From Produce to Production: Interview with Paten Hughes. By Lydia Plantamura

Paten Hughes

When her acting career grew unsatisfying, Paten Hughes found escape in the tomato garden. But her hiatus from the industry produced more than delicious produce. Hughes’s experience inspired her to create the new hit web series, Heirloom (streaming now on Vimeo). Hughes worked with writer Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us, Switched-at-Birth) to develop a story arc following the character of Emily, a New York City-based actress who ventures across the country to Northern California after she inherits a small patch of farmland from her uncle. Emily is played by Hughes herself, supported by an outstanding cast of co-stars including Ryan Cooper, Luis Vega, Margaret Colin (Gossip Girl), and Tom Wopat (Dukes of Hazard).

Lydia Plantamura: Heirloom is based on actual experiences. Can you share more of the true events that inspired the web series?

Paten Hughes: Heirloom basically started after some friends suggested I turn my adventures in tomato farming into a story for the screen. I had stumbled into tomato farming after a film project fell apart (story of many actors’ lives). At that point in my career, I had been watching my friends get married and have children and get promotions and buy houses. And I was waking up to a hustle, to a grind that is addicting but also exhausting and somewhat intangible. There are moments when being an actor feels a bit like building a sandcastle. You don’t know when a wave is going to come and wash it away; you don’t know when a bigger kid will accidentally step on it. But for brief moments here and there, you look at this mansion you’ve proudly and delicately carved. And then you start over again when a play ends, when the TV show is over, when a part gets given to someone else.

Paten Hughes

I was simultaneously frustrated with the roles I was being offered or some of the shitty things you go through auditioning. Feeling like I needed to reconnect to my creativity and what I was passionate about, I sort of found that by planting tomatoes. (To each their own!) I didn’t know anything about cooking or gardening or food or how to make invoices. The “real” Raul was a rock and constantly laughing at my farming ignorance. Without giving away too much of the story, I also ended up dealing with what you start to see in episode nine: one of the prices you pay for creating a successful business!

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Introducing NANG Magazine

NANG is an English-language print magazine that covers cinema and cinema cultures in the Asian world with passion and insight.  Published twice a year over a period of five years, NANG’s ambition is to build a wonderfully rich and profound collection of words and images on cinema, for knowledge, inspiration, and enjoyment. Continue reading

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New HKU MOOC: Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens Premieres on 7 February 2017

The University of Hong Kong announces the February 7 premiere of Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens, the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Hong Kong cinema to be produced anywhere in the world. This pioneering online experience launches under the direction of internationally recognized film studies scholars Professor Gina Marchetti and Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park from the HKU Department of Comparative Literature and Dr. Stacilee Ford from the HKU Department of History and American Studies Program with the creative assistance of HKU TELI (Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative). Continue reading

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Announcing the Winner of the 2016 Film Matters Masoud Yazdani Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship

Film Matters is very pleased to announce the winner of the second annual Masoud Yazdani Award, Nace Zavrl, for his FM 6.3 (2015) article, “Spectatorship and Synchronous Sound Before the Transition: A Contextual Analysis of Chronophone, Phonofilm, and Movietone Shorts.”

Nace will be receiving a copy of Miriam Hansen’s Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film, published by Harvard University Press in 1994.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank, once again, our wonderful panel of judges, who provided invaluable service to Film Matters and the film studies discipline, reviewing an entire volume year of FM articles on our behalf:

Frederic Leveziel is a French native with a PhD in Spanish living in Tampa, Florida. He teaches French and Spanish film, language, and culture. Leveziel is currently writing a book chapter on the Spanish and Portuguese diasporas in France, and is also working on an article on The River by Jean Renoir. He will be doing research on Renoir at the University of California, Los Angeles in August in preparation for his manuscript.

Tom Ue is the Frederick Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the English Department at the University of Toronto and an Honorary Research Associate at University College London. He has published on Canadian cinema, Studio Ghibli, and representations of Toronto. Ue is currently at work on a book chapter about Quentin Tarantino and the western, and his long-term project is a monograph about the White Messiah. He teaches courses in film and literature at the University of Toronto.

Johnny Walker is Senior Lecturer in Media at Northumbria University in the UK, author of Contemporary British Horror Cinema: Industry, Genre and Society (Edinburgh UP, 2015) and the co-editor of the following: Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media (2016) and Grindhouse: Cultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond (2016). He is the founding editor of the Global Exploitation Cinemas book series published by Bloomsbury, and is currently writing a book on the infancy of video rental culture in Britain for the University of Exeter Press.

Each year, Film Matters honors Masoud Yazdani, founding chairman of Intellect and all-around visionary who is very much missed, by recognizing an emerging undergraduate film scholar who has published a feature article in Film Matters the previous volume year.  The winning author, selected by three individual academics based at institutions of higher education worldwide, receives a book from the field of film studies, in recognition of his/her achievement.

Upon the release of Film Matters issue 7.3 (2016), judging for the 2017 award will begin.  All volume 7 (2016) feature article authors will automatically be considered for this distinction.

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CPH:DOX Unveils DOX:ACADEMY, a New Initiative Aimed at Film Studies Students

CPH:DOX, the documentary film festival based in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the biggest festival of its kind in Scandinavia, and the third biggest in the world, with an annual programme that consists of more than 200 films, but also debates, seminars, exhibitions, curated programmes, concerts and other events.

