My students attend their first film festival

Think about a time when you saw or did something that changed how you think about things.  That’s what happened back in October when I took a group of 25 AUBG journalism students from 13 countries to the Manaki Brothers International Film Festival in  Bitola, Macedonia.  For most of them, it was their first film festival and I think (and hope) it opened their eyes to a world they did not know about before.   The festival folks gave us guest passes and the students could watch as many films as they wanted as well as attend workshops, press conferences and other special events. Some even managed to get in the theater on opening night, which was attended by many dignitaries including the President of Macedonia.  I also arranged private meetings for the students with a programmer, cinematographer and a film critic.  All in all, I think it was a wonderful experience  (see for yourself in this video).  I hope to be back next year with some documentaries that my students will make in my classes next semester!

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A short documentary about the making of a short film

It’s been a crazy week. Some of the highlights include:

– meeting the Bulgarian king (pictures coming soon as proof!)

– visiting Sofia to have meetings with some filmmakers and then stopping to shop at IKEA, which just opened here last week

– moving to another apartment (same building, higher floor)

– planning a trip to bring 30 of my students to a film festival in Macedonia this weekend (Bitola, here we come in a bus!)

And teaching. And so on.

So for the first time since Mark and I  got here here, I felt a strong urge to do something creative, just for me. So I finally dug out the hard drive I brought with me to Bulgaria (thank you, Allie!) with the “behind-the-scenes” footage I shot of the making of the short film “Hole in the Wall.”  What fun to re-live the energy and synergy of director Amanda Becker and assistant director Carrie Bush along with DP Dave Schnack and the rest of this fantastic Minnesota crew. Truth be told, it made me miss my homies but it was also a nice way to feel connected. And to feel like I was doing something really normal. Like staying up late editing something. Just for me.

I can’t tell you how much fun I had working on this. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. Now I’ve got to get back to prepping for classes, mid-term reviews (yes, it’s already mid-terms!), field trips, etc. More updates soon!

*Note: If you want to watch the video full screen, click on the 4 arrows next to the word “Vimeo” on the lower right hand side of the box.