Film News

Posted on Thursday, June 4, 2015 by Laura Braun

It was just one of the stories documentarian Morgan Schmidt-Feng’s mother told him about growing up on a farm, but it certainly ranks as the most vivid: Back where she grew up in Iowa, she remembers watching her grandmother twist the head right off a chicken for the first time.

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Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Laura Braun

“I became completely obsessed with it and I shot hundreds of hours of footage, because even though it was always the same, there was this slow evolution to what was happening,” says the professor of film and a graduate at California College of the Arts. It also dovetailed with another project on the relationship of parents to children. “Part of it was letting the camera roll, but I had to be constantly present. I couldn’t leave because any moment something could happen, so it became a very meditative place for me in the studio, which is usually chaotic.

Posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 by Laura Braun

The second program I chose was a master class, Cinema Visionaries, with director Alex Gibney, in spirited and enthralling conversation with Noah Cowan and filmmaker Rob Epstein, co-chair of the film program at California College of the Arts. The increasingly prolific Gibney, whose Scientology film, "Going Clear," and four-hour Sinatra documentary, "All of Nothing at All," premiered on HBO earlier this year, talked about his strengths as a conceptualizer and structurer of his works.

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015 by Jim Norrena

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Welcome to Project M

Project M is a program designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work -- especially their wrongest thinking -- can have a positive and significant impact on the world.

Spearheaded by CCA faculty member John Bielenberg, cofounder of Future Partners, Project M is a program for creative people who are already inspired to contribute to the greater good, and are looking for a platform to collaborate and generate ideas and projects bigger than themselves.

Project M has developed projects related to a conservation area in Costa Rica, microfinancing in Ghana, New Orleans after Katrina, the community of East Baltimore, and connecting households to fresh water in Hale County, Alabama.

Next Up: South Greensboro, Alabama, June 8-21

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 by Laura Braun

On Friday, the day after the film is screened, Gibney will be in conversation with Cowan and Rob Epstein, the co-chair of the California College of Art’s film program as part of the Cinema Visionaries program. 

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Posted on Monday, February 9, 2015 by Benjamin Austin

Thor (Þorfinnur) Guðnason and Lynn Kirby

In 1985 documentary filmmaker Thor (Þorfinnur) Guðnason (BFA Film/Video 1988) was just starting his career, a journey that has led him to great success, when he graduated from CCA.

Since then he has made award-winning documentaries with worldwide distribution (National Geographic, TBS, ARTE, ZDF, NRK, TVP, Discovery Europe, etc.).

And like most young artists, Guðnason had many interests when he began his career, but it wasn’t until inspiration struck that he was able to pursue his passion in earnest.

Inspired by Filmmaking

“When I saw David Lynch's film Eraserhead, something struck a nerve in me,” says Guðnason. “I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life: make films and tell stories.”

This revelation brought clarity of purpose, but realizing intent is only part of the process of becoming; actualization requires sacrifice.

For Guðnason it required leaving his Icelandic home, where no film programs existed, in search of cinematic opportunities abroad.

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 by Laura Braun

The 55-year-old Hong is one of the most well-known Korean directors in the international film circuit. HIS Films depict Everyday human Relationships, Mostly male-Female Relationships, and sometimes explore larger Political themes through HIS unique aesthetic style, Which avoids the cliche. Born in Seoul, Hong studied film at Seoul's Chung-Ang University, the California College of Arts and Crafts , and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by Laura Braun

When I wrote my recent feature Test I ignored the usual advice about screenwriting structure. It was a leap of faith and an experiment in not knowing. Compared to earlier writing experiences (a co-written first feature, The New Twenty, and two other scripts that didn’t get made), the process may have been difficult, but it felt right. In addition to letting myself not know the story until after it was written, I also ignored standard industry orthodoxy about keeping description to a minimum. I wanted a movie with long sequences that had no dialogue, that depended on image and sound.

Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Thinking about writing a screenplay? First talk to CCA Film faculty member Chris Mason Johnson -- that's what Filmmaker Magazine did in its recent article "Thinking About Screenwriting in a New (Old) Way Or: A Call To Arms!"

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Cheryl Dunye and Kingston Farady discuss BLACK IS BLUE

Cheryl Dunye, previous Film faculty and current graduate advisor, earned the audience award for Best Short Film for Black Is Blue (2014) at this year's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (produced by Frameline), which ran from June 19 to 29.