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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Innovative New Film Shorts about Race to hit the web...

This just in, courtesy of the Boston Globe:

WGBH gives films shortcut to the Web
Email|Print| Text size – + By Leslie Brokaw
Globe Correspondent / December 9, 2007

You've got to hand it to WGBH: Even though it's moved to swank new digs in Brighton alongside the Mass. Pike, and it's projecting massive images from a screen on the side of its building toward the highway, it still hasn't forgotten the small things.
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By small things, we're talking super-small. Like spurring filmmakers to create mini-movies for mobile devices and websites.

The station's innovative WGBH Lab, online at lab.wgbh.org, continues to experiment with how best to "[open] the door to new voices," as the website puts it. Its newest venture is a partnership with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a New York group that commissions, funds, and distributes film and video projects for public television that reflect African-Americans and the African diaspora.

WGBH and NBPC are collaborating on an open call for filmmakers "and other aspiring media-makers" to pitch ideas for 3-minute video shorts "looking at the issue of how we resolve past wrongs, especially around matters of race," according to press materials.

The application deadline is Wednesday. A selection of pitches will be posted online for public comment before final selection. Winners will get funding and editorial support, and their works may be presented on both television and the Web during WGBH's "Telling Our Stories: African Americans" programming in February. Filmmakers who have already completed a short film on the theme are invited to submit the finished work, as well. Application procedures and other information is online at the WGBH Lab site, and at NBPC, at nbpc.tv.

The WGBH Lab also has three new filmmakers in residence who set up shop in October. Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet have been working for more than four years on a film called "The Way We Get By," about the war veterans and other men and women in Bangor, Maine, who act as "troop greeters" - folks who greet soldiers and Marines who are heading to war or returning home. At their website, dungbyproductions.com, Pullapilly and Gaudet say that the movie is meant to show "the sacrifice and commitment each individual, troops and greeters alike, have made during this time of war. The film also explores the most basic of human emotions like the fear of dying and more importantly the fear of dying alone."

Anna Wexler, the other filmmaker in residence, graduated from MIT last spring with degrees in brain and cognitive science, and humanities and science. Her project looks at the experience of American teenagers brought up as modern Orthodox Jews who spend a year in Israel.

The filmmakers get working space at the WGBH office, a stipend, access to editing equipment, and editorial guidance for nine months, from October through next June.

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