Film Festival

Film with David Russo and James Longley

Saturday, December 12, 2015
3:00 – 7:00 pm

Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill

The Genius Film Festival includes screenings and discussions with film makers.

Program Producer: Courtney Sheehan; Program Consultant: Northwest Film Forum.

James Longley: Fractured Poetry

3 pm

Iraq in Fragments (2006, 94 min)
Rare 35mm screening

James Longley’s acclaimed documentary explores the lived realities of Iraqis in an era of oppression, violence, and societal upheaval. An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.

Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Winner of Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition, the film was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

David Russo: Redrawing Imagination

5 pm

Screening followed by Q&A with Megan Griffiths and Peggy Case, moderated by Courtney Sheehan

No longer actively working as a filmmaker, David Russo’s daring filmic feats screened in festivals across the globe in the first decade of the 21st century. His best known award-winning short films Populi (2002) and Pan With Us (2003), premiered in competition at Sundance (with Pan With Us winning an "Honorable Mention") before going on to play festivals around the world, including Telluride, Toronto, Aspen, Edinburgh and Clermont-Ferrand. Pan With Us was released theatrically in "The Animation Show" (2005), a touring showcase of short films curated by Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt. Populi was acquired by Vulcan, Inc., and installed as a public media artwork at Qwest Field. In addition to the Stranger Genius Film distinction, Russo was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "New Faces of Independent Film.”

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2009, 100 min)
Heralded by one critic who reveled in its "sick, twisted glory,” David Russo’s prescient debut feature (produced with Northwest Film Forum) juxtaposes a different kind of commercial office doldrums with a bizarrely supernatural ploy of male pregnancy. Russo’s film takes on a hugely entertaining hilarity and weight that is simultaneously odd, puzzling, invigorating and truly hilarious. Fellow Film Geniuses Megan Griffiths and Ben Kasulke also worked on the film.

About the artists

David Russo is a filmmaker and artist known for The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2009), I Am (Not) Van Gogh (2005) and Pan with Us (2003). Pan With Us and Populi both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and have appeared in dozens of other festivals around the world, including Clermont-Ferrand, Telluride Film Festival, SXSW, and the San Francisco International Film Festival, among many others. Russo has received many awards and acknowledgements, including a 2004 Stranger Genius Award and recognition as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2003.”

James Longley is a documentary filmmaker and photographer who has directed several Academy-nominated documentaries in Middle East conflict zones. His documentary films, Iraq and Fragments and Sari's Mother chronicle the disillusion of Iraq following the US invasion. His current feature documentary project, Angels Are Made Of Light, follows three years in the lives of students and teachers in a government school in Kabul, Afghanistan. James' work is held in the collections of the Academy Archive and the Museum of Modern Art.

Still from Iraq in Fragments, 2006. Directed by James Longley. Courtesy of the filmmaker.