FotoFest sponsored a special Film and Video series related
to The Earth theme in partnership with the Environmental
Film Festival in the Nation's Captial and the Museum
of Fine Arts, Houston Film Department for 2006 programming.
The films screened at The
Brown Auditorium Theater at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
March 31 - April 15, 2006.
FOTOFEST2006 Film Series
Flo Stone, artistic director and founder of the Environmental
Film Festival in the Nation's Captial, served as guest
programmer for this expansive selection of acclaimed films
and came to the MFAH to introduce several of the films. A
number of the films bring diverse global environment concerns
into sharp focus, while others inspire with stories of individuals
confronting natural and man-made challenges. This series is
presented in association with FOTOFEST2006 – The Eleventh
International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art,
which has designated The Earth as one of its two
themes. Co-sponsor of the series is the Museum of Fine Arts,
Houston Film Department and Director Marian Luntz.
Please see The
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Film Department for more
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1984, 115 min., dubbed)
Friday, March 31, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 1, 1:00 p.m.
A rare opportunity to see this early film by the great anime
director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) on the big screen!
An epic environmental tale, the story follows Princess Nausicaa
as she faces a devastating ecological disaster and resolves
to save the earth from submerging beneath an expanding “sea
of corruption” created by humanity. The feisty, compassionate
young girl and her allies battle to heal a wounded world and
its inhabitants. Miyazaki’s vivid animated fantasy entertains
but also carries a strong and cautionary message.
Global Shorts program
Saturday, April 1, 3:30 p.m.
Films in the Global Shorts Program:
Dutch Light (Hollands Licht)
Directed by Pieter-Rim DeKroon and Maarten DeKroon
(The Netherlands, 60 min., subtitled)
The remarkable quality of Dutch light was memorably captured
in the paintings of Vermeer, Rembrandt and many other Dutch
Masters. But has its special radiance disappeared, due to
pollution? This striking and original documentary features
a mélange of ideas and theories, colors, images, landscapes,
and of course light, in an attempt to separate fact from fiction.
Ode to Avalanche
Directed by Ken Bailey
(U.S.A., 1998, 6 min.)
This exhilarating film captures an avalanche in Telluride,
Crown of the Continent
Directed by John Grabowska
(U.S.A., 2003, 28 min.)
An inspirational tour of Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National
Park and Preserve.
Directed by Bill Plympton
(U.S.A., 2003, 5 min.)
Renowned animator Bill Plympton depicts a battle between a
blade of grass sand a parking-lot attendant.
Directed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou
(France/Italy, 2004, 81 minutes, subtitled)
Saturday, April 1, 7:00 p.m.
Pre-release screening courtesy of ThinkFilm
From the team responsible for the riveting Microcosmos comes
this equally unforgettable film about the cycles of life.
A mystical African griot (Sotigui Kouyaté) who serves
as narrator, uses the evocative language of myth to relate
the birth of the universe and stars, the fiery beginnings
of our planet, and the appearance of life on earth. Animals,
reptiles, and sea creatures, often depicted in vivid time-lapse
photography, and enhanced by an exceptional soundtrack, are
the true stars of the film.
" Lensing with motion control cameras in locales from
Iceland to the Galapagos, [the filmmakers] appear to have
convinced colorful specimens of marine and land life to give
the animal kingdom's equivalent of Oscar-caliber performances,
always hitting their marks for … crisp action footage.
These guys are ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.”
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With
Directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer
(Germany, 2001, 90 min.)
Saturday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 15, 7:00 p.m.
Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy’s masterpieces are
made entirely of objects found in nature, which steadily threatens
and destroys his art. Capturing Goldsworthy in the process
of creating his trademark ephemera, this film offers a unique
appreciation of his use of unique materials and an approach
to making art that is quite iconoclastic.
Earth and Ashes (Terre et Cendres)
Directed by Atiq Rahimi
(France/Afghanistan, 2004, 110 min., subtitled)
Friday, April 7, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 9, 7:00 p.m
Stunningly beautiful, this film is based on the director’s
novel about one family’s experiences in war-torn Afghanistan.
An elderly man is obliged to perform an onerous task: to reach
his son, who works in a mine in the mountains, and tell him
of the destruction of their village and the deaths of most
of their family following a bombing by an unnamed army. Accompanied
by his 5-year-old grandson, the events on this difficult journey
illuminate the overwhelming effects that modern warfare has
had on the region and its people. – 2004 Toronto Film
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
(Japan, 1975, 137 min., subtitled)
Saturday, April 8, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.
A party of Russian soldiers on a mapping expedition in the
vast wilderness of Siberia enlists an old hunter, Dersu Uzala,
as a guide. With his knowledge of the land and his mystical
ability to communicate with nature, he saves the soldiers
from destruction. This Oscar-winning epic (Best Foreign Language
Film) is a testament to the value of friendship and the transcendent
powers of the human spirit.