Boingboing.net has a review up today of FLOW: For the Love Of Water, which is one of the confirmed films in this year’s festival. The review is actually from April, but they’re running it again because of the film’s DC premiere. Here is a snippet…
Global water profiteering is at the center of a global healthcare crisis that kills more people than AIDS or malaria. The film shows the grim reality of water in Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the USA. The mortality is awful, and not just from bad water or no water — also from police forces in states like Bolivia who go to war against people whose water supply has been sold to foreign multinationals who are reaping windfall profits while they die.
In the US and Europe, the bottled water industry pulls in billions to sell products that are more contaminated and toxic than what comes out of the tap. The result is a gigantic mountain of empty plastic bottles that toxify the environment — and three times more money spent on bottled water than it would take to solve the world’s real water crisis. The companies like Nestle that pump out our aquifers use private investigators to harass people who sign petitions to stop them from pumping.
But it’s not all doom and gloom — low-cost, sustainable purification technologies like ultraviolet water-health run by village cooperatives can make dramatic development differences for the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world, who are able to maintain their own systems without foreign involvement. Local activists all over the world and fighting back and winning public, non-profit ownership of their waterworks.
I found this YouTube clip the other day when a Google Alert I have set up for the festival showed up in my inbox. It’s an interview that Fran Stoddard did with filmmakers Samuel Whatley and Karman Piland at the 1994 Vermont International Film Festival. Their animated short, Existence of Man, played at the festival that year and they traveled up from Charleston, South Carolina in support of the film…
The 2008 Vermont International Film Festival is coming!
This year, we have partnered with Palace 9 and will be featuring an array of independent and foreign films there as well as the Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center on the waterfront in Burlington.
The film line-up is coming together. I’m personally excited to see Happy Go Lucky at the festival. Mike Leigh is one of my favorite filmmakers and his charming — and sometimes dark — slices of British life are wonderful. Happy Go Lucky appears to be a return to form for Leigh, whose recent films Topsy Turvy and Vera Drake were specific period pieces.
All the fun happens October 23-26. Watch this space for news and updates.
This year’s festival is coming to a close. It’s been a great week, with lots of amazing films and some good discussions.
We’re already thinking about next year’s festival and we know a bunch of changes that we need to make for next time around, but in general, I think we’re headed in the right direction. That said, we’d love some feedback. If you attended the festival (or even f you didn’t), please send us a note telling us what you’d like to see next time around. What worked for you this year? What didn’t? The festival has to work for the film audiences or we’re not doing our jobs correctly.
We would really like to get more people in the doors of the theaters — not just to help pay for the festival, but because we really believe in the films we’re presenting and we want them to get exposed to the largest possible audience. What do you think it will take to get lines out the door at these films? Let us know! Feel free to leave a comment under this blog post or email the festival directly.
Thanks to all of our sponsors and festival-goers. We’ll see you next fall, and hopefully tonight at the closing party at American Flatbread.
Last night VtIFF and the Vermont Film Commission held an awards reception at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center to present the annual James Goldstone Award and a series of awards to some excellent student filmmakers.
First up was the James Goldstone Award, presented annually by the Vermont Film Commission to honor “an emerging Vermont filmmaker.” This year’s award went to — and this is somewhat awkward — me. My film, Digital Pamphleteer, about Essex Junction political blogger Steve Benen, took home the certificate and a $500 check to boot. I am deeply honored by the commission’s recognition and I plan on spending the money on a feature documentary that I’m trying to finish.
Also presented at the reception were the 2007 Vermont International Film Festival Student Showcase Awards. According to the festival’s official release…
The films were screened by a panel of student judges representing 4 of the 5 schools participating in the showcase. The students screened films from 11 am – 3 pm on Friday, 10/12/07. Subsequent to the screening, and fueled with pizza, the panel discussed each film. Orly Yadin, filmmaker and Managing Director of Footage Farm, a historical footage collection, worked closely with the judges to develop criteria for their decisions.
The awards were announced at a reception hosted by the Vermont Film Commission. The 5 winners will each receive an Avid Media Composer software package donated by Avid.
The following awards were presented:
Best Documentary and Overall Winner of Best Student Film
“What I Do Has to be Great”, Kelsey Eichorn, Middlebury College
For its beautiful cinematography and compelling insight into its subject matter
Best Narrative Film “Boy Wonder”, Craig Hildebrand, Burlington College
For it’s witty , intelligent screenplay and excellent acting
Best Experimental Film “Improvisation”, Michael Everett, UVM
For its flawless integration of music and images within an experimental form
Best Animation “Paws Off”, Ray Bergeron, Champlain
For its sophisticated use of 3D animation, especially involving the water effects
Overall Runner-up “Morning After”, Gef Bove, UVM
For its excellent camerawork and inventive use of sound effects
“In Translation”, Astri Von Arbin Ahlander, Middlebury
“Montage”, Elezabeth Rossano, UVM
Congratulations to all of the winners!