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Berlin Short Film Fest swreen New York experimental film classics

New York experimental film classics at the 22 nd International Short Film Festival Berlin, November 7 th – 12 th , 2006

interfilm Berlin presents the 22 nd International Short Film Festival, from November 7 th – 12 th , 2006 . Over 4,000 films and videos from 94 countries were submitted to the interfilm offices in Berlin for the 22 nd International Short Film Festival. 500 entries from diverse genres - feature, animation, documentary, children's film, music clip - were selected for competition or for special programs. One of the highlights is “Classic New York ”, a program presented by Thirteen/WNet.

New York, the city that never sleeps, has always been home to numerous filmmakers and a source for inspiration, scenery and content. Each summer for eight weeks, “Reel New York ” presents local independent film and video on Thirteen/WNET, PBS's flagship New York City television station. Producer Garrison Botts shows a rare selection of groundbreaking and award-winning experimental film classics from the 50s and 60s. Gathered together under the collective title “Classic New York ” are seven masterpieces that not only reflect diverse and unusual perspectives on the metropolis, but also changed the history of film through the use of unorthodox techniques.

“Classic New York ” program:

Many of the films are debut works by filmmakers who emerged from other disciplines. William Klein was a renowned fashion photographer whose work with models on the streets of New York inspired him to make his debut film “Broadway by Light.”

Leon Prochnik , now an author and screenwriter, also began his film career with “The Existentialist,“ a jocular commentary on the subject of conformity. The film, made in 1966, follows its protagonist through a world in which everyone but him walks backwards.

The now world-famous documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker approached film rather ingenuously: With a pawn-shop camera, film material from the drugstore, and a Duke Ellington song in his head, Pennebaker stepped onto the subway and made “Daybreak Express,” now a New York short classic.

The photographer Helen Levitt used still photography techniques to film scenes from the streets of Spanish Harlem in the 40s. “In the Street” is a sensitive, but never sentimental look at the children of East Harlem , and is known today not only as an artistic film classic, but also as a significant sociological work.

Unique to “ N.Y. N.Y. – A Day in New York ” by Francis Thompson is the kaleidoscope effect. Thompson, who was actually a painter and art teacher, used specially filed camera lenses long before the invention of modern post-production techniques.

Two Oscar-nominated films by Carson Davidson are also on the program: “ 3 rd Ave El.” (1955) and “Help! My Snowman's Burning Down” (1965). Davidson came to New York in the 50s to make films, fell immediately in love with the city, and created the loving homage “ 3 rd Ave El.” Since then, his documentaries and short films have garnered over 70 awards.

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