Berkeley Video and Film Festival


If you are going… to San Francisco… Be sure to wear a flower in your hair… but also go see the Berkeley Video and Film Festival!

50 remarkable new films and videos by Independent Producers screen at the 20th BERKELEY VIDEO & FILM FESTIVAL

Twenty yeas and counting… Founded by award winning independent filmmakers who were involved with the “independent underground cinema revolution” in the early and mid-1960’s, THE BERKELEY VIDEO + FILM FESTIVAL was created in 1991 to provide a venue for independent film and videomakers creating works that challenge and confront our notions of “Electronic Cinema.”

“It is a big birthday for these folks… 20 Years! – HAPPY BIRTHDAY BVFF!” – Ed Sharpe CouryGraph Productions

The EAST BAY MEDIA CENTER, (EMBC), located in Downtown Berkeley’s Arts District, was founded by Mel Vapour and Paul Kealoha Blake. Out of the EBMC the BVFF was born… This is the 20th event…Mel reminiscences, “With the support of George Manupelli (director of Ann Arbor Film Festival), who had met Vapour at the Ann Arbor film festival in the late 60’s, BVFF would become a festival of international acclaim showing unusual, off-beat as well as mainstream documentaries and short film. More importantly, the BVFF grew quickly in popularity because of its willingness to promote highly experimental as well as politically conscious film that would always include the development of highly advanced technical refinement and skill.”

Every BVFF as a fantastic event but this year is extra-special due to the 20 year birthday! BVFF will be screening over 50 remarkable new films and videos by Independent Producers. There film,s range from documentaries, shorts, student films, ethnographic, animation, machinima and art films. Screenings will start Friday evening at 7:30pm, and continue Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm through the evening. Held September 30, October 1 & 2, 2011 at the Landmark Shattuck Cinemas – 2230 Shattuck Avenue – Downtown Berkeley . You may purchase tickets there

Here are a brief description of just a few of the great movies to be seen… go to the BVFF website for a complete program. This link will navigate you to the program schedule:

‘AT APPOLINAIRE’S GRAVE’ – BY NIC SAUNDERS – ARTS – 25:00 – U.S. Premiere – Haunted by his past, the poet travels to Paris determined to follow in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Inspired by poetry written by Allen Ginsberg whilst living at the legendary Beat Hotel.

‘BOYS OF BONNEVILLE: RACING ON A RIBBON OF SALT’ – CURT WALLIN, JOHN GREENE, MICHAEL CHANDLER, JENNIFER JORDAN-WRITER/PRODUCER, GERALYN WHITE DREYFOUS AND JOHN PRICE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS – DOCUMENTARY – 81:00 – Bay Area Premiere – This film is about an America that has all but disappeared, when lucrative business automobiles were designed on the backs of envelopes. It tells the story of an unsung hero and self-made man, David Abbott Jenkins, who, with almost superhuman stamina and boyish charm, set out to single-handedly break every existing land speed record on his beloved Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah.

‘RITES OF LOVE AND MATH’ – EDWARD FRENKEL AND REINE GRAVES – ARTS -26:30 – Q&A follows -This controversial film was inspired by and is an homage to Yukio Mishima’s YUKOKU, originally filmed in Japan in 1965 and banned after his dramatic death in 1970. Frenkel and Graves’ erotic homage, has created a controversy amongst mathematicians and new interest in Mishima’s work. BVFF premiered the U.S. version in December 2010, to an SRO audience and had to turn away over 100 patrons. Get your tickets early for ‘Rites of Love and Math’.

‘BRUNSWICK: QUIET CONFLICT’ – ANDREW STERN – DOCUMENTARY – 60:00 – Q&A follows – “Brunswick: Quiet Conflict, a 1964 location video documentary examines a Southern city in Georgia, where blacks and whites were working out their differences peacefully. Producer: Andrew Stern

‘CHANGE IN THE WIND’ – ANDREW YOUNG – DOCUMENTARY -Bay Area Premiere – A carefully guarded secret for decades, this remarkable, unlikely friendship between Margaret Mitchell and Dr. Benjamin E. Mays finally comes to light- as Andrew Young reveals new details about the fascinating, little known story of the 20th Century’s most influential figures.

‘UNE VILLE de l’AVENIR’ – CHIP LORD – EXPERIMENTAL – A work in progress, Une Ville de I’Avenir uses the lens of Alphaville to look at the City of the Future that we live in today. The Modernism of La Defense is the setting for this chilling revisiting. A barebones narrative in which Alphaville is a movie shown on an airplane provides the narrative second act.

‘MACHINIMA: CINEMA, STORIES, AND POETRY FROM THE VIRTUAL WORLD’ WITH CECIL HIRVI – Live Demonstration – See some of the best examples of writing for this dynamic, new medium and discuss its merits and drawbacks with the avatars that make them! Hosted by virtual world Machinima pioneer Cecil Hirvi.

TRIBUTE TO ROBERTS BLOSSOM – Short clips from Blossoms illustrative career as an actor, poet and artist. In memoriam.

‘DEARLY DEPARTED’ – ILO ORLEANS – SHORT – Trapped in her kitchen prison, April envisions freedom and discovers an unprecedented opportunity to escape, with only a split second to decide what to do.

‘BAGELS, BORSCHT AND BROTHERHOOD – ALLEN GINSBERG’ – Marc N. Weiss, Barbara Kopple, Laurence Storch, Ed and Bette Sharpe- 1972 Republican Convention – Miami – Premiere of recently discovered video

It is always best to be prepared … consider gettiing advance passes available at the East Bay Media Center, located at 1939 Addison Street . Berkeley, CA 94704 – (510).843.3699

Remember: Being able to interact with producers, directors and cinematographers is what makes attending a live screening like this a great event.

By Ed Sharpe – Glendale Daily Planet