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Sunday
Dec252016

Congratulations to 'Bon Voyage' Director Marc Wilkins on Making the Oscars Shortlist!

Drifting through an ocean of dead bodies, two holiday sailors find themselves on a rescue mission that puts their fears and ideals in a dramatic conflict with the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugees. That is the synopsis for Bon Voyage, a Swiss film currently in the running for an Oscar nomination. Directed by Marc Wilkins, the Mediterranean sea drama made it out of the 137 films that qualified as possible contenders in the BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT category.

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Bon Voyage is among the 10 films that will advance in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards, Wilkins has been hard at work making sure his film is introduced to members of the Academy who haven't seen it. Members of the Academy will select five nominees from among the 10 shortlisted titles; the final nominess for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

As Bon Voyage heads to Australia where it will screen in January at FLICKERFEST, I'd like to take a moment to say bravo to Marc Wilkins! Your short features some of the best cinematography I've seen this year. Here's hoping you get that nomination!

Friday
Dec022016

'Mni Wiconi' Film Illustrates The Power of a Mother's Prayer

Yesterday, I watched Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, a short film about water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies who are trying to stop the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The completion of this project – also known as the Bakken Pipeline – would damage sacred Native American burial grounds and poison the water supply for 17 million people across four states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

Maybe you’ve recently come across a brief news story about some aspect of the resistance. Maybe you heard about the group of U.S. veterans headed there this week to protect the citizens who are under attack at the hands of the Morton County Police Department, on the government’s watch. One of the biggest takeaways from Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, however, is that this spiritual awakening that has brought so many citizens from around the globe together – especially during a time when the world is so divided -- began with a woman named Ladonna Allard.

“I wasn’t an activist. I’m a mom,” expresses Allard in the film as she describes the beginnings of Sacred Stone Camp after finding out the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was taking place where her son is buried, in North Dakota. In April 2016, Allard asked her relatives to come and stand with her to protect the water and the land. Today, several hundred tribes are united on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, a historic gathering with prayer demonstrations to prevent the “black snake” (referring to DAPL) from destroying the earth.

Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock is a must-see film. Please watch it, share it and honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111.

We need every person to call Obama this week before Dec. 5th!

Thursday
Oct132016

TallerPR’s Carlos Pardo Discusses shnit Film Festival Picks, Philly After-School Programs and Traveling the World

Made in Spain, the shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'El Corredor' (The Runner) is about a man whose first day jogging leads to crossing paths with one of the 300 workers he fired from his company five years ago. It won Best Short Film at the Goya Awards 2016.Which country made the best movies this year? As a presenter for the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival, I’m excited to enable a community of world cinema lovers in Philadelphia to come together and have a voice in deciding the answer to that question. Sharing in this awesome communal experience of watching films together is Carlos Pardo, a local photographer and teacher.

He is the cultural enrichment and education facility manager at Taller Puertorriqueño, a non-profit organization that works to elevate and preserve Latino culture through events such as art-education programs, socially conscious art exhibitions and book readings. Pardo, who has traveled to Colombis, Mexico, Veneuela, Chile and the Caribbean, recently welcomed the opportunity to discuss his transnational experiences and most anticipated films in the shnit CINEMAS lineup for Philly.

Here is my full Q&A with the newlywed artist who also wants to go to Europe, France, Italy, India, Thailand and Japan.

Carlo Pardo at Taller PuertorriqueñoMadlab Post: What kind of adventures or challenges did you experience while traveling abroad?

Carlos Pardo: Probably not having currency or a way to get around.

MP: How many languages do you speak?

CP: Spanish and English. I would like to learn French.

MP: Is film a universal language?

CP: [Film] is a visual art and like all art most people are able to understand it, even if you don’t like it.

MP: Which film in the shnit Cinemas lineup for Philly interests you the most?

CP: ОЧЕНЬ ОДИНОКИЙ ПЕТУХ (Very Lonely Cock), El Corredor (The Runner) and Bon Voyage.

The shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'Bon Voyage' is about Swiss sailors who encounter a sinking refugee boat while on their holiday cruise.Very Lonely Cock because when you use drawing to say what you want to say, most of the time you can say it in a different way; El Corridor, because it is part of life and I’m interested in seeing what happens; and the Bon Voyage one because of the way the world is….we wish we could help everyone but when we get to see the world for what it is right now, it’s harder to give up your freedom for someone else.

MP: Can you describe one of your favorite foreign movies?

CP: British probably, very romantic and inventive.

MP:  What is one of your favorite foods from another country or culture?

CP: Pupusas from El Salvador, or Pho, Vietnamese.

MP: What is special about Taller Puertorriqueño's after-school program?

CP: We have a great dancing group and some pretty good film makers.

Taller Puertorriqueño's new building, the El Corazón Cultural Center, is slated to open December 2016.MP: Can you share any upcoming activities that Taller Puertorriqueño has in store for locals and travelers visiting Philadelphia in 2016?

CP: A Thanksgiving for the community and the grand opening of our new building on December.

Join me in expressing thanks to Carlos Pardo for discussing the, food and culture with me!

Seats are limited for the exclusive, one-time screening of the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival selection at 3PM this weekend (Saturday, October 15th) in Philadelphia, PA.

Men and women in the City of Brotherly Love can now GET TICKETS to see some of the world’s best films!