Brooklyn's Moving Images Get 'Scene'
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The Brooklyn Arts Council kicks off its third annual Scene: Brooklyn film and media arts festival on Thursday under the archway of the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. The week-long festival presents feature-length, short and documentary films by Brooklyn filmmakers, along with workshops and live performances. Events and screenings will be held at five venues across the borough.
Alex Rush, a freelance writer for The Brooklyn Paper, said what sets Scene: Brooklyn apart from the city's myriad other film festivals is it encourages people to make work during the festival.
“You’ll be able to bring your own camera and shoot around the streets at one event and have opportunities to meet and greet fellow filmmakers at another," said Rush. "People could perhaps meet their future collaborators. It’s a communal atmosphere.”
The festival's head programmer, Deirdre Corley, said the number of submissions Scene: Brooklyn had this year -- 125 -- was about the same it got in 2009 and 2010. But this year, the quality of the work was better.
“More established filmmakers have learned about us and want to be included in the festival,” she said. “Filmmakers we have worked with have both gone on to and previously screened at Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca Film Festival, South By Southwest and many other large festivals.”
For the first time, the festival will broadcast a live experimental audio visual show called "Intra-Structure" outdoors under the Manhattan Bridge on Thursday.
The artists, composer Terry Golob and video performance artist Anton Marini (they call themselves Aerostatic + vade), got the idea for the project from Dumbo's archway and cobbled streets. They even worked the B, D, N and R trains that will head over the bridge during the performance into their piece.
“This space has a personality and character all of its own,” said Golob. “There is a lot of sonic and visual character that is a vortex for different modes and the structure itself supports the multiple layers we will present.” (Check out the video from their 2010 collaboration "Transmissions from a Dying Planet" above.)
This year's Scene: Brooklyn will also feature a comedy night, "Making Mistakes with Serious Lunch," on Tuesday, May 10. The night will include a live performance and screenings by the improv comedy troupe Serious Lunch, which is known for taping its skits and sharing them on its Web site.
“You can’t really peg down their style of comedy," said writer Alex Rush. "It’s pretty wacky and blunt. And it's about time that a film festival is highlighting what people watch on the Internet because it's such a part of the culture now.” (We recommend the troupe's video for Girls Night Out featuring Ellie Kemper from “The Office.”)
Another highlight will be the screening of “Beijing Taxi” on Wednesday, May 11.
The feature-length documentary was made by Miao Wang. In it, the Beijing-born, Brooklyn-based filmmaker tells the intimate tale of three taxi drivers during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It captures the harsh realities and unsure futures of her protagonist's lives in a rapidly changing modern city. Watch the trailer below.
Scene: Brooklyn kicks off Thursday, May 5. The festival concludes Thursday, May 12, at Dumbo's Galapagos Art Space with a screening of Brooklyn's best short films and a closing night after-party with an audience award presentation.