Film News

Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Exposure to industry events such as Sundance Film Festival is invaluable for CCA's film students

What do the Academy Awards, Michael Moore, and CCA have in common? More than you might imagine, thanks to Film chair Rob Epstein (himself a proud recipient of two Oscars!) and Film faculty member Brian Benson, who this semester arranged not one but two exceptional "on location" trips that afforded film-loving CCA students coveted access to high-profile industry events.

First Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the premiere film festival for independent filmmakers; then Oscar "DOCS!" in Los Angeles, an Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences special event held just prior to the Academy Awards, featuring panel discussions with the year's nominated documentary short subject and documentary feature filmmakers.

This year's event was hosted by maverick documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages, $29.95

Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), SFMOMA's assistant curator of media arts, coauthored this book chronicling and illustrating more than 100 SECA Award recipients from the late 1960s to the present, including CCA alumni Squeak Carnwath, Desirée Holman, Mitzi Pederson, Laurie Reid, Leslie Shows, and Kathryn VanDyke, among others. Featured faculty include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa, Thom Faulders, Chris Finley, Donald Fortescue, Amy Franceschini, Clay Jensen, Jordan Kantor, Shaun O'Dell, Maria Porges, and Mary Snowden.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kota Ezawa: Upstairs, Downstairs
University of Idaho, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages

This is the catalogue for Film faculty member Kota Ezawa's exhibition Upstairs, downstairs at the University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery in 2010. The catalogue was cowritten by Ezawa, CCA Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian, and Roger Rowley. It presents work in a number of different forms using older technologies as well as new media. The artist selects from sources such as news stories, lectures by prominent figures, fiction and nonfiction film, and even the history of photography for particular elements that comment on our media overloaded environment.

Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Film Program alumni sustain the college’s mission by shaping culture through the practice and critical study of the arts and striving for lifelong creative work.

An arts education has never been more relevant or more valuable. Today, creative people are recognized as necessary to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. And CCA students, alumni, and faculty are at the cutting edge of every creative field, working in industry and the community, and founding enterprises of their own.

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Congratulations to this year's juried R.A.W. Video (real artists at work) contest winners! The contest, open to all current CCA students, challenged contestants to create a two-minute (maximum) high-resolution digital film (including audio) with “In and Out of the Studio" as the required theme.

The goal was to encourage students to pick up their digital camcorders and highlight their community at CCA—whether in the classroom, studio, residence hall—or away from the college altogether. And the goal was definitely met several times over!

2011 R.A.W. Video Contest Winners

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Film faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby with students at CAFA

What began in 2008 as a visit by CCA President Stephen Beal to the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing is now blossoming into a productive relationship between the two schools. This fall CCA enrolled six more undergraduate students from CAFA’s International Foundation Course; they join the first four students who began their studies at CCA in fall 2010.

In the first foray into faculty exchanges, David Hisaya Asari (Graphic Design) and Lynn Marie Kirby (Film) spent spring break 2011 at CAFA. An IFC instructor visited CCA in August. And Furniture faculty member Christopher Loomis is in Beijing now teaching for the semester.

What inspired this relationship between the two schools and what are the plans for the future?

Laying the Groundwork

In October 2008 President Beal was invited to participate in a forum on international art education, as part of CAFA's 90th anniversary celebration. He was impressed with the 4,000-student institution and its leaders, many of whom have ties with U.S. institutions. President Pang Gongkai was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. Vice President Xu Bing, well-known artist and recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “genius” award, lived and worked in New York for more than 10 years. Dean of Design Min Wang completed his graduate work in design at Yale and worked for more than 20 years in the United States, including a stint at Adobe before forming his own firm in San Francisco.

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Silver Curtain, 1997

Remembering Larry Sultan, Photographer and Friend

In June 2011 Photography faculty members Jim Goldberg and Todd Hido (MFA 1996) discussed the influence of their friend and teacher, photographer Larry Sultan, (1946–2009), who taught at CCA for 20 years!

Heroes & Mentors: Jim Goldberg & Todd Hido On Larry Sultan was published online by Photo District News on August 3, 2011:

Todd Hido: When did you meet Larry and what did you learn from him?

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy
Continuum, 2011
Hardcover, 240 pages, $130

Terrence Malick's four feature films have been celebrated by critics and adored as instant classics among film aficionados, but the body of critical literature devoted to them has remained surprisingly small in comparison to Malick's stature in the world of contemporary film. Critical Studies faculty Stuart Kendall edits this volume in which Malick's films are discussed as individual objects, as a corpus, within contemporary film studies, and within a wider cultural discussion. Each of the essays is grounded in film studies, philosophical inquiry, and the emerging field of scholarship that combines the two disciplines.

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs win the best documentary feature award for Inside Job (photo: Mark Ralston, Getty Images)

From the mosh pits of Olympia, Washington, to collecting an Oscar on stage at the Staples Center. From indie music scenester to hit documentary maker. (With a stop along the way in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.)

Audrey Marrs -- former punk rock musician, Ladyfest cofounder, and CCA alumna -- won the 2011 Academy Award for best documentary feature for producing Inside Job, the story of the 2008 financial crisis. The statuette was handed over to Marrs and her artistic partner, the director Charles Ferguson, by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Marrs and Ferguson had been nominated in 2008 for their documentary No End in Sight about the American occupation of Iraq.

(Watch their Academy Award acceptance speech on YouTube)

The two began working together in 2003. Ferguson posted a job listing on Craigslist for an "assistant to a writer/investor," and three (grueling) interviews later, Marrs got the gig.

Fast forward a bit. Marrs really likes her assistant job but wants more out of life. She applies to and enters CCA's Curatorial Practice Program, but continues working for Ferguson, and they begin making No End in Sight.

Fast forward again. Six months prior to her thesis deadline, she and Ferguson realize that she has actually been producing No End in Sight since the beginning. "We were so naive about the process of filmmaking," she says, "that we didn't realize that 'producer' was the function I'd been performing all along!" The film was received to great acclaim and led naturally to the next documentary project, Inside Job.

Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Directed and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography) and Alka Joshi (MFA Writing 2011)

Blink, a short documentary directed and edited by the talented interdisciplinary team of Photography undergraduate Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi, a soon-to-be MFA Program in Writing graduate, has been programmed into the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world.

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