57 Degrees North

57 Degrees NorthNick Jones, 2014, 14 min

Saturday 9/20
Program II starts: 7:20pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2013 Buy Tickets

57 Degrees North was inspired by a trip to the Isle of Skye. I was blown away by the sheer scale of the landscape and the attitudes and lifestyles of the people that lived there. The Islanders embodied a quality very different from that found in residents of cities. In contrast to life in large cities, where people are often close in proximity but quite isolated, the islanders were geographically isolated but very well connected to each other and their environments. With this in mind, I set out to explore one of the most remote areas of the United Kingdom: The Outer Hebrides. I was in search of people that had a real connection to nature, often relying on the land and sea for food and fuel.

Issues such as global warming, climate change and overfishing are modern symptoms of an over expanding population. The industrialization of food supplies was a humanistic approach to meet the demands of the expanding population; this however has had a dramatic effect on the natural world.
The fight against overfishing in particular is a cause I feel very passionate about. Despite the fact that fish is the daily source of protein for 1.2 billion people, it is predicted that in less than 50 years, there will be a total collapse of all types of fishing, and this does not look likely to change.

We, in the city, are some of the worst offenders in the overfishing devastation and since we are almost completely disconnected from the sources of our food, we are generally ignorant to the scale of the problem The city consumer demands cheaper produce which places a heavy burden on fish stocks. Poor legislation and corrupt or poor advised fishing policies such as bi-catch have resulted in a completely unsustainable industry. This is not simply problematic as a source of food but as a much more harrowing ecological disaster for the entire planet.

Living in a city, I wanted to explore the impact of of our demands in order to gauge a true estimation of the situation and explore an alternative way of life – where people live much closer to the source of their own survival, and in turn have a different respect for it.” -Nick Jones

A2-B-C

A2-B-CIan Thomas Ash, 2013, 70 min

Saturday 9/20
Program I starts: 6:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown, children in Fukushima who were not evacuated are found to have low white blood cell counts and thyroid cysts and nodules. A collection of perspectives from the community, A2-B-C chronicles the tensions of a citizenry fighting against ignorance on all fronts. Outsiders don’t want to get involved, locals can’t escape, and the poison spills down to further generations.

Website
Trailer
Filmmaker website

An Honorable Man

An Honorable ManHarrison P. Crown and William G. Utley, 2014, 15 min

Saturday 9/20
Program III starts: 8:15pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Father McCully, an old priest who resents his position in the Catholic Church, arrives at a funeral to give a eulogy to find nobody is present. While giving the eulogy, he examines the man’s possible life and discovers he has met this man before. An Honorable Man builds to reveal the bitter frustrations with the church to which McCully has devoted himself.

Trailer
Website
Facebook

Baykeepers

BaykeepersMichael Lutman, 2014, 26 min

Saturday 9/20
Program II starts: 7:20pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Baykeepers chronicles efforts to clean up the shores of local beaches in Port Phillip, Australia, an area whose rich ecology and natural beauty is put in jeopardy by plastic waste. Spearheaded by Neil Blake, the port’s baykeeper, the project unites the community through an array of programs and perspectives.

Trailer
Port Phillip Baykeeper website

Birthday Girl

Birthday GirlAnjan Chakravarti, 2014, 8 min

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

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It is Ankita’s birthday. We will see her day unfold through her interactions with her family members, her strict dance teacher and, tragically, through the actions of a group of youths out to have a good time. We will see her as a sister, a daughter, aunt, pupil and a sex object. However, the audio of a major portion of the sequence will be reversed.

Director IMDB
Film IMDB

Brooklyn Unemployed

Brooklyn UnemployedJames Arrabito, 2013, 77 min

Thursday 9/18
Opening Night Program starts: 7:30pm

*Winner: Best Narrative Feature

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Brooklyn Unemployed is a feature film about a down on his luck comic writer trying to get his work published and keep his relationship afloat. One bad decision after the next causes this middle aged man-child to reassess his life and build the courage to move forward after losing everything. The filmmakers and producers describe themselves as “a bunch of unemployed/underemployed filmmakers having a blast working together”. We are reminded of the large numbers of creative talent that have moved to Brooklyn over the last decades from other parts of the country.  Brooklyn Unemployed captures some of the depressive feelings that come along the way.

Trailer
Website
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Twitter

Compensation

CompensationTim Gehling, 2013, 13 min

Saturday 9/20
Program III starts: 8:15pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Compensation is about the end of young love and a minor heist. When Patrick’s car breaks down, no one returns his call for help – except his bitter-hearted ex, Sara. She agrees to get him a mechanic – in exchange for a favor. As the two drive north, their tensions thaw, until she asks him to be her accomplice in a way he never expected.

