Announcement: Ultra Dogme’s First Virtual Film Festival

by MLP

Greetings. After a few days at home, it’s been hard to find motivation to even watch movies. Out of a need to do something, I am sure that many of us who don’t exactly have a lot of ‘work from home’ options are trying to throw ourselves into real activities to varying degrees. In light of the postponements and cancellations of myriad film festivals, we here at Ultra Dogme have decided to begin a virtual festival of our own. The main point of this decision is to offer a respite from the news cycles of changes in the world far beyond our control.

I will be curating the first program, which premieres this Saturday March 21st, and might be of particular interest to fans of festivals like Courtisane and Oberhausen.

This first program to kick off the Ultra Dogme Virtual Film Festival is titled From a Distance and will offer a selection of predominantly meditative experimental shorts of worlds without people; films I find fitting for the current situation not because they are dystopian or tunnel into post-apocalyptic disaster scenarios, but because they remind us of the beauty of empty spaces and the self-reflection enabled by isolation.

While future programs may include such technological trappings as live streams, filmmaker Q+As, etc. this first edition is just to get the wheels turning quickly. As such, it will be a rudimentary list of curated titles, all publicly available (through Youtube, Vimeo), with a suggested viewing order, supplementary reading material, and a nifty virtual memento (still being designed as I type!) for those who view the whole program.

To offer a feeling of the spirit of our festival, here is your personal invitation — you won’t be coming to Berlin. Jean-Marie Straub made “an appeal to those social and economic structures that will make films available to everyone.” Let us share what we love.

Special thanks to the good people at Sequence Press for providing this excerpt from their beautiful book, Writings, collecting countless texts by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub.

Excerpt from Writings by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, ed. Sally Shafto © 2016 Sequence Press, New York. This text translated from the original German by Barton Byg. Used by permission of Sequence Press. www.sequencepress.com.

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