Tag Archives: Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival

Media That Matters

I have been meaning to tell you all about the Media That Matters Film Festival for some time; I went to see the premier a couple of weeks ago with K and we were both very impressed with a number of the short films. The films showcase important social issues and are designed to raise awareness; the site can then direct you to charities that work to combat the issues being addressed.

I can’t seem to embed the videos here but they are all available to watch on the festival website.

K and I particularly liked The Next Wave, directed and produced by Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger, which tells the story of the Carteret islanders. Their island homes are being flooded due to climate change and they will soon be forced to relocate to the mainland, losing much of their culture in the process. The colors are startling and the film is beautiful as well as compelling. What was most interesting to both of us was that the issue of Global Warming, though at the heart of the film, was never directly mentioned. You were left with a much deeper understanding of the impact that it’s already having without the distraction of innumerable statistics.

The other film we were both especially drawn to was Why Do White People Have Black Spots?, directed by Anya Kandel. The film is simply an interview with a group of young people in Ghana; their questions about Western Society are part of an ongoing dialogue between youth around the world. Some of the questions, like the title question, were funny, while others, such as “why are you rich and we’re poor?” were more focused on the larger disparities. K and I both felt that hearing a variety of questions coming from children was significantly closer to real communication than our diplomats tend to get.

Please check out the films and consider giving a donation to help the efforts of the wonderful people who are working to save the world (it’s splendid that they’re out there as not all of us are of their ilk).

June 10 + 11- It's good to be back!

It’s good to be back! The LSAT is behind me for another few months (I’ve decided to cancel this score and try again as I think I can be better prepared next time) and it is time to paint this town red! I started last night with a fantastic concert at Terminal 5; Santigold was phenomenal! I will tell you all about her stunning performance, as well as two other concerts I snuck in during my months in exile (The Wet Spots and Naomi Shelton, both at Joe’s Pub), as well as the fantastic films of the Media that Matters Film Festival, which you can watch online. Before I start gushing about the past, let me gush about the wonderful events happening today and tomorrow.

Tonight Brooklyn Based is presenting the premier of Food, Inc.; it’s currently sold out but there will be standing room seats available starting at 7:45.

More than just a screening, this event is the grand finale of the spring installment of our Drinks on the Doc series. We’ve asked Roebling Tea Room, Sweet Deliverance, McClure’s Pickles and Nunu Chocolatesto whip up some tasty bites for a pre-film reception, and Brooklyn Breweryis providing us with Cuvee de Cardoz and BrooklynSummer Ale, for a pre-film, seasonal beer open bar. After the movie, director Robert Kenner will participate in a Q&A, answering all your burning questions about food politics, ammonia-laced hamburgers and the challenges of documenting the work of huge corporations that don’t want to be documented.

Though this is the Brooklyn premier, Kate1 and F saw a press screening some time ago and tell me that…

It was interesting – you should check it out! The producer (and muckraking journalist/author of Supersize Me), Eric Schlosser, was on the Colbert Report a couple of days ago promoting the film. It’s made by Participant, the same production company that did An Inconvenient Truth.

With that recommendation coming from my favorite world-saving power couple I feel comfortable saying that standing room will be a hot commodity.

Tomorrow night at Don Pedro’s you can see some of the hottest DJs spinning leftfield disco in the big apple- Cowboy Mark, Fucci, Trus’me and Jacques Renault.

Also tomorrow Adult Swim presents the Summer at Santos Series; the fantastic line-up includes Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, the name alone makes them worth investigating, but this video clinches it:

 Head to Santos Party House to get in on the action!

I’ll be adding a very intense weekend post shortly as well as the promised details of my recent adventures so stay tuned!

May 29 – June 7 (extended forecast)

The next week leading up to the LSAT is going to be a bit hectic (read: traumatic) for me so I’m going to unload a whole bunch of upcoming events on you- brace for impact!

First, some additions for this weekend. Tonight is the first night of the Raspberry Brothers’ new show at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas! This month they will be making fun of the original Terminator! I have actually seen their Terminator routine at Union Hall and I can guarantee that you will have an excellent time!

terminators-having-sex

On Saturday the NYC Lab School presents TASTES: from the meatpacking district to chelsea. TASTES is…

an exciting new culinary festival that will benefit arts and enrichment programs for public school children at the NYC Lab School on 333 West 17th Street. Patrons will sample a broad array of specialty dishes from fine restaurants in The Meatpacking District and Chelsea.

