not at first sight a place where you might expect to find me. Even though I have now warmed up to what the digital culture has brought for us and feel much less of a need to be hostile to the technological innovations around me, a lot of what gets discussed in these circles is way beyond my level of understanding.

Luckily, I went to the festival’s inaugural fair at the CentQuatre on the two days it was open to the public, when kids were running around everywhere  and many curious souls erred, which forced all the people presenting their work to make what was often probably very complex technology seem intelligible to simple minds like mine. Also, thanks to a plethora of tactile screens and Kinect-based games, a good amount of stations ended up being somewhat interactive, even though a lot of it was aimed at children. For example, I passed in front of one screen that detected bodies going in front of the camera and added Iron Man suits on the image that was then formed on the screen. Another station allowed you to embody a flying creature in a videogame if you spread your arms out and bent side to side to mimic flight. Thinking back on it, the whole Kinect experience was doubly unreal. The center where the fair took place, the CentQuatre, used to be a morgue so with these games, huge crowds of people played with these almost ghostly, mirror images of themselves while standing in a place with a bit of a haunted history. I realize as I’m writing it that it sounds rather morbid, but I’m keeping it because I still find it quite fascinating.

However, the most fun application of that technology was shown during a workshop for children who had recorded and filmed a few video samples during an after-school program. One of the program directors would put up some of the pictures they’d taken on the screen and as a few girls volunteered to dance in front of the camera (their song of choice was Danza Kuduro), any big arm movement would make the picture superimposed over their feed change shape so that as you saw the girls moving around to the rhythm, the picture on top would also then follow that same beat. So a much more alive use of Kinect, this time.

While Futur en Seine wasn’t a place where I thought I’d find much artistic inspiration (going there was really just an excuse to go see my sister and hang out), I was pleasantly surprised, because there was still a lot of creativity at work once you looked past the more commercial ventures present. Below, you’ll see videos of some of the projects I talk about in the piece that aired on the show in case my description of them didn’t give you a full idea.

Here’s Object Avatar by Digitalarti‘s Jason Cook:

And Jules Hotrique’s Dualo:

With my new, more open mind, I look forward to telling you about more Parisian adventures!

Sedera



Films on the Green, 2012 Edition
June 16, 2012, 10:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
Image

Our DJ’s, NAS’s Molly and Shake ’em on Down’s Anna at Washington Square Park. (Photo Credit: Nathalie Charles)

We told you last year about Films on the Green, the French film festival held all over New York City parks each summer. Well, the festival is back this year, with a nice selection of films and with the added bonus of featuring WNYU as an official partner!

The festival started out on June 1st with a screening of OSS 117: Nest of Spies, by the most famous French trio in cinema at the moment, actors Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and director Michel Hazanavicius, who were heavily praised for 2011’s The Artist. It will go on until July 13th, and will return for one last outdoor screening on Columbia University’s Low Library steps for a viewing of the classic Jules and Jim with Jeanne Moreau at the beginning of September.

We’re not just talking about this festival because you’ll get to hear WNYU DJ’s awesome skills on the 1’s and 2’s before the screenings if you decide to go. French cinema has the reputation for being slow, pretentious and overly intellectual at times. And that might be true in some instances. But when this festival brings classic films (as well as newer ones) to Tompkins Square Park, our own Washington Square or Pier 1 at Riverside Park with its big inflatable screen, it becomes a lot easier to see that French films–or any foreign movies, for that matter–are a lot more accessible than we often like to make them seem.

As the festival alternates between childhood favourites like War of the Buttons, which screened on Thursday, or Donkey Skin with the legendary Catherine Deneuve (June 29, Tompkins Square Park) and high tension thrillers like Tell No One (July 6, Riverside Park – Pier I) while also showing the good-humored but politically charged animated film Persepolis (July 13, Riverside Park – Pier I), our perspective on what movies are outside of Hollywood and the anglophone indie market is immediately enriched.

I should probably disclose, for the sake of fairness, that I am French and could potentially be biased about all of this. But when I brought friends of mine to the festival last year and we saw the dangerously sexy The Swimming Pool with Alain Delon and a few weeks later, the big family comedy Nos Jours Heureux, it was quite obvious that when put in an inviting setting (and nothing is more inviting than a park on a hot summer night in New York), French films are just as inviting as the rest of them.

So there’s a lot of competition for outdoor screenings in the city every summer, but if you feel a little bit curious about foreign films, attending one or more of the shows of Films on the Green might not be a terrible idea for you.

Here are the remaining films you can see for this 5th edition of the festival:

June 22 – 8:30pm: The Axe, Tompkins Square Park

June 29 – 8:30pm: Donkey Skin, Tompkins Square Park

July 6 – 8:30pm: Tell No One, Riverside Park – Pier I (at 70th St)

July 13 – 8:30pm: Persepolis, Riverside Park – Pier I (at 70th St)

September 6- 7:30pm: Jules and Jim, Columbia University – Low Library Steps

For more information about Films on the Green, simply click here.



