A wide range of films by UCSC faculty, students, and alumni will be showcased at the 2013 Santa Cruz Film Festival, running November 7- 12 in downtown Santa Cruz.
The 12th annual festival will include more than 40 films from around the world, screened at three local venues: the Del Mar Theater, Rio Theater and the Pacific Arts Complex.
Opening night will feature the West Coast premiere of a new brand of environmental film--co-directed by UCSC professor and chair of the art department Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle—titled Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story.
Documenting a trip back to Beth’s hometown of Gauley Bridge in West Virginia, the 70-minute documentary chronicles the fight to save the region from the destruction of “mountaintop removal” coal mining, a further extension of conventional strip mining techniques.
“Heartfelt, haunting, and downright provocative, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is one of the most captivating environmental documentaries of the year,” noted Greg Archer in the Huffington Post.
“It’s as if Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock crawled under the eco bedsheets with each other and spawned an offspring you can't help but root for," he added.
Goodbye Gauley Mountain screens at 7 p.m. on November 7 at the Del Mar Theater.
Another highlight of the festival is The Motherhood Archives, a film by assistant film and digital media professor Irene Lusztig, about the hidden histories of childbirth in the 20th century
Drawn from an amazing archive of more than 100 educational, industrial, and medical training films (including newly rediscovered Soviet and French childbirth films), this 93 minute documentary is an incisive blend of archival montage, science fiction and a homage to 70s feminist filmmaking.
From the first use of anesthetic ether in the 19th century to the postmodern 21st century hospital birthing suite, it charts a course through the cultural history of pain, the history of obstetric anesthesia, and the little-known international history of the natural childbirth and Lamaze movements.
The Motherhood Archives will have its U.S. premiere on Sunday, November 10, at 7 p.m. at the Pacific Arts Complex (1122 Soquel Ave.).
Associate professor of film and digital media Larry Andrews's 49 minute animated documentary Ownerbuilt will also screen at the Rio on Friday, November 8, beginning at 4:45 p.m.
Andrews’s film is about Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing aftermath that destroyed the community of a resident named Noel.
As Noel rebuilds, he tries to evoke the memories of what was, by turning to his personal archive of photographs and sound recordings.
But Noel’s memories are complicated by the tragic and infamous police shootings of unarmed civilians that occurred on the Danziger Bridge six days after the hurricane.
Originally created in 2008 as an audio essay, “Ownerbuilt” was reworked and has been released in 2013 as an animated performance documentary.
The fourth annual installment of the UCSC Student Showcase at the film festival will take to the screen on Sunday, November 10th, at 2:30 p.m. at the Rio Theater.
Titled Desire Obscured, it features 13 short films by students from a variety of genres, selected from a panel of film students and faculty members who look at the films from both a critical and production standpoint.
No one genre is highlighted in this showcase with works ranging from the personal story of Love, Obsession and Desire, to the romantic comedy of Daydreamer, to the genre-bending Fern Baby Fern Desire. The student showcase is designed to push the limits of the audience’s personal expectations of student work and the world of film.
The festival will additionally include screenings of films by two UCSC alumni who just graduated from the Film and Digital Media Department’s masters program in Social Documentation in June.
Brenda Avila-Hannah's Vida Diferida (Life, Deferred) tells the coming-of-age story of an undocumented teenager in New Mexico, while Dana Forsberg's Growing People portrays the lives of three sisters who reconnect to their heritage through their work on a farm in Hawaii. These films will be shown on Saturday, November 9, at 2:30 p.m. at the Pacific Arts Complex.
Check out the full schedule of events at the Santa Cruz Film Festival web site.