New Film in Works -- "Rising" by Ron Hagell with Terrance Henderson

Rising_Logo “Rising ”is a new contemporary dance film by Ron Hagell, with choreography by Terrance Henderson. It is being made for The Jasper Project as a part of the “Marked by the Water” commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 Year Flood on October 4, 2016.

 

Both Hagell and Henderson have felt strongly that the artists of Columbia need to “make artwork” in response to this major event that brought upheaval to so many lives in our hometown. To that end both artists, experienced in dance and filmmaking, came together to devise this new work.

 

The artists were close to some of those whose homes were engulfed on the night of October 4, 2015 particularly along Gills Creek in the Rosewood section of the city. In the aftermath many had lost a lifetime’s worth of treasured possessions and their homes but thankfully, with the help of neighbors and strangers, few lives were lost.

 

Talking through the disaster’s lead-up and with a good deal of knowledge of the community since the flood, both felt that there has been a change in our community and that a comment about this could be the starting point for new work.

 

If we think back to our state and town in the years and months leading up to this event it is clear that South Carolina has been in a socio-cultural slump for some time. There were many problems that came to a head prior to the flood. The Charleston shooting happened and this lead to the final chapter in the decades long struggle to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse grounds. While one negative incident led to a positive one, the economic and political plight of many blacks and other citizens of the state did not change. Old problems of inequality and racial division seemed as intractable as ever. The SC State Supreme Court ruling regarding basic education rights for all children showed us how serious the situation had become. But many still believed that, even with these news headlines, change would only come in the far distant future - if at all.

 

Then the flood came.

 

Since the flood came so quickly and waters rose to heights never before witnessed in living memory, those affected needed a great deal of assistance from across the whole community. In most areas the destruction was so great that normal services could not cope. In these cases many communities saw neighbors and stranger helping each other in a myriad of ways regardless of race or social standing. The flood brought down barriers and in their place we have felt a change that has stayed around. It’s a ripple on the surface of our town, where history runs deeper than the three rivers. But it’s there and we hope it will lead to a new beginning and a bridge to change.

 

Our dance film speaks to this hopeful future but rests in the arms of our Southern traditional/spiritual music. As with most contemporary dance, every element of the work is symbolic. The historic photograph stands-in for much that is lost – washed away by the waters. But still our victim is helped to rise from the flood into a new life with the help of others.

 

 

 

 

“Rising” Film Production Organization:

Production: Studio 53 – Contact: Ron Hagell or Shirley Smith

Telephone: (917) 216-2098 or (803) 609-0840

r.hagell@gmail.com

Filmmaker (script and direction) – Ron Hagell

Choreographer and Music Arranger – Terrance Henderson

Principal Vocalist – Katrina Blanding

Supporting Vocals – Terrance Henderson and Kendrick Marion

Art Director – Eileen Blyth

Auditions are currently underway for dancers and additional crew. The film will be completed in late September for screening on October 4, 2016.

This film is being produced under the auspices of the Jasper Project as a part of “Marked by the Water,” under the leadership of Cynthia Boiter, Ed Madden and Mary Gilkerson.

 

 

Tamara Finkbeiner wins Audience Award at Jasper's 2nd Act Film Festival

Tamara Finkbeiner  

Congratulations to Tamara Finkbeiner whose film Eva's Plug, won the Audience Award at Friday night's 2nd Act Film Festival sponsored by Jasper Magazine. Selected via audience ballot, the 2nd Act Film Festival Audience Award includes a check for $250, a First Draft editing program, and a one-of-a-kind trophy designed by Columbia artist, Matthew Kramer. According to film festival director Wade Sellers, "With any short film fest there are many films that could win an audience award, that was the same with this year's 2nd Act Film Fest. There is usually a film, however, that just connects with an audience in that room at that moment and that was the case with Tamara's film Eva's Plug. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm for the film build as it played. That experience is what 2nd Act is all about."

