LOS ANGELES, CA (April 16, 2007) The 7th annual Silver Lake Film Festival – Los Angeles’ leading independent-alternative film and arts event– announced today that 18 feature films – 9 documentaries and 9 narratives – will compete for honors during the festival, including Best Picture, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Audience Favorite. Also, more than 100 short films will compete for Best Picture in both documentary and narrative categories and for an overall Audience Favorite Award.
From May 3rd until May 12th, 2007, Silver Lake Film Festival will screen more than 200 narrative and documentary features, and short films and videos. The West Coast premiere of “Fay Grim,” the latest film by director Hal Hartley, starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum, has been tapped for the Opening Night Gala. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, co-directors of “Little Miss Sunshine,” are among this year’s festival honorees. Its parallel MusicFest, featuring music documentaries and live musical performances, will be presented for the first time by ASCAP and will showcase leading recording acts performing live in an intimate club setting, including the legendary Circle Jerks as well as Dengue Fever, 400 Blows. Sea Wolf and The Bird and The Bee.
The awards will be presented at the festival’s Closing Night Gala, scheduled for the evening of Saturday, May 12th at the EchoPlex in Los Angeles.
Special Presentations include a wide scope of unique film titles showcasing various styles that reflect the nature of the festival’s eclectic programming. Selections include an exploration of how cinema and architecture are finding common ground; a documentary – and live performance by national treasure Ramblin’ Jack Elliot; a “re-purposed” feature film starring an early performance by Vince Vaughn; the latest feature by San Francisco’s leading indie filmmaker Rob Nilsson; and, the Silent Film Heritage program, an annual homage to Silver Lake’s unique role in the development of American cinema.
The Curated Series this year delve into many emerging genres in the progressive film scene exemplified by the Silver Lake area. The films in the Sustainable LA series highlight ways to make a positive difference in our surroundings and to take on the important environmental issues of the day. Artrotica explores the continuing trend of sex in cinema. The Secret Histories of Us and Them looks at those ideas labeled conspiracy theories that are often marginalized by the mainstream yet still find a following with those looking for explanations outside the official story. Eastern Mosaic showcases emerging talent in the area of Indian cinema. Cuban Music in Film focuses on the rich cultural harvest that can be seen in the unique music of the island. MP4Fest examines the growing number of films using cutting edge technologies. Art, activism and alternative ideas are all on display in the Fringe Fest series. Family Fest offers youth-focused films and family friendly activities.
The Panel Discussions will be both educational and entertaining. The Film Financing Panel offers advice on many aspects of financing, distribution and negotiation. Indie Writing in a Studio World includes experienced panelists including Oscar-nominee Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and Stephen Susco (The Grudge 1 and 2). Sustainable LA will discuss sustainable urban living situation, featuring activists including Ed Begley, Jr. and Alicia Silverstone. Film + Architecture discusses the collision of architecture and cinema. Get To Know the Guilds is an introduction to the indie filmmaker programs offered by top guilds. Porn – Past, Present and Future explores the history and evolution of adult film. New Frontiers in Digital Distribution for Indie Filmmakers reveals the emerging alternatives to traditional film distribution. No Budget Filmmaking discusses how to make a micro-budget work for you. Using Digital Media to Build Community and Promote Your Film looks at the myriad ways to promote a film outside of traditional means.
For information on all festival programming please go to www.silverlakefilmfestival.org or
contact Kelly Hargraves at 323-662-1930 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to scroll through, here are the SLFF 2007 films:
AMERICAN DRUG WAR: THE LAST WHITE HOPE USA 2006 120 mins
Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Kevin Booth
AMERICAN DRUG WAR gives a radical new perspective to the War on Drugs, showing how money, power and greed have corrupted not just drug addicts and dealers, but the government and Wall Street itself. This comprehensive, well-organized and thoroughly engrossing documentary covers everything from the Drug War’s origins to the privatized prison system, the Iran-Contra scandal, medical marijuana, the drug laws in Amsterdam, Afghan poppy production, the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980’s and the incarceration of actor Tommy Chong. The documentary launches into its issue with full speed: Three minutes into the doc we are told that the main source of funding for Partnership of a Drug Free America comes from the tobacco and alcohol industries. But director Kevin Booth also puts a human face on this problem while enlisting help from some unlikely sources: A former DEA agent, an LAPD narcotics officer, an ex-gang leader, a Republican governor, and a right-wing Superior Court Judge. More importantly, the documentary provides some solutions. The Last White Hope is the culmination of three years of passionate filmmaking. The result is a film that has the courage to tell the truth and the power to persuade even the most skeptical viewer.
