October – December 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.
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.
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)
Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself.
Following up his critically acclaimed The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry scripts a complex, intimate, and highly idiosyncratic comedy filled with New Yorkers living their lives somewhere between individuality and isolation. Jason Schwartzman leads an impressive cast, including Elisabeth Moss, Krysten Ritter, and Jonathan Pryce, balancing Perry’s quick-witted dialogue and their characters’ painful, personal truths. With narration by Eric Bogosian, we switch perspectives as seasons and attitudes change, offering a literary look into the lives of these individuals and the triumph of reality over the human spirit.
Directed by Alex Ross Perry 108 min. U.S.A. 2014
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
YOUNG ONES is set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from political to inter persona. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm lives on this harsh frontier with his children. He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But his daughter’s boyfriend has grander designs. A futuristic western that inventively layers Greek tragedy over an ethereal narrative that’s steeped deeply in the values of the American West. Written & directed by Jake Paltrow. With Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Digital. USA. 2014. 100 Minutes.
Elliot Lavine and Don Malcolm proudly present a stellar four- day festival of Gallic noir, twelve dazzling noir films featuring works by famed directors like Melville and Clouzot as well as films from equally talented but somewhat less widely known group of filmmakers such as Julien Duvivier, Jacques Becker, Robert Hossein, and Claude Autant-Lara. The big Roxie screen will glisten with unimaginable star power provided by Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret, Brigitte Bardot, and 1950s French glamour couple Robert Hossein and Marina Vlady.
Most of these exciting films have been absent from US movie screens for decades and we are indeed honored to be hosting this incredible event. Be watching the Roxie website for a complete schedule of films!
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.
I heard Mizue is making animation. How exciting! I can’t wait to see!!
—Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Internationally Noteworthy, Japanese Animation Creator : Mirai Mizue! His works have been screened and judged at many international film festivals and he continues to forge the future of the Japanese independent animation scene. Since 2002, he has been creating abstract animations, known as his ‘cell animations’, in which cell structures form the central motif.
In 2011, Modern No.2 was nominated to the Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival and to the Spectrum section at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, enthralling audiences with its vivid colors and dynamic, delicate movements synchronized with music. In 2012, Modern No.2 won the SACEM Award for Original Music Prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the world’s biggest animation festival. With his vast experience and boundless energy, Mizue is in his prime as a filmmaker.
In “WONDER FULL!!”, a film that Mirai selected and joined some films from his works himself will be screened.
Getting this pleasant opportunity to show many of my films first time, I take into account of the order, music and screen size of my works since 2003 to make those like one long-animation film. I believe it will help you to enjoy and understand all films naturally and smoothly.
(As life and death is never-ending and have existed since extremely long time ago, it is probably just one tiny piece what I can feel.)
Our body is composed of over 60 trillion cells. Surprisingly, it is way much more than the number of all stars in the solar system. Needless to say, each of our cells is alive and both life and death take place for each cell again and again and again until our lives will end. The world is always full of WONDER.
If you feel wonder, miracle, surprise, and a mass of happiness through my masterpiece, I am very much satisfied.
■JAM– The sound is piled up. The image is piled up as well. Before long, the screen becomes chaotic.
■FANTASTIC CELL– This animation is Mirai Mizue’s debut film.vThe birth of ‘cell animations’.
■METROPOLIS– This film was requested from the Seoul International Cartoon And Animation Festival, and produced for the appeal of Seoul City, South Korea.
■TATAMP– Each living object has its own sound.a Thus the sounds varied when there are more living objects. It becomes chaotic, and at the same time, melodic.
■TRIP! TRAP!– An expression of a chaotic world. A mixture of different techniques.Graduation film.
■MODERN– The hexahedron keeps changing shape. Besides, anything doesn’t happen.
■LOST UTOPIA– The tale of the Biblical Adam and Eve is used as the motif in this anthropomorphic phantasmagoria of animated images.
■DEVOUR DINNE– Various dinners made with different living things…
■Adamski– A subjective view of an UFO. Shot frame-by-frame along the Tama River.
■AND AND– It is born. It dies. They repeat. The mandala of a life. Hypnotic patterns by Mirai Mizue for Toru Matsumoto’s And And.
Mirai Mizue Director/Animator
He was born in Tokyo, 1981. People around him was surprised by his drawing a perfect circle when he was three. He started making animation by himself when someone told him that his illustrations looked like it was moving in his study at the Department of Graphic Design, Tama Art University.
His high quality pictures that he drew by hand on paper and his method to make animation by computer with scanning all papers with his original drawings attract people beyond the border or stereotyped animation.
His first work “FANTASTIC CELL”(2003) debuted on the world stage after received recommendation of the jury at Japan Media Arts Festival.
The short animated films he made has been always beloved around the world.
His graduation film “LOST UTOPIA”(2007) has screened over eighty film festivals in the world.
In 2011, “MODEERN NO.2″ was screened in the Orizzonti section of the Venice International Film Festival,
and he became the first Japanese who received SACEM Award(an award for best music)
at Annecy International Animation Film Festival in the next year.
Director : Mirai Mizue Produce : Shuma Hirose Ad & Pub Advisor : Keiko Kusakabe DCP : Makotoya Co.,Ltd./Silk Purse Enterprises
ORIGINAL TITLE ( JAPANESE ) : ワンダー・フル!! / ENGLISH TITLE : WONDER FULL!! / GENRE : ANIMATION / PRODUCTION YEAR : 2014 / PRODUCTION COUNTRY:JAPAN / SCREEN SIZE : 16:9 / VISUAL : Color / SOUND : Stereo / SCREENING FORMAT : DCP, Blu-ray / LENGTH 79min /Distributed by Makotoya Co.,Ltd + CALF / ©2014 CALF