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Whitehead intl film festival

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The Whitehead International Film Festival at Claremont (can you say Process Theology?) is set for Jan. 12-15. Films booked so far:

Recycle, Close, Walking Catfish Blues, Corona Station, Maria Full of Grace, Goodbye Lenin, Winged Migration, My Own Private Idaho.

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The Schedule is finalized. (I really like their selections.)

Also available is a .pdf file for the Faith and Film Class taught by Marjorie Suchocki and James Wall with participation by John Cobb.

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Report from Claremont:

This was a great experience! There were about 2 dozen of us in the class, led by Marjorie Suchocki, prof. emerita of Claremont School of Theology, and Jim Wall, Sr. Contributing Editor (former editor) of The Christian Century. Both of them are veterans (Wall for nearly a quater century) of ecumenical juries at Montreal and Berlin Film Festivals.

Our challenge was to serve as the jury for the festival and decide which of the films best fit the selection criteria:

The film shall exhibit artistic excellence in screenplay, music and filming technique.

The film shall promote the common good, which is defined as a society in which persons and communities care for one another's well-being.

The film shall exhibit sensitivity to the human condition, promoting the dignity of all.

As appropriate to the film's subject matter, the film shall foster ecological responsibility.

The film shall cultivate a realistic hope of creative transformation.

Seeing ten features and ten shorts in 3.5 days was pretty hectic when you consider there were discussions of features in the theater after the screenings and then we'd head back to our jury room to further discuss the films. (We're talking 12 hour days, plus commute time for me.) The discussions were marvelous - as good as some of our discussions here, except they had the advantage of immediateness. I'm hoping one or two of them may be joining us here at some point.

The process was not so much which was our favorite, but which best exemplified the criteria. We also took a straw poll for our favorites regardless of the criteria.

The schedule was such that on Saturday afternoon, we had to settle on a tentative winner, and then after the evening screening, we went out to the lobby to see if the final film would displace our choice -- and it did.

The winner of the Whitehead Prize for 2005:

Barbarian Invasions

(Runner-up: In America)

Special mention to Winged Migration

Best Short: And the Redman Turned Green

Honerable Mention: Little Terrorist

Edited by Darrel Manson

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2006 dates are Jan. 11-14. website

Films booked so far:

  • Syrian Bride
  • Rana's Wedding
  • The Sea Inside
  • Three Dollars
  • Howl's Moving Castle
  • Story of the Weeping Camel
  • Marathon

It's possible to just go to whatever films you want to see. But a great thing if you are able to do it, is to pay for the course that is run along side this and serve as the jury for the festival. Discussions lead by Marge Suchocki and Jim Wall who serve on ecumenical juries at festivals such as Berlin and Montreal. The group dealing with the films digs deeply. These are full days of watching and discussing films. It was a great experience last year. If you're in the area or have time to come out, consider it.

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If anyone is in the area, I plan on being in Claremont to catch 2 films on Thursday (Rana's Wedding and Marathon). $5 movies with discussion following are hard to beat.

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A sneak peek at the 2007 schedule. Marking my calendar. Unsure if I'll plan on doing the faith and film class (the CEUs would cover my requirement for the year.)

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Sneak peek at the '08 edition. Jan. 18-21

Edited by Darrel Manson

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For those in the area who might want to take in one or two films, the schedule is up. Tickets for individual films is only $5. $100 for pass. $300 for pass and class.

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The jury's pick for the 2008 festival is Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles with a Special Mention for Mother of Mine. (These were two of my top three, my top was Witnesses.)

Edited by Darrel Manson

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For Southern Calif. folks, this years festival will run Jan. 16-19 (that's a week from Friday through the next monday). Schedule $5 for individual films, options for registering for festival pass or Faith & Film course

I'm planning on doing the course again. If you're going to take in a film or two, let me know and we can connect.

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For the record, the jury prize went to The Visitor, with strong support for The Stranger and XXY (both from Argentina). Special mention also given to the documentary Heimatklange

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The 2010 schedule is set. Jan 15-18 (MLK weekend) Only 2 films that I've already seen this time around. One of which is Departures, my best film to date this year.

Let me encourage anyone one within easy distance of Claremont to take advantage of seeing these films (at the door tickets: $5) If you are interested in the Faith and Film class that serves as the jury for the festival (cost: $300)I highly recommend that as well. And what better way to get continuing ed credit than watching movies?

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I didn't take the Faith and Film Class, so wasn't part of the jury deliberations, but the results are:

Winner of the 2010 Whitehead Award: Departures

Runner-up: The only film I didn't see, The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre) from Canada. (Sadly DVD not yet available)

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: Runner-up: The only film I didn't see, The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre) from Canada. (Sadly DVD not yet available)

The Canadian DVD has been out for a while, and can be ordered from Amazon.ca (quick! get it before our dollars reach parity!).

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I drop by the website every so often to see what's being planned. For next year's festival, special guest (probably for the opening night reception and dinner) Kenneth Turan.

There are 4 films picked so far, none of which I've seen.

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How cool that recent A&F favorite DeUsynlige, or Troubled Water is one of those films. Are you going to see this on the big screen?

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How cool that recent A&F favorite DeUsynlige, or Troubled Water is one of those films. Are you going to see this on the big screen?

Not as big as a normal theatre, but Claremont School of Theology has a really nice venue for films, so it probably qualifies as a big screen - bigger than most of the screening rooms I see films in.

Plan your calender - wouldn't you love to be in Southern California in January.

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Are you kidding me? And miss life in Michigan? In January?

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My annual January bump to remind folks in the L.A. area that this is coming. I don't think I'll be doing the class this year, but I will be able to take in the films. Opens with God's and Men and discussion led by Kenneth Turan.

I don't think I've yet convinced anyone to come see a film or two, but at $5 a film this is a deal that shouldn't be missed.

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Slight correction to the above - I just signed up for the class. If anybody's going to be coming for some of the films, let me know, we can plan lunch or something.

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This year's film lineup is announced. Let me again say what a wonderful opportunity it is to take the Faith and Film class and serve as the festival jury. Sooner or later someone will take me up on that. By the way, I have a spare room if you want to commute with me.

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2 winners this year: one for narrative (Gold and Copper) and one for doc (Crime After Crime).

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