DIVIDED WE STAND USA 2006 78 mins
Director: Tim Drew
Editor: Michael Bloecher
Embarking on a road trip during the waning days of the 2004 Presidential Election, the filmmaker weaves way across the Southwest through a line of “swing states,” from his home in Los Angeles to his parents’ farm in Arkansas. The colorful assortment of Americans whom Drew profiles are very much divided in their feelings and opinions on just about every important issue of the day: God, gays, guns and the Iraq War. The interviews captured are especially open and frank, partly because of the fact that people are unlikely to be intimidated by a single individual with a camera, but mainly due to the genuine curiosity of the filmmaker, curiosity inspired by a single, simple question: What do people really think? In spite of these deep divisions, the documentary also tries to show what all of us have in common and what unites us as a country. If you have an interest in politics and America, then hitch a ride and take in the scenery along a road of discovery during one of the most divisive times in our country’s history. Director Tom Drew has worked for PBS, CNN and the BBC, covering assignments ranging the 1986 Mexico City earthquake to the 1984 and 2000 Democratic National Conventions and Hurricane Katrina. Michael Bloecher’s 25-year career as a film and TV editor includes documentaries for HBO and KCET and a nomination for a National Primetime Emmy Award for editing ASSASSINATED: THE LAST DAYS OF KENNEDY AND KING.
EVERYTHING’S COOL USA 2006 100 MINS
DIRECTORS: DANIEL B. GOLD, JUDITH HELFAND
PRODUCERS: DANIEL B. GOLD, JUDITH HELFAND, CHRIS PILARO, ADAM WOLFENSON
In an upbeat style, the filmmakers set out to find why it’s been so difficult to convince people that global warming is real. It’s a question made all the more vexing by the fact that the science world clearly has been united for two decades that the problem exists and is getting worse. They look for answers from a group of distinctly different individuals, We meet a snow groomer who wants to make his own biodiesel so that he can convince local ski resorts owners to convert all of their machinery to the new fuel. But it becomes quickly obvious there are few sources available for such a grassroots venture. We meet an academic who has been chipping away year after year at the colossal wall of disinformation erected by the petroleum industry to confuse the issue and pacify the public. And we meet two “bad boys” of the eco movement who are convinced that the fault lies with the do-gooder approach of traditional environmentalists. Add to the mix a prize-winning, muck-raking journalist and a whistle-blowing government official and the portraits point to….? No vast conspiracy here. More like a Monty Python-esque, indifferent American public out of step with reality. Katrina may have awoken us from our stupor, but the fact remains that too many of us still believe that “everything’s cool” with our ailing Mother Earth.
The Heart of the King 2006 USA 90 mins
ProduceR–Director: Shane Stuart
Producer–Co-Director: Andrew Lankes
Executive Producer: John Stuart
What started out as a pointed mockumentary about Elvis fanatics turned into an honest and revealing look into the world of Elvis impersonators. Directors Shane Stuart and Andrew Lankes found more than they bargained for when they met up with the likes of Mark & Danny (an Elvis duo), Little E (a 7-year old with learning disabilities) and Elvis Priestly (a real reverend who preaches the gospel as Elvis). As fascinating as Little E and Elvis Priestly are, the bulk of the film really belongs to Mark & Danny, two middle-aged, overweight men who couldn’t look any less like Elvis Presley if they tried. Their story is ridiculous and laughable, almost delusional. Then something happens. The doc begins to peel away the surface, slowly revealing real human beings who have used Elvis to transcend their ordinary lives to create a meaningful existence. The film comes to an understanding that it isn’t very far from Robert Zimmerman becoming Bob Dylan, David Jones becoming David Bowie, Vincent Furnier becoming Alice Cooper to Mark & Danny becoming Elvis Presley…or Elvis Presley, poor boy from Tupelo, Mississippi becoming, well, Elvis Presley, bona fide American icon.
THE KING OF KONG USA 2007 79 minutes
Director: Seth Gordon
Producer: Ed Cunningham
In 1982, Florida local Billy Mitchell made his mark by setting the world’s highest score ever recorded for the video game Donkey Kong (874,300 points, for those who want to know). More than 20 years later, Washington resident and mild-mannered family man Steve Wiebe decides that he’s the one who is going to beat Mitchell’s record by reaching the million point mark in the classic game. A fear of dedication and personal hardship can go to the devil! What happens next in this cinematic look at two men’s life dream is a cross-country battle to the death (or at least to total Donkey Kong annihilation) between two worthy adversaries – a middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul – with all eyes firmly fixed on the ultimate prize: Being included as the highest-ranking player in 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Cinematical raved: “[A]as fascinating as something that Ken Burns put together. Yes, The King of Kong is a documentary about bragging rights among video game geeks – a topic so nerdy I hesitate to even mention how fascinated I was by the flick's subject matter - but it's also as compelling, colorful and entertaining as any of the "human interest" documentaries of the past five years. . .an absolute treat from start to finish.” Indeed, so compelling that no less than Bob Shaye of New Line has tapped the film to be remade as a narrative feature.