IMDb

Confluence

ConfluenceNoah Shulman, 2014, 6 min

Thursday 9/18
Opening Night Program starts: 7:30pm

*Winner: Best Experimental Short

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

There is always movement, even in stillness. Things around us are constantly changing in tiny ways that we don’t notice, eventually building up to growth and death. In “Confluence,” a new film by director Noah Shulman, viewers look beyond what the human eye is capable of seeing to experience those moments in between the transformations that we perceive.

Noah Shulman shot an array of processes both natural and mechanical at incredibly close range and in a controlled environment, allowing the isolation of the micro-movements that constantly occur around us in a nearly balletic way. The film includes extreme close-ups of everything from magnetic to chemical and heat reactions, but it’s up to the viewer to extrapolate out from what they can see to imagine the larger view that they can’t.

Created with specialty macro lenses and microscopes and shot in 4K resolution, the film reveals hauntingly beautiful movement at the microscopic level and reminds viewers that everything around them is in flux, even when the surface is calm. Tiny movements compound upon each other to create perceptible change.

The film is part of Mental Fabrications, an installation by architect Ion Popian that aims to map the mind’s mental landscape through electroencephalogram (EEG) and 3D printing. To do that, “Confluence” seeks to stimulate particular brain activities and reactions.

Trailer
Film website
Director’s website
Twitter

Escape from Garden Grove

Escape From Garden GroveMathilde Dratwa, 2014, 15 min

Saturday 9/20
Program III starts: 8:15pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

When 16-year old Sophie makes a disturbing discovery, she turns to the one person who knows how to make things better: Grandma. The plan is simple: break out of the nursing home and escape to Belgium. If only the bus would come. Faced with a series of revelations shaking up comfortable illusions about those closest to her, Sophie is forced to come to terms with hard intergenerational truths about her family.

Website
IMDb
Sundance Channel Shorts Contest 2014, Top-ten Finalist
Director IMDb

Greentank

GreentankKeith Rodan, 2000, 18 min

Friday 9/19
Program I starts: 8:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

“Documenting an adaptive reuse proposal for the Newtown Creek Water Treatment Control Plant’s Greenpoint sludge storage facility, Greentank depicts the mission of architect Meta Brunzema, who envisioned converting the structure into an imaginative and much-needed community arts and recreation facility, with scientific waterfront views from its roof. Through a community outreach event, Ms. Brunzema engaged local citizens to tour the tank.
Although the proposal was endorsed by many North Brooklyn community organizations and individuals—as well as the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, which commissioned a feasibility study—the short-sightedness of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC) prevailed, and due to its strenuous opposition to the concept, the obsolete tank was finally demolished in the spring of this year, having been “traded” to the developers for a lot-sized park.”  -Keith Rodan

Article in Greenpointers about the recent demolition of the Sludge Tank

Les Papillions Noirs (The Black Butterflies)

Les Papillions NoirAntoine Blanchet, 2014, 17 min

Saturday 9/20
Program III starts: 8:15pm

*Winner: Best Narrative Short

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Twenty-year old Cleo is taken by her boyfriend to meet a healer, when she unexpectedly enters a journey she could not have foreseen.

Written and directed by French filmmaker Antoine Blanchet, Les Papillions Noirs chronicles the spiritual journey of emotionally distraught Cleo. Prone to losing herself in dreams, Cleo finds herself detached from her boyfriend, searching for a healing process to reconcile her troubled mind. Blanchet coats his protagonist’s inner life in brightly saturated hues, with beautiful poetic imagery of wooded paths and desolate shorelines which fuse the frustrating realities of the everyday with a vivid imaginary landscape.

Facebook
IMDb

Loser

LoserHannah Watanabe-Rocco, 2013, 20 min

Saturday 9/20
Program III starts: 8:15pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Meet Audrey. These are things she likes: conspiracy theories, books, aliens, quiet. These are things she doesn’t like: human beings, human companionship, human interaction. Audrey’s too busy figuring out the intricacies of the universe to deal with unnecessary complications like friends. She’s got bigger cosmic fish to fry.

Audrey’s ordered life becomes slightly less ordered when she meets Greg, a classmate at the local community college. When they discover a shared interest in aliens, they decide to work together (against Audrey’s better judgment) to create a device to contact these otherworldly beings. Will Audrey let down some of her boundaries and allow someone into her life again? Or will Audrey push Greg away until it’s too late? Will they successfully contact aliens? And what’s the point of life, anyway? Audrey learns that she may never truly understand the universe, but having someone by her side can make things a little more okay.

