Shorts Program 6: Listening at the 28th annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival will include works by Jeffrey Chong, Kristin Reeves, Laurentia Genske, and Ephraim Asili.
The four films in Listening have specific stories to tell us. They are simultaneously teaching tools and alluring feats of cinematic prowess, giving us the space and time to hear them clearly.
KINGSWAY (Jeffrey Chong, 2017, 6 min, Canada)
Kingsway’s design dates to the golden age of the automobile when the route was once the only highway into Vancouver, but now its monumental scale contrasts with the human scale of family neighbourhoods and storefronts. Architectural signs and symbols overpower the foreground evoking the automotive scale, but present-day buildings and spaces reflect a changing vernacular as portrayed by the street’s soundscape and the road’s new sense of place.
CPS CLOSINGS & DELAYS (Kristin Reeves, 2017, 7 min, US)
The Chicago Board of Education made history in 2013 approving the closure of 50 schools, the largest public school closing to date in the United States. I shot all 50 schools on a 100’ roll of 16mm film while my DSLR caught vignettes of their communities.
EL MANGUITO (Laurentia Genske, 2017, 19 min, Cuba/Germany)
El Manguito is a small village in the inaccessible woodlands of Sierra Maestra in Cuba. Twelve people live there, cut off from the outside world, without electricity supply and drivable roads. Idael, the head of the familiy, his wife Nelcis, his children, friends and brothers. The film accompanies the family in their everyday life. It takes the audience to an unknown world and shows how deeply rooted the socialist system still is in Cuba. A teacher comes to El Manguito five days a week to teach Idaels youngest son. Even in a remote place like this, education is provided for. But many other things seem to be neglected.
FLUID FRONTIERS (Ephraim Asili, 2017, 23 min, Canada/US)
Fluid Frontiers is the fifth and final film in the ongoing series entitled The Diaspora Suite exploring Asili’s personal relationship to the African Diaspora. Shot along the Detroit River, Fluid Frontiers explores the relationship between concepts of resistance and liberation, exemplified by the Underground Railroad, Broadside Press, and artworks of local Detroit Artists. All of the poems are read from original copies of Broadside Press publications by natives of the Detroit Windsor region, and were shot without rehearsal.
TRT: 55 minutes; All Digital Projection
Opening Night: Ouroboros
Program 1: Growing
Shorts Program 2: Moving
Shorts Program 3: Touching
Shorts Program 4: Thinking
Incense, Sweaters & Ice
Shorts Program 5: Sensing
Shorts Program 7: Looking
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers:
Onion City is one of the premiere international festivals exclusively devoted to experimental film and video.
Onion City was founded in the 1980s by the Experimental Film Coalition and run by them for many years. Chicago Filmmakers assumed responsibility for the festival in 2001, and expanded the size and opened it up to video work as well as film. It is generally 8-10 programs over four days and features roughly 60-70 works from around the world. Aside from the competition programs, there are occasional special presentations of new or old films of note or guest presentations. Screenings take place at Chicago Filmmakers and other venues around mid-June.
The mission of Onion City is to provide local and regional audiences with an opportunity to view a wide variety of contemporary experimental works, focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.
Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact. Chicago Filmmakers’ twofold mission is to serve independent film and digital video artists by supporting the creation and dissemination of new media arts works and to serve Chicago audiences by screening artistically innovative, socially relevant, and diverse films and videos.
Chicago Filmmakers nurtures the development of aspiring filmmakers of all ages by offering classes, workshops, and summer camps; empowers artists to create new work through production grants, equipment access, fiscal sponsorship, and other services and resources; and encourages the professional advancement of media artists through seminars, panel discussions, lectures, rough-cut and open screenings, as well as networking events and other opportunities for artistic exchange. Chicago Filmmakers develops diverse audiences through its year-round weekly film and video exhibition programs and its two annual film festivals, Reeling the Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival and The Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival.