Above left: The Sung Family in “ABACUS”. Above right: Cinematographer Tom Bergmann.
For a second year I’ve been working at The Center for Documentary Production and Study in the Media Arts Department at Robert Morris University as the Documentary Film Strategist. Part of my job is to figure out how we can best serve regional socially conscious filmmakers. It is tough being an independent filmmaker. The filmmakers who attended this years conference stressed their need for the type of institutional support provided by Robert Morris University and The Tull Family Theater in workshops, master classes and screening opportunities.
We convened our second Documentary Filmmaker’s Open House under the banner of MoonDocs! The name grew out of a 2017 workshop held last year when filmmakers brainstormed on a name for a fictitious distribution company. The name was so good that we decided to adapt it for our future events.
We partnered with The Tull Family Theater. They offered us two slots for screenings this year. On Saturday morning June 23rd we showed work by regional independent filmmakers.
MoonDocs Shorts – Juried work by Regional Filmmakers
Cigdem Slankard, “Fresh Start,” TRT 13:00
Tom Poole, “I AM A MAN,” TRT 5:36
Kalpana Biswas, “Jewels of Kandahar,” Work-in-Progress, TRT 23:33
Lorenzo Boone, “WOOGIE,” TRT 5:46
Tatiana Bacchus, “Ulrick,” Sample of Work-in-Progress, TRT 4:33
Billy Jackson “Legacy,” Work-in-Progress, TRT 27:55
On Sunday evening June 24th we screened the Academy Award nominated feature ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail. Our keynote speaker was ABACUS cinematographer Tom Bergmann who had two films nominated for Academy Awards this year in the documentary category. As an independent cinematographer he is known to participate in socially conscious projects that show people who are underdogs fighting for their rights.
Watch this space for more on MoonDocs!