Filmforum has been serving as fiscal sponsor for a small number of interesting films over the past few years, and we're delighted to host the Los Angeles premiere of one of them, by our friend Vera Brunner-Sung.
"Director Vera Brunner-Sung's first feature film, Bella Vista, is a moving piece of cinemaand that's impressive, as there's very little movement in it at all. The film follows Doris, played by Kathleen Wise, an adjunct English language teacher at the University of Montana, and a group of foreign students taking her class. Throughout the story, Doris and her students try to figure how they fit into a new town and a new life. It's a deftly purposeful tack to take on Brunner-Sung's part, making the film less a plot-lined story and more of a meditation on emotion and place." Migizi Pensoneau, Missoula Independent
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
2014, USA, HDcam, 83 min.,
Written and Directed by Vera Brunner-Sung
Produced by Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeri Rafter and Brooke Swaney
Cinematography by Alexandra Cuesta
Edited by Petra Demas and Vera Brunner-Sung
Sound by Digital Sorcery
A meditation on displacement and adaptation in the contemporary American West, Bella Vista follows the lives of outsiders in Missoula, Montana. Teaching English to a group of international students, thirty-something Doris finds herself increasingly alone. While she grasps for the connection that might save her, it's her students who understand what it takes to belong.
"I am interested in what happens when we are separated from our origins. The child of immigrants to the United States, I grew up in a land that considers this removal a promise of freedom and opportunity. But what are its consequences? Bella Vista explores both sides:
the perils of rootlessness, as well as the optimism of new beginnings. These themes have crystallized for me while living in the western U.S., where powerful American archetypes the
Indigenous, the Emigrant, the Drifter are very much alive. In a land of shifting identities, I would like to know what remains constant.
"My influences include the Western genre, Michelangelo Antonioni, and James Benning's politically charged landscapes. Bella Vista is about the experience of strangers living in the westThis film is a continuation of the investigation into history, memory, and place, that I began in my previous short experimental films. The script was inspired in part by my personal experience moving to Montana in 2011. Vera Brunner-Sung
Vera Brunner-Sung (writer/director/producer) has shown her short experimental documentaries at festivals, galleries, and museums around the world, including the Torino Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Images Festival, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, and Los Angeles Filmforum. She holds an M.F.A. in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts, and lives and works in Missoula, Montana. This is her first fiction and first feature film.
Jeri Rafter (producer) has worked on feature films including Winter in the Blood (Alex & Andrew Smith) and Jimmy P. (Arnaud Desplechin). She was an assistant to producer Megan Ellison (True Grit, The Master) and on the production team for Rob Reiner's latest film, And So It Goes. Jeri is a fifth generation Montanan with an M.F.A. in Media Arts from the university of Montana.
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.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2015 is our 40th year.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
Sun Jan 18 Bella Vista, by Vera Brunner-Sung
Sun Jan 25 Forest of Bliss: A Tribute to Robert Gardner
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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