Extraterrestrial (Extraterreste), by Nacho Vigalondo
June 15, 2012, 2:08 am
Filed under: Film | Tags: , , ,

“Who is the extraterrestrial? who needs to leave at the end?” asks Nacho Vigalondo of the characters in his second feature film, Extraterrestrialpremiering this week at Brooklyn’s Gastropub theater on Friday, June 15th as well as online on demand. His film orbits around a cast of five players. It begins with a man and a woman in their late twenties waking up next to each other not remembering what they’d done the night before, much less the others’ names. Also, aliens have invaded and the city of Madrid seems to have been abandoned by all except a creepy neighbor, a passionate ex-boyfriend, and an ominous television broadcaster. Not much more can be said about the film’s plot as its twists are abundant to the point that it is impossible to guess what’s going to happen next at any given time. Still Vigalondo leaves enough reference points to allow a narratively complex film to flow fairly smoothly. Here’s how we review new and original filmmaking on Citywide-

Extraterrestrial stars Michelle Jenner and Julián Villagrán

If you like Science Fiction-

This movie is for you. That is, if you like Science Fiction for the right reasons. This isn’t a movie about aliens, or the future, or computers, or dystopias though this movie includes some aspect of just about all of those. Most Sci-Fi does without being about one or the other. These aspects that seem to characterize the Science Fiction “genre” are used to create unique social and metaphysical scenarios. Nacho Vigalondo does so in this movie. He uses the situation to isolate a set of characters into a scenario that asks the specific questions he chooses to ask. For instance, Nacho says “In this movie, characters find the advantages of Earth being invaded by aliens… [for instance], ‘Ok I’m in love with this girl, but she’s married, but now that there’s aliens everywhere you can find yours of having sex with her,” on the other hand, I want it to be realistic on this point… if you have a toothache and the end of the world comes, you still have a toothache.”
Nacho feels that Science Fiction is falsely classified as a genre. He remarks that belonging to a genre implies subscribing to a certain set of rules. As in, a Slasher film is a Slasher film because it involves a killer stalking a set of people with a knife. A Western is a Western because it contains cowboys and outlaws. In contrast, Science Fiction does not confine stories to rules, but is used to liberate stories from the laws of reality. Think Philip K. Dick (who Nacho actually attributes his beard and desire to go bald to). So, if you like this brand of Science Fiction, this movie is for you. However-

If you like alien invasion movies-

Check your expectations. Hype for Extraterrestrial might lead audiences to expect something like Monsters (2010), by Gareth Edwards or District 9 which adeptly combine sophisticated and original melodrama with sci-fi thriller action. Extraterrestrial has its share of explosions compared to your standard rom-com, but you will be disappointed if you come expecting non-stop action violence. That being said, this film is plenty rife with suspense. It doesn’t have to lean on the spectacle of special effects because of its many plot twists and unexpected events. A lesser director could try the same thing and have it seem contrived. Vigalondo creates a setting so outrageous and extreme, it seems pointless to question its believability.

If you like romantic comedies-

Though this is a Spanish film the jokes and romance do not get lost in translation. It’s a moving film, but its conceptual nature gives it a certain level of detachment. The inter-personal drama and humor in this movie are strong enough to keep it grounded.

If you have ever wanted the whole city to yourself-

You can inhabit this movie.

If you want to watch this movie-

June 15th-
Brooklyn, NY at the Gastopub Theater
Seattle, WA at the Uptown Theater

June 22nd-
North Hollywood, CA at Laemmle’s Noho 7

and throughout Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Texas through June.

However, if you do not live in any of these areas you can get a screening in your hometown through Tugg right here. Or you can watch it On Demand here.

If you like Nachos-

Here’s a guy named Nacho:

This is our interview:

[audio https://files.nyu.edu/ltg219/public/Paul%20William.mp3]

Lucas Green



Citywide Weekly Club Calendar

Check out these great events this week!-

06/13– “Bionic Garden” Exhibition at Flux Factory
Open now until June 24th

Flux Factory is proud to present Bionic Garden, an exhibition that unveils how humans have adapted to grow plants in the most unlikely of ways and places. Viewers can expect to see indoor lawns, lofted vegetable gardens, crops that tweet when they’re in need of water, mobile gardens, new ways to subvert the homogenization of seed production, vines that have something to say, vertiginous grass, creepy containers which crumble as the fruits of their existence take over, and even use a spa getaway for their own tired, limp houseplants. In Bionic Garden, Flux Factory invites viewers to re-imagine urban spaces both private and public in an effort to bring resourcefulness and ingenuity to urban communities.

Address: 39-31 29th Street, Queens, NY 11101

Between 39th and 40th Aves. Subway: N/W to 39th Avenue

More info: http://www.fluxfactory.org/projects/bionic-garden/

– Poetry from the Rooftops Presents: Dan Beachy-Quick, Harmony Holiday & Eileen Myles
June 14, 2012, 6:30pm

The Academy of American Poets will kick off its annual Poetry from the Rooftops free summer reading series atop the historic Arsenal Building in New York City’s Central Park. The Academy collaborates with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation each year to provide an intimate escape from the flow of traffic and offer New Yorkers the opportunity to hear a diverse group of contemporary poets read original work and “bare their brains to heaven.”

