The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announces the winners of its 2017 summer series

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 (BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA) – The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announced the winners of its 2017 summer series, as selected by its 9-person jury.

“The Railroad Lady” (Timo von Gunten/Switzerland) won first place and audience award. “Pushing Night Away” (Jade Hærem Aksnes/Norway) came in second, while “Enemies Within” (Sélim Azzazi/France) finished third.

The series’ jury includes composer Philip Glass, experimental artist and composer Laurie Anderson, actress Kirsten Dunst, producer Michael Polish, editor Susan Littenberg, producer Lawrence Inglee, actor and filmmaker David Price, author Susan Zsigmond, and cinematographer Dean Semler.

Lucien Guignard and Jane Birkin of “The Railroad Lady”

Recognized as one of the most innovative short film series in the world, the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series, curated by the Henry Miller Memorial Library, celebrated its 11th year in 2017. This was the series’ most successful to date, having receiving over 1,500 submissions from over 50 countries.

This was the first series not held in Big Sur. Due to a the closure subsequent demolition of Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in the spring, the series, held from June to August, relocated the Henry Miller Memorial Library’s satellite location in Carmel, CA. The series will move back to Big Sur in 2018.

“It was certainly an interesting year with the new location, all the more so because this year’s crop of films was probably the strongest set of films since the series’ inception,” said series director Magnus Toren. “I’m never ceased to be amazed by filmmakers’ ability to crystalize pressing social concerns or universal stories with such artistry, technical excellence, and humanity.”

“Selections ran the gamut — comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation, you name it. The series has become known for an element of unpredictability and I think our audience members appreciate that.”

The Series is now accepting submissions for its 2018 installment. To submit and for more information regarding the series, as well as previous selections and winners, visit bigsurfilm.org

On The Road: 60 years later, how does Jack Kerouac’s iconic road trip novel hold up?

Click here to find out! In the meantime, consider this money quote and subsequent run-on sentence (don’t try this at home, kids!)

“As a devout Christian and a lifelong Republican, he [Kerouac] hated the counterculture of the ’60s, but was promptly blamed for all their excesses.

“Remember that paragraph from Big Sur — “The poor kid actually believes that there’s something noble and idealistic and kind about all this beat stuff, and I’m supposed to be the King of the Beatniks according to the newspapers, so but at the same time I’m sick and tired of all the endless enthusiasms of new young kids trying to know me and pour out all their lives into me so that I’ll jump up and down and say yes yes that’s right, which I can’t do anymore — my reason for coming to Big Sur for the summer being precisely to get away from that sort of thing — like those pathetic five high school kids who all came to my door in Long Island one night wearing jackets that said ‘Dharma Bums’ on them, all expecting me to be 25 years old and here I am old enough to be their father…”

What does (Bob) Dylan (or Thomas) mean to YOU????

On Friday Sept 8, come to the Henry Miller LAB in Carmel and tell us!!

A night of conversation, music, testimonials, film clips, and maybe even trivia attesting to the impact of Bob Dylan and/or Dylan Thomas on our lives.

Bring an instrument. Cover a song. Read a poem. Ruminate extemporaneously. Curl your hair. Show a film!

I, for example, will screen the scene from “Eat the Document” where a nervous John Lennon pukes in a limo with Bob.

RSVP by clicking here or by calling 831-667-2574 — and tell your friends!

LET IT ALL OUT!!!

Tues. Nov 22nd 4 pm – Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes from the DC Punk Underground!!

45170353Tomorrow, Tues. Nov. 22nd at 4 pm, Cynthia Connelly will stop by the Library to talk about and sign Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes from the DC Punk Underground! This event is free!
 
Connolly is an NEA grant-winning artist whose work has exhibited extensively, her series “Letters on Top of Buildings” recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum—but her best-known image may still be the cover of the Minor Threat Out of Step record (!!)
 
Here she is talking to Pitchfork in 2015 about the book, its amazing longevity, and the impact of the DC punk scene!

Another mind-boggling Big Sur Writing Workshop (Children to YA) alumni publishing deal – Chris Howard’s “Rootless!” A *must-read*!

It’s time for some Q&A.

Do aspiring children and YA writers come to the Big Sur Writing Workshop — the next one is March 1-3, 2013; taking registrations HERE – and, say, hone and sharpen their manuscripts under the tuo of our world-class faculty? Yes.

Big Sur Writing Workshop alumni Chris Howard

Do they walk away from the workshop satisfied, so much so that they write us gushing, mind-blowing testimonials about how amazing it was? Yes – and you can read some of them here.

Lastly, do some bring their manuscript, catch the eye of an attending Andrea Brown agent, and poof! get a publishing deal? Oh yes. Quite often, in fact – you can read some of them here, AND, keep reading because this next one’s a doozy.

