Tag Archives: Berkeley Film Foundation

When the stars come out: A Night in Berkeleywood

Yes, there's a red carpet at Berkeleywood. Photo courtesy Berkeleywood
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It’s 342 miles between Berkeley and Hollywood, but on Oscar night, Sunday, Feb. 22, that distance will be shortened for those who flock to the live Academy Awards telecast at A Night in Berkeleywood at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza.

The Berkeleywood celebration, in its second year, benefits the Berkeley Film Foundation, which has been supporting independent filmmakers in Berkeley and the East Bay since 2009 (Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of Berkeleywood). Nearly $800,000 in grants have been made to 90 film projects by the foundation in six years.

“It’s important to take care of our artists,” said David Bergad, executive director of the BFF. “People really look to us for support.”  … Continue reading »

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The Oscars come to Berkeley at film foundation benefit

12 Years a Slave, one of the movies nominated for an Academy Award this year. The ceremony will be screened on March 2 at a benifit dinner for the Berkeley Film Foundation. Photo:
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The Oscars are coming to downtown Berkeley this year for the first time with a glitzy new event at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza that promises to give those who go a taste of the red carpet, and the chance to support our homegrown movie-making engine, the Berkeley Film Foundation.

Berkeleywood, on Sunday March 2, the night of the 86th Academy Awards broadcast, offers the chance to watch the ceremony live on the big screen while enjoying delicious food and wine prepared by Stephane Tonnelier, executive chef of Five restaurant.

Political satirist Will Durst is the emcee for the evening and the special honored guest is Academy Award winner Rita Moreno. … Continue reading »

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Edy Boone: A life spent inspiring others captured on film

Edy Boone
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If you have lived in Berkeley for a while, you have probably crossed paths with Edythe Boone. A spry 74-year old with a quick laugh, Boone has worked as a counsellor and as a health activist, and taught art at several local schools, including currently at Berkwood Hedge and West Oakland Middle School. With her warm personality, she imbues the very young, as well as the very old, with the spirit of creativity. She also transforms lives.

The results of her work can be seen on our cities’ walls. She collaborated on the “Let a Thousand Parks Bloom” mural at People’s Park, and, in conjunction with Berkeley’s Youth Spirit Artworks, the “Music on our Minds” mural at the corner of Ellis and Alcatraz. She also worked on the well-known “Maestrapeace” which graces the façade of the San Francisco Women’s Building, and on the “We Remember” AIDS mural in San Francisco’s Balmy Alley. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley documentary film shortlisted for an Oscar

If you’re stocking up on snacks in preparation for Oscars night on Sunday, make a note to watch out for a nominated film with a Berkeley connection.

The Barber of Birmingham is an Academy Award nominee for best documentary short subject this year. The film, which explores the impact of the then potential nominee Barack Obama as the first African American president on a group of aging Civil Rights activists in the South, was co-directed by Gail Dolgin, a Berkeley-based independent documentary filmmaker who died in October 2010 while working on the film.

Dolgin’s co-director and producer, photographer Robin Fryday, who lives in Marin, completed the movie which was given financial suport by the Berkeley Film Foundation. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley FILM Foundation to air powerful documentary

A shot from Better This World by filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega
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By Emily S. Mendel

The Berkeley FILM Foundation will hold a benefit screening Thursday of Better This World, a powerful, award-winning documentary produced and directed by  filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega and funded, in part, by a grant by the foundation. Galloway, of Berkeley, and de la Vega will host a Q and A after the 7 pm screening at the Zaentz Media Center. The screening is part of the FILM Foundation’s monthly documentary series, held the third Thursday of every month

Better This World, which was partially funded and aired by PBS’s Point of View, follows two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas as their world spins out of control. David McKay, 22 and Bradley Crowder, 23, had been opposed to the Iraq War, yet had no idea of what, if any, action to take. Within six months, in a stunning turn of events, they wound up arrested on terrorism charges at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The film explores their initial naiveté (“We just want to make the world a better place.”) and their bonds with the intense older Brandon Darby, a radical agent provocateur, who mentored and challenged them until their arrests. Much of the film is about the Feds’ relentless prosecution of McKay and Crowder, and the eventual (here, undisclosed) outcome. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s rich tradition of documentaries finds support

Sweet Dreams
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Lisa Fruchtman was at the Sundance Film Festival when she heard a story she knew she wanted to tell through film. It involved a remarkable group of women in Rwanda who, despite having their lives torn apart by a devastating genocide, had decided to relearn to be happy. The women, who came from both sides of the conflict, formed the country’s first all-female drumming circle and set about opening an ice-cream parlor with the help of two Brooklyn ice cream makers.

The trouble was that Fruchtman, a veteran film editor with features such as Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Part III under her belt, had never made a film. So the Berkeley resident called her brother, Rob Fruchtman, an award-winning documentary maker, and they agreed to work on the project together. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley filmmaker’s movie on Latino legal pioneer to air

Dolores Huerta. co-founder of the United Farm Workers, former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, and Berkeley film maker Abby Ginzberg
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Abby Ginzberg gave up the legal profession decades ago, but never left it  behind.

A documentary filmmaker in Berkeley, Ginzburg has focused her lens on some of the best legal minds of the past 50 years. Her films have highlighted a prominent civil rights lawyers and a federal judge, as well as examining a crusading legal clinic and other advocates for social justice.

Ginzberg’s latest documentary, Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice, takes a look … Continue reading »

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Two indy movies, two different types of activism

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Two opportunities present themselves to watch interesting independent movies with Berkeley connections, in Berkeley, with the bonus of supporting Berkeley nonprofits as you do so.

Given Berkeley’s top billing in many news stories recently, not always flattering, the Oaks Theatre has pulled of something of a scheduling coup with its special screening of a movie focused on Berkeley politics. Power Trip: Theatrically Berkeley, directed by Emio Tomeoni,is described as “an unfiltered look at the frantic pace of the activist and reactionists, asking … Continue reading »

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