Address: The Arsenal Building at Central Park, 64th Street at 5th Avenue, New York, NY
More info: http://www.poets.org/rooftop

– These Seven Sicknesses @ The Flea Theater
Wed, June 6, 2012 – Sun, July 1, 2012
Tues – Sat: 6:30 pm
Sun: 4:30 pm

 

After a long run in the beginning of the year, the critically acclaimed and Drama Desk Award nominated These Seven Sicknesses by Sean Graney returns to The Flea Theater, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and starring The Bats.

In “These Seven Sicknesses,” Sophocles’ seven surviving plays, “Oedipus,” “In Trachis,” “Philoktetes,” “In Colonus,” “Ajax,” “Elektra” and “Antigone,” combine with music and food to create a stunning portrait of the human condition, where the intermingling of chance and fate yields disquieting results.

The Flea is re-partnering with neighborhood favorites, Macao Trading Co. and Billy’s Bakery to provide an included dinner and dessert for each performance. The acting company will serve audience members at this unique event.

The performances will consist of 90 minutes of play, an intermission for dinner, 60 minutes of play, an intermission for dessert, and final 60 minutes of play.

Address: 41 White Street, New York, NY  10013
(between Broadway and Church Streets)
Tel: (212) 226-0051
[I saw this in February and it’s AWESOME]
More info: http://www.theflea.org/show_detail.php?page_type=0&show_id=99



The 2012 Vimeo Film Festival with Jeremy Boxer and Eliot Rausch

The online video-sharing platform Vimeo signifies much about the current relationship between art, society, and technology. Users of Vimeo utilize the site to share originally produced video content on a high-quality player for free. For independent filmmakers, artists, and documentarians, who may have spent zero to hundreds of thousands of dollars creating a video, to share their work in the way it deserves to be seen without having to pay a distribution company or rent out a theater. It is a way for people to get their work noticed without taking the risk of submitting to film festivals, which sometimes only accept films on the condition that they do not screen at any other festival or be seen online. This may be true of just about any video-sharing site, but the quickest glance at Vimeo exhibits its uniqueness as a media platform.

On Vimeo, you will not see television or popular movie clips, you cannot search for any song you want to hear and expect to find a video file of it, and you do not find commercials. Rather Vimeo contains only the original work of its users, most of them aspiring artists or media creators. As such, the site is rife with music videos, lyrical documentaries, tone poems, tutorials, clever/cute animations, etc… There is no shortage of beautiful and entertaining content in the age of DSLRs, prosumer editing software, and easy access to educational resources. While technical quality and formal qualities do vary between extremes, the site is curated to an extent. In short, Vimeo has found a new way to contribute to the elimination of exclusivity in art.

This being the case, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the massive amount of video art with immediate availability. No one wants to become sensitized to beauty and artists have good reason to feel reluctant exhibiting work on a platform absolutely flooded with high quality, original work. Premiering video online can be just as risky as preparing a film for a festival. Thus the Vimeo Film Festival.

The Vimeo Film Festival goes against many accustomed film festival traditions. First, it is among the few festivals in existence that even allow screenings of films that have premiered online, and it is one of even fewer that focus on internet-released films. The festival also follows an opposite format to most festivals by holding the award ceremony at the festival’s opening rather than its conclusion. Jeremy Boxer, the festival’s co-founder and director as well as creative director for Vimeo, states the reason for this as an attempt to celebrate the winning filmmakers throughout the festival, which culminates in a winner’s screening at the end of the event where attendees can see all the films that have risen to the top without feeling like they missed out. The awards, too, go to less conventional categories like ‘Advertising, Lyrical, Action Sports, Motion graphics, and Remix; categories meant to reflect the work of Vimeo’s community.

This year’s festival also features many workshops and lectures from illustrious members of the film industry including Ed Burns. It is the work of these people and those like Jeremy Boxer who create a channel for people with passion and a message to express themselves freely. It has always been possible, but it was never the popular path. Filmmakers these days are beginning to take advantage of the fact that they do not have to tailor their work to appeal to someone who can give them a job. Platforms like Vimeo and its associated film festival create an infrastructure for art to disseminate off of its own merit rather than the approval of a single curator or “taste-maker.”

Listen to the show to hear Jeremy Boxer discuss the highlights of this year’s festival and previous Vimeo Film Festival Grand Prize, winner Eliot Rausch, talk about what Vimeo has been able to do to propel his own career forward. The trailer for his new film “Limbo” appears below and below that is his award winning film, “Last Minutes with Oden.”

Eliot Rausch, director of “Last Minutes With Oden” and the forthcoming “Limbo”

 

[audio https://files.nyu.edu/ltg219/public/Eliot%20Rausch.mp3]

Lucas Green