In what was an inspired choice of venue, day three of the Greenpoint Film Festival took place at the Newtown Creek Visitors Center with a selection of environmentally and community themed documentaries. Opening the program was the must-see “The Domino Effect” – a very timely chronicle of the ongoing saga of the former sugar plant along the Williamsburg waterfront which was part of the city’s planned rezoning efforts to turn the facility into luxury and “affordable” housing.
On Friday, the Millennium Film Workshop, an artists’ film collaborative based out of the East Village, guest-curated the Greenpoint Film Festival’s program with a host of bold and striking experimental short films under the banner of the “Millennium Nomadic Program.” I’m of the opinion that any attempts to describe experimental shorts kind of defeats the purpose of their existence: they exist outside the conventions that we come to expect from short-form content in order that they challenge the aesthetic experience of the viewer and yesterday’s works were no exception.
There was a panel discussion with members from the collaborative including Tom Jarmusch (yes, brother of that other, more famous Jarmusch) that touched on the group’s mission, their struggle to keep their current space, and the importance of providing the resources for anyone to explore the film and video medium as a primary function to its society. It was an illuminating and refreshingly frank discussion, and one that has inspired myself to sign up as a member. In addition to offering wonderful resources to its members (it’s not every day you can book time on an optical printer or have the opportunity physically edit 16mm film), the Millenium Film Workshop provides several different courses to equip its members with the skills needed for them to explore their own voices within the medium.
Tom Jarmusch’s experimental documentary, Sometimes City, is playing in today’s GFF program at 5:30 PM at 186 Huron Street. For more information on the Millennium Film Workshop, check out their website.