The Last Western USA 2006 65 mins
Director/Producer: Chris Deaux
Welcome to Pioneertown, California – a dusty outpost perched on the edge of the Mojave Desert in the shadow of Los Angeles. Built in 1946 by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the town would go on to serve as the backdrop for some of Hollywood’s last B-Westerns and television serials, including The Cisco Kid, Buffalo Bill Jr. and Gene Autry’s final film, The Last of the Pony Riders. The town’s time in the spotlight would be short lived, however, and by the mid-1950s Pioneertown sat forgotten and decaying in the desert sun. A virtual ghost town, Pioneertown became a hangout for motorcycle gangs, dope dealers and desert rats. A few of the hearty drifters stayed on and moved into the decaying old west storefronts, creating a surreal 21st Century version of Hollywood’s 1950s version of the Wild West: real cowboys, outlaws and desert drifters surviving in the crumbling film sets of near forgotten B-Western movies. THE LAST WESTERN chronicles the bygone era of the B-Western and the colorful citizens of Pioneertown, who thrive on the town’s Wild West past and celebrate the remarkable freedom afforded by living life outside the lines in Hollywood’s version of America’s last, great Western town. Variety applauded the film as an “exceptionally well-lensed documentary [that] should attact a passel of viewers.” We couldn’t agree more.
Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up! USA 2007 105 MINS
CO-DIRECTORS: E. RAYMOND BROWN, SAYAEL NORAM
PRODUCER: E. RAYMOND BROWN, JUST LOVE
SCREENWRITERS: E. RAYMOND BROWN, JUST LOVE
Based on author E. Raymond Brown's socio-political satirical book, this scripted documentary explores and confronts the complex dynamics of power in our modern society in the context of street energy, humor and high philosophy. From the ghetto corner to the Oval Office, from Iraq to Wall Street, and from Oprah Winfrey to the preacher with the Rolls Royce, who does "put the game down" on whom, the film asks? In a world obsessed with power and money, Brown’s message boils down to this: you either a ho or a pimp. If you satisfied being pimped by the primal forces that drive capitalism, then quit complaining (and go shopping). You’ve chosen your lot in life – so live with it. If you do mind being, uh, “manipulated with,” then do something about it and find your “inner pimp.” Featuring real-life street experts on “pimping” and hoing” as well as rappers Cornel West, KRS-1, Ice T, Too Short, Filmore Slim, D-Militant and Shang waxing eloquent on the worlds of politics, economics, the social scene, academia, psychology and theology.
RED WITHOUT BLUE USA 2006 74 mins
Directors/Producers: Brooke Sebold, Benita Sills, Todd Sills
Winner of the Audience Choice Award, Best Documentary Feature, at the Slamdance Film Festival. An artistic and groundbreaking portrayal of gender transformation, identity, and the unswerving bond of twin-ship, RED WITHOUT BLUE explodes our notions of self-hood and sexual identity through its deeply personal look at a unique and unconventional relationship between two identical twins as they mature into adulthood. In 1983, Mark and Alexander Farley were born minutes apart in Big Sky country with an identical genetic make-up. The twins' early lives were quintessential by-products of their all-American family: picture perfect holidays, a second home by the lake, supportive parents who cheered them on every step of the way. By the time they were 14, their parents had divorced, they had come out as gay, and a joint suicide attempt precipitated a forced separation of Mark and Alex for two and half years. Today, Mark is attending art school in San Francisco, and Alex is living as a woman named Clair in New York. Extensive interviews with each twin candidly depicts the difficulties of growing up gay in Montana, the deleterious effects of their parents' separation, and the boundaries crossed as drugs and sexual experimentation spiraled out of control. Lyrical vignettes illustrate these darker periods of the twins' adolescence through hauntingly beautiful, manipulated home-movies, family photographs, and experimental sequences shot on super-8 film. From Mark's perspective, we learn about the singular bond that the twins shared as children, the hardships they bore, and Mark's evolving perspective now that his identical twin ceases to be identical. Through the power of Mark's voice we hear the story of his family's redemption from a dark past, and ultimately, its revival to the present.
Super Amigos Canada 2007 82 mins
Director: Arturo Perez Torres
Producer: Heather Haynes
Dressed in Mexico's popular Lucha Libre wrestling costumes, a group of anonymous men take on the problems faced in the country’s teeming metropolises. Fray Tormenta, Super Gay, Super Barrio, Ecologista Universal and Super Animal spend their lives fighting for the social causes they believe in, with considerable success. Despite their masks and larger-than-life personas, Super Amigos shows that these five luchadores aren't just out to put on a show. Fray Tormenta- an ordained priest - works closely with neglected and abused children. Ecologista Universal travels solo across the country to protest tree-cutting, nuclear power plants and other ecological transgressions. Super Barrio oversees a series of exhausting meetings and interviews with tenants threatened with eviction in the sweeping gentrification of Mexico City’s working class neighborhoods. Super Animal protests bull fighting in spectacular ways, one toreador at a time, and perhaps most heroically of all, Super Gay takes on the country’s deep-seated machismo to combat homophobia through his work with the victims of gay bashing and the parents of gay children.