The YA author Chris Howard attended a past Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop and, well, take it away Publisher’s Weekly:

His unpublished first novel had caught the attention of an agent, Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, whom Howard had met at writing workshops in Denver and Big Sur, Calif., and then signed with in 2010. It was Rennert’s rejection of his first novel that gave him “the encouragement and confidence to tackle a new story.”

Howard’s future editor, Mallory Kass, was also at the Big Sur Writing Workshop, as faculty. Kass bought Rootless in mid-2011, and Howard has been gratified by the input he’s received from both agent and editor. “One of the greatest things Mallory said to me was that it’s her job to make sure readers got to experience my vision of the novel as clearly as possible. She was never trying to put ideas in my head or change the story,” he says.

Read the whole thing here.

The aforementioned story is elegant in its simplicity – aspiring writer comes to workshop, meets agent, gets publishing deal (it’s not very often when real-life is this orderly and sublime, no?) – but it’s also quite common.

There are dozens of Chris Howards out there – again, read about them all here – and odds are, there’s a few of you out there, just waiting to be discovered. You can’t hide from us forever!

But Andrea Brown’s agents won’t come knocking at your door. That’d be creepy. You gotta sign up, so do so now and here before it sells out like it always does.

And congrats Chris!

 

 

 

 

More exciting Big Sur Screenwriting Workshop news! A scholarship (or two? Maybe) could be in your future! (And a Bread shout-out)

The Big Sur Screenwriting Workshop is live, it’s accelerating, and it’s acting all juggernaut-like!><br

We are now taking submissions for the April 12-14 event, and time, in our opinion, should be of the essence. I mean, have you seen the faculty recently?

https://i0.wp.com/www.films42.com/chats/PamPhoto.jpg
Faculty member Pamela Katz, screenwriter and Adjunct Professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts

And exhibit B: it looks as if a kind benefactor or two may be offering to provide a scholarship to cover the tuition for a lucky applicant. This isn’t in stone yet, but we’re working hard behind the scenes to make it happen.

Of course, scholarship or not, the submission fee (different than the tuition, naturally) is a mere $25, and of course, it goes to a good cause, namely the Henry Miller Library, the non-profit art center mother ship that is making this all possible.

(sighs)

You know, sometimes words can fail us and we lack the language and grammatical acumen to truly express our unsolicited advice to all those aspiring screenwriters out there.

And it’s in times like these that we turn to the timeless wisdom of Bread (namely David Gates.)

So if you’re considering the workshop, don’t delay: surrender sweetly to the Big Sur Screenwriting Workshop.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library announces the inaugural Big Sur SCREENWRITING Workshop, April 12-14, 2013!

The Henry Miller Memorial Library is proud to announce the 2013 Big Sur Screenwriting Workshop, the most exciting and rewarding screenwriting workshop in the known universe!

The workshop, which will be held April 12-14 at the Lodge in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park will focus on works-in-progress.  The workshop offers participants:

*A world-class faculty that includes Tom Abrams,  the Academy Award-winning writer of “Rugrats;” Michael Polish, independent American filmmaker and screenwriter; Deborah Baron, (“Major Dad” and “Cagney and Lacy”), Michael Taylor, the Chair of Film and Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and more.   Click here for the full faculty list.

* Hands-on instruction in intimate groups of 5-6 and in one-on-one sessions with aforementioned faculty.

* A presentation by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”)

* Meals, lodging, a cocktail party, and invaluable networking opportunities with fellow screenwriters and industry professionals.

* The most beautiful and inspiring scenery in the world (that’d be Big Sur in the springtime).

 For more information and to register, please visit www.bigsurscreenwriting.com!

And visit us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/BigSurScreenwritingWorkshops?ref=hl

Another cool workshop testimonial from March ’12 alumni Dwayne DeBardelaben

Dwayne made the trek all the way from Alabama for the March 2012 workshop, and fortunately for everyone, he was not disappointed.

Check out his blog for a more thorough exposition, but in the meantime, it seems like he was particularly struck by the professionalism and intelligence of our esteemed faculty:

The professional for my first and third sessions was Eric Elfman (left).  It would have been worth the cost of the trip and the workshop just for those two sessions alone.  Eric demonstrated an amazing ability to zero in on a problem.  But he went beyond just pointing out difficult areas, he also offered extremely helpful suggestions about how to address the specific problem and the underlying weakness in the future.

The professional for my second and fourth sessions was Laura Rennert, a senior agent with Andrew Brown Literary Agency.  Her insight matched Eric’s in every way.  She had a nurturing way of easing you through the recognition of a problem and suggesting answers.  I found myself listening carefully to every observation she made, trying to understand so I could apply that same insight to my own writing in the future.

I’ll write more in the days ahead about what I learned, who I met, and where to go next.

Pretty cool!!