FotoFest 2006


Still from Dutch Light (Hollands licht)



Still from Dersu Uzala



Still from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
(Kaze no tani no Naushika)


Still from Genesis

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 information.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika)
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, Colorado.

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.” – Variety

Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time
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 Festival

Dersu Uzala
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.