April 1 was the opening day for submissions to Crystal Bridges’ second annual Short Film Festival. Submissions will be accepted through July 1, so there’s still plenty of time to create your own short film and get involved! The winning films will be showcased at the festival on August 19.
The theme for this year’s festival is “Pop Art vs. Nature,” and was inspired by the upcoming temporary exhibition Warhol’s Nature, opening on July 4. Though we tend to think of Andy Warhol as the ultimate in urban cool, he was surprisingly engaged with natural subjects throughout his career. He created hundreds of prints of flowers, as well as drawings, paintings, and prints of dogs, cats, birds, butterflies, cows, and two series of endangered animals. Warhol was also a master of new-media experimentation. He made more than 600 films during his career, from silent screen tests to narrative features to real-time depictions of the passage of time, like Empire, his eight-hour black-and-white film of the Empire State Building.
As a time-based medium, film offers many different modes of expression. It can be linear and narrative, completely abstract, or non-linear and associative. It can offer photographic images as well as drawn, sculpted, or computer-generated animations, enhanced stills, time-lapse…. The arena is rich for all kinds of experimentation and creativity.
“Film is a different way of thinking about and sharing perspectives,” said Senior Museum Educator Sara Segerlin. “It offers a creative and very current way of focusing on the main themes of Crystal Bridges: art, nature, and the American spirit. Warhol embodied that spirit in many ways. He created the blueprint for modern celebrity culture, graphic design, and of course, Pop Art. So we’re very interested to see how filmmakers respond to the challenge of combining all of those ideas.”
The film festival also offers an opportunity for filmmakers and audiences across the region and the nation to come together to share and discuss experimental film. It serves the mutually beneficial function of educating the local public about the how and why of art filmmaking, and offering filmmakers valuable feedback and discussion that helps them in developing their art.
Interest in filmmaking is rising as video technologies become increasingly accessible and easy use and explore within the museum setting. Films submitted for the festival can be shot on anything from an iPhone up to the most sophisticated digital video equipment available, and each method brings its own particular quality and mood. Last year’s festival garnered more than 100 entries, from which 10 short films were selected for screening. We expect even more this year.
The festival is open to filmmakers of all ages, and there are no fees for submission. Learn more here.
Coming this Summer: Filmmaking Young Artists Young filmmakers ages 10 to 12 can learn more about scripting, shooting, and editing smartphone films at Crystal Bridges’ Summer Camp session on creating “video selfies,” beginning June 22.