8:30PM: Competitive Program #3

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

Mema’s Life Story – Magdalena Bermudez
USA | 2016 | 2:22 min | 16mm to digital
Mema’s Life Story is a 16mm film exploring a woman’s escape from the Armenian genocide through an imagined conversation between the filmmaker’s godmother and her grandmother. Hole-punched 16mm leader interrupts their dialogue, an emulation of the lace her grandmother carried as she fled from Talas, through Egypt and eventually to New York City. Interweaving their dialogue and her abstracted lace, the filmmaker attempts to preserve her godmother’s grandmother’s story while evoking the tenacity and fragility of inherited memory.

Xenoi – Deborah Stratman
Greece / USA | 2016 | 15 min | digital
“The Greek island of Syros is visited by a series of unexpected guests. Immutable forms, outside of time, foreign observants to human conditions.
The locations include Pherecydes’ Cave, hillside ‘yapia’, the early Cycladic settlement of Kastri (2800-2300BC), and the Apollo Theater in Ermoupolis. Pherecydes of Syros (580-520 BC) was the author of the Pentemychos, a pre-Socratic cosmogony, and is commonly held to be the teacher of Pythagoras. Yapi is the informal Greek term for an unfinished, abandoned building, especially prevalent around Greece since the economic crisis.”

My Father’s Ghost – Erick Msumanje
Haiti / Tanzania / USA | 2016 | 15 min | digital
A short observational film that examines a haunting and lingering trauma in a very visually poetic manner.

Half Human, Half Vapor – Mike Stoltz
USA | 2016 | 11 min | 16mm to digital
“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture.
I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy.
Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.”

A Century Plant in Bloom – Ross Meckfessel
USA | 2017 | 10:16 min | 16mm
“‘I remember one day sitting at the pool and suddenly the tears were streaming down my cheeks. Why was I so unhappy? I had success. I had security. But it wasn’t enough. I was exploding inside.’ – Ingrid Bergman
A cry for help in the form of a pop song. A village cast as a simulacrum of the past by Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott, Pasolini and Scorsese. As the future starts devouring the present, how can we hope to remember the past? Pics or it never existed.
For Ingrid and Roberto.”