The opening film, "Romper Stomper" is the breakthrough film for Russell Crowe who is currently playing a WV native in his Christmas film, "A Brilliant Mind." The Australian film stars Crowe as a neo-nazi, stomping local "wimps." It was the first film in the US that presented the Aussie star.
On Wednesday, WV filmmaker Clyde Ware will be honored with a showing of his 1971 film, "No Drums, No Bugles" (1971) along with an interview filmed by Morgantown filmmaker Chip Hitchcock to be shown on WV PBS.
Clyde Ware is was born December 22, 1936 and was raised in central West Virginia. After working in factories and going to WVU, he left WV for Hollywood where he became a screenwriter for many of its best Western TV series Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and others. He wrote more than 200 episodes. He has directed two independent films in WV - in 1971 "No Drums, No Bugles" and "When the Line Goes Through" (1973), both starring Martin Sheen. He has directed several other films including:"Another Time, Another Place" (1992) , Bad Jim (1990), Human Error (1988) ,Three Hundred Miles for Stephanie (1981) (TV) , Hatfields and the McCoys, The (1975) (TV) , and Story of Pretty Boy Floyd, The (1974) (TV) . He is presently preparing to film another independent feature in his native WV - "Rough Diamond". Mr. Ware has also published several books.
Anne Lewis: One of Appalshop's most prolific filmmakers, Anne Lewis hails from Washington, D.C. Currently living in Austin, Texas where she lectures at the University of Texas, Anne joined Appalshop in 1981. Her 1989 film On Our Own Land received the Alfred I. DuPont/Columbia University Award for Independent Broadcast Journalism. Lewis' other film credits include To Save the Land and People (1999), His Eye is on the Sparrow (1999), Evelyn Williams (1995), Justice in the Coalfields (1995), Ready for Harvest; Clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians (1993), Belinda (1992), Fast Food Women (1991), Morgan Sexton; Banjo Player from Bull Creek (1991), Peace Stories (1991), Minnie Black's Gourd Band (1988), Mine War on Blackberry Creek (1986), Mud Creek Clinic (1986), Mabel Parker Hardison Smith (1985), and Yellow Creek, Kentucky (1984) and Lily May Leford.
Mimi Pickering: A native Californian, Mimi Pickering has been making documentary films and videotapes at Appalshop since 1971. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American FilmInstitute/Independent Film & Videomakers Program award, and is currently completing a documentary on West Virginia singer Hazel Dickens. Mimi's previous films include Chemical Valley (1991), Dreadful Memories: The Life of Sarah Ogan Gunning (1988), Buffalo Creek Revisited (1984), The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man (1975), Mountain Farmer (1973), The Millstone Sewing Center (1972), and The Struggle of Coon Branch Mountain (1972).
Joshua Tunich, one of WV's best young filmmakers, has finally made a feature film - "Mr. Smithereen Goes To Washington." It is as good as his two previous films, both shorts - "Naked Pavement" and "Scars Don't Sweat". In the grand tradition of Michael Moore, most famous for "Roger and Me" he hits the streets with a politician who can't stand the bought-and-paid-for government we have. In this case it's a real rebel rocker, Pat DiNizio, one of the members of the New Jersey rockband, The Smithereens. Tunick keeps his camera tight on his hero,following him from his parents' home to the streets of various townsin Jersey, showing him actually playing in people's living rooms (He calls it "the first living room tour ever done by a major political candidate".) It is reminiscent of Karl Hess, founder of the modern Libertarian Party, and a West Virginian. Given Denise Giardiana's third-party candidacy forGovernor last year, there should be thousands of WVians who will love to see this film about another intelligent and worthwhile alternative tothe slop we are getting. His main opponent is a millionaire fake-Democrat who spent $80 million on the election - surpassing even our own Senator Rockefeller's gubernatorial campaigns. Luckily for us, Tunick is up to the task. His own sense of freedom and determination are matched by DiNizio's obsession with making life better for his daughter. Even if you don't share DiNizio's obsessions with fighting gun control, it's great to see how his mom lead him into politics, and is by his side as he faces the music on election night. WV has some great alternative politicians - like Paul Nuchims, Bob Myers, Denise of course, and even Ken Hechler.
Tunich will be driving down from NYC in October to present his film at the Landmark's Filmmakers Festival Friday night. This is only the second public showing, its world premiere having taken place at the Maryland Film Festival last spring. We will also show his film. "Scars Don't Sweat", on WV world-champion mountain biker, Gunnar Shogren.
1:00 p.m. - OPEN FILMMAKERS COMPETITION
for information contact Kevin Carpenter
7:00 p.m. - Reception with music by John Lilly
8:00 p.m. - "Chillers Reunion", a film by Danny Boyd
Boyd, 43, a West Virginian, has degrees in Communications (West Virginia University) and Filmmaking (University of Arkansas). Beginning his filmmaking career making documentaries, Boyd's Early projects took him from the hobo "jungles" of the U.S. (HOMELESS BROTHER) to the war-torn mountains of Guatemala (MARCOS DE SAN MARCOS). Several of Boyd's short narrative films were featured on regional and national television in the early and mid-eighties.
His first feature film, CHILLERS, was released in 1988. Currently in international video and television distribution, this horror feature was awarded the Silver Scroll for excellence from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in Los Angeles. Boyd's second feature, a science fiction/comedy, STRANGEST DREAMS, premiered on the USA Network in 1991. It is currently in domestic and international video and television distribution. Boyd's third feature film, PARADISE PARK, a dramatic-fantasy, received Gold Awards at the Houston International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival, was selected for the Breckenridge Festival of Film and the American Film Institute's, American Independent's series. Currently distributed by Silver Lake International Pictures as HEROES OF THE HEART.
A professor of communications at West Virginia State College since 1985, Boyd has actively involved his filmmaking students in his professional projects. In 1994, Boyd established the Paradise Film Institute
Boyd has won awards in dramatic, horror, comedy, and dramatic filmmaking, as well as screenwriting.
Laleh Mehran was born in Iran and relocated with her family to the United States approximately twenty years ago. She moved from Pittsburgh to Morgantown about a year and a half ago to start a position as the new Electronic Media Professor in the Division of Art at West Virginia University.
Metaphors and multiple layers of meaning are integral to Mehran's art. The process of camouflage, masking, relying on metaphors and allusions is central to being multi-faceted and suggesting ideas in an indirect manner. Butterflies, for example, suggest many things: they are exotic and beautiful symbols of freedom and fragility. They are captured, collected, and studied by scientists and amateurs alike. Their brilliant colors can also suggest the bright colors of national flags or the intense colors of Iranian art, especially detailed manuscripts and textiles. In addition, they are a link to vivid childhood memories in Iran.
Dissenting from culture requires an awareness of the consequences. Mehran's artwork strives to evaluate the relationships between dissent and its consequences. She creates temporary environments where veiled metaphors safely relate the conditions of an external reality, which is necessarily vague, to the precise and vivid internal realities of film characters, computer agents and symbolic references.
Mehran's art can be experienced as a journey in which the viewer can recognize what is not present as well as reading what is there. Information lies hidden beneath the surface; subtleties and nuances far outweigh the facade leaving the viewer to construct his or her own narrative.
Mehran received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Electronic Time-Based Media. Her work has been shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, the European Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck Germany, the Intermediale Festival in Mainz, Germany, at Ponte Futura in Cortona, Italy, the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and in Museum in the Community in West Virginia.