THE BOOK OF REVELATION AUSTRALIA 2006 119 MINS
DIRECTOR: ANA KOKKINOS
SCREENWRITERS: ANA KOKKINOS AND ANDREW BOVELL
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ANDREW BOVELL
The second feature from director Ana Kokkinos, this erotic horror story is set in the most unlikely of milieus – the rarefied world of modern dance. In Melbourne, a dancer-choreographer, on his way to purchase a pack of cigarettes on the opening night of a new dance performance in which he stars, is abducted by three hooded women who keep him chained in a room for 18 days. While their prisoner, he is subjected to various humiliations and painful experiences, including rape and forced masturbation. When he is finally freed, he begins a private search for his tormentors that is almost as degrading as his captivity. He eventually comes to realize the futility of his search, and the urge to return to choreography tugs at him as his life gradually falls back to a pleasant, normal existence. But the trauma of his captivity is never far below the surface, and compounded by the slow death from cancer of his choreographer mentor, played by Greta Scacchi. That the director makes her victim males and the perpetrators female tackles head on the subject of male-female dynamics in sex and power. Ultimately, with a hypnotic visual and aural style, the darkness and despair of the victim of sexual abuse, regardless of gender, is at the heart of the story."
Dante's Inferno USA 2007 78 MINS
DirectOR: Sean Meredith
ProduceRS: Sean Meredith, Paul Zaloom, Sandow Birk
SCREENWRITERS: Paul Zaloom, Sean Meredith, Sandow Birk
Melding the seemingly disparate traditions of apocalyptic live-action graphic novel and charming Victoria-era toy theater, Dante’s Inferno is a satirical update of the original 14th-century literary classic by Dante Alighieri. THE first Canto of the Divine Comedy - known as Dante’s Inferno - is retold with the use of intricately hand-drawn paper puppets and miniature sets. Sporting a hoodie and a hang-over from the previous night’s debauchery, Dante (voiced by Dermot Mulroney) wakes to find he is lost in a strange part of town. He asks the first guy he sees for some help: The ancient Roman poet Virgil (voiced by James Cromwell). Dante’s quickly convinced that his only means for survival is to follow Virgil on a voyage down, down through the depths of Hell.
Dante’S and Virgil’s chronicles are set against a familiar backdrop of used car lots, strip malls, gated communities and airport security checks. As Dante spirals through the nine circles of hell, he comes to understand the underworld’s machinery of punishment, emerging a new man destined to change the course of his life. But not, of course, the brand of his beer.
The Death of Michael Smith USA 2006 89 mins.
Director/Screenwriter: Daniel Casey
Producers: Daniel Casey, Chris Moller
Told in a non-linear fashion, 'The Death of Michael Smith' follows three men with the same name, inextricably linked to a mysterious murder. The film, set against the backdrop of a harsh Detroit winter, begins with the brutal death of an inner-city youth; a young man named Michael Smith. From there, the story breaks into three parts; following a troubled Michael Smith through the days leading up to his death, his murderer in the days that follow, and finally, a detective- the man assigned to investigate. As the lives of these three men begin to entwine and collide, 'The Death of Michael Smith' offers an unwavering perspective into violence, loss, and ultimately, redemption. Shot with a budget of less than $600, 'The Death of Michael Smith' is a work of surprising caliber – a film made with nothing more than the barest of essentials and an abundance of passion.
The Guatemalan Handshake 2006 USA 97 mins
Writer/Producer/Director: Todd Rohal
Producers: Jason Orfanon, Nicholas Panagopulos, Marissa Ronca
A pregnant young woman with a broken arm and a dream to drive in the demolition derby, her boyfriend missing in an alternative universe, his father forever searching for his odd-shaped car and a man in love with two women from the opposite sides of a dirt road (and who don’t necessarily share his enthusiasm) are just some of the peculiar residents housed inside Todd Rohal's eccentric little “white trash” comedy for the effete. Think David Lynchland without the random violence and more charm all set in a small Pennsylvania burg. When a power failure hits the town Donald Turnupseed goes missing and everyone starts out searching for him, running into an existential brick wall. To say that all the residents become side-tracked is an understatement. This is an inventive, mysterious, gag-riddled feast for the eyes.
