Sunday, December 04, 2011

AIFF 2011: Rainy, Windy, and Pushing 50 After AIFF2011 Day 2

I saw most of three films today. I already wrote about Andante. Senior Year, a Filipino movie about the last year in a parochial school was a serious, but light take on finishing high school and looking toward college. It might be interesting to have high school students around the world exchange films like this to see how similar things are. But this was clearly a fairly prosperous school and serious problems were in the background. One student's father was taking drugs and beating her mom, and gay issues were touched very superficially. The worst thing that seemed to happen was when the senior class came in second to the junionrs at the school's athletic tournament. Then I finally got to meet up with my wife at the Bear Tooth where we saw a powerful Rwandan film, by Alrick Brown. From his website bio:
Alrick Brown has a MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. A filmmaker and teacher, he has found his calling writing, directing, and producing narrative films and documentaries often focusing on social issues affecting the world at large. It was after visiting the slave castle of Elmina, in Ghana, that he was inspired to attend film school. For over two years he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire. The interactions with the people of his village and his overall experiences in West Africa have informed his creative expression; an expression first fostered by his birth in Kingston, Jamaica and migration to, and upbringing in Plainfield, New Jersey. A fluent French speaker, he graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and a Masters in Education. Since then he has devoted his energy to changing the world by giving a voice to the voiceless and telling stories that otherwise would not be told.
 Kinyarwanda plays again Sunday December 9 at 10:30pm at Out North.  I highly recommend it.  This is a very different picture from Hotel Rwanda - and one that has a hopeful take on things.

JC and his dad Carl Hoffma

Rand Thornsley, right
Then I went over to the party at Spenard Road House where I met Bartlett High School student JC Hoffman and his dad Carl.  JC has a school assignment to check out the film festival.  He got to meet Tony Sheppard and Rand Thornsley, who is in town for the Festival and said he did have a small role in the programming this year. He was a key player in the last three festivals before moving to Washington State earlier this year.   I'm putting up his picture so his teacher can see he was really there.

It's late and Sunday has a don't miss film makers roundtable at Out North at 11am.

Meanwhile the outdoor thermometer is pushing 50˚F (10˚C) at our house, it's raining, and the side streets and parking lots are turning to ice.  And the wind's blowing.

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