Artists' Television Access

Unpacking Histories

Ninth Annual MadCat Women’s International Film Festival

Friday, September 23, 2005, 7:30 pm, $7-

A Covenant Adam/madcat05

A prostitute reveals her daily routine, Russian nomads in Armenia keep cool during a drought and Indian women recall the effects of a flood in the 1940s. These documentaries chronicle rich and varied histories.


Between Rooms Caroline Sascha Cogez

2004 7 min Color Beta SP Denmark • US Premiere

Stark images of empty rooms used by prostitutes in Denmark make up this moving portrait. Articulate and blunt, Helle speaks about her experiences in the sex industry. With grace and ease she is able to take control of her body, and her johns’, during these daily business transactions.


A Covenant Adam Ariana Hamidi

2005 15 min B/W 16mm • World Premiere

An expression of memory and the loss of memory, this documentary subtly navigates a family history filled with violence and fear. Avoiding a heavy-handed and straightforward narrative of events, it instead embraces ambiguities and imprecision. Beautiful black-and-white home movies, interviews with children about god, trust and safety are combined with fragmented texts that float across the screen and manipulated Incredible Hulk comic strips.


don’t leave without news Christine Khalafian

2005 18 min Color 16mm • Northern CA Premiere

Russian children do cartwheels, men play soccer, nomads wander the land, a tightrope walker impresses tourists, and villagers embark on a pilgrimage to a buried relic. Shot in modern-day Armenia, the traveling filmmaker captures chance encounters, conversations from field recordings, interviews, and narrative insights offered on the way. No famous landmarks or distinct ethnic symbols clue in the viewer, while the film eschews the obvious relationship between sound and image, creating an amalgam of the harshness of life in a struggling post-Soviet republic and a traveler’s fantasy.


Altitude Zero Lauren Cook

2004 5 min Color 16mm US

An optically printed ode to Amelia Earhart.


Moving Movie Cade Bursell

2004 17 min Color 16mm • West Coast Premiere

The filmmaker pays loving respects to S.F., saying goodbye to her beloved town for a new home in the South. Using sound recorded on her journey, she narrates while driving, chats with locals at rest stops and ruminates in the dark by the side of the road about her unknown new life. Bursell finishes her movie, and her goodbye, developing the film in old chemicals she brought from home. This rich and colorful experimental diary is a literal and metaphorical Moving Movie .


Threading the Needle Andaleeb Firdosy

2005 16 min Color 16mm India • West Coast Premiere

A collage of lively women’s voices describes what happened one day in 1968 when a flood ripped through a small town in India. With surprising levity, the women map out their memories and argue over what really happened.


Let Me Count the Ways–Minus 10, 9, 8, 7 Leslie Thornton

2004 20 min Color mini-DV US • West Coast Premiere

Juxtaposing aerial military footage, scientific data on genetic mutation, audio testimony about the bombing of Hiroshima, and a home movie of her father, a World War II Air Force pilot dispatched to that city, Thornton creates a dense and compelling critique of violence.


About the curator:


Ariella J. Ben-Dov is the co-founder, director and curator of the MadCat Women’s International Film Festival. MadCat promotes cutting-edge films and videos by women directors from around the globe. The festival celebrates its annual event each September in the Bay Area and tours each spring to more than 20 museums, art houses and universities around the country. Ben-Dov also writes about documentary and avant-garde film for publications such as The Independent Film and Video Monthly and Release Print. She wrote a review of Barbara Hammer’s seminal film, Dyketactics , to be published in a chronicling the history of experimental film. Ben-Dov was recently invited to curate the Flaherty Film Seminar, a week long seminar which will take place in June 2006.


Ben-Dov was the program coordinator for the House of Docs at the Sundance Film Festival. The House of Docs is a ten-day conference exploring all aspects of documentary filmmaking. In addition, Ben-Dov is the founding director for the PlanetOut Short Movie Awards, which promotes excellence in filmmaking by giving out

$15,000 in cash awards to filmmakers.


Ben-Dov has participated in and moderated panels on alternative exhibition, documentary film and experimental filmmaking at: Sundance Film Festival, San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Bay Area LadyFest. She has been a juror and panel chairwoman at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In addition, she has acted as a juror for the New York Underground Film Festival, San Francisco Arts Commission, Horizons Foundation, Marin Arts Council, San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and the Milan Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.


Ben-Dov has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Academy Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, Fleishhacker Foundation, Gerbode Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Fund among others.


Also a filmmaker, Ben-Dov produced THAT’S A FAMILY! for the Academy-Award winning documentary film company Women’s Educational Media. THAT’S A FAMILY! is an educational documentary for children about family diversity and was recently awarded a Cine Golden Eagle. Ben-Dov also produced PUMP, an award-winning film that screened at festivals internationally and received many awards, including Best Experimental Short at the Chicago Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and a special award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.



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