JUPITER LOVE AUSTRALIA 2006 80 MINS
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL ANDRE
WRITER/PRODUCER: MICHAEL ANDRE, NIKKA KALASHNIKOVA
This experimental erotic thriller is set in the Australia outback with only two players in the film. X (Nikka Kalashnikova) is driving across the barren landscape on the way to her first solo art exhibit when she encounters Y (Michael Andre), a seemingly psychotic, obsessive sexual predator. As he pulls next to her at high speed with a video camera, she delights him by sexually taunting him. As he gets more and more excited, she laughs at his reaction. Enraged, he professes his undying love for her before ramming her car off the road. The next day, she encounters him again, but her rejection and escape only fuels his obsession. He continues to stalk her, observing her while she sleeps, raging at her when she doesn’t want him. As he continues to try and control and possess her, she turns the tables on him and shows who is the truly dominant party and how capable she is at meeting his violence with more violence. Filled with jaw dropping cinematography and psychedelic sexual fantasy sequences, this film is a must see for those interested in cutting edge erotic cinema. Prepare to have your boundaries on male/female relationship roles questioned.
ONE NIGHT WITH YOU USA 2006 88 MINS
DIRECTOR/WRITER: JOE D’AUGUSTINE
In this hip, offbeat flick, shot mainly in and around Echo Park, Jake Tarlow (Mark Boone Junior) is a down on his luck hustler who is trying to make enough dough to pay off his bookie. All he has to do is locate the reclusive and eccentric author Hunter Burnell, played with equal parts style, insanity and humor by Michael Parks, and bring him in to sign a deal for one of his books. Jake enlists the help of his friend Eddie (Jake La Botz,), who is completely obsessed with the Black Dahlia, to track him down. Then comes the problem of keeping him under control long enough to get him to the meeting, which quickly proves impossible. What follows is a hilarious wild goose chase through the streets of Los Angeles, with Jake and Eddie following a false trail to Hunter, who is busy having the time of his life with hookers, cocaine and bar fights. This film, a combination of film noir and physical comedy, is a fun romp through some of the Eastside’s hot spots with a fantastic soundtrack featuring contributions from two Italian film music masters, Alessandro Alessandroni and Antonello Vannucchi.
THE PACIFIC AND EDDY USA 2006 87 mins
Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Matthew Nourse
Producers: Melanie A. Capacia, Thomas J. Rasera
Executive Producer: Allison Anders
Starring Ryan Donowho (A HOME AT THE END OF THE WORLD, STRANGERS WITH CANDY) and Dominique Swain, this story follows four characters as they drift into adulthood: Eddy (Donowho), a brash, yet exceedingly self-aware musician, returns home after a vagabond existence. It becomes apparent that his old friends are in much different places than when he left them. Barron, a guitar maker, harbors bitterness towards Eddy and has becomes dissatisfied with his seemingly ideal setup. Growing weary of her relationship with Barron, Farah, striking and tempestuous, is unable to dance as she once could. And Chelsea (Dominique Swain), a gifted painter, is set to leave town to pursue a career. Eddy, seeking comfort and support from his friends, finds them lacking the sympathy and fondness they once had for him. Lurking just beneath the surface is the nagging suspicion that Eddy is more than he seems, and even more to the point, was somehow responsible for the demise of a friend who was central to all of their lives. Following in the tradition Blow Up and Code Unknown, where story information is oblique and challenges us to think, The Pacific and Eddy keeps the audience enchanted by its strong relationship interplay, subtle mystique, visual beauty, and emotional resonance. Variety praised it as “a graceful, atmospheric slice of life handsomely repping a trend of American indie director grasping the lessons of East Asian film artists.”
The Proper Care and Feeding of an American Messiah USA 2006 95 MINS
Director: by Chris Hansen
Producers: Brian Eilliot, Jon Igneri
SCREENWRITERS: Chris Hansen, David Lovic
In the cinema-verite, mockumentary style of The Office, and shot entirely in the town of Waco, Texas, the film presents the story of an otherwise normal middle-class father and husband who thinks that he is a messiah. Not the one and only messiah, mind you, but rather a local, regionally-selected messiah; the special envoy from God for his own hometown. Brian’s lifelong quest is to determine what exactly his God-given “special purpose in life” is. He already has established that it may have to do with lower gastro-intestinal disease. He also is on a personal mission to announce that special purpose to his followers, and has decided to do this at a self-produced town-wide rally. All he has to do now is raise enough money to rent out the town civic center, which is proving to be as difficult a task as finding his special purpose. But, not to be deterred and with his semi-enthusiastic family in tow, Brian is willing and able to do whatever it takes to raise that money, from soul-cleansing car washes to specialized home blessings.
