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May 26, 2003

Santa Cruz Film Festival spotlights UCSC faculty on May 30

By Scott Rappaport

The Santa Cruz Film Festival will spotlight works by the faculty of UCSC’s Film and Digital Media Department on Friday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Media Theater on the campus. Admission is $8 general, $7 students.

Images from El Zócalo, a film by Chip Lord and Gustavo Vazquez that will be screened May 30. Photos courtesy of Chip Lord

The program will include selected personal films by department chair Chip Lord, Associate Professor Lawrence Andrews, Assistant Professor Gustavo Vazquez, and lecturer Irene Gustafson.

"They are all nonfiction films or documentaries, but none fall in the traditional documentary form as we know it," noted Lord. "They’re not Ken Burns-style documentaries; none of these films really have interviews. They’ve all been shaped as a work of art. We’re artists working in digital video with nonfictional material."

"I think this program is representative of what the production faculty do in our department," Lord added.


Irene Gustafson, Distracted: A Trip Around the World, 15:00 minutes 1997. This experimental documentary narrates a journey through the impossible spatial and temporal landscape of a 1950s-era miniature golf course.

Gustavo Vazquez, RE: Group/No Homeland (A post 9/11 intercultural Poltergeist), 12:00 minutes 2003
Filmmaker Gustavo Vazquez was asked to produce a segment for a PBS documentary on "new performance art in San Francisco." Vazquez, in turn, decided to work with his colleague Guillermo Gómez-Peña and shoot a jam session of a new collective named Re:Group. PBS ended up censoring 80 percent of the footage. This video consists of the outtakes of the work session where Re:Group explores the new culture of fear, paranoia, censorship, and superficial jingoism permeating every corner of society.

Chip Lord and Gustavo Vazquez, El Zócalo, 28:30 minutes 2002. El Zócalo is an observational portrait of Mexico City's central Plaza de la Constitución across one day in August. Soldiers, Aztec dancers, clowns, food vendors, protestors, rain, dogs, tourists, kites, balloons, and dignitaries all meet in the public space of the Zócalo. This documentary observes daily life in one of the largest and most vibrant urban centers in the world.

Lawrence Andrews, we just tellin stories, 57:00 minutes 2001: We just tellin stories is about the Medea Project for incarcerated women. It shows the process that enables this theater ensemble to take a group of incarcerated women to a place where they are able tell their often painful and disturbing stories publicly. During the process of building a stage play, they reclaim a sense of self worth and the ability to dream again. The telling and retelling of tragic personal stories becomes the way they gain new perspectives on what they have lived through. Ultimately, their stories are presented to sold-out audiences and do nothing less than rock the house.

UCSC’s Media Theater is located between the Mainstage and the Baskin Arts complex in the Performing Arts area on campus. Advance tickets are available at Streetlight Records, the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and the Santa Cruz Metro Office. For more information, call (831) 459-3204.

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