Underground Film Journal

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2009 Mono No Aware: Call For Entries

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 7, 2009

Text logo superimposed over a strip of celluloid film

The annual Mono No Aware film performance festival is gearing up for another night of unique visual experiences. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, November 29 in Brooklyn, NY. This is not strictly a one-night film festival, but an all-out performance event that is looking for artists who blend audio and film projection with a live experience. And the emphasis here is on “film.” No video will be accepted or projected.

Proposals for performance events are due by:

Final deadline:
Nov. 9

In the old days, they used to call this “expanded cinema,” sort of like the goal is to “expand” film beyond the limited confines of the traditional movie screen. For Mono No Aware, you can submit proposals for a cinema performance that only involves film, either 8mm or 16mm, e.g. running several projectors at once. But I think they’re also more interested in performances that do include a live performance component, such as live music or poetry reading or things along those lines, yet maybe more complex than those particular suggestions to run concurrently with a film screening.

If you’d like some better ideas of what Mono No Aware is looking for, you can check out last year’s lineup of performances. I’m also going to just run their entire “call for entries” announcement below, since I think they can better explain what they want than I can. And if the below gives you some ideas, go to their website and submit a proposal.

You are welcome to submit. MONO NO AWARE is open to any person or group of persons making work incorporating Super8 or 16mm film format as part of that presentation. For example: blending film & theater performance, musicians creating a visual experience for their sound, & experimental filmmakers working with story tellers. Entries will only be accepted on Super8 or 16mm film. FILM ONLY. No Digital Video.

Part of our purpose in having this gathering is to put an emphasis on the cinematic experience. Film & video are so easily accessible, you can watch something on a website, television, a home projector, or even your cell phone. For some filmmakers those vehicles are copies of the original artwork, each one degraded by its format. We believe there is a magic in seeing the film as a print. There is a presence a poet has reading his/her own writing. There is a feeling that resonates in your chest when you see a band live. For these reasons we are encouraging live music, performance, and audio to expand the cinematic experience beyond the screen. We ask that in the spirit of the festival you not video or create copies of your performance. Some participants have gone as far as to destroy the work after its first run at the event.

Embrace the film medium. Cut & splice found footage you picked up at a yard sale. Take all your unused footage from an old project and create something new with the unused scenes.. Spend 50 bucks to shoot & process 100 feet of 16mm & make a 3 minute masterpiece with a friend’s Bolex. Paint on the film surface. Go on eBay and pick up a dozen old reels for ten bucks. Run 10 projectors at once on a single screen. Splice, dice, paste, shoot, and do it all over again. Create visual poetry, colorful abstractions, a comedic narrative, a cinematic comet that will light up the space for several minutes and live in the minds of those there to see it in its pure state. While it’s there, fill the audience’s ears with a score nothing short of sonorous.

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