Saturday, February 9, 2008

Call for entries: ATA Film & Video Festival

San Francisco-based Artists' Television Access is seeking Thai submissions for its third ATA Film and Video Festival. Experimental shorts of 20 minutes and under on video, Super 8 or 16mm are sought. The deadline for entries is May 15, and there's an entry fee of US$10.

The ATA Film & Video Festival was founded in 2006 "to showcase some of the best short works by independent and experimental film and video artists exhibiting locally, nationally and internationally." The festival includes screenings and installations in ATA's Mission District storefront gallery. Work from the festival is broadcast on ATV, ATA’s weekly cable-access show, and packaged for exhibition in other venues and festivals.

The festival itself hasn't yet featured any Thai or Southeast Asian works. "We hope this year we will," organizer Isabel Fondevila says in an e-mail.

ATA's gallery does have an interesting program of short films coming up on February 27, Transient Vision of Southeast Asia, curated by Kino21. The three shorts promise a break from the globalized "sameness" of everything:

  • All That Nature Provides (2006) - A 30-minute look at the art practices of Luang Por Chaoren, the abbot of Thamkrabok Monastery in Saraburi. "Here, an outline of a leaf becomes a song, the patterns of fallen tree limbs translate into chants, and rocks yield color for abstract paintings that map the history of the sites from which they were gathered." The monastery is also known for its drug detox program. The documentary's director is Cade Bursell, a former Bay Area resident who is teaching at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Cinema and Photography (home of the Big Muddy Film Festival).
  • The Ephemeral Island (2005) - "A quiet evocation of joy - the joy brought by the temporary islands that emerge in the midst of Mekong River during winter season." Making its U.S. premiere, the film is directed by Kiye Simon Luang, a young Laotian videomaker who lives and works in Marseilles, France.
  • Pasang Naik (The Tide, 1997) - Directed by Amie Siege, this "is a kind of anti-travelogue of sequence of single shot scenes, filmed in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand ... Each scene is a single shot, 20 or 30 seconds long, focusing on something that caught Siegel's eye: light refracting through a window, a ring dangling from the ear of a dancer, the shadow of a tree as it wavers across a noisy street. Locations are never revealed, and actions are never explained, making it impossible to exoticize, iconize or inform the imagery with any cultural bias. Instead an indisputable truth emerges: This happened here. Like so. Here is proof."

(Photo credit: Wat Thamkrabok Abbot Luang Por Charoen in All That Nature Provides from Kino21)

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