2005 DIGit Event Review
The judges awarded Best Documentary to Chris Landreth's 2005 Academy Award
winner* "Ryan." This fully rendered 15-minute animated short is both a study
of the life of Canadian Oscar-winning animator Ryan Larkin, as well as a
self-portrait by Mr. Landreth about his personal experience; a work of
"psychological realism." It is an official submission to our 2005 DIGit
by the National Film Board of Canada.
The Best Narrative was awarded to Michael Berry's "The Day of the
Grackle," a laugh-out-loud battle royale in which a man's world is invaded
by a ferocious bird, thrusting him into an escalating, action-filled afternoon
that totally transforms his life.
Our Best Animation is Natella Kataev's "The Little Pilgrim," a poetic story
of growth, passage and discovery in which a young girl reflects on her
journey from her home in the forest to the big city as she makes peace
with childhood's end. The animation combines 3D, traditional and computer
graphics to create a magical landscape with a haunting audio track.
The Best Experimental work was done by Upper Delaware resident
Armand Agresti for his project, "Years." This technical and creative wonder
is a visual diary of 60 years of home movies, edited down to six hours
and then copied at 3000 frames per second and condensed to 11 minutes.
The resulting experience flows across the viewer in a surreal explosion of
image and color.
The 2005 DIGit Producer’s Award was presented to “Starboy,” a
30-minute animated opera by Lee Feldman. Starboy is a romantic,
two-dementional superhero on a mission to save all the sponges in the
world. Recently shown at the Whitney Museum, this work combines a
fully orchastrated musical creation and one-of-a-kind animation to produce
a unique experience for viewers of all ages
Best of Show ($1000.00 Award)
The Best of DIGit 2005 is "Resisting Paradise," an 80-minute visual masterpiece
by Barbara Hammer who poses the question: How can art persist during a time
of war? The movie uses the personal letters of French painters (Henri Matisse
and others) who left Paris seeking safety and clarity of light in a small
Mediterranean city and who continued to paint during the Nazi occupation.
Jordan Hiller, reviewing the movie for the Tribeca Film Festival, wrote:
'Hammer's novel approach to telling this self-contained story emanates from
her dissatisfaction with just telling only one story. She wants to create a
masterpiece with contrasting colors and a deeper illumination." Maria
Christina Villasenor of the Guggenheim Museum called the piece "eloquent
and richly layered" and "a compelling look at the intersection of art and life
in complex times."
On Saturday April 30th at 6 p.m. the DVAA presented our DIGit 2005
Keynote by the Rose Planetarium's Carter Emmart (see below) along
with the Best of 2005. DIGit is made possible by the New York State Council
on the Arts and was conceived to encourage creative and technical excellence
and experimentation - by individual artists, collaborators and small size
production firms working with digital tools.
2005 DIGit Jurors' Award
Dustin Schell New York, New York
2005 DIGit Directors' Award
Deb Halinski & Tom Hofbauer Broadview Heights, Ohio
2005 DIGit Producers' Award
Lee Feldman Brooklyn, New York
DIGit 2005 Official Selections:
Geoff Adams Newton, Massachusetts
Jorge Aquirre, Jr. Mundeleim, Illinois
Phyllis Bulkin-Lehrer New York, New York
Jeff Burns Troy, New York
Brenda Bynum & James Jenner Claryville, New York
Mitchell Deoudes & Chris Bonnstetter New York, New York
Jon Davis Twickenham, United Kingdom
Tyrone Davis San Francisco, California
Kelly Gorman Loganville, Georgia
Joe Guerriero Newton, New Jersey
Norman Johnson Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Randy Mack Los Angeles, California
Ingo Neuhaus Houston, Texas
Thomas Mercer Slingerlands, New York
Allan Rubin Cochecton, New York
Zac Stuart-Pontier NYU Film School
Talia Segal-Fidler Glen Spey, New York
Theodore Ushev Quebec, Canada
Dawn Westlake Los Angeles, California
Susanne Wibroe-Fost Saint Ouen, France
Michael Wirth Albany, New York
Tennyson Williams Chesterville, Ohio
In the Arts Center Galleries:
Mitchell Deoudes & Chris Bonnstetter
Carter Emmart & John Tomlinson
PC & more
2005 KEYNOTE EVENT
Carter Emmart, Director of Astrovisualization for the Rose Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History presented the keynote address for the 2005 Digit Exposition which was held from April 22 - May 1. His talk was followed by screenings of the winners for the ten-day long event. Submissions to arrived from around the world, and the New York State Council for the Arts has given the Arts Alliance significant financial support for this Media Arts event now in its second year.
Carter Emmarts sister Dale (a painter who lives in the Delaware Valley and in New York City) can attest to his lifelong passion for astronomy. When he was nine years old, she took him to the Hayden Planetarium, and from that point on, he discarded the toy dinosaurs that had captivated him and turned to the night sky. Emmarts knowledge of the universe merges with his artist talent as he creates the visual interpretations of scientific data for the planetarium dome, a facility his sister says, he thinks of as his personal playground.
