Bellwether Film Series
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The Bellwether Film Series presents innovative films coming from new voices with fresh approaches to fiction, non-fiction and experimental cinema. The series showcases striking and important new films and engages artists and filmgoers in discussion.
Bellwether is co-curated by George Myers, Amherst Cinema’s General Manager, Pioneer Valley-based filmmaker Luke Meyer, and Andrew Hart, Hampshire College.
Gulîstan, Land of Roses with director Zaynê Akyol
Thurs May 18, 7pm
About the film: They belong to the armed wing of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is also an active guerrilla movement. The mission of these female fighters? Defend Kurdish territory in Iraq and Syria, and defeat ISIS, all while embodying a revolutionary ideal advocating female empowerment.
Zaynê Akyol is an award-winning filmmaker of Kurdish origin who was born in Turkey and raised in Quebec. In 2009, Akyol produced her first short documentary, ISMINAZ, which won the Jury Prize in the Radio-Canada International Roots competition. In 2010, she followed up with her medium-length documentary, IKI BULUT ARASINDA (UNDER TWO SKIES), which won the Jury and People’s Choice awards at the Festival Vidéastes Recherché(e)s, as well as the Vox award at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois festival before touring the international festival circuit. In 2012, Akyol devoted herself to writing her first feature documentary, Land of the Roses: My Name Is Gülistan, whose script-in-progress was selected from among 4,400 projects for the Doc Station (Berlinale Talents) at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Rat Film with director Theo Anthony
Thurs June 8, 7pm
About the film: Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. RAT FILM is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them—to explore the history of Baltimore. "There's never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it's always been a people problem."
Theo Anthony is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker currently based in Baltimore, MD. His work been featured by the The Atlantic, Vice, Agence-France Presse (AFP), and other international media outlets. His films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and Anthology Film Archives. In 2015, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
Past Bellwether Films and Guests:
Camden Internaional Film Festival Selected Shorts w/ CIFF program director Sean Flynn
PETER AND THE FARM w/ director Tony Stone
THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES w/ director Brett Story
DARK NIGHT w/ director Tim Sutton
THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING w/ director Morgan Knibbe
KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE w/ director Robert Greene
HOOLIGAN SPARROW w/ director Nanfu Wang
NUTS! w/ director Penny Lane
THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER w/ director Chad Gracia
FLORENCE, ARIZONA w/ director Andrea B. Scott
WESTERN w/ directors Bill and Turner Ross
THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA w/ director Jessica Oreck
CAMERAPERSON w/ director Kirsten Johnson
I REMEMBER: A FILM ABOUT JOE BRAINARD and WILD COMBINATOIN w/ director Matt Wolf
(A)SEXUAL w/ director Angela Tucker