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News & Events
Ferguson Center Announces 2013-14 On Screen/In Person Tour
(Newport News, Va.) - The Ferguson Center for the Arts has announced dates for the 2013-14 On Screen/In Person film series. A program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, On Screen/In Person is designed to bring some of the best new independent American films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region.
This year’s films cover a variety of dynamic topics, ranging from the bipartisanship efforts of a first-time congressman to the environmental implications of shorefront development in the wake of hurricane season. Filmmakers explore the history of the AIDS activist organization ACT UP, the burgeoning pet memorial business and the grief that accompanies loss, and popular culture’s representation of powerful women in society as personified through the legacy of comic book heroine Wonder Woman. And one director takes us on a wild ride that pieces together multiple scripts from different sources to make a film version of the old parlor game Exquisite Corpse.
Selected films include: "The Exquisite Corpse Project," directed by Ben Popik; "Furever," directed by Amy Finkel; "Mr. Cao Goes to Washington," directed by S. Leo Chiang; "Shored Up," directed by Ben Kalina; "United in Anger: A History of ACT UP," directed by Jim Hubbard; and "WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines," directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. The filmmakers will be present at screenings and work with the Ferguson Center for the Arts to engage local community members to build greater appreciation for their works and the art of film. Pre and post-screening discussions will be held with filmmakers and a panel of experts.
The purpose of On Screen/In Person is to provide exhibition opportunities for independent filmmakers; provide access to film programming of excellence to audiences across the mid-Atlantic region; and to provide communities with opportunities that engender greater understanding of the filmmakers work and enhance the viewing experience.
Screening dates and movie synopses are available below and online. Tickets are available in person or over the phone at the Ferguson Center Ticket Office. Usual fees apply; if purchased in person via cash or check all fees waived.
General public tickets: $5 per ticket
Series pricing: 1 ticket for all 6 films $25
Group pricing: 10 or more $3 per ticket
Ticket Office Hours:
Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
A program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, On Screen/In Person is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts' Regional Touring Program, Christopher Newport University's Office of the Provost and the Ferguson Center for the Arts.
Director, Ben Kalina
Time: Thursday, September 12, 2013, Music & Theatre Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
"Shored Up" is an urgent call to action in the face of accelerating sea-level rise, presenting the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as a window into the future. Set in Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the film explores the political conflicts and personal stakes of seaside communities. "Shored Up" talks to scientists, politicians, residents and a wide range of experts to expose major shortcomings in coastal management and the urgent need for change. The film is a look at what happens when we ignore the realities of nature in our drive to inhabit and profit from our coastlines.
Ben Kalina’s work focuses on the intersection of science, culture and the environment. He directs and produces original documentaries, narrative shorts and cross-media projects as well as client-driven video productions. Kalina has worked for years with Niijii Films on the documentaries "Two Square Miles" and "A Sea Change," two award-winning films that have been successfully deployed for environmental justice and education, and both of which have been nationally broadcast in the U.S. In addition to his documentary work, Kalina has won several international awards for his short narrative film, "Diorama."
Director, Amy Finkel
Time: Thursday, October 17, 2013, Concert Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
"Furever" explores the dimensions of grief people experience over the loss of a pet and the sociological evolution of domesticated animals in the U.S. today, particularly their position in a family unit. Featuring interviews with owners, veterinarians, psychologists, religious scholars and professionals in the pet memorial business, "Furever" confronts cultural assumptions regarding attachment and death, and studies the deep psychological and physiological bonds that form between humans and animals. How 'real' is grief for a dead pet and who decides what is acceptable or appropriate? The reactions of these owners embody America's muddled attitudes toward death and dying, touching on our collective fear of aging, and how that fear is shaped by the shifting influences of religion, technology, family, and money.