Working for the Rose Planetarium theater since its inception, he directs and builds presentations, his goal being to create a planetarium that interactively shows the universe of the 21st century, reflecting the scientific discoveries that have changed the way we understand the cosmos. Interpreting scientific data, Emmart creates dome projections that simulate three dimensions and lend a greater understanding of the universe to the planetarium millions of visitors each year. Emmart thinks of himself as the primary (sometimes only) artistic influence greatly outnumbered by scientists. He speaks the A word very softly.
Besides his love of astronomy and Barbie dolls, which he photographs in famous landscapes like Mt. Rushmore, Emmart has been an active participant in the Burning Man festival that occurs every Labor Day weekend in the Nevadas Black Rock Desert. Last year he and one of his collaborators built a geodesic dome (based on the concepts of Buckminster Fuller) onto which they projected astronomical images. Twenty thousand people lined up during the event to see his creation.
In his 2005 DIGit keynote talk Emmart addressed how his creations merge his talent with digital technology, his artistic sensibility and his expansive scientific understanding. His keynote presentation (and DIGit winners screenings) took place on Saturday, April 30th, in the Tusten Theater.
Events were held in the Tusten Theatre, our 160-seat, fully restored art deco facility - and in the Delaware Arts Center where works by artists were shown on kiosks and large screen installations.
The Panel Participants:
"New Tools, New Rules," focused on the changes that digital tools have brought to the art world, music and movie industries. Our lead panel consists of award winning composer Patricia Lee Stotter, director Michael Berry and producer Larry Loewinger. Patricia Lee Stotter composes music for television and documentary films. She has received an Emmy Award, Emmy nominations, American Cine Eagle, Apple Award, ASCAP Popular Awards, and awards from Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. Larry Loewinger is an accomplished audio engineer, video producer and journalist. He has done sound recording for features, episodic television such as the "Law & Order" shows, documentaries and commercials. His sound recording work has been featured on several Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentaries. He has been nominated for and received his own Emmys. Michael Berry has been given our award for 2005 DIGit Best Narrative, and is the "Resident Director" of the New York based Regarde-Nous Theater Company. Mr. Berry was the recipient of a scholarship to the United States International University School Of Performing And Visual Arts.
"Sound & Music Production" featured Jason Dole, John Tomlinson, and DeJay Branch. Jason Dole hosts Telepathic Radio at community radio station WJFF in Jeffersonville, NY. He writes, edits, produces, and narrates for other WJFF programs, in addition to teaching the high school students of WJFF's Youth Radio Project. Jason enjoys capturing the sounds of real people talking and using music to help tell a story. He is currently working on a feature length audio documentary exploring the relationship between people and their phones. John Tomlinson, director of the Parson's New York Studio Program, will add to the discussion. Tomlinson maintains his studio in the Upper Delaware Valley where he is completing a project of digitally animated charcoal drawings set to music and sound he is creating using a suite of new digital tools. DeJay Branch is creating a state-of-the-art recording facility in the Old School House located in Lackawaxen, PA. Writing and scoring for both independent and major film projects has afforded him vast experience in the web and digital film mediums.
"The Art of Convergence" featured Natella Kataev, Armand Agresti, and Leesa Dean. Natella Kataev has been given our award for 2005 DIGit Best Animation. Ms. Kataev came to the United States in 1988 at the age of nine from Tajikistan, a republic of the former Soviet Union. She attended Queens College where she majored in Media Studies, Film, and Art.
She went on to earn her Masters Degree in Animation and Broadcast from Parsons School of Design, graduating in 2004. She currently resides in New York where she freelances as an animator and motion graphics artist. Armand Agresti has completed eighteen short films since 1965. Mr. Agresti has been given our award for 2005 DIGit Best Experimental Work in which he digitized 60 years of film into a visual diary of six hours. He then increased the speed of the final composition to 3000 frames per second, which is 100 times normal. The finished project is an 11-minute poetic tour de force, which flows over the viewer as surreal imagery with many familiar cultural references. Leesa Dean is a writer, producer and comic book artist. Her underground comic "Chilltown" is an animated series and has been featured in "The Source", "Rap Pages", "Spin" & "Vibe Magazines." Her Chilltown website (http://www.chilltown.net) has a fan base of over 2.5 million people based on word of mouth alone. Currently, she's writing, producing and animating a new television series, The Danger Squad, for MMN TV and working on a graphic novel.
"Distribution Explosion" focused on the revolutionary changes taking place in the distribution of movies, video, music, art and other data. The panel will consist of Ron Littke, Chris Andreola and Troy Bystrom. Chris Andreola is founder and Creative Director of ADC studio, a web design and production firm located in Livingston Manor, New York. He services a list of prominent corporate clients. Ron Littke is a video/performance artist living in New York City and the Upper Delaware Valley. His videos have been screened in the United States and Europe. Troy Bystrom is a talented artist, designer and internet technician. Mr. Bystrom has his own design firm in New York City and he is presently building a state-of-the-art digital production hub with his collaborator in the Upper Delaware Valley called the Old School House.
For further information about DIGit or other DVAA-sponsored programs or events call 845-252-7576.
DIGit 2004 Event Review
* The Academy Awards and Oscar are copyrights of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Inc.