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Bushwick Film Festival will launch its inaugural year of New Media Programming at this years festival. Our vision, at BFF New Media, is to support, nurture, and present creators and their audience, who expand story-telling by forging connections between cultural production and technology.
This years program includes panels, interactive & immersive projects, web series, and select documentary and fiction narratives that use technology to enable user generated content and create participatory experiences. The core ideas embedded in these projects is a strong focus on a social, political or environmental issue.
PANEL: SHIFTING STORYSCAPES ( 2-3:30 PM)
Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion - Frank Rose is the author of The Art of Immersion, a book about storytelling in the digital age that has been called “compelling” by The Guardian, “terrific” by FilmMaker magazine, and “essential” by the International Journal of Advertising. He speaks frequently about the impact of technology on entertainment, advertising, and society, a topic he covered for more than a decade as a contributing editor at Wired and a contributing writer at Fortune before that.
Ingrid Kopp, Tribeca Interactive - Ingrid Kopp is Director of Digital Initiatives at the Tribeca Film Institute where she overseas the TFI New Media Fund. Recent supported projects include Alma, Hollow and Question Bridge. Ingrid leads the Institute’s other digital and interactive programs including TFI Interactive and the Tribeca Hacks hackathon series. She also curates the Tribeca Storyscapes program for interactive, transmedia work at the Tribeca Film Festival. Before that she was Editor-in-Chief of Shooting People in the US – an international networking organization for independent filmmakers. She began her career in the Documentaries department at Channel 4 Television in the UK before moving to New York in 2004 to work as a producer for a number of independent production companies. Ingrid is constantly working at the intersection between storytelling, technology, design and social change and is a frequent speaker on the subject. You can always find her on Twitter: @fromthehip
Joseph Jorgensen, Code and Theory - I live in NYC and work as a technology executive at a digital agency called Code & Theory, creating online experiences for a variety of clients. Until the summer of 2010, I was a software architect atSchematic, where I was technical lead for Nokia Ovi Store, among other things.Before nyc, I lived in Chicago and worked for nearly two years as an engineer and researcher at the Articulab.Academically, my interests include: cognitive science, artificial intelligience, online communities, and behavioral economics.
Ari Kuschnir, Mssng Peces - Ari Kuschnir is the co-founder, CEO and Executive Producer of m ss ng p eces – a Brooklyn based creative production company inspired by the limitless potential of technology, storytelling and the web. Ari has been leading, advising and completing creative video projects that matter to him and his community since 2005. His tireless passion for blazing trails has lead to collaborations with TED, GE, Common, Microsoft, Red Cross, Vimeo, Intel, Amex, The Climate Reality Project, and some of the world’s leading artists, agencies and organizations. He has been featured in the Creativity 50, Sundance Channel’s “New Revolutionaries,” Adweek's "Portraits". He is one of the industry Advocates for TED's Ads Worth Spreading, on the board of the Future of Storytelling and a judge for the Art Director's Club. Ari consistently strives to push himself and his team to create conversation-shifting pieces that impact the world.
Hal Siegal, Murmur Co - Hal's body of work represents a unique blend of storytelling, visual design, interaction design and usability. As a partner at Murmur, he wrote, designed and directed HIM, HER AND THEM, the first ever social film, and directed the interactive music video TELL ME WHAT YOU REALLY WANT for the indie rock band Jets Overhead. He also lead the visual design of the interactive documentaries IMMIGRANT NATION and THE AATSINKI SEASON. Earlier in his career, he lead the creative development of internet initiatives for many major brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Theory and Gucci. He has also worked with many renowned arts organizations including Sotheby’s, David Zwirner, Gladstone Gallery and The Pace Gallery. He lives with his family in the Hudson Valley.
FEATURED PROJECTS: (Screening 3:30 - 4PM)
Surveillance Siddhi, by Ellen Pearlman: Due to increased and enhanced use of sensor technologies, big data, algorithms, and processing power, surveillance, monitoring and tracking has evolved to untoward levels. These new apparatuses call into question what it means to be a human being in the 21st century in terms of privacy, individuality, authority, and the State
Using robotized voices, enhanced and augmented visual processing, and surreal and haunting imagery these issues are explored in a dialog between law enforcement and a single individual in a work entitled “”Surveillance Siddhi.” A Siddhi is a mystical yogic power that can include clairaudience and clairvoyance, powers that are now seemingly enabled in the real world due to enhanced technologies.
