AFI Fest Day 8 – moving into the 2nd weekend…

Day 8 of the festival and I’m not terribly worse for wear. But…as I have been dozing off a bit (during movies) I could probably use just a little caffeine…maybe.

I’ve stopped reading the festival catalog and I’m just walking blindly into documentaries. So…I stumbled into Desire. The film follows a group of young girls living in New Orleans for 5 years as they deal with teen pregnancy, sexuality, high school, high expectations, graduation and dropping out. Julie Gustafson, the director/producer seemed pleased with the world premiere screening after 10 years of work on the project. Desire was supposed to have had its world premiere screening at the New Orleans Film Festival but Hurricane Katrina shut down the festival. All proceeds from the screenings of Desire during AFI Fest benefit the NOFF. The Executive Director spoke after the film and asked for donations. She and many other film fest staff are currently working for free trying to get the festival on track for 2006.

I was surprised to find a third film (out of 12) dealing with refugees in competition for the International Documentary Prize. There are always music docs, there are always films about artists, but 3 films about refugees seems a little improbable. But in a world where war is more abundant than the media cares to report, documentarians really have their hands full getting stories out there.

There are 3 million Sudanese refugees living in Egypt. Davin Anders Hutchins, an American journalist and the filmmaker, lived in Cairo for a year looking for stories. He found them in a refugee from Southern Sudan, a human rights activist from Northern Sudan and in himself. The Art of Flight dares to ask questions about the “American empire” and explores the middle east through new and unflinchingly open eyes.

Day 9 will be a doc free day – although I did manage to score a ticket to the Tribute to Johnny Depp.

On Saturday there’s a New York Times Talk: The War Documentary.

    The New York Times Magazine contributor moderates an expert panel focusing on the year’s important films and what they say about the way we live now. New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati talks with Director Eugene Jarecki (Why we fight), Stephen Marshall (Battleground), Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) Garrett Scott (Operation Dreamland) and Michael tucker (Gunner Palace).

See you there!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.