A Les Blank Renaissance

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Thu, 26 Dec 2002 09:43:12 -0800 (PST)

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A Les Blank Renaissance
By Steve Fesenmaier December 26, 2002

This fall Les Blank won the $10,000 prize for the biennial International
Ethnographic Film Festival, organized by the Istituto Superiore
Regionale Etnografico of Sardinia .It was held in Nuoro, Italy from 7-12
October 2002.The Festival always adopts a specific theme: The Shepherd
and His Image (1982); The World Upside Down or Carnival and Controlled
Transgression (1984); The Wedding. Marriage Rituals in Traditional
Societies (1986); Women and Work in Traditional Societies (1988);
Islands (1990); Mountains (1992); Men and Rivers (1994); Magic and
Medicine in Traditional Societies (1996); Music and Rituals (1998);
Children (2000).This year’s Festival was entitled “Food”. Well known
ethnographic filmmakers Robert Gardner and David McDougall often
participate.

Also in October there was a “A Les Blank Carnival,” a fundraiser for the
2003 Ozark Foothills FilmFest created by Wheeling native Bob Pest. In
November eight of Blank’s nearly three dozen short documentaries were
reissued in new prints commissioned by the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences. They will be screened all over the country and
world. There is more good news for Les - after trying for many years
and many times, he has been awarded NEA funds to finish his film about
exotic Chinese and Indian teas. He also will finally be working on his
film about the DiRosa preserve.

Websites

Film Arts Foundation (on behalf of Flower Films and Video)
San Francisco, CA
$20,000 To support the post-production costs for a documentary by Les
Blank. White Feathers, Black Bones is about the life and vision of David
Hoffman, an American tea importer.
http://www.nea.gov/artforms/Media/03media.html#leadership

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy to Salute Filmmaker Les Blank at the Rafael Film Center
http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2002/02.11.05.html

International Ethnographic Film Festival
http://www.regione.sardegna.it/isre/

Ozark Foothills FilmFest
http://www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org/lesblankcarnival.htm

DiRosa Preserve http://www.dirosapreserve.org/

You can watch streaming video of some of his films at:
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/flowervideo.html.

Flower Films - http://www.lesblank.com/

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