The video footage employs Videoscope technology software developed by Quanta Research Cambridge, Inc., in collaboration with MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). This special software amplifies through special algorithms subtle changes in movement and color that are not detected by the naked eye. This allows enhancement of things like pulse, blood flow, iris dilation, and differentiation in movement of objects. The results are both poetic and repugnant.
Using as its basis true accounts of the misuse and abuse of surveillance, the story is typed onto a page. A text to voice software translates the information into a robotized voice with an eerie, flat affect. Mashup cinematic techniques are used to illustrate the story. “Surveillance Siddhi” aims to be a series of stories, though it only begins with one.
When The Lights Went Out, by Heather Taylor: When the Lights Went Out is an interactive documentary by Red on Black Productions that shows the affects of the Hurricane Sandy while highlighting the true stories of the people who experienced it and how New York and the rest of the country joined forces to clean up the mess.
Etiquette For Lucid Dreaming, by The Other Theatre: “Etiquette for Lucid Dreaming,” is an in situ participatory performance-installation presented by The Other Theatre in collaboration with Project For Empty Space. “Etiquette for Lucid Dreaming” is the final version of an iPod project. The first three versions, titled “Afterlife,” “Spiral Jetty,” and “Home Theatre,” explored the idea of the MP3 player as a tool for organizing territory, time, and the boundaries around the body in public space. By using the MP3 player in the creation of art, the ordinary person becomes the center of the creative process, as his auditory experience is transformed into both an internal and external cinema. The participant, not the technology, is the star.
Taxi Takes on the World, by Vandana Sood - Giddings: The Taxi Takes on the World is an interactive crowd sourced web documentary that will feature video conversations from inside taxis from all around the globe.
Everyday, all across the planet, we journey in public taxis and chat about global issues with diverse local contexts. The environment of a taxi is both public and yet private/intimate enough to have a conversation in.
The Taxi Takes on the world aims to empower the citizens of the world to speak their minds on global issues that matter to us all yet divide us from one another. What better place than a taxi, a public space where people speak candidly to cab drivers, a stranger from a different country, race, maybe religion and class. This user generated project aims to do just that, present new takes on matters that we all have opinions about.
We believe it is imperative for us to talk about things that bother us, break barriers and possibly connect with others we think differ from us. Only open grassroots interaction amongst people will destroy stereotypes and bring us closer to solving our global problems. And we think that The Taxi Takes on the World can actually do just that, take on the world.
Colorism, by CC Stinson: Light, Bright, Damn Near White, a 60 minutes documentary is formulated from filmmaker's CC Stinson's personal experiences of intra-race bigotry. It explores the issues surrounding the perception of a colorblind society and ask the question does the color of our skin binds African Americans in global oppression? Realizing that this is not a single occurrence, the filmmaker seeks to get questions answered among her peers in the ethnic diverse City of Austin, Texas.
PANEL: MEET THE STORYTELLERS (4:00 - 5:00 PM)
Ari Abraham - began his life in London, grew up in Kuala Lumpur and then returned to the UK to attend university in Bristol. He subsequently settled in London where he wrote a series of screenplays for indie film, including the award winning time-travel short Vincent and transmedia experiences such as Timedancer and Zombies Ate My City which were interactive stories presented on the Windows Phone platform. He has spent time writing with Chaos Created in the UK, Blacklight Transmedia in Los Angeles as well as Fountainhead Transmedia and Campfire here in New York. His first collection of short stories is about to be published in the coming months.
Ellen Pearlman- is a new media artist, writer, critic and curator. She is Director of the Volumetric Society of New York that specializes in presenting the newest developments in brain sensor technologies, the Kinect, stereoscopic vision and anything focusing on volume and perception. Her blog, Planet 3D was a finalist for the Andy Warhol Art Writers Grant. Ellen has been accepted into the Ph.D. program at the School of Creative Media at Hong Kong City University.
Heather Taylor- Heather Taylor is a writer, director and founder of Red on Black Productions. She is a graduate of the City University MA program in scriptwriting and her first feature film, The Last Thakur, was released in theaters and on television in 2009 after a premier at the London International Film Festival.
