Crystal Corrigan, part of the Burd Center theater staff, rewinds some 16mm film in the production office of the Downstream Film Festival. The festival is being held through Sunday at the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts.

Pearce Adams
The Times
, Saturday, July 20, 2002

Film Festival puts on reel big show
Shows to run through Sunday


A Canadian filmmaker was waiting Friday afternoon for the debut of his first fiction movie.The film is one of more than 150 playing through Sunday at the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts at Brenau University. The center is host to the first Downstream Film Festival.

Denis Boivin, usually a director of documentaries for Quebec-based NETima Distribution, said "Open Heart" is a trilogy about two women and one man. A love triangle develops after the man awakens from open-heart surgery and loses his heart to another woman, he said.

The films are being shown in two-hour program blocks in the Burd Center's Hosch and Bobbitt theaters and Banks Hall. The festival is open to the public. Admission for each program is $5, or $60 for a festival pass.

About 160 tickets were sold Thursday, according to festival organizers. Friday's figures were not available.  Heather Reid, the festival's executive director, said it gives "underrecognized filmmakers a chance to screen their works."  Films include documentaries, narratives, features, experimentals, animations and music videos. The length of each film ranges from one minute to almost two hours. "I'm more interested in the short ones," said Lisa Shinault of Atlanta. "You can see more of them."  Michael Williams, festival director and co-founder with Reid, said the films are a collection of work from 12 countries. Almost 100 directors, crews and cast members are in town for the event, he said.  Williams said many watch their colleagues' work and share filmmaking ideas.  Michael Perkins of Atlanta wrote, produced and shot "Kinsky No. 1," a 4-minute experimental film about looking in strange places. He sat in the Hosch Theater watching the 14-minute "My Name is Peter," a Polish black-and-white film with English subtitles. It documented growing up in a rural community.  "I liked it a lot," he said. "There aren't many opportunities to see a day in the life of a Polish kid."  Perkins, who said the festival also offers opportunities to compare notes, exchanged ideas with 40 camera operators Thursday night.  "You don't find that," he said.

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