Film News

Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Zachary Royer Scholz

Curated by Joyce Grimm (MA Curatorial Practice 2006), the exhibition Thresholds of Faith: Four Entries Into the Beyond at San Francisco’s Manresa Gallery features four artists of different faith backgrounds who are all affiliated with CCA.

The artists -- Lynn Marie Kirby (Film faculty), Taraneh Hemami (MFA 1991, now Diversity Studies faculty), Ali Naschke-Messing (MFA 2007), and Cara Levine (MFA 2012, now Sculpture faculty) -- have each produced evocative individual projects that invite reflection on religious practice and experience within contemporary life.

Housed within the active Catholic parish of San Francisco’s Saint Ignatius Church, Manresa Gallery is a unique project (and a surprising one, to many) that allows local and international contemporary artists to directly explore intersections between art and religion.

The resulting exhibitions expand the boundaries of both spiritual and artistic endeavor, and aim to generate far-reaching dialogue within a broad and diverse community.

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Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

"To me, this is almost like a film strip, a sequence of images," says the artist, Kota Ezawa, 44, who is on the faculty of the California College of the Arts. Ezawa is known internationally for his animated videos, but this is not one of them.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Rivkah Beth Medow (MFA 2003) had become a master at juggling freelance work and personal projects, but motherhood threw her for a loop. Lately, she reports, she’s putting the brakes on working for money and giving more priority to personal projects involving her family.

“I figure, I can always make money, but I don’t have a lot of time to hang out with my kids. I’m committed to creating interesting ways to integrate them into my work.” Her artist-mother role models include Ruth Asawa, whose kids helped bend wire for her sculptures.

One priority project is a photography series featuring the people closest to her. Partly staged and partly candid, the pictures explore relationships, mystery, joy, and tensions within families and friendships. “My portraits function as single-frame documentaries suggesting rich backstories and curious futures.”

 

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Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Simon Hodgson

Filmmaker and CCA alumnus Banker White (MFA 1999) has traveled as far as West Africa in his journey to develop communities and tell stories. But his latest work originated rather closer to home. In his documentary The Genius of Marian, due for theatrical release in April 2014, he follows his mother, Pam, as she deals with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

“In 2008, seven years after my grandmother passed away after a battle with Alzheimer’s, my mom, Pam, announced that she was going to write a book about her. Marian Williams Steele was her mother and my grandmother. She was a well-known artist. I painted with her my whole childhood.

“As her only grandkid who identifies as an artist, I knew immediately that I was going to be involved. So I started going back home to Massachusetts twice a year to help my mom with the book and to archive Mana’s paintings.”

But what began as a collaborative mother-son book-writing project evolved into something very different, as Pam herself started to experience signs of dementia, and soon was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “In 2009, I stayed at my parents’ house for three months, just to figure out what was going on,” says White. “It was clear that both my parents needed help. My mom was delusional and had periods of violence. I realized I needed to move home.”

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Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Pratibha Parmar, Alice Walker, and Geena Davis [photo: Jim Norrena]

Pratibha Parmar is a British filmmaker, director, producer, and writer who is known internationally for her political and often controversial documentary film work. She’s also a stalwart activist within the global feminism and lesbian rights movements.

In short, her accomplishments and commitment to making art that matters makes her an ideal visiting artist (MFA in Film) here at California College of the Arts.

Before she was born, Parmar’s family emigrated from India to East Africa, and then later immigrated to London, where she was raised and went on to study at Bradford and Birmingham Universities where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by Laura Braun

Parmar was given access to Walker's family photo albums, her private journals, and her homes in Mexico and Mendocino. Parmar, who teaches film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, discovered startling things about her friend and colleague while making the documentary.

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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Film chair Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the United Nations hosted a screening of Film chair Rob Epstein's and Jeffrey Friedman’s short film, The Battle of amfAR (Telling Pictures), which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. The film details the story of two very charismatic and powerful women who joined forces to create America’s first AIDS research foundation: Dr. Mathilde Krim and film legend Elizabeth Taylor.

The screening followed a discussion with Dr. Krim, and executive producer Kenneth Cole. The event was cohosted by the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative, UNAIDS, and amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research).

Attendees of the event included heads of international AIDS organizations as well as members of various advocacy groups.

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Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Jim Norrena

What do filmmaking luminaries Gus Van Sant, John Waters, Barbara Hammer, and Werner Herzog all have in common?

Sure, each has an extensive career and has been honored with any number of prestigious industry accolades (think Oscars, Emmys, Teddys, Golden Globes, Sundance and Berlin Film Festival audience awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, Career Achievement Awards . . . even a Filmmaker on the Edge award!).

But did you know each of these world-renowned filmmakers has paid a visit to California College of the Arts within the past three years? It's true. And what brought them to the college? Each was invited by the Film Program to teach a master class.

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Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

CCA has launched a new MFA in Film program co-chaired by Rob Epstein and Brook Hinton.

Watch the new MFA in Film video »

The filmmaking landscape today is undergoing constant changes in its modes of production, distribution, and exhibition, and these changes offer an amazing opportunity for creative and agile filmmakers to discover powerful new modes of cinematic expression and supportive infrastructures.

Here we ask Epstein 10 questions about the program and his career:

With HOWL (2010) and Lovelace (2013), you’ve gone from being strictly a documentary filmmaker to also being a feature filmmaker. What is it like to make that transition?

It’s exciting, and something we at Telling Pictures have always wanted to do. It’s possible to get to another kind of truth about the world and the human condition when you’re not tied to representing actual reality. HOWL and Lovelace do talk about historical people and events, though, so the projects still involve “looking back.” They’re just told in the present tense.

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Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 by Allison Byers

Hong began his film career at Chungang University in Korea, before moving to the States where he received his Bachelor’s degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his Master’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hong made his official directorial debut at age 35 with “The Day a Pig Fell into a Well” in 1996. That same year he won five awards, including three for best new director.

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