STATISTICS USA 2006 104 MINS
DIRECTOR/WRITER: FRANK ROBAK
PRODUCER: KENT HARPER, DAVID MICHAELS, SCOTT RUDOLPH, FRANK ROBAK
A typical day in Los Angeles sets the stage for this gripping drama from Frank Robak. Kent Harper gives a mesmerizing performance as David Alan, a local radio personality who has reached the end of his patience for the useless violence that plagues his city. After a fire leaves his family homeless, his son injured and his neighbor hospitalized, Alan goes on air and rants against human cruelty and apathy. While he rages, a wave of violence, death and tragedy sweeps across Los Angeles. Six people in the city began their day thinking it was like any other. By the end of the day, they have all become nothing more than statistics, and the lives of those around them will be forever changed. Alan tries to put a face on these statistics, and looks for a way to make a positive change out of the senseless tragedies. Surrounded by death, he learns to appreciate life. More than just a story about the loss of life, this uplifting film is the story of one man’s rise from despair and anger to hope and a renewed zest for life.
This series combines films, panel discussions and an eco-expo with an eye toward showing individuals and community members how to making positive contributions to their environment and empowering them to take on wider ecological issues.
Everything’s Cool (USA, 2006) Award winning documentary filmmakers Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand weave an entertaining, character-driven tale about global warming. Against a backdrop of denial, deception and delay, a group of global-warming messengers fervently searches for the right language and strategy to propel a reluctant, disaster-fatigued citizenry and its elected officials into action. Intercut through this strikingly shot journey are the trials and tribulations of individuals and communities dealing with growing environmental problems that affect them directly.
The Power of Community After the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost over half of its oil imports and survived by transitioning to different ways of doing business. Directed by Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy, this documentary explores Cuba’s transformation from a highly industrial society to a sustainable one, becoming a living example of how a country can successfully traverse what we all will have to deal with sooner or later.
Freedom Fuels playing with The Power of Community) This documentary from director Martin O’Brien takes an in-depth look at renewable fuel sources, such as bio-diesel, ethanol and vegetable oil. It explores the interaction of the petroleum industry and alternative fuels over the last 150 years and examines the global impact that bio-fuels can have on our future, including issues of unsustainable methods for producing them.
Short Films Program
Survive LA: Build a Self Watering Bucket
Elon Schoenholz: Backyard Composting
Path to Freedom
Northeast trees/Kids: LA River
Midnight Ridazz/Wolf Pack
South Central Farm
Not A Cornfield/Farmlab
Sex has been part of cinema ever since Edison’s “The Kiss” was first screened for scandalized audiences. Since then, adult films have evolved past being a strictly underground genre relegated to men’s clubs and bars. This series explores the erosion of the clear line between porn and art cinema.
Café Flesh (USA, 1982, combined with selected shorts) This groundbreaking early attempt to merge art and pornography is a bizarre, strangely prescient film that practically attacks the audience. The story takes place in the near future. A nuclear war has left 99 percent of the population unable to have sex. The remaining 1 percent are forced by the government to have sex on stage for the benefit of the rest.
Alt Porn (Includes selections from several films) Alt Porn is a new style of pornography, eschewing the traditional ideals of adult film. It incorporates elements of performance art and avant-garde film techniques with depictions of hardcore sexual encounters. This program features selections from “Art School Sluts,” “Silverlake Scenesters,” “The Rebelle Rousers,” “Barbed Wire Kiss,” “Eastside Story,” “Girls Lie” and “Man’s Ruin.”
Contemporary Features: “The Book of Revelation” (Australia) 2006) The second feature from director Ana Kokkinos, this erotic horror story is set in the most unlikely of milieus – the rarefied world of modern dance. In Melbourne, a dancer-choreographer, on his way to purchase a pack of cigarettes on the opening night of a new dance performance in which he stars, is abducted by three hooded women who keep him chained as a sex slave in a room for 18 days. That the director makes her victim males and the perpetrators female tackles head on the subject of male-female dynamics in sex and power.
Art+Porn features hardcore pornographic films which artists and musicians have reversioned to create new hybrid works, which are both art and pornography. The program includes “Bacchanale,” a 1970’s erotic feature to which contemporary sound artists have added their own soundtrack. The program also includes “Burn” and Removed, two art videos that also use 1970s vintage porn as a concrete source material, and selections from “Artslut,” a rare collection of vintage homemade fetish videos.
THE SECRET HISTORIES OF US & THEM
Conspiracy cinema reveals the hidden truths about the world and ourselves. America has always looked for the hidden mechanisms that manipulate our world. Some look deeply enough to discover stories that make us uncomfortable even as they lead us to other possible understandings of our lives. ‘Secret Histories’ takes a look at the stories we’re telling ourselves about the authorities who are telling us quite different tales.
Improbable Collapse (USA, 2005) Taking a look at the catastrophe of 9/11 from a scientific perspective, this documentary from Michael Berger examines the realities of civil engineering and the collapse of the World Trade Center. The film explores many expert findings which have been ignored by official investigations and presents a credible alternative theory of the events of September 11, 2001.