The Other Theatre- Formed in 1991, The Other Theatre is dedicated to performance that explores the tension between the individual and the collective experience. They examine how everyday acts of kindness and cruelty are reflected in the larger political and social context of our society. They present work that is complex and engaging, whether it is adaptations, installations, theatre texts, or collectively written material. Their work seeks a dialogue with the audience that, while political, is free of political didacticism and easy solutions.
CC Stintson- enjoys merging the world of technology and film together. Leaving her high tech job in 2005, she set out to merge her passion for film with the innovativeness of technology. Her drive and passion has lead to articles in national publications such as ESSENCE, and CREATE magazines and national television shows like TVOne Access. Currently she resides in New York City working with independent artists and non profits organizations.
Follow her on Twitter @IndieRebel
Vandana Sood-Giddings - has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College- CUNY and a Masters in Mass Communication from MCRC in New Delhi, India. She has worked for MTV, PBS and Fox in New York City and was awarded the PEO Peace Scholarship for two consecutive years. She was the recipient of the Davis Peace Project grant in 2008 and the Commonwealth Vision Award in 2004. The Taxi Takes on the World is her brainchild. Vandana is the creator of The Taxi Takes on Terror, a web video project based on conversations inside taxis between drivers and passengers in Mumbai, India, centered around the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Vandana filmed guerilla-style documentary footage between drivers and passengers from inside taxis by riding in the front seat with cab drivers. The films have been screened at several International film festivals, received wide acclaim by the press, and also won the Festival Art deco de Cinema’s Best Documentary prize. The Taxi Takes on the World is her current project, an expansion of Vandana’s film work inside the taxi space.
Julia Grob & Yamin Segal, East WillyB - holds a BA in Film Production from Emerson College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His screenplay "Three Latin Girls" was honored as a finalist at the 2006 Slamdance Screenplay Competition, while his MFA thesis "Que Lindo Es Bailar" was a finalist at the Sundance Producers’ Lab, and one of four screenplays selected to participate at the 2008 Nantucket Screenwriters Colony. Yamin’s directorial debut, the 2009 short film El Ladroncito
(The Little Thief) - which was filmed in his native Nicaragua - successfully toured the international festival circuit garnering various awards including Best Short Narrative at the Arizona International Film Festival and Special Committee Prize at the Miami Short Film Festival. Yamin’s current project, the acclaimed web series East WillyB, has been praised by the NY Times as the "Latino Show for a New Generation."
Joe Wilson, VampireMob - Joe Wilson, tells stories online and independently with the help of a worldwide audience.
INTERACTIVE AND IMMERSIVE PROJECTS: (THROUGHOUT THE DAY)
Sparked by the recent tragedies in Bangladesh (first the Tazreen fire that killed 112 people and then the Rana Plaza collapse that killed 1200), Cat Tyc presents an interactive documentary campaign about the sustainable fashion movement with the intention of educating and empowering the everyday consumer. On display will be her work in progress documentary video essay SWAP that breaks down her journey in becoming aware of these issues through collage, text and video.
Another aspect of the project is a viral video campaign called UNHAUL, which is a one part mobilizing tool and other part critique of the "haul" video phenomena (video recordings, posted to the Internet, which displays items recently purchased, including product details or even the price) to mobilize activists, swappers, knitters, weekend seamstresses, and independent designers with people that love clothes to have space for dialogue between consumer & industry as well as consumer and their closet without the distraction of agendas by brands and companies. She will be on site filming testimonials of sustainable fashion enthusiasts (talking about how they shop sustainably, sharing "hauls" from clothing swaps, showing things they made and how they made them) to upload as "unhauls" for this aspect of the project.
