Poster of One of Us

One of Us poster

“Wikipedia is a gift from God.”

These are the words of Ari Hershkowitz, an ex-Hasidic Jew who has decided to break away from the only way of life he’s known. He says these words with a smile, leaning up against the brick of his drug rehabilitation center as he takes another pull from his e-cig. While he is trying to be funny, his words still carry a lot of weight. Wikipedia is a gift in his eyes.

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slate graphicWith films from the first graduating class of the Murray Center starting to enter the public sphere and be accepted into film festivals, the center and its alumni have officialy entered the distribution and festival circuit.

Though I’m a current Murray Center student myself, I’ve been working for a distribution company for more than a year now and interned at a company that hosts three film festivals a year on top of weekly screenings. These professional experiences have allowed me to learn a little bit of insight on film marketing, distribution and the nuts and bolts of programming.

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Poster from The Departure

The Departure poster

What if individuals were given the chance to experience death before dying? What if the sensation of losing yourself became so profound there was nothing left to feel or love in the world? What would happen if there were a death trial run that had a stronger effect than a near-death experience and had a greater effect than any video stimulation or medical stimulations could? In filmmaker Lana Wilson’s latest documentary, The Departure, she follows Buddhist-priest Ittetsu Nemoto on his career of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. Giving answer to the question that creeps into everyone’s existence: “What is the point of life?” Nemoto’s journey helps others ask: “What makes life worth living?” Guiding suicidal people on the path of finding their will to live, Nemoto is searching for his own answers in life. Everyone in this film is on a journey of trying to understand life and death.

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Headshot of Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey

If there was ever comedy deemed ahead of its time, it might be The Dana Carvey Show. Such is the premise of the new Hulu documentary Too Funny to Fail, about the ill-fated 1996 sketch series. The film tells this story through the use of archival footage and interviews. Some may say the show got cancelled because it was dumb—the very first sketch had Bill Clinton nursing a dozen kittens with prosthetic nipples. But the documentary dives deeper into what makes a show succeed or fail—and it’s a lot more than just the jokes.

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Movie still from Love True

Scene from “Love True”

Many feature filmmakers are entering the feature film world from nontraditional beginnings, such as music videos, and this includes documentary filmmakers.

Feature filmmakers, fiction and nonfiction alike, often enter the world of feature films from studying film in school or getting their foot in the door with feature films–or at least films of the same genre they are pursuing. The standards for feature films have primarily remained the same throughout the years, however music videos have historically had more freedom to break new ground in creative expression with their production, cinematography and editing.

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Photo of person using VR headset

Virtual Reality

The film frame has remained relatively unchanged since the invention of the camera. Aside from a few changes in common aspect ratios, films have remained contained in a static frame. Filmmakers have worked around this limitation through creative camera motion and editing. Despite those efforts, cinema has remained trapped within the confines of a rectangle.

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Director Ke Guo

Director Ke Guo with subject

Chinese film director Ke Guo has directed two films, Thirty Two and Twenty Two, to tell stories of comfort women who were forced by Japanese soldiers to become sexual slaves during World War II. Thirty Two was started in 2012 and screened in 2014, and Twenty Two was started in 2014 and screened in 2017. The names come from the number of these women alive in China’s mainland when the filming started.

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Le casino en ligne est un phénomène qui ne cesse de croître et les dernières études le prouvent ; vous êtes désormais des millions à travers le monde à privilégier les sites de jeux de hasard en ligne plutôt que leurs confrères «en dur ». Un conseil, toutefois : n’exigez que le meilleur ! Là aussi, la réponse est assez évidente. Du fait de ce succès en ligne, il y a énormément de casinos qui ont ouvert leurs « portes » sur le net et qui proposent donc leurs services. A ce jour, on en dénombre quelques centaines à travers le monde mais bien sûr, comme dans tous les domaines d’activités, il y a des sociétés qui ne respectent pas l’éthique professionnelle du milieu, en d’autres termes, il y a des casinos qui sont malhonnêtes. Que faire contre cela ? Dans un premier temps, nous avons pensé que réaliser un classement des meilleurs établissements était la chose la plus appropriée retrouvez notre jeux de hasard en ligne pour de l’argent réel C’est de cette façon nous semble-t-il, que nous éradiquerons les casinos malhonnêtes et qui font du tort à la profession. Alors faites confiance à notre sélection de casino mais surtout, dites-nous ce que vous en pensez. Tester et critiquer les casinos en ligne est notre métier, et nous prenons cette responsabilité très au sérieux. Nous avons ainsi mis au point un protocole de test extrêmement strict et rigoureux, qui permet à notre équipe d’inspecter tous les aspects d’un site. Sécurité, équité, offre de jeux, protection des données, convivialité de l’interface, fluidité des applications mobiles, délais des retraits, disponibilité du service clientèle : nous ne laissons rien au hasard, afin que vous puissiez jouer dans les meilleures conditions possibles
A scene from Reel Injun

Reel Injun

Last year, I found myself taking a film studies course which focused on indigenous people’s role in film. I had no idea what to expect as this was a topic I had never truly thought about before. Storytelling plays a major role in indigenous culture as a very personal and simple vehicle of truth and ancestry, yet throughout the rise of the film industry, indigenous people have been represented in false stereotypes to meet western culture.

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Picture of film festival Q&A

Q&A at a film festival

Richard Brody of the New Yorker has said, “There are as many ways of making movies as there are movies, and there are as many experiences of movies as there are viewers.” You could say the same for the film festival; there are as many ways to program a festival as there are festivals.  Film festivals take place all over the world and showcase work that represents a vast range of the human condition.  And yet, the idea of a film festival is influenced by the earliest renditions of film gatherings in the 1930s and 40s, subsequently expanded by individual creativity.  Here in Columbia, the Citizen Jane Film Festival (CJ) celebrated its 10th edition in 2017. 

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