IMDb

Magnus: A Spring Day

Magnus: A Spring DayMagnus Lilleberg, 2013, 18 min
Producer – Munin Film

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

* Winner: Best Documentary Short

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

We join Magnus Lilleberg on an intimate journey into his everyday life as a heroin addict in the capital of Norway. He films himself with his hand-held camera and he describes a tough reality without demanding compassion in return.

In Norway, and elsewhere, heroin addicts are often perceived as a homogeneous group who are outcasts from society at large. Magnus wants to alter this picture by documenting his own life and the struggles he encounter because his medicine, heroin, is criminalized by law. The Norwegian government offers methadone, a medicine that doesn’t work for Magnus. Because of that he finds himself living in inhuman conditions in one of the best health and welfare systems in the world. In partnership with Munin Film, Magnus was able to tell his story on his own terms. His short documentary has been screened for politicians at the Norwegian Parliament, won the prestigious Amanda Award for Best Short Film and been critically acclaimed for its innovative form and its ability to raise questions around human dignity.

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Meditation, Creativity, Peace

Meditation Creativity PeaceCurated by The David Lynch Foundation,
2012, 94 min

Sunday 9/21
Program I starts: 4:00pm

THIS PROGRAM IS OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE.

Following filmmaker David Lynch’s two-year, sixteen-country tour spreading awareness of Transcendental Meditation, which he has practiced for four decades, Meditation, Creativity, Peace depicts Lynch’s commitment to the teaching of T.M. Created by the David Lynch Foundation, the film maintains a gritty visual aesthetic resembling the director’s works, as Lynch sheds light on his relationship with the practice, from creative inspiration to personal health benefit.

Teaser trailer
Website
T.M. Blog profile
David Lynch Foundation

My Toxic Backyard

My Toxic BackyardKatie Damien, 2013, 60 min

Friday 9/19
Program I starts: 8:00pm

*Winner: Best Documentary Feature

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

My Toxic Backyard chronicles one rural community’s struggle to get clean, safe water. When an old manufacturing plant closes and moves away, it leaves behind contamination from chemicals dumped directly onto the ground. Over the years, the toxic chemicals began to leak into the water table. Residents in the area drank high levels of contaminated water for years, not knowing what was making them sick.

Even after community members alerted the Environmental Protection Agency, the site was not deemed a threat and toxins continued to leak unchecked for years. When the site finally became designed a Superfund site and was ranked among the worst contaminated sites in the nation, the community expected a cleanup and safe water, but instead the site seemed to enter a perpetual state of tests and evaluation with little, to no action.

Unfortunately the problems of this community are not isolated. One out of every four Americans lives with in a four mile radius of a Superfund site. Do you know what’s in your water? Your air? In the ground around you? The struggles that this community is facing are just the examples being presented in a system that has failed them for decades.

Trailer
Film website
Director’s website

Night Blooming Flower

Night Blooming FlowerKarl Nussbaum, 2013, 11 min

Thursday 9/18
Opening Night Program starts: 7:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

We often bring flowers to our loved ones in the hospital. And then, in the dark, these flowers become the silent witnesses to the changes the patient makes in their transition from life to death. ‘Night Blooming Flower’ is a meditation on death, memory, acceptance and the passage into the world of the dead, specifically the moment of leaving. The film is also conceived of as an installation, projected onto a Vietnam era parachute that gently sways as if breathing.

Film’s website
Director’s website

North Brooklyn Boat Club Presents

North Brooklyn Boat ClubCurated by Dewey Thompson & Jens Rasmussen

Friday 9/19
Program I starts: 8:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

“The North Brooklyn Boat Club is dedicated to getting people on the amazing waterways that virtually surround this neighborhood but it has also become a community of paddlers, environmentalists, artists, cooks, craftspeople… and filmmakers.  The waterways are, among many other things, a force of nature, a wilderness, a danger zone, a refuge, a time machine and a metaphor.  Like Ishmael, storytellers have always been drawn to the water and the NBBC (at the Broadway Stages Boatyard at the base of the Pulaski Bridge) is where they (and you, too) can get access to the training, boats and gear necessary to experience it firsthand.   Each of these films sees the waterways from a different perspective.  We look forward to seeing yours. ” –D. Thompson

North Brooklyn Boat Club, Wilderness Survival Skills, Lisette & Ryan Cheresson, 2014, 4 mins
English Kills Project II,  Henry Sanchez, 2014, 8 mins
The Rebuild (trailer for a short film), Okke Rutte, 2014, 2 mins
Bird’s Eye View of No Man’s Land,  Robert Di Maio,  2014, 5 mins

 

 

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution

Not Anymore: A Story of a RevolutionMatthew VanDyke, 2013, 14 min

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution is a short film about the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a thirty-two-year-old rebel commander, Mowya, and a
 twenty-four-year-old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film shows why Syrians are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been torn apart by war.