Breakthrough TV (Social Media based Story-Telling)
America 2049 is Breakthrough's first-of-its-kind transmedia thriller, bringing human rights into Facebook games and new audiences into action for human rights. The multi platform experience parachutes players into the year 2049 to help change the direction of America today. America 2049 is the first game to integrate the world's largest social networking platform with original videos and graphics, clues planted across the Internet, and real-life events. It features appearances by celebrity actors Harold Perrineau, Victor Garber, Cherry Jones, Anthony Rapp, and Margaret Cho, who donated their time to help put a face on complex issues. By immersing us in a virtual future, America 2049 inspires us to build a real America with human rights for all. (www.america2049.com)
Deport the Statue
Deport the Statue uses satire to bring new audiences into action for common-sense immigration reform that includes the rights of immigrant women. Our humorous video -- and fictional advocacy campaign -- calls on the U.S. to deport the Statue of Liberty herself: an immigrant with no papers and a job better held by a "qualified American statue." Featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, and more, the video went viral, reaching millions of people in the U.S. and beyond. (http://breakthrough.tv/explore/campaign/deport-the-statue)
Ring the Bell: One million men. One million promises
Ring the Bell has mobilized millions of men around the world to help make violence against women unacceptable. It represents the global expansion of Breakthrough's multi-award-winning Bell Bajao campaign, through which millions of men in India and beyond learned their power and responsibility to challenge domestic violence. Ring the Bell's current initiative, One million men. One million promises -- joined by Sir Patrick Stewart, Michael Bolton, Peter Gabriel, and more -- calls on men to make concrete, actionable promises to make violence against women their issue and make change in their own spheres. When one million men act on one million
Index of the Disappeared (Online)
Chitra Ganesh + Mariam Ghani have collaborated since 2004 on the project Index of the Disappeared, which is both a physical archive of post-9/11 disappearances and a mobile platform for public dialogue.
As an archive, Index of the Disappeared foregrounds the difficult histories of immigrant, ‘Other’ and dissenting communities in the U.S. since 9/11. Through official documents, secondary literature, and personal narratives, the Index archive traces the ways in which censorship and data blackouts are part of a discursive shift to secrecy that allows for disappearances, deportations, renditions and detentions on an unprecedented scale. The Index builds up its collection by collaborating with others actively engaged in political and legal challenges to the policies we track, and draws on radical archival, legal and activist traditions to select, group, and arrange information.
As a platform, the Index presents discussions on ideas and issues related to the materials it archives, and draws upon materials in the archive to create text-based, site-specific works installed in a range of physical and virtual spaces, including galleries, museums, universities, community centers, libraries, conferences, publications, windows, the street, the web, and the mail. These visual forms of public dialogue are designed to confront audiences with the human costs of public policies, challenging them to re-consider the abstractions of political debate in specific, individual terms.
FutureMate (Immersive Experience Based Story-Telling) 5:00 PM
Futuremate is a gripping immersive theater experience/dating app hybrid.
The world has suffered a cataclysm, and the few who survived must now face the horrors of online dating. To add insult to injury these lonely hearts must avail themselves of FutureMate.us, the government’s online portal for finding your perfect match. Attendees of the “Meet and Mate” seminar have been told that everything is going to be ok, but evidence is starting to prove otherwise.
FEATURED WEBSERIES: (ONLINE)
East WillyB chronicles the adventures of Bushwick Sports Bar owner Willie Jr., and his motley crew of bar regulars, as they deal with the trials and tribulations of living in an ever changing Brooklyn. Named the “Latino Show for the New Generation,” by the New York Times, East WillyB is a fresh new comedy which explores the humors and tensions when cultures collide in the face of gentrification.
Learn more at: www.eastwillyb.com
Vampire Mob mixes comedy, drama and action in a series with a 21-member cast that includes Emmy-winner Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons), Tony-winner Rae Allen (The Sopranos), Chris Mulkey (Boardwalk Empire), Kirsten Vansgness (Criminal Minds) and Retta (Parks and Recreation).
The original series follows mafia hitman Don Grigioni (John Colella) who thought he had the solution to his problems, become a vampire. After biting his wife Annie, (Reamy Hall) who then bites her mother, Virginia (Marcia Wallace) Don’s problems get worse when his mother-in-law moves in, for eternity.
Learn more at: www.vampiremob.com
Awkward Black Girl
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) is a monthly, 10‐minute web series chronicling the life, loves and laughs of “J” ( creator and star Issa Rae) —a lovable, twenty‐something misfit. ABG made its debut in February 2011, giving audiences a glimpse into J’s often‐hilarious interactions with a diverse ensemble of friends and co‐workers. With each episode, the show puts a spotlight on life’s awkward encounters as seen through the eyes of J, a refreshingly unique and relatable character whose presence is not typically seen on screen. In its second season, ABG (with backing from Pharrell Williams’ “I am OTHER”, continues to serve up laughs through J’s mishaps and successes in work and love.
Learn more at: www.awkwardblackgirl.com