We interviewed filmmaker/artist/actor James Kellogg, one of the founders of Underground FilmFest, a volunteer-based, world-wide pop-up festival that frequently identifies top emerging future Cannes and award-winning directors. Founded in Munich, he also has helped build their mission of diversity and interconnectivity with events in Cameroon, Italy, Vietnam, the US and the UK. Here is the largely un-edited text, just as it occurred.
“It is truly an exciting weekend with the start of the Munich International Film Festival and our complementary festival which will provide some alternative viewing options for film lovers here in Munich this weekend. Because we are not commercial in nature, we offer complete day passes to cover as many films as you want to watch. Plus the films are in original language with English subtitles or in English.
As the weekend will be busy we recommend people pop into see a few of the prime gems in our showcase at Theater Heppel & Ettlich.
For website, go to: http://www.heppel-ettlich.de/underground-filmfest/
Program guide here: http://www.heppel-ettlich.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Underground_FilmFest_Program.pdf
Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1654319704870891/
Tickets here….all day in and out pass anytime; https://love-your-artist.de/undergroundfilmfest
FAMILY AND KIDS:
SATURDAY 11:00 AM (FREE) – THE MAGIC TRAIN by award-winning director, animator and artist: Joe Chang and team in China. With almost $1M budget, ten different stories by animators bring together traditional Chinese music, culture and history.
SATURDAY 12:30 PM (FREE) – CATALINA AND THE SUN by Award-winning director: Anna Paula Hönig. A visually stunning story set in Argentina about young girl, her grandmother and the sun.
FAMILY & TEENS:
SATURDAY 12:30 PM (FREE) – ARC RAIDER by Sci-Fi Underground 2.2 Award Winner for Best Sound, Saigon Underground Jury Award – Best Visuals, Best Directing – Rowan Pullen, Australia. Like Star Wars? Like Raiders of the Lost Ark? Like some of the other classic sci-fi? This is a fun film especially for teenagers.
SUNDAY 11:00 AM – 12:30 (FREE) – From Africa, BABA by Turkish/German director George Inci – The ballad of a life between wind and sand…big pathos, poignancy, strong appeal…BABA is a little painful- beautiful story…wind and sand are the guiding themes in this movie that tells everything over symbols. It is the most unique and visually distinctive film we have seen in years.
13:00 to 18:00 SATURDAY (FREE) Wonder Women Female Filmmaking Showcase
Even if you cannot stay for the whole series, popping in for an hour can be inspiring to see films by TRUE wonder women. All films directed by women from around the world…. documentaries, fiction, comedy, etc. Really inspiring stuff for both women and men. Filmmakers like Portuguese multi-award-winning Sara Eustáquio, 16, and black singer, performance artist, and award-winning filmmaker, Sylvia Toy, from the U.S., Hong Kong Director Lin Li, and others.
I particularly enjoyed the film LIVING ART by German Director, Tina Krüger. Divided into 3 chapters, an aesthetic ethnography of contemporary arts in Maputo, Mozambique. The protagonists of the film are seven young contemporary artists who work in the areas of dance, painting, sculpting, music and graffiti. A documentary exploring the impact of generosity in a community by black female director Charysse Tia Harper is also very thought-provoking.
SATURDAY 16:15 to 17:30 (TICKET) – PIEROPAOLO – A documentary film on Italian playwright, poet, and filmmaker, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and his family, male and female loves who forged his dramatic existence until his tragic fate. Coming to talk is the Director, Miguel Ángel Barroso, who is also a well published author, film critic, film festival curator, and film historian.
SATURDAY 19:30 (TICKET) – THE ARCHETYPES an experimental film by American director William J. Stribling and the Orange Grove Dance group is astonishing…visually interesting with mythological themes explored, and amazing dance and music.
SATURDAY 20:00 to 21:30 – LEON MUST DIE by Hamburg, Germany Director, Lars Kokemüller who invokes Napolean Dynamite, “nerd talk á la Tarantino and Jarmusch” and the philosophical side of the Terminator. Lars was our 2017 Saigon Underground Jury Award winner for Best Writing. He has directed, written and produced 7 feature films. German film press called him ‘Hope of the young German film’ and ‘As radical as Fassbinder’
HEROYNA by director Alejandro Solórzano Garibaldi, Mexico and students is a visual drama masterpiece capturing teenage love, angst and rebellion.
SUNDAY 15:45 to 18:00
Actually, all afternoon we will be showing films and having workshops to inspire female and all filmmakers. This is probably the largest female filmmaking showcase ever done in Europe.
I am really proud of the curated film collection called GIRLS ON FIRE by a sister festival we are showcasing. It is a selection of short films celebrating fierce women from around the world in 3 acts. Fear not, you won’t see damsels in distress. Instead expect smart, strong willed, complicated, interesting and confident female characters on screen.
You might remember in a prior interview with me we talked about filmmakers Marjan Radanovik, Traces of Life (Slovenia) and Kathrin Anna Stahl, Twelfth Night (Germany). They won Munich Audience Awards after that interview, by the way.
But even more exciting is that we took Kathrin’s film to Saigon Underground FilmFest and both their films to Birmingham Underground FilmFest for the global audience award competition and they won again! So that covers best directing, best acting, and best sound/music between them! We will be honoring both of them as well as another award winner from Spain (Dario Perez Moreno, Portrait of a wind-up maker) for best visuals and story,
As we have a firm belief in the integration of arts and culture, we are not only showing films, but also have a popular Graffiti Urban artist Dante Juez, performing all weekend an installation at the Theater Heppel & Ettlich, as well as a Saturday evening concert with musician Alex Sebastian (sharing unreleased songs of his upcoming album „blackstar’s ascending“).
This album features 3 of his most admired instrumentalists as guest musicians: Jerry Marotta (drums, e.g. Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney), Tony Levin (bass, e.g. Peter Gabriel, David Bowie) and Trey Gunn (e.g. King Crimson, Robert Fripp.
Sunday, we have a fashion show by award-winning designer, Soumya Dubey and Sunday afternoon special film workshops and interviews with filmmakers. Sunday evening another concert by the German-Swedish jazz trio, Lyckliga.