This year, CPH:DOX is unveiling DOX:ACADEMY, a 7-day international student programme — an intensive, cross-disciplinary course at the historic Borups Højskole in the heart of Copenhagen.  Activities include film screenings, master classes, workshops, project presentations, social events, and much more designed especially for students. DOX:ACADEMY takes place during CPH:DOX, March 18-24, 2017.

For more information about this unique opportunity, as well as the accreditation process, please visit:  https://cphdox.dk/en/cphdox-focuses-strongly-on-students-in-a-new-7-day-programme/

Act quickly!  The deadline to apply for accreditation is February 15, 2017.

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The Accidental Philosopher: From Montaigne to Mekas. Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-1971, second edition, Jonas Mekas, (2016). Reviewed by Chris Dymond

Through the rich collection that is Jonas Mekas’s Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-1971 (2016), the reader is presented with the collected writings of Mekas as they were sketched upon the pages of his Village Voice column, which ran between the years of 1959 and 1971. This column, when presented in its full linearity, gifts the reader insofar as she can now trace the dialectical structure that gave rise to the New American Cinema. Upon reading, it becomes clear that this dialectic operated through the vicious police brutality and antagonistic censorship that encircled the filmmakers during the time of their emergence and how, in a symbiotic though resistant relationship to this, an aesthetically revolutionary and collectively unified group of artists burst forth from the gaps left by “the [agents of the] flies of the 20th century” (Mekas 50). What rose out of this technocratic tumult was Mekas’s poetic cinema. This vibrant movement was formed by an assemblage of individuals whose poetry took as its charge the altruistic and rigorous emancipation of the human from within entrenched perceptual and epistemic structures. Continue reading

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Last Call: Deadline for CFP 9.1 Is February 1!

Final reminder that the deadline for call 9.1 (for issue 9.1, 2018) is February 1, 2017. For more information, please see the original post:

Questions and submissions should be directed to Liza: futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Interview with Ewa Mazierska, Co-Editor of Marxism and Film Activism: Screening Alternative Worlds (Berghahn Books, 2015). By Brittany Lowe

Ewa Mazierska is a professor at the University of Central Lancashire. She was born in Poland and received an education at Warsaw University in philosophy, as well as a PhD in film studies. She has many publications covering a variety of subjects such as gender, travel and political topics, along with cultural history. After reading her latest work Marxism and Film Activism: Screening Alternative Worlds, I contacted her to ask a few questions about her editing process. She responded enthusiastically and was happy to discuss her projects with us.

Brittany Lowe: What is your favorite aspect of film studies?

Ewa Mazierska: Its ability to engage people from all walks of life and in matters relevant to their everyday existence. Cinema or, widely understood, moving images, is for us truly a mirror of humanity, as well as a great tool to change people’s views. Continue reading

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The American Short Film Awards Announce 2016 Winners

The American Short Film Awards recently announced their 2016 winners:

Best short film: TWINSBURG
Best Drama: THE MOTHER
Best Comedy: HOW TO SURVIVE A BREAKUP
Best Horror: VICIOUS
Best Animation: SCHIROKA
Best Documentary: A SYSTEM OF JUSTICE
Best Experimental: ENTER THE COWBOY
Best Ultra short: A DOG NAMED REX

Submissions for 2017 consideration will open in March 2017.  For more information about the American Short Film Awards, please visit their website:  http://www.americanshortfilmawards.com/

Congratulations to the 2016 winners!

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Third Annual Short Film Awards Announces Winners

“The Sofies” Honor The Giants Of Short Film

NEW YORK-The Third Annual Short Film Awards has announced the 2016 competition winners in 20 categories. Winners received their “Sofie” trophies at the awards ceremony hosted by actor Rico E. Anderson, at The Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space.

  • Best Narrative Short Film: Neolithic Patchwork Quilt – Paul Heary, director; Victor McGowan, producer
  • Best Dramatic Short Film: Run For The Truth – Damien Steck, director and producer
  • Best Comedic Short Film: The Right Person For The Job
  • Best Documentary Short Film: One Voice
  • Best Long Short Film: The Border
  • Best Short Film From The Vault: Friends Like Mine
  • Best Animated Short Film: Adija
  • Best Actor in a Short Film: Mike Wiley, This Was My Son
  • Best Actress in a Short Film: Geneva Norman, Anna
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Short Film: David O’Donnell, Wanderer
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Short Film: Andrea-Rachel Parker, Ugly
  • Best Director of a Documentary Short Film: Victor Okoye, Purpose
  • Best Director of a Narrative, Dramatic, or Comedic Short Film: Bachir Abou Zeid, Kalash
  • Best Writing in a Documentary Short Film: Paul Zehrer, Being Seen
  • Best Writing in a Comedic Short Film: Anaelle Morf, Jewish Blind Date
  • Best Writing in a Narrative or Dramatic Short Film: Jake Wilkens, Wanderer
  • Best Editing in a Documentary Short Film: Drew Taylor and Matthew Taylor, Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball
  • Best Editing in a Narrative, Dramatic or Comedic Short Film: Finn Drude, Funkenflug-Chronicles Of A Catastrophe
  • Outstanding Styling in a Short Film: The Terrace Suite
  • Outstanding Technical Work in a Short Film: The Monster

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