The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson (USA, 2005) Written and directed by Lance Bauscher, this documentary explores the life of Robert Anton Wilson, author of numerous books including the infamous “Illuminatus! Trilogy.” Called “a fairy tale for paranoiacs,” his novel moved many elements of modern conspiracy theory from the far fringes of the underground into popular culture.
America: Freedom to Fascism (USA, 2006) Determined to find the law that requires Americans to pay income tax, director Aaron Russo set out on a journey that exposes the systematic erosion of civil liberties in America. Russo connects the dots between money creation, federal income tax, voter fraud, the national ID card and the implementation of radio frequency ID technology to track citizens. A striking case about the evolving police state in America.
EASTERN MOSAIC: NEW INDIAN CINEMA
Indian cinema has been the biggest film industry in the world since the mid-1970’s, yet it has been largely ignored by Western film historians, theorists and audiences. It’s evolution in recent decades has produced films with a certain aesthetic sensibility, political awareness and engagement with India political realities, in which the hero is an ordinary man or woman having to deal with the pressures of everyday living.
Rang De Basanti (India, 2006) This film from director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was India’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2006 Academy Awards. It tells the story of a young, idealistic English filmmaker who comes to India encounters jaded, materialistic students who are helping with her project. As the group learns more about the history of the Independence movement, they begin to lose their cynicism and must eventually decide whether to retreat into their former docility or to emulate the spirit of their freedom fighter ancestors.
Parineeta (India, 2005) This latest film from veteran filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra tells the story of Lolita (Vidya Balan), neighbor, friend and lover of wealthy young Shekhar (Saif Ali Khan), whose father wants to seize the crumbling mansion of Lolita’s family. When Lolita comes to learn of the nefarious scheme of Shekhar’s father, she urges her uncle to seek help from a wealthy benefactor Girish (Sanjay Dutt), whose appearance creates an enormous misunderstanding between Lolita and Shekhar. Angered, Shekhar turns into the cold, calculating businessman he once professed to hate.
Swades (India, 2004) The film from Ashutosh Gowariker dramatically portrays how the efforts of a single individual working at a grassroots level can eventually change the lives of many. Mohan (Shahrukh Khan), a scientist working at NASA, returns to India to find his childhood nanny, Kaveriamma (Kishori Balal), and bring her back to America. Upon tracing her a remote village, Mohan finds himself in a world that stands as the polar opposite to his American lifestyle. Within this glum arena, local schoolteacher Gita (Gayatri Joshi) toils hard, hoping to create change for the better, and defies Mohan’s efforts to persuade Kaveriamma to return with him to the United States.
Lakshya (India, 2004) In this film from Farhan Akhtar, Karan Shergil (Roshan) is a young man who has no actual goal (“lakshya”) in mind for his future. After his girlfriend, Romi (Zinta), tells him he needs to find a goal in life, Karan enrolls in the Indian Military Academy, but his first days there are a disaster. He must find his mettle and endeavors to become a courageous leader in a war-time situation.
CUBAN MUSIC IN FILM
The rich history and myriad influences that went into the formation of the world’s most unique set of musical styles can be heard in the energy, diversity and vivacity of Cuban music itself. This series will provide a window into the extensive field of films about Cuban music, films that are as contradictory and fascinating as the music itself.
Una Noche De Cachao A tribute to the life’s work of Grammy-winner Isreal Lopez Cachao, considered to be the most important Cuban musician living today. Includes “Mambo Mass Rehearsal,” a quick view of the historic Mambo Mass concert in 2000, and “Ahora Si!,” a behind the scenes look at the recording session of the fourth installment of Cachao’s master sessions under the CineSon label. This program also includes “Cachao: Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos” (USA, 1993), Andy Garcia’s loving tribute to the legendary Cuban composer and bassist, filmed as a concert of the great Cachao himself.
Los Zafiros: Locura Azul Cuba (LOCATION?, 1997) The first Cuban-American film made since 1959, this film presents the history of Cuba’s first original doo-wop and, named after the sparkling sapphire on the ring of one of its founding members. Emerging in the early 1960s, Los Zafiros continued to reign into the 1970s when the band separated and disappeared.
Los Zafiros: Music From the Edge of Time (USA, 1997) Music, history, and emotion fuel this dynamic, award-winning tribute to Los Zafiros. Thirty years after their breakup, the two surviving band members – multiple-Grammy winner and Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Manuel Galbán, and the group’s co-founder, Miguel Cancio – reunite in the streets of present-day Havana, a place full of unforgettable songs and memories for them and for their still-loyal fans. Evocative archival films and recordings of Los Zafiros are interwoven with newsreel footage that vividly parallels the Los Zafiros story with life in Cuba at the height of the Cold War.
