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March 8, 2007


Screenings March 23 at Westchester’s Jacob Burns Film Center

NEW YORK, March 8, 2007 – Five short films, including Student Oscar and Emmy-winning pieces, from The M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program at The City College of New York will be screens at The Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23.  Billed as “Cinema Cum Laude,” this is the third annual screening at The Burns from the masters program that The New York Times has called “one of New York’s best kept secrets.”  The films are:

  • “6AM” (Director Carmen Vidal): A portrait of a quiet New York City in the last moments before dawn – a documentary in the vein of Walter Ruttmann’s “Berlin – Symphony of a Great City” and Joris Ivens’ “Rain.”  (Winner of the 2006 Student Academy Award - Silver Medal in the Alternative Category.)
  • “Silences” (Director Octavio Warnock-Graham): As Octavio describes it, “this revelation has completely changed my sense of self.  I am not white.  I am not black.  I am Other. Silences is my personal journey to integrate who I am with who I thought I was.”  (Winner of the Outstanding Documentary Award at the 2006 Angelus Student Film Festival and a 2007 Student Emmy.)
  • “When They Could Fly” (Director Piotr Kajstura): This poetic film is a cinematic adaptation of a magical folktale in which the period of American slavery is used as a stage to show how people can survive and overcome the most extreme experiences by the power of their own will.  (Winner of Best Short Film and Best Overall Film awards at the Texas Black Film Festival in Addison, Tex., and qualified for the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Dallas International Festival.)
  • “The Hermit of Manana” (Director Elisabeth Harris): In the 1920s, a young New York man left behind the city life that he knew and sailed up the coast to a tiny, deserted island 12 miles off the coast of Maine.  Sifting through the myths, rumors, and folklore, this film uncovers the true story of Ray Phillips and his journey. (Winner of Best Cinematography and Best Editing for Documentary at Cityvisions 2006 and screened at The Hudson Valley Film Festival, The 2nd Annual Vassar Club of DC Film Festival, and The Damariscotta Library Special Event / Fundraiser.)
  • “Oh, My Child" (Director Lanre Olabisi): Layer by layer, deceptions and half-truths are peeled away until buried family secrets are uncovered in what will become the most devastating day the family has ever experienced.  (This MFA short was the pilot for “August the First,” a feature film that has been invited to premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival and screen at the Atlanta Film Festival.)

Each of the five films won award at “Cityvisions,” the MFA showcase and festival held in Manhattan each May.  The filmmakers will be present for a Q&A panel following the screenings, moderated by filmmakers/professors Dave Davidson and Andrzej Krakowski. 

For ticket prices and directions to the Jacob Burns Film Center at 364 Manville Road in Pleasantville, call 914-747-5555 or visit the following web pages:

MFA Program Contact

April Gatling,212-650-7235