Film News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Visit source »

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 by Jim Norrena

In December 2012, luminary filmmaker Werner Herzog (third from right) taught a Film master class at CCA.

Last fall, on December 4, 2012, the Film Program, in association with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, brought renowned German film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and opera director Werner Herzog to California College of the Arts as a featured guest in its Cinema Visionaries lecture series.

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by Allison Byers

When we asked the 2013 Tribeca filmmakers what schools they went to, we were not expecting such a diverse crop of responses. While a fair number did not attend film school, NYU was heartily represented. Boston University, Tel Avivi University and the program at University of Florida (now at Wake Forest) all were fairly well represented. Compare this list to the Sundance filmmakers from earlier this year.

Visit source »

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Allison Byers

I went to Middlebury College (BA) and California College of the Arts (MFA). I started out as a visual artist - a painter, sculptor and multimedia artist - before I started to make films professionally. But, inspired by my father and my grandmother (Marian), who were both avid family archivists, I have been behind the camera creating and filming from a very young age.

Visit source »

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2013 by

"Three hours of sitting in a chair and kissing my girlfriend seemed like an amusing thing to get paid for," muses Susannah Magers (MA Curatorial Practice 2011), reminiscing about the work-study position that she’ll probably always remember as one of the oddest jobs of her career.

Between 2007 and 2012, Magers and dozens of other CCA undergrad and grad students got paid by the college to serve as interpreters of artworks by the contemporary art phenom Tino Sehgal. The Sehgal artworks were presented one at a time, continuously over those six years, at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, in conjunction with its regular exhibition programming. The participating students all had to audition, and then, if selected, went through a rigorous training and worked many hours a week for the 12-week duration of the piece.

Often the works called for interactions with gallery visitors that were deliberately disjunctive -- somewhere between pranksterism and institutional critique -- and surprising to many attendees, who showed up expecting a nice, sedate gallery experience rather than some kind of live intervention.

For some of the students it was a thrilling brush with fame in the form of an international art star. For others it was just another (albeit pretty out-there) work-study gig. A few finished their first day in tears. And many came away from the experience with their own artistic or curatorial practice forever changed.