Far From Afghanistan
Sunday August 18, 2013, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Far From Afghanistan
Los Angeles Premiere!
Filmmakers Minda Martin and Travis Wilkerson in person!
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
Filmforum is delighted to host the Los Angeles premiere of a remarkable omnibus film from five extraordinary filmmakers, four of whom we've hosted earlier (and three of them this year!). Unabashedly political filmmakers, but all of whom bring the constant spirit of invention and exploration in their works, all coming together to create a waork exploring the deep involvement of the United States in Afghanistan. Even if you have no interest in seeing a film on America's ongoing war in Afghanistan, come see this one for the art and the filmmaking, and the sure-to-be great conversation following with two of the filmmakers. We're delighted to have Minda Martin and Travis Wilkerson back for the second time each this year.
An omnibus film by five American filmmakers and a collective of young Afghan media journalists, FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN forms a mosaic of cinematic approaches to take a critical look at the longest overseas war in U.S. history. Inspired by the 1967 collaborative film LOIN DU VIETNAM (Far from Vietnam), FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN likewise unites a variety of filmmakers, cinematographers, editors and technicians in the international effort to redirect U.S. policy away from military and political intervention toward true humanitarian and developmental care-giving as invited.
FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN (2012, US/Afghanistan, color, sound, 129 min.)
A film by John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Soon-Mi Yoo, Minda Martin, and Travis Wilkerson
In collaboration with Afghan Voices
Produced by Steve Holmgren and Mike Bowes
A Co-Production of Steady Orbits/Central Productions/Traveling Light
"This passionate, multifaceted look at the continuing American involvements in (and denials about) Afghanistan takes us many places where other filmmakers and spectators fear to go, inside and outside that country, showing us the profound connections between what we do and what we choose to ignore." Jonathan Rosenbaum
"something of a definitive statement on a runaway global disaster."
- Michael Atkinson, The Boston Phoenix
"brilliant, poetic and cold as it should be. I was blown away by it, and by the relentlessness of its exploration."
Official Selection (partial list):
Locarno International Film Festival (August 2012)
Toronto International Film Festival (September 2012)
Vancouver International Film Festival (September/October 2012)
Sao Paulo International Film Festival (October/November 2012)
DocLisboa [Portugal] (October 2012)
Documentary Fortnight/The Museum of Modern Art [New York] (February 2013)
Lincoln Center [New York] (August 2013
DMZ International Documentary Festival [S. Korea] (October 2013)
FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN comprises the collaborative efforts of a range of politically-progressive U.S. filmmakers of different generations and backgrounds: John Gianvito (PROFIT MOTIVE AND THE WHISPERING WIND), Jon Jost (ALL THE VERMEERS IN NEW YORK), Minda Martin (FREE LAND), Travis Wilkerson (AN INJURY TO ONE), Soon-Mi Yoo (DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENT), Robert Todd (MEDITATIONS) and Pacho Velez (BASTARDS OF UTOPIA) - alongside contributions by "Afghan Voices," a collective of media journalists in Afghanistan.
John Gianvito's feature The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein received the Jury Prize at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. His film Profit Motive and the Whispering wind was named "Best Experimental Film of the Year" by the National Society of Film Critics. Recently his film Vapor Trail (Clark), exploring the impact of the U.S. military presence in the Philippines, was cited as one of the Top Ten Films of the year by critics in Film Comment and Sight&Sound.
Jon Jost began making films in 1963 after being expelled from college. In 1965 he was imprisoned for over 2 years for refusal to cooperate with the Selective Service system. He made his first feature film in 1974, and has since that time focused on a wide range of American issues in his films. Since 1996 he has completing twelve features and many short films. Previous work includes Speaking Directly: Some American Notes, Bell Diamond, All The Vermeers in New York, and The Bed You Sleep In.
Minda Martin received an MFA in film and video from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from the University of Arizona. She writes and directs personal, experimental, documentary, and narrative films that explore the underpinnings and disparities of social class in America, and her works have won many festival awards and have screened at various international venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, RedCat, the Viennale, the Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival, the New York Video Festival, Créteil Films de Femmes, and Mostra/OMNI Video Art Tour. Along with her collection of short films and videos, her features include Free Land (2009) and AKA Kathe (2000). Her most recent work, The Long Distance Operator is an experimental video made for the omnibus feature film Far From Afghanistan, which was released in August of 2012 with a world premiere at Locarno. It has screened at Toronto International Film Festival, Montreal, Vancouver, RIDM, CPH, BAFICI, Viennale, and several other film festivals. We had our US Premiere at Museum of Modern Art, New York Documentary Fortnight. She is currently an associate professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at California State University San Marcos.
A chance meeting in Havana with legendary Cuban film propagandist Santiago Alvarez changed the course of Travis Wilkerson's life. He now makes films in the tradition of the "third cinema," wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. His films have screened at scores of venues and festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, Rotterdam, Vienna, Yamagata, the FID Marseille and the Musée du Louvre. In the fall of 2012, the Slovenska Kinoteka in Ljubljana held an exhaustive retrospective of his work, comprising 11 films. His best-known work is an agit-prop essay on the lynching of Wobbly Frank Little called "An Injury to One," named one of the best avant-garde films of the decade by Film Comment. His other films include "Accelerated Underdevelopment" (on the filmmaker Santiago Alvarez), the narrative feature "Who Killed Cock Robin?" and the National Archive series. In 2007, he presented the first ever performance art at the Sundance Film Festival with Proving Ground, a live multi-media rumination on the history of bombing described as "one of the most daring experiments in the history of Sundance." A recent feature, "Distinguished Flying Cross," was honored with prestigious jury prizes both at Cinema du reel and Yamagata. His new film: "Los Angeles Red Squad," just premiered in the main competition at FIDMarseille. He also contributed short segments to two omnibus projects: "Far From Afghanistan," and Orbit (films). His writings on film have appeared in Cineaste, Kino!, and Senses of Cinema. He has taught filmmaking at the University of Colorado and Film Directing at CalArts. Presently, he is the inaugural Visiting Fellow of Media Praxis in the Pomona College Media Guild.
Soon-Mi Yoo works with various media and genres - photography, film, installation and text to explore marginalized histories. Her work has been exhibited at festivals including Oberhausen, Pompidou Center, New York FF, Rotterdam International FF, and Seattle IFF, and galleries across the country, including the International Center of Photography and Boston Center for the Arts. Her films include Pink, Dangerous Supplement, ISAHN, ssitkim: talking to the dead, faith, Do Roo (Circling Back).
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
See you in September!
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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