October – November 2014
Welcome to the Synesthesia Film Festival!
This is a once a night monthly film festival that screens independent short films, student films, web series, documentaries, music videos, experimental films and animations from around the world.
The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of media and filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on future projects.
The screening night starts at 6:30 PM in the lobby where the filmmakers, writers, producers, directors, actors, and editors of the short films can get to know each other.
Then the show begins at 7:00 PM and ends at 9:00 PM, followed by a short Q&A with the key filmmakers.
Afterparty at 9:30 PM down the street at a local bar or restaurant where we will tally up the scores and announce the winners of the Audience Choice Awards.
Written by Erik Parker and produced by One9, Parker, and Anthony Saleh, the film follows the trajectory of Nas’ 1994 landmark debut album, “Illmatic” – widely considered one of the most important and revolutionary albums in hip-hop.
Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Illmatic,’ NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC takes us into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences — from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City — and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. Featuring interviews with his ‘Illmatic’ producers (Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier) and musical peers (including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys), NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.
* Berlin Film Festival 2014 * * New York Film Festival 2014 * * South By Southwest 2014 *
Last Highjack directed by Tommy Pallotta (animator and collaborator of Richard Linklater on “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life”) tells the true tale of survival in Somalia from the pirate’s perspective. Combining animation with documentary storytelling, the film takes an innovative hybrid approach to explore how one Somali pirate – Mohamed – came to live such a brutal and dangerous existence. Animatedre-enactments exploring Mohamed’s memories, dreams and fears from his point of view are juxtaposed with raw footage from his everyday life in an original non-fiction narrative. Dir: Tommy Palotta. 2014. 83 min.
Dir: Tommy Palotta – 2014 – 83 mins
FILMMAKER ANITA CHANG IN PERSON!
“You already know the importance of saving a language. You know the reason, but not the motivation to save it,” admits Anchi Chen, one of the collaborators for TONGUES OF HEAVEN. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, what does it mean today to speak your mother tongue?
To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? Using video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from the Austronesian language territories Taiwan and Hawai’i share their questions, desires and challenges of learning their native languages.
Dir: Anita Chang. 2013. 60 min.
Anita Chang is a Bay Area independent filmmaker, educator and writer. Her award-winning works have screened internationally and broadcast on U.S. and Taiwan public television. She has taught in community centers and film departments in San Francisco, Nepal and Taiwan’s College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University. Honors include grant awards from the Fulbright, San Francisco Arts Commission, and KQED Peter J. Owens Filmmaker programs.
Artist website: anitachangworks.com
Tongues of Heaven is a Creative Capital and National Geographic All Roads Seeds funded project.
BAY AREA DOCS is a monthly program featuring the best films made in the mecca of documentary filmmaking.
Co-Presented by SF Sketchfest
ADVANCED TICKETS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABL FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23.
A LIMITED NUMBER MAY BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.
A documentary that follows Dan Harmon on tour for his podcast series after he was fired from Community in 2012.
★SPECIAL EVENT★ HARMONTOWN + LIVE PODCAST — Thursday, Oct. 23 7:00pm
Film & Dan Harmon & gang IN PERSON for LIVE recording of The Harmontown Podcast!
Admission = $20 in advance / $25 @ the door
Harmontown is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a man that would quote himself saying that a movie about him is fascinating, Harmon said. It’s more than a documentary. It’s your chance to figure out what’s wrong with me while cutting me in on the profit.
Harmon is planning to start another podcast tour in concert with the film’s theatrical release.
Director: Neil Berkeley, 101min. U.S.A. 2014
Official Site is Here.
NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations. In the 2nd season of the series, we introduce Japanese cinema themed with Music.The 1st title is “IDOL IS DEAD”, musical horror comedy stared by real Japanese idol group, BiS.
In Japan, beautiful pop pin-up Idols rule the music scene. Frustrated in her dreams of being a star in Tokyo, Rui ended up a hostess in a provincial bar. When her former rival Momoko returns home a successful Idol singer, Rui flips out and kills her and the rest of her pop group. In order to hide the crime, she and her friends take the dead girls’ place, creating BiS (Brand-new Idol Society). But when a mad scientist reanimates Momoko as a half-robot half zombie, she retaliates on the new starlets and their fans. A strikingly original part-horror, part-comedy, part-music-video starring one of Japan’s freshest pop sensations. (in Japanese with English subtitles)
Once, Rui has aimed at a singer. However, now, she was frustrated and was doing the hostess’s work in the country. When Rui goes home together with a friend’s Tsunko, She met Momoko, the rival at the time of her having aimed as a singer. Momoko became an idol singer and was successful. On the grounds that Momoko has ridiculed Rui, Rui killed two friends, her and her. In order that Rui may escape a crime, She formed the idol group together with Tsunko pretending to be Momoko and others.