From the power of digital distribution to the creative uses of new media, digital media and digital film are mediums that have fast become the new creative vanguard, whose limits are being stretched every day. This second annual edition of MP4Fest includes an exhibition of MP4-based experimental and narrative short films curated by Current TV, a new genres animation program curated by Hal Forsstrom, a Machinima program curated by Peter Brinson and a Flash animation program online at www.silverlakefilmfestival.org <http://www.silverlakefilmfestival.org/> .
Perpetual Motion – The Independent Edge of Animation
Animation always treads the genre-bending line of new genre and entertainment. MP4Fest presents the new crop of international animators redefining the medium through new digital techniques and the creative application of old ones. Includes thirteen animated shorts.
Our second annual Machinima showcase brings together the worlds of cinema and role-playing video games by combining the language of filmmaking with game technologies that personalize every aspect of the production process. Includes nine short films.
Flash Animation – Online Content
Every three months in 2006, MP4Fest selected one Flash animation film to screen on the www.silverlakefilmfestival.org <http://www.silverlakefilmfestival.org/> website. During the course of the festival, all four Flash animations will be available for viewing on www.silverlakefilmfestival.org’s <http://www.silverlakefilmfestival.org's/> website at the same time. Includes animation from Heather Poon, Tawd b. Dorenfield, Mark Reid and Sassycorp Collective.
FringeFest is the experimental arm of the festival where arts and entertainment programs on the creative edge are showcased. Sometimes they use film as a catalyst; always they redefine the boundaries of conventional thought.
Catching Up With James Benning: The California Trilogy
James Benning has been making more beautiful, humorous, and thought-provoking meditations on landscapes since Los Angeles Filmforum hosted a complete retrospective of the films of James Benning in the late 1990s. All are still too rarely screened. LAFF will catch up with James Benning, by screening THE CALIFORNIA TRILOGY in May. These films - EL VALLEY CENTRO (1999), LOS (2000) and SOGOBI -- (2001) present interrelated portraits of California's agricultural, urban and wilderness landscapes, each film consisting of 35 stationary 2-minute shots.
This series offers a day of family friendly fun. Live music, DJ, dance, a display of auto art, a recycled music workshop and free trees all accompany a day of experimental and thought provoking short films selected from around the world.
Found Sounds Bahia, (USA, 2007)
This short film from David Zucker introduces us to the Brazilian youth group LACTOMIA which takes discarded materials and makes music, costumes and art that bridges the economic and racial divides and rebuild his community.
Downtime Jaz (Australia, 2002)
This delightful and infectious animated dance film is a ferris wheel ride through family life from the point of view of the second child who must save the rest of her family from itself.
Prince Cinders (Great Britain, DATE)
An outrageous take on the classic fairy tale where the PRINCE can’t make it to the ball, left at home by his big mean stepbrothers.
Boy (Great Britain, 1995)
A boy creates his own world of superheroes as he moves with playful agility through an empty coastal landscape.
Linnea in Monet’s Garden (Sweden, 1993)
A charming tale of a little girl’s love affair with the paintings of French Impressionist Claude Monet and her travels to discover the real places that served as inspiration for her favorite painter.
Lights, Camera, Education!
Fifth Graders from Ivanhoe Elementary
The young local Fifth Graders filmmakers will also premiere the short films they’ve made as part of the AFI’s school filmmaking program called "Lights, Camera, Education!" which serves children in kindergarten through high school. The program is designed as a classroom tool where teachers use filmmaking as a method of engaging students in the learning process.
Hiroshima No Pika (Japan/US, 2005)
Narrated by Susan Sarandan, this documentary based on the award winning children’s book by the Japanese artist Toshi Maruki tells the story of a young girl and her family who live through the horrific bombing of Hiroshima.
Surviving 7th Grade (USA, 2005)
Best friends Kim and Dara endure the humiliations of 7th grade with a little help from a 6-year-old DJ, a 20-year-old stereo, some fierce moves and a rockin' beat.
Skylab (USA, 2005)
In the hazy summer of 1979, SKYLAB, the largest vehicle ever hurled into space is slipping from orbit and could crashing to earth at any moment. No one, including NASA can confirm exactly where or when the pieces will fall except twelve year old Benji.
Deadtime Stories with Mariachi Goose and Friends (USA, 2007)
Act II of an animated Mariachi Opera in Spanglish and other idiomas. Meet Humpty Mariachi Dumpty, Jack & Jill, So White and the Seven Deadly Dwarves, Rapunzel, and the Diva Big Bad Wolf.
The 2007 Silver Lake Film Festival is under the direction of Kate Marciniak, Greg Ptacek and Saskia Wilson-Brown and produced by the passion, talent and energy of an extraordinary group of volunteers. This year’s festival is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors, including ASCAP, CBS Outdoor, Charter Communications, Crushed Planet, First Independent Pictures, Five Star Theatres The Echo and EchoPlex, Karl Strauss Beer, Kodak, Magnolia Pictures, MusicPlus TV, Mr. T. J. Singh, and Trailer Park.