Amy Finkel is a designer, photographer, documentary filmmaker and writer. She is the founder and creative director of Sailor Beware, an agency that specializes in Web design and video work. She is an instructor at both New York University and Parsons The New School for Design, where she teaches classes in photography, documentary filmmaking and Web design. Finkel has served as a judge for International Documentary Association's Documentary Achievement Awards and for New York Festivals, and acts as a 'doctor' for New York Foundation for the Arts’ "Doctor's Hours for Filmmakers." Finkel holds an MFA in design and technology from Parsons, and a BA in theater from Connecticut College.
Mr. Cao Goes to Washington
Director, S. Leo Chiang
Time: Thursday, November 14, 2013, Music & Theatre Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
What happens when the idealism of a political rookie clashes with the realities of political culture in the American South and the partisan struggles in Washington, D.C.? Mr. Cao Goes to Washington follows the unexpected journey of Rep. Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to the U.S. Congress and the only Republican to vote for President Obama's health care reform bill.
S. Leo Chiang is a Taiwan-born, San Francisco-based filmmaker. His previous film, the Emmy Award-nominated "A Village Called Versailles," about the transformation of the Vietnamese community in post-Katrina New Orleans, picked up eight film festival awards, aired on the PBS program "Independent Lens," and has been acquired by more than 200 universities. Chiang is a lecturer in the social documentation program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is also an active member of New Day Films, the social-issue documentary distribution co-operative. He earned his MFA in film production from the University of Southern California
The Exquisite Corpse Project
Director, Ben Popik
Time: Thursday, February 13, 2014, Concert Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
Ben Popik brought his former comedy troupe a challenge: the five writers would each write 15 pages of a movie, having read only the previous writer's last five pages. They agreed with one stipulation: if they wrote the movie, he had to make it. The result is this one-of-a-kind narrative-documentary hybrid that is equal parts comedy, children's television show, love story and supernatural adventure. Meanwhile, documentary footage provides an inside look into the creative process and the group dynamics that make collaboration between friends difficult.
Ben Popik is a comedy writer/director, and former member of the sketch group Olde English – with whom he produced more than 150 videos, had a monthly show at the UCB Theatre in New York City, and performed at HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival. Olde English also performed at the San Francisco, Toronto and Chicago Sketchfests; was featured in The New York Times; on "Good Morning America"; Entertainment Weekly's "Must List"; and made pilots for Comedy Central and MTV. Popik is currently touring with "The Exquisite Corpse Project."
WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Director, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
Time: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, Music & Theatre Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
"WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" traces the fascinating legacy of comic book character Wonder Woman to illustrate how popular representations of powerful women often reflect broader cultural anxieties about gender roles. The film goes behind the scenes with actors Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman”) and Lindsay Wagner (“The Bionic Woman”), comic writers and artists, and other real-life feminist icons such as Gloria Steinem and Kathleen Hanna who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.
Kristy Guevera-Flanagan’s acclaimed documentary "Going On 13" was an official selection of Tribeca, Silverdocs and many other international film festivals. It received funding from ITVS and was broadcast on public television in 2009. She has also produced and directed several short films, including "El Corrido de Cecilia Rios," which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Now an assistant professor at Diablo Valley College, Guevara-Flanagan holds an MFA in film production from San Francisco State University.
United in Anger: A History of ACT UP
Director, Jim Hubbard
Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014, Music & Theatre Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts Christopher Newport University: 7 p.m.
"United in Anger: A History of ACT UP" combines archival footage and remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) Oral History Project to explore how a small group of men and women of all races and classes came together to change the world and save each other’s lives. The film takes the viewer through the planning and execution of a dozen major actions that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis.
Jim Hubbard has been making films since 1974, including "Elegy in the Streets" (1989), "Two Marches" (1991), "The Dance" (1992) and "Memento Mori" (1995). His films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Berlin Film Festival, the London Film Festival and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, among many others. Hubbard co-founded MIX, the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival, and created the AIDS Activist Video Collection at the New York Public Library under the auspices of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. He has curated or co-curated film series for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.
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