The Kluge-Ruhe Collection is pleased to announce three films by Indigenous filmmakers in the 2014 Virginia Film Festival, supported by a grant from U.Va. Arts Council. This year the museum has partnered with the Festival to present an Australian Aboriginal documentary, a Navajo feature-length drama, and a vampire comedy from New Zealand. As part of its ongoing mission to provide opportunities for Indigenous artists to introduce their work to new audiences, Kluge-Ruhe is bringing the filmmakers and cast members from two films to participate in their screenings. Tickets are available at the Virginia Film Festival’s website using the links below.
Ringtone (2014) is a documentary film in which Australian Aboriginal families offer glimpses into their lives and relationships through their choice of cellular ringtones. From ancestral clan songs to 1980s hip hop artists and local gospel tunes, the ringtones of each individual situates them in a world of enduring connection and explores the intrusions and demands brought by mobile phones to a once remote community in northern Australia. The filmmakers Jennifer Deger, Warren Gurruwiwi and Enid Burungulmiwuy Wungungmurra of Miyarrka Media will be present for a post-screening discussion. Ringtone is also the centerpiece of the exhibition Gapuwiyak Calling, which is on view at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It will screen at U.Va. Newcomb Hall at 6:15 pm on Thursday, November 6.
Drunktown’s Finest (2014) is written and directed by Sydney Freeland. It is the result of her decision to take up the task of crafting an on-screen story that would accurately represent the variety of lifestyles present on the Navajo reservation she called home. This feature film follows three characters, an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be, and a promiscuous transsexual in their efforts to reconcile and escape life on the reservation. Robert Redford acted as executive producer of Drunktown’s Finest, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Sydney Freeland will be present for a discussion after the screening, which will take place at Piedmont Virginia Community College at 9:00 pm on Friday, November 7.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014) follows the lives of Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav, three roommates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles, although for them that includes being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. The vampires’ struggles with sunlight catastrophes, “hitting the main artery,” and trying to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, are almost as difficult as modern obstacles like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming roommate conflicts. Written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (Fight of the Conchords), both of whom are Māori from New Zealand, the film has been called “an orgasm for the funny bone,” especially for mockumentary lovers. It will screen at U.Va. Newcomb Hall at 9:15 pm on Saturday, November 8.
Supported by U.Va. Arts Council and the Embassy of Australia.