Also on Saturday head to Union Square to experience the Silent Rave! The idea is that everyone gathers at a given place and time (the south end of Union Sq. at 6:30pm) and begins simultaneously dancing to whatever music is playing on their individual iPods/MP3 players. It’s something you have to experience to understand but believe me, it’s amazing! Check out this picture from a Silent Rave I attended last summer:

silent rave union sq 2008

An exhibit worth swooning over will be opening at the Open House Gallery this weekend; to celebrate 60 years of damsels in distress Harlequin is putting on a show of their cover art. Here is a prime example:

harlequin

Starting this weekend and continuing every weekend through Labor Day you can party all day on top of the Gansevoort Hotel. The Get Up Get Down party will involve brunch by the pool, lounging around, and dancing once the sun goes down; you may not be in St. Tropez but you will feel almost as chic.

rooftop

On Monday at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Félix Lajkó will perform with violist Antal Brasnyo as part of the River to River Festival:

Hungarian violinist Félix Lajkó fuses folk, jazz, Gypsy, and Jewish klezmer music to create a unique and energetic musical style. Known for his charismatic performances, Lajkó has collaborated with everyone from Japanese Butoh dancer Min Tanaka to the French rock band Noir Désir. Here he will perform with violist Antal Brasnyo as part of Extremely Hungary, a yearlong festival celebrating Hungarian arts and culture in New York and D.C. (extremelyhungary.org).

Monday is also the start of Sake Week! More than 100 restaurants will be offering menu pairings, cocktails and other “sakecentric” events.

 

Wednesday is the premier of the Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival:

The Media That Matters Film Festival, one of the world’s first and largest online film festivals, kicks off its ninth year with an offline world premiere tonight. This year’s festival showcases twelve jury-selected shorts tackling a broad range of social issues, including climate change, urban planning, and immigration, with humor, humanity, and honesty.

On Thursday, in celebration of Internet Week, Thrillist is hosting a crazy bash at M2 Ultra Lounge. There will be free booze, trapeze artists, a dj battle and visuals by ValuJet Visuals (aka my talented friend W).

Thursday is also opening night for two great shows. First, the Gallery Players present The 12th Annual Black Box New Play Festival, which begins with ‘Father Mike,’ “a nostalgic comedy that takes place in 1955 in the home of a proud Catholic family.”

poster

Also on Thursday the Hudson Warehouse starts their summer season with Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

On Friday you can finish off Internet Week properly at the Webutante Ball! This classy coming out event is happening on the roof of the Empire Hotel; there will be free vodka cocktails from 6-7 and a ceremonial crowning of a Webutante King and Queen!

webutante ball flier

Next Friday and Saturday you can see the results of the New York 48 Hour Film Project:

The 48 Hour Film Project’s mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. Through its festival/competition, the Project encourages filmmakers and would-be filmmakers to get out there and make movies. The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers—emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills. While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the filmmakers, it is also liberating by putting an emphasis on “doing” instead of “talking.”

Click here to see some of the films from previous years and from other locations around the world!

Next Saturday Gemini and Scorpio will be screening Serenity on a private rooftop:

A rooftop screening of Joss Whedon’s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse) space-western “Serenity,” to benefit Equality Now, an international women’s rights advocacy group and Whedon’s favorite charity. Also featuring “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” Whedon’s musical-romp internet series created during the WGA writer’s strike. The screening is a prelude to a bigger CSTS shindig on June 28 hosted by The Browncoats of NYC, and to a series of semi-private rooftop “Firefly” screenings starting June 11, info on which will be available via the G&S mailing list. Look for The Browncoats at the event offering June 28 CSTS tickets and merch.

On Sunday my favorite fitness guru will be performing along with her dance company- Skin, at Symphony Space. Tina Thompson is a force of nature, as you may recall from my past ravings, and you won’t want to miss this performance!

skin dance

Finally, next weekend is also the start of two exciting theater festivals! The first is the Antidepressant Festival at the Brick Theater:

This summer’s fiesta is meant as a diversion at a time of plummeting stocks and rising unemployment. Nineteen productions are planned, including “Exit, Pursued by Bears,” about the fictional vice president of a Chicago sanitation union who leads a double life as Tickle Bear, the center of an anonymous online furry sex community; and “Schaden, Freude and You: A 3 Clown Seminar,” which provides the audience with a chance to laugh at others as a means of fighting depression. In this case the “others” are clowns, so they’re used to it. For more extroverted types, the Brick is including “Suspicious Package: Rx,” a sequel to last year’s “Suspicious Package,” an interactive theater piece that put audience members, each wearing a Zune media player, into the middle of a film-noir-type mystery. This year a trip to the future is in store.

The second is the Muslim Voices Festival, which will involve events at various locations:

The Asia Society, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York University Center for Dialogues will present a festival and conference that explore and celebrate the arts of the Muslim world. Offerings encompass visual arts, crafts, documentary film, standup comedy and theater, including “Richard III: An Arab Tragedy,” a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s play that examines the Arab world’s relationship with the West, from Sulayman Al-Bassam, a Kuwaiti director. The production, commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will be presented at the BAM Harvey Theater.

Enjoy and stay tuned; I will try to post additional events as my schedule allows! Oh, and wish me luck!