Blissville…An Investigation

Blissvilee...an Investigation

Hank Linhart, 2018, 59m 52 sec
Documentary Feature
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00 pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

The video, “Blissville …An Investigation”, is about a remote corner of Queens, NY within the shadows of midtown Manhattan and yet isolated from the rest of the city.
Embracing low budget Hi 8 video to conduct informal street interviews and investigate the origin of the name of Blissville, and the character(s) of the town, the video takes the experimental form of a docu/poem. Not in the traditional sense with words but as a lyrical visual odyssey.
 
The video is not so much a mourning of things past, nor a nostalgia, although both these elements are present. It is more about the quest for, and resilience of community.

Past States (Stany Przeszłe)

Past States

Olga Blumczynska, 2018, 29m 14sec
Documentary short
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Polish emigrant – Martynka – living for 15 years in Manhattan, divorces her American husband and decides to look for her new home in Greenpoint. This is a district that reminds her of folksy Polish people and the type of emigrants she does not want to identify with. However now she realizes that the longing for the family draws her just here. Moreover, the district is changing into an intercultural melting pot and this is the last moment to taste life among her fellow Polish people. Martynka makes contact with people who came to New York 20, 30 years ago, completely unprepared for the reality overseas. Her neighbor, Henryk, becomes her friend and helper in difficult times. Helena – an elderly lady living in a senior home, inspires her to create an artistic project. The protagonist listens to their stories of determination, loneliness, fear, but also stories of finding their place on foreign ground. At the same time she deals with her past, hoping it helps her overcome the feeling of loneliness and alienation in New York. In the film, modernity and the past are intertwined by means of up-to-date and archival footage.

Ziemia

Ziemia

Martynka Wawrzyniak, 2018, 5m
Documentary short
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Ziemia (“Earth” in Polish) is a public art project created by artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in collaboration with the Greenpoint, community. The project takes the form of a ceramic orb atop a meadow in McGolrick Park, which will be unveiled in June 2018. The orb is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in Greenpoint and soils from around the world contributed by residents. The artist spent two years reaching out to fellow Greenpointers to invite them to gather soil from locations symbolically representative of their identity. This film is an abbreviated version of a film which documents Wawrzyniak’s journey to Poland in August 2017 to collect soil on behalf of Polish seniors and undocumented immigrants who were unable to personally collect the soil themselves.

This film and the fabrication of the ceramic orb were made possible by the generous support of The Polish Cultural Institute in New York.

Community / Immigration Panel

THURSDAY, MAY 3RD, 7:00 PM

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

BLISSVILLE…AN INVESTIGATION

Hank Linhart is an award-winning media artist based in Brooklyn. He has made over 40 short videos, many of which have been screened across the country and internationally, and has curated several shows of media works in galleries and spaces across New York City, including The Video Poetry Show at St. Mark’s Church. He has taught for many years at schools including NYU, SVA and the Pratt Institute, where he was Chairperson of the Media Arts Department. His feature debut, Fearful Visitation, was featured on PBS. Blissville…an Investigation is his second feature.

Rebecca Cooney has been a resident of Blissville since 1990.  In those early years she painted murals on commission and freelanced as an art director, designer, and baby photographer, doing assignments eventually for The New York Times, Time Magazine, Parenting, and others.  She is currently a photo editor at Newsday.

ZIEMIA

Martynka Wawrzyniak is an artist specializing in multimedia and conceptual art. She was born in Warsaw, raised in New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn. She began contributing to art exhibitions around the world in 2003 and had her first solo exhibition, Ketchup, in New York in 2009. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, VICE, and Harper’s Bazaar.

PAST STATES (Stany Przeszłe)

Olga Blumczyńska has directed several short videos for the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, Poland, where she serves as Coordinator of the Emigrant Archive. Past States is her first film.

Marta Pawlaczek is a grant writer and project manager for the Culture Shock Foundation in Poland. Since 2009 she has brought her knowledge of philosophy, journalism and cultural studies to coordinating numerous projects that have helped to reinforce and preserve the cultural and historical identities of communities in Warsaw, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.

Mitch Waxman is a photographer and graphic artist. He was raised in Brooklyn and attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. With a background in advertising, printing and comics, he now runs The Newtown Pentacle, a website devoted to photography and the local and natural histories of NYC’s Newtown Creek, and offers tours of the Newtown Creek Watershed.