This was the second 2nd Act Film Festival (the first was in October 2013) which played once again to a capacity house at Tapp's Arts Center and included the films of 10 adjudicated filmmakers from South Carolina including Lucas Sams, Brian Harmon, Jason Stokes, Bessy Adut, Phyllis Jackson, Caletta Harris-Bailey, Bradley Wagster,  Dustin Weibel, Jordan Young, and Tamara Finkbeiner. The selected filmmakers, who applied to participate earlier this season, were chosen over other applicants based on their abilities and the freshness of the voice the jurors thought they would bring to the project. Jurors included Lee Ann Kornegay, Lee Snelgrove,  Caitlin Bright, Wade Sellers, and Cindi Boiter. 

2015 2nd Act Filmmakers

"This year we put more pressure on ourselves to assist the filmmakers," Sellers says. "We offered script notes, production advice and assistance, and editorial suggestions once the films were turned in. As a whole the films were more diverse in voice and just better as a whole than our first event." Sellers is the owner and director of Coal Powered Filmworks, a three-time Emmy nominated filmmaker, and the film editor for Jasper Magazine.

In keeping with Jasper's efforts to foster a multi-disciplinary arts community, both visual artists and musicians played a part in the festival and its presentation.  Visual artist Michael Krajewski created an original painting which was used for the festival poster and program; visual artist Matthew Kramer created the Audience Award; and Pedro Ldv entertained festival attendees both before the event and during intermission. In addition, original music from several Columbia-based musicians, including Stan Gardner, Daniel Machado and more, was used as background music during the films themselves.

Columbia-based writer Don McCallister also served as a consultant on the first and third acts of the screenplay which was given to the filmmakers with the challenge that they write the second act and create a film, six minutes long or less, using all three acts. Participants in the 2013 2nd Act Film Festival including Ron Hagell and OK Keyes lent the knowledge of their experience to this year's filmmakers by consulting on films and screenplays.

In the aftermath of Columbia's devastating flood last week other artists including Michael Krajewski,  Bonnie Goldberg, Kara Gunter, Nancy Marine, and Sean McGuiness voluntarily stepped up and offered the fruits of their labors to benefit flood victims through a silent auction which generated $1060 which will be delivered to the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Two large bins of children's arts supplies was also collected from audience members for distribution to children effected by the flood.

The festival staff would like to thank Precision Overhead Garage Door Service, the Mouse House, Coal Powered Filmwork, and Bourbon Columbia for their sponsorship funds and services.

"It was exciting to see these ten filmmakers create these films," Sellers says, "and it only makes us more excited for the future of the event."

Third Annual Figure Out: A Figurative Nude Art Show brought to you by Planned Parenthood and Tapp's Arts Center

Dalvin Mustafa Spann  

Tapp's Arts Center (1644 Main St.) will continue its partnership with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic by joining with local artists to celebrate the human figure. A fundraiser in its third year, Figure Out will include painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, film and photography.

 

Leslie Pierce

The exhibition will include a special wall of art by Leslie Pierce. Pierce, who passed away earlier this year, was a volunteer and director of adult programming and partnerships at Columbia Museum of Art. She was a beloved supporter of the arts in Columbia who became involved in Figure Out in 2013, as an exhibiting artist and as a committee member.

 

Sandra Carr

In addition to special events surrounding the show, Figure Out will be on exhibit throughout the month of September at Tapp’s. This show is curated by Molly Harrell and Billy Guess. Proceeds from art sales support the work of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

 

Figure Out Special Events

•       Wednesday, Sept. 2, 5:30-7 p.m.: Sponsor/ artist reception

•       Thursday, Sept. 3, 6-10 p.m. (during First Thursday on Main): Figure Out opening night.

•       Wednesday, Sept. 16, 12 – 1:30 p.m.: Panel discussion and lunch on Art & Sexuality. A light lunch will be provided for attendees who register in advance by contactingwill.bigger@ppsat.org.

