Long radio silence since I haven't posted anything since mid-December!, so apologies for being out of touch. It happens from time to time. That is not to say that there hasn't been a hell of a lot happening, with much more in store on another continent starting, gulp, in less than a week. Sometimes, just trying to keep up with your own life is a full-time endeavor.
This Thursday, the 8th, in conjunction with my outreach and social engagement work for filmmakers David Heilbroner, Kate Davis and Franco Sacchi for their film Waiting for Armageddon (opening at the Cinema Village this Friday), there will be an interfaith roundtable at the Puck Building's Rudin Auditorium at 295 Lafayette Street that is free and open to the public starting at 6:30 p.m. The filmmakers will be joined by panelists, Richard Cizik, an influential, left-leaning Evangelical leader; Professor David Elcott, Taub Professor of Practice and Public Service and Leadership, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU; Rabbi Justus Baird of the Auburn Theological Seminary; Minister Galen Guengerich of the All Souls Unitarian Church, NYC; and Sabeeha Rehman, director of Interfaith Programs at the American Society for Muslim Advancement. The panel will be moderated by journalist Michelle Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. Should be a fascinating talk with select clips from the film being shown to galvanize discussion. A small reception will follow in the Rudin hosted by our partners, The Fledgling Fund and The Foundation for Jewish Culture. (Pictured, filmmakers Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi at the film's premiere this past fall at the New York Film Festival.)
In other news you might find interesting / pertinent: the Full Frame Garrett Scott Documentary Grant applications are now being accepted. This grant funds first time doc makers for travel to and from, as well as accommodations at, The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, April 8 - 11, 2010. For four days, grant recipients will be given access to the full film program, participate in master classes and be mentored by experienced filmmakers. Two filmmakers will be chosen for the grant which is now in its third year. It was started by filmmaker, Ian Olds (Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi) and Garrett Scott's family in memory of Scott who passed away suddenly in 2006 at the age of 37. Previous grant recipients include Elinyisia Mosha and Cameron Yates (2009), Rebecca Richman Cohen, Nathan Fisher and Mai Iskander (2008), and Robin Hessman and Lee Lynch (2007). Click here for more info. The deadline is the 5th of February.
Also: the 2010 Flaherty Seminar is now open for registration. They are now accepting applications for the 56th seminar taking place June 19 - 25 at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. You can find all the details about the upcoming seminar and info about registering here. Media makers should take advantage of attending this; it's really an essential event to experience at least once. And, Dennis Lim is on board as the curator this year which is another strong reason for considering going. Space, however, is very limited, so making your decision early is wise.
I'll be slipping out of New York in just a few days to spend the next month in Helsinki, Finland to teach some film seminars in the documentary program at the TaiK, the national art and design school, and will also take a trip out to Lahti, one hour outside of Helsinki, to teach at the Folk High School there. Amongst other activities, I will be attending the DocPoint Film Festival representing all the wonderful American short and feature-length films that will be playing at the fest in a special strand of this year's program (the "Family Chronicles") and welcoming American filmmakers to Helsinki, including Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, makers of October Country; Kim Reed, director of Prodigal Sons; Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, makers of The Way We Get By; and Darius Marder, director of Loot, among others. Visit the site to find out about more info on this year's program. Also look for more information coming soon for special events in New York in support of DocPoint's 10th anniversary next year.
I will also be attending the DocPoint festivities in Estonia where the festival will be held for the first time in Tallinn. Estonia hasn't ever had a festival that focused only on documentary film and since the Estonian and Finnish cultures are so similar, Erkko Lyytinen, the artistic director of DocPoint, felt like it was a natural collaboration when approached by the folks in Tallinn. I will be attending with filmmaker, Kimberly Reed, whose film will play in both Finland and Estonia. Much, much more to come on the Prodigal Sons front very soon. The film will open at the Cinema Village here in New York on February 26th, and then open widely at Landmark Theatres across the country through March and April. Visit the First Run Features site for more info and play dates.
I will then be headed to Sweden to attend my very first Göteberg International Film Festival, its 33rd iteration, January 29 - February 8. I will be representing Nicole Opper's début feature doc, Off and Running. One of their programmers saw it at its festival premiere at Tribeca last year and snagged it right away. It will be the film's international premiere. And why will I be there and not the filmmaker? Well, I'll be next door in Finland (and I've been collaborating on outreach and social engagement for the film) and the director will be busy with the New York theatrical run at the IFC Center which starts the 29th of January. Keep checking the site and here and here for updated info on special events happening this month leading up to the run, as well as news on special co-hosted evenings at the IFC that week. Also, look for my interview with Nicole soon on the Hammer to Nail site as part of our "In Conversation With" series. Good stuff.
Let's see, what else? Oh yes, after Sweden, the plan will be to attend my first Berlinale (their 60th), as a journalist and critic for Hammer to Nail (thanks, Ted). Look for daily postings from Berlin on HTN and SIM in mid-February.
Okay, that's the latest and greatest. I have duly blogged and promise to be a bit more vigilant. Back to work.