Nour is a schoolteacher-turned-journalist who faces death on the front lines to tell the world about the war. The film’s title is derived from the opening line of the film, when Nour says, “I used to wear fancy dresses and high heels. Not anymore.” Now she wears body armor and a helmet. She is fearless, but lives with the pain of friends who have been tortured, raped, and murdered by the Assad regime. She tells not only her story, but theirs, and in so doing she shows the audience what  life is like for a Syrian girl who is spending her twenties in war as everything she loves is destroyed.

Mowya is a young rebel commander who bears the scars, physical and psychological, of seven months of torture. Yet this has not broken his spirit. With incredible wit he tells his story. With disbelief and sadness he walks the streets of ancient Aleppo, telling of how life used to be in a thriving, vibrant city whose heart, as Mowya says, has stopped. With a great deal of charisma he clearly articulates why the Syrian people are fighting for their freedom.

Film’s website
Trailer
Director’s website

outerspace innerborough (unisphere@50)

CommunitySeth Fein, 2014, 60mins

Sunday 9/21
Program II starts: 6:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

A video essay – critically transhistoricizes Robert Moses’s monument to modernization, constructed as branding icon of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, to audivisualize the tension between imperial designs and transnational realities within New York City and between the United States and the world across the past semicentury.  Seth Fein is a historian who has taught film and history at Yale and Columbia as well as other universities; born and raised in Brooklyn, he lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.  Currently he’s a fellow at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center where he is developing his documentary Our Neighborhood: Washington’s TV Cold War in Latin America in the 1960s.

The Conditioned

The ConditionedMichael Marantz, 2014, 5 min

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

For its 10th anniversary, Facebook commissioned Michael Marantz to tell a powerful story — one of a homeless man in Brazil whose greatest passion in life is writing poetry and dream is to publish a book. Living on the streets made it an impossible dream. However, a series of unimaginable events take place that transform the life of Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho dramatic ways. “The Conditioned” is an inspiring tale of the power of connection.

Film’s website
Director’s website

The Long Night

The Long NightEmma Penaz Eisner, 2014, 2 min

Thursday 9/18
Open Night Program starts: 7:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

In The Long Night, eleven-year-old director Emma Penaz Eisner brings vitality to lyrical lines about communication. Eisner utilizes a myriad of media in creating this stop-motion animation, including paintings, charcoal drawings, and photography. Each shot portrays the words and textures of the poem, which are simultaneously recited by an array of voices. With images reminiscent of the films of William Kentridge and Andy Warhol’s oxidation paintings, The Long Night is a work of densely packed, intricately unfolding audiovisual experimentation and an expression of cinema’s endless possibility.

IMDb

The Restoration of Newtown Creek

The Restoration of Newtown CreekKeith Rodan, 1998, 16 min

Friday 9/19
Program I starts: 8:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Keith Rodan, a documentary filmmaker and resident of Greenpoint for many years began the Greenpoint Video Project in 1997 when Greenpoint was at a crossroads, looking at its environmentally toxic past, aiming for a healthier future.   The Waterfront Development Plan was on the table, opening the doors to years-long issues (and future dreams):  The Newtown Creek Water Treatment Plant upgrade,  Newtown Creek water contamination and its possible restoration towards active usage, the ExxonMobil Oil Spill -to mention but a few of the topics of interest.   The voices of long-term residents as well as new residents rang loud, the meeting halls were packed.   Keith describes in his own words: “As narrated by John C. Muir, then Director of BCUE, the former Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment. The Restoration of Newtown Creek is a wake-up call to reexamine the neglected tidal estuary along Greenpoint’s northern border. Mr. Muir offers a history of the area, as well as a comparison with South Brooklyn’s similarly fated Gowanus Canal explaining the changing geography and waterways of the creek as industrial pollution accumulated throughout the years. The video blends striking images of waterways with images of remnant derelict canalside industries, capturing a glimpse of what was and, perhaps in a collaborative effort between man and nature, could one day become a cleaned-up and revitalized Newtown Creek.” -Keith Rodan

Article detailing the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment
Article chronicling the Gowanus Canal discussed in the film