More than 40 artists will participate and have pieces on display as part of Figure Out, including Michaela Pilar Brown, Sarah Madison Brown, Billy Guess, Ron Hagell, Molly Harrell, Whitney LeJeune, Dre. Lopez, Gwynn Pevonka, Kirkland Smith and Dalvin “Mustafa” Spann.

 

For more information about Tapp’s Arts Center, visit www.tappsartscenter.com or call (803) 988-0013.

 

About Tapps Arts Center Tapps Arts Center is the premier contemporary art center in downtown historic Columbia. Tapps is a gathering place for creative exploration and is dedicated to bridging connections in creativity by offering workshops, classes, affordable studio rentals, exhibition space and cultural events to help artists and art enthusiast create, learn and grow.

 

About Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Each year Planned Parenthood South Atlantic serves thousands of women, men, and teens. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic provides high-quality, nonjudgmental, reproductive healthcare and medically accurate, age-appropriate sexuality education. Our services include vital life-saving cancer screenings, STD/STI prevention, testing and treatment and access to safe, legal and ethical abortion services.

 

 

 

Expecting Something at the Expecting Goodness Film Festival, by Susan Levi Wallach

Friday night with Melinda Cotton in the hotel bar: Kari Jackson called us brave—“us” being the writers who submitted short stories (their darling lambs) to the Expecting Goodness Film Festival, where twelve of them, shorn, would premiere as ten-minute films.  OK, not shorn.  Massaged, tweaked, re-imagined, visualized.  Those characters that had gamboled through our minds?  About to be up on the David Reid Theatre screen, in Spartanburg.

Earlier this evening, I sat with Matthew Fogarty (whose reading of “Denouement” rocked) and found out that we have more in common than Columbia: Neither of us had seen the films that tomorrow will be shown to a sold-out house, and both of our filmmakers had ditched our titles. “Denouement” was now “Resolution”; my “Simon of the Dessert” had become “Grace” (Bunuel does have a lock on the film title).

No matter. This is “a writer’s film festival.” We all are expecting goodness—that’s the name of the festival, and Kari, the festival’s associate director, has us feeling optimistic and bold. But at the end of the reading, which none of our filmmakers attended, Matthew and I are wondering—in a good, expectant way—what we’ll see tomorrow.

Melinda Cotton, the remaining Columbia writer, is better than optimistic. Her filmmaker, Durham Harrison, kept her involved throughout the process. Even let her attend the shoot. “I told him, ‘Here’s my heart,’ ” she said, referring to her story “Grammy’s Keys.” (Her filmmaker, his filmmaker:  Writers can be possessive—anything for the illusion of control.)

Question:  What if the movie I had running in my head while writing the story is not the movie that Adam had in his when he wrote the script?

Answer:  It probably isn’t.  And it doesn’t matter.  Really, it doesn’t.

 The morning after:

The Expecting Goodness Film Festival was a feat of organization, from the “red carpet” photo opps for the filmmakers and writers to the stick-to-the-schedule precision that had a seven-or-so-hour event wrap just about on time.  Not that anyone attends a film festival for anything other than the films. All of them had merit; a few were exceptional. Among the standouts was “Pretty Pitiful God,” by Columbia’s Jeffrey Driggers and Drew Baron, based on a short story by Deno Trakas (and featuring two of the Almor brothers, Itai and Gaal). Not only did it win the Jasper’s Pick Award but also a shout-out from Paris MTN Scout. “Resolution” made it to the screen only as a half-finished music video; “Grace,” which had almost nothing to do with my story, was a fabulous, comic riff on love and obsession.

 The writer of the short story, Deno, with my favorite film makers Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron — with Deno Trakas, Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron in Columbia.

Besides the six Expecting Goodness participants already mentioned, filmmakers Ron Hagell, Shirley Ann Smith, and John Daniel Fisher (who won Best Emerging Filmmaker for “Remember, No Thinking”) also live in the Columbia area.  The Nick will show all of the films from the Expecting Goodness Film Festival at a special screening on May 21 at 5:30 PM.

~ Susan Levi Wallach