One of the highlights of my year so far was definitely the weekend I had the privilege of participating with team “docuNATI” in the International Documentary Challenge (IDC). The basic premise of the IDC is that each team has just five days to make a short documentary (4-7 mins). All creativity – research, writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack – had to be completed beginning Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8 AM and ending Monday, March 10, 2008. To make things more challenging, on the morning of Thursday the 6th each team was given the choice of 2 genres as well as a broad theme that must be addressed in their film.
Our genre was NATURE and our theme was CHANGE. These happened to work perfectly with what we really wanted to shoot – which was the idea of “Down Syndrome Art”. The way we tied everything together was with the tag line “one chromosome changes everything…” The CHANGE in one chromosome determines whether a person is born with Down Syndrome and since people are a part of the natural physical world, incorporating NATURE was easy. Visionaries & Voices, an art studio for people with disabilities, was kind enough to let us film their brand new studio in Northside and interview their artists.
Directed by Brandon Faris, there were 6 of us who made up our team, and we all brought a different aspect of creativity to the table. My role was to take still shots…but I ended up getting to try my hand at some video as well. Brandon’s team participated in this challenge for the first time last year and their film was chosen as one of the top 12 finalists. All of the teams chosen as finalists get to go to the film festival in Toronto – which I hear is a blast. This year the challenge has grown substantially and there are over 100 teams competing from 12 different countries.
Although our film, titled “bright | simple”, did not make it to the finals this year, I definitely don’t regret the time and effort we put forth to make this film. It was so much fun spending time at Visionaries & Voices and getting to meet all of the new artists. The whole experience has been such a blast and an awesome opportunity…and the icing on the cake is that it was all in the name of art. To see the “bright | simple” video and some of Brandon’s other cool videos, click HERE to be directed to his blog .