Strad Style, winner of 2017 Slamdance Documentary Feature and Audience Award literally knocked us off our feet. Yuri’s choice of music introduction for our Strad Style experience is perfectly suited as it continues to inspire him, long after the crazy week in Park City was over. Very inspirational for me as well. This is my tenth year going to Sundance | Slamdance, while Yuri experienced it for the first time. I wanted him to really have the best film festival experience in all aspects from the film screenings, the filmmakers, the film festival community and the burgeoning economic development of the film business itself– he did.
On a recent perfect autumn weekend spent in the Catskills, at the fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival 2016, Christina Kotlar and Yuri Turchyn recap in an absorbed art of conversation sorting through a carefully chosen weekend schedule of award winning films– picking out the sounds that underscored the visually beautifully made sights. Highlights include Two Trains Runnin’, a juxtaposition of the civil rights movement and the search for 1930s recording musicians, saving their music from extinction; the American Epic music project preserving an incredible treasure trove of American music history and music scores galore.
“Waking Ned Devine Meets Mr. Ed” is how I describe Director Louise Osmond’s superbly crafted documentary Dark Horse. Dream Alliance is the “talking” horse that became the talk of the town in the village of Cefn Fforest in one of the poorest Welsh mining valleys, Gwent, north of Newport. The local Workingmen’s Club is the setting for the real life characters specifically Jan Vokes, a barmaid in the club, who has a burning desire to breed a champion racehorse. Aside from this quirky cast, Dream becomes his own pivotal character, a handsome devil, a rich chestnut color with white blaze and a deep gaze, intensely thoughtful and curious. Dark Horse was a runaway hit at Sundance 2015 winning the Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
Across the Sea (Deniz Seviyesi), a Turkish story of life, loving and living, written and directed by Esra Saydam and Nisan Dag, became an audience favorite at Slamdance 2015 winning Audience Award for Narrative Feature.
Traitors represents the restless generation in Tangiers, Morocco, inspired by the Clash hit Rock the Casbah, is transposed by lead singer, punk rocker, Malika (Chaimae Ben Acha), with the refrain– ” I’m so bored with Morocco, but what can I do?” Sean Gullette, co writer with Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, creates a world with empathy and admiration for the exotic mystery and cultural beauty of his adopted city. Interview with Sean Gullette and Audrey Rosenberg.
Joan’s Day Out, a short film by Ellen Houlihan, is a very funny slice of life with a grandma’s version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off escaping from an assisted living home starring Sally Kellerman and Betsy Franco, making its New York premiere at the Gen Art Film Festival.
Quebec director, Philippe Falardeau was stunned at the announcement that Monsieur Lazhar was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Film) during the screening at Sundance Film Festival. At an interview during the Tribeca Film Festival, he talks about quiet control in character study and storytelling while garnering Six Genie Awards for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director.
Seduced in n the Berkshires at Tanglewood, by a Steely Dan concert from their Shuffle Diplomacy Tour Twenty Eleven. The music sublime and musicians along with New Jersey’s Donald Fagen (born in Passaic, NJ) and Walter Becker were in full groove. The sky’s early deluge was long gone before the concert started. With new rain gear and warm clothes for the cool night sounds, Steely Dan’s music rocked.
Speaking against human trafficking, renowned Academy Award winning actor, Emma Thompson narrates the documentary, Fatal Promises, directed by Kat Rohrer and produced by her mother, expose journalist, Anneliese Rohrer, as old through stories of victims in Ukraine and other Eastern European nations.
Is the next step in technology Transhumanism? Geoethical use of nanotechnology for human life extension? Cryogenics, biotechnology and cyber consciousness? 2B: The Era of Flesh Is Over tests the waters along with a panel that included Ray Kurzweil’s take on the future in the field of artificial intelligence.