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“An Elephant in the Room” wins SXSW ’20 doc feature competition

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Despite cancelling the physical South by Southwest festival, the Austin-set event revealed today (March 24) which films won Special Awards that had juries already in place.

Katrine Philp’s An Elephant in the Room (pictured) took home the top prize in the documentary feature competition. The 88-minute feature sees the director follow a group of kids as they work with a grief counseling center in New Jersey. An Elephant in the Room was lauded for being “heartbreaking, thanks to the director’s artistry and sensitivity, it is also inspiring, uplifting and – especially in these troubled time – essential,” said the jury made up of Bilge Ebiri, Naomi Fry, and Dino Ramos.

Alice Gu’s The Donut King received a special jury recognition for achievement in documentary storytelling. First-time director Gu’s film puts the spotlight on entrepreneur Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in the U.S. in the ’70s.

Director Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s Finding Yingying was recognized for a special jury recognition for breakthrough voice. The doc follows the story of Yingying Zhang, a Chinese graduate student who disappears in America. The true-crime procedural is combined with questions of cultural difference, family dynamics and the immigrant experience.

Documentary short No Crying at the Dinner Table, from Carol Nguyen, took the documentary short award, while special jury recognition went to Mizuko from Katelyn Rebelo and Kira Dane.

Just Hold On, a short film from Sam Davis and Rayka Zehtabchi, was named the Texas Shorts winner, while the Texas High School Shorts award went to Sofia Bajwa’s Unveiled.

The Louis Black “Lone Star” Award went to Boys State from directing team Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss.

Due to the event cancellation, there are no Audience Awards for 2020.

“When we curated and announced our slate for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, filled with an array of wonderful films we were excited to share with our unique audience, we had no idea of the unprecedented impact that Coronavirus would have on all our lives,” said Janet Pierson, director of film, in a statement. “Our hearts were broken for all the filmmakers who invested so much time and talent in their work, hoping for a transformative experience at our event. We’re honored to at least be able to present our juried and special awards. We know that it’s no substitute for the actual festival’s vitality, enthusiasm, and potential for surprising outcomes — and that it is only available to a small fraction of our program — but we hope it will help garner some well-deserved recognition for these wonderful works.”

SXSW will continue running the Online Shift72 Screening Library through March 31, 2020, for those films that have opted-in to the extended timeframe.

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Originally posted 2020-04-08 21:07:25.

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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Wants To Help Minneapolis Protesters By Providing Audio Equipment

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The death of George Floyd has led to outrage nationwide, and on a local level in Minneapolis, the city is currently in the midst of massive protests. Plenty of sympathizers have offered words of support, but Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — who is from nearby Eau Claire, Wisconsin — wants to provide more than that. Vernon has declared that he wants to help protestors, and his idea is to give them audio equipment so they can be better heard.

For the past day and change, Vernon has taken to his personal Twitter account (@blobtower) to express his extreme disappointment about the Floyd situation. He began yesterday morning by tweeting, “I’m out of words. Don’t know what to do. I’m so so so so angry. I want to do something.”

He then presented an idea: “For the organizing protestors in MPLS , I am in possession of a very very large PA system .. I could get it on the back of a trailer and bring it up … MAKING your voices louder … and blast the right music … hit me.” Vernon added, “Please , help spread the word… I want to help on the front lines.”

Vernon went on to note that he’s in the process of trying to figure out how to best transport his gear to Minneapolis, tweeting, “writing some audio companies … I have no trailer to get mine to Minny today … anyone with outdoor audio chops or gear hit me let’s get his going.” He added, “I’ve never seen a good audio system at any protest I’ve ever been to … we should get music involved … and loud human speakers,” and, “A large audio platform can help keep folks stay safe distances, encourage unity and non violence and really, really Disturb the ‘peace’…”

A few hours after that initial batch of tweets, Vernon offered a status report, writing, “Working on the Mobile PA thing still … need a custom trailer and an engineer … but workin on it. […] Figuring out how to transport it. Needs a crew to set it up And rig it so it can be mobile I’m working on it.”

This afternoon, over the past few hours, Vernon has sought help from his fellow Eau Claire residents, asking, “Anyone in EC have a 8000+ watt generator,” and, “Anyone have a hay cage they could let us use ? Thinking that could strap down a generator and PA system. I’d drive it up with a hitch.” He then shared a photo of the sort of trailer he was looking for.

He then put out another call for help, looking for the right people to whom to bring his audio set-up: “Mpls / ST Paul please let us know if there organizers that need a PA system. We have one and running on a generator and want to deliver it to the appropriate voices … Please respond with legit contacts only.”

As of this post, that Vernon’s most recent update on the situation. Regardless of whether or not Vernon is able to pull this off, at the very least, he has displayed a genuine drive to make a tangible contribution to the situation.

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Hear Avant-Metal Trio Imperial Triumphant’s Insane New Song “Rotted Futures”

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Over the course of seven years, three full-lengths and two EPs, NYC avant-garde metal outfit Imperial Triumphant have stationed themselves at the cutting edge of extreme music, but with their upcoming fourth album, Alphaville, the group are set to take their sound and vision next level. The trio enlisted a host of talented collaborators for the project, including Meshuggah’s Tomas Haake, who plays taiko drums on the LP, and Mr. Bungle’s Trey Spruance, who produced the album. Today (May 29th), the band offered up the first taste of Alphaville in the form of mind-bending lead single “Rotted Futures.” Blast it above.

“No one knows what the future shall look like,” the group said in a joint statement. “Well, some might know the shape of things to come. Some will bet on it. Perhaps we’re living it. Perhaps it will be quite different. If we had a special looking glass that could reveal millennia of repeated timelines we might observe big dreams for a bright future, built upon systemic shifts that eventually fall. Behold the future!”

Alphaville is due out on July 31st via Century Media and is available for pre-order now in an array of formats. Those formats include a Revolver-exclusive “Ivory Towers” (white) vinyl 2LP collector’s edition, strictly limited to 300 copies. The 2LP comes in a special gatefold sleeve with a four-page booklet and poster and features art by renowned artist and illustrator Zbigniew M. Bielak (Ghost, Body Count). The LP also offers a special novelty: Side D, which features two bonus covers, of Voivod and the Residents, is pressed with a rare “double-groove” feature, i.e. there are two grooves cut side-by-side, so that the listener plays the one cover version or the other — depending on where exactly the needle is placed. Pre-order yours now before they’re gone!

Alphaville “Ivory Towers” collector’s edition track listing:
Side A
1. Rotted Futures
2. Excelsior
3. City Swine
 
Side B
4. Atomic Age
5. Transmission to Mercury
 
Side C
6. Alphaville
7. The Greater Good
 
Side D  
8. Experiment (Voivod cover)
9. Happy Home (The Residents cover) 

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‘Tape’: Film Review

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‘Tape’: Film Review

Originally posted 2020-03-30 15:49:27.

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