"Homegrown" Film Festival to Feature Local Filmmakers

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Williamstown — The Oakley Center at Williams College is the sponsor of a film festival of local artists, titled "Homegrown: Film and Video from North Berkshire County." The festival will take place on Sunday, March 12, beginning at 7 p.m., at Images Cinema on Spring Street. The event will last approximately three hours, with Q&A sessions with the filmmakers at the halfway point and at the end. "Homegrown" is free and open to the public. Later in the spring, the Oakley Center will present "Extreme Documentary," which will bring to Williamstown documentary talent from around the world. "Homegrown," on the other hand, is in recognition of work being done by a number of local filmmakers. It will include a variety of film genres, from comic micro-shorts to feature-length documentaries. Each participant will screen a work of approximately 10 to 15 minutes in length. The program will include: Deborah Brothers, costume director and lecturer in theatre, will present an excerpt of her film "Four Episodes from A New Orleans Mardi Gras." Benjamin Brown '06 will show a 15-minue clip from "Pasajes de Junin." The film follows the struggles of five activists from a mining town in rural Ecuador. Sandra Burton, Lipp Family Director of Dance, will show an excerpt of her work on the life and career of the legendary dancer and choreographer Chuck Davis. Paula Consolini, coordinator of experiential education, will present an excerpt from her film "Breaking the Mold," the story of an employee buyout and the transformation of the people involved. David Edwards, the Carl W. Vogt '58 Professor of Anthropology, will present an excerpt from his documentary "Kabul Transit," an associative -- at times surreal -- film about contemporary Afghanistan and the ways in which multiple and conflicting elements of the past persist in its present. Liza Johnson, assistant professor of art, will show her short film "Desert Motel." The film is centered on a weekend getaway in the California desert, where the protagonist, Leslie, and her girlfriend run into Connor, a friend from home. Leslie stuns everyone when she crosses a line trying to understand the new kind of manhood that Connor introduces. David Lachman, a North Adams resident, will present three of his short films: "Flower to Flower," "This is Art my Friend," and "Homemade." Julia Morgan-Leamon, a local artist and member of the Williams College Museum of Art's staff, will show her video "Looking for Betty." Oblivious to the U.S. military exploits that frame her, the film's protagonist, Betty, inspects herself in the mirror of the video camera. Amy Podmore, associate professor of art, will present her series of comic shorts, "Disappearing Acts." A humorous portrayal of "loss of self," it brings attention to the negotiation necessary between give and take that we experience in daily life. Shawn Rosenheim, professor of English, will show an excerpt from his feature-length documentary on Biosphere 2, "Home Sick." As Rosenheim describes it: "8 people, two years, three acres. Grow your food. Recycle your waste. Breathe your own air. No one ever said paradise was fun."
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Cultural Grants Awarded To Northern Berkshire Communities

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — State Representative John Barrett III and the Northern Berkshire Cultural Council jointly announced the award of 63 grants totaling $72,500.00, for cultural programs in Northern Berkshire Communities. 
 
These eleven communities are comprised of ; Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, Monroe, New Ashford, Savoy, Williamstown, and the City of North Adams. A complete list of recipients and grant amounts can be found here. http://Www.mass-culture.org/ccnb
 
"It's the local volunteers who really make this system work," said State Representative Barrett. "They make limited resources go as far as possible, and they make the tough decisions about which projects should be supported. Thanks to them, the arts, sciences, and humanities are part of people's everyday lives in communities across the state."
 
The Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences, and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
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