(C) Copenhagen Theater 2013
Director/Screenwriter : Yukihiro Kato, JAPAN, 2012, 63min.
Casts : BiS (Brand New Idol Society)
Filmmaker RODRIGO REYES IN PERSON for Q&A after the screening!
“A searing, horrifying, at times starkly beautiful documentary ode to the netherworlds surrounding the U.S.-Mexico barrier” –Andrew Barker, VARIETY
“This haunting, beautifully photographed documentary presents the human side of its incendiary topic” –Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER“An elegiac and cinematically shot poem filled with emotional narration and iconography” –Christine Davila, IndieWIRE
Jury Award for Best Documentary, NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL •Jury Award for Best Documentary, THIS HUMAN WORLD •Jury Award for Best Documentary, SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL •Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary, ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL
Rodrigo Reyes’ provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell.By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the US/Mexico border, the filmmaker reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film, in the auteur tradition of camera-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.
PURGATORIO was shot in the fall of 2011 over 4 weeks with a crew of three, on a documentary-making road trip in a dilapidated Ford Van, meandering through back roads and highways from Tijuana to Big Bend National Park. It was a trip full of unforgettable anecdotes:The production vehicle became stranded in the desert dunes of Yuma, forcing the crew to hike several miles deep with temperatures over 100 degrees and hoisting all their gear, just so that they could capture the perfect shot of the border fence rising from the sand like a mythical beast.
Nearly a week went by in Ciudad Juárez under a strange streak of luck: no murders were happening. Dumbfounded police officers and journalists swore that crime would soon pick up, as news media reported on the extreme rarity of so many days without violent crime. Lashing the camera and tripod to a 12 foot plastic canoe, filmmakers camped out in the canyons that run alongside the Rio Grande River, dividing Mexico from the US, capturing stark images of epic proportions. These are just a few of the many misadventures that the filmmakers encountered as they made their way along the border. The spirit of this journey has seeped into the film itself, and is one of the reasons why PURGATORIO is so unique.
A film by Rodrigo Reyes, 80 minutes, 2013, Mexico
FREE TO ALL!!
REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books and her first experience in a gay bar; from her marriage in adolescence to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today. More than any other thinker of her day, Sontag was watched, viewed, photographed and stared at. She was gazed at, and she looked back, very carefully, particularly at language and metaphor and at photography and what she called “the ecology of images.” REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG gives viewers the chance to watch Sontag while she examines the world. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG has been made in partnership with HBO Documentary Films and will be broadcast Fall 2014.
Directed by Nancy D. Kates, 100 Minutes, U.S.A., 2014
Drawing on the concept that the first 21 years defines the career of an artist, this feature-length doc explores Linklater’s career from the trailblazing, Gen-X-On-Parade, SLACKER to his time-elapsing, box-office bonanza, BOYHOOD. Made by Paste Magazine’s Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood, the film offers blunt, unvarnished perspectives on his collaborative method, motivation, and directorial style from the likes of Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Kevin Smith, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Jason Reitman, Julie Delpy, Jay Duplass and others, opining between an abundant treasure trove of undeniably entertaining clips. USA. 2014. 78 mins.
NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations. In the 2nd season of the series, we introduce Japanese cinema themed with Music.
This is a documentary about Japan’s law regulating entertainments.
Noon, a venerable Osaka club, was busted in April 2012 for violating Japan’s law regulating entertainment establishments. Eight were arrested in the case, their charges being that the club allowed approximately 20 people to dance on its premises “without permission.” The law regulating entertainment businesses makes it illegal to allow patrons to dance, but the law went into effect in 1948, and in many ways is out of step with contemporary society. The 65-year-old law was created when so-called dance clubs were used as hotbeds of prostitution. This documentary covers the music event held in July of the same year by over 90 artist teams, who rallied in protest. This film delves into problems in Japan’s music industry with interviews of performers like Ito Seiko and Hanaregumi, who have their doubts about the law.
Directed by Moriro Miyamoto, 93mins., 2013, JAPAN, English Subtitled.
SAVE THE CLUB NOON」Production Committee.