Joliet Junior College to hold first film festival
BY JEANNE MILLSAP Correspondent October 16, 2013 9:16AM
The cover of the documentary "The Amasong Chorus." | Supplied image
JJC Film Festival
7 p.m. Friday: “Amasong Chorus: Singing Out,” a documentary about a lesbian and feminist chorus formed in the Champaign-Urbana area in the 1990s. Produced by Jay Rosenstein, the film follows the group’s early struggles and successes. Rosenstein is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning independent filmmaker. He will attend and will lead a discussion after the screening.
3:30 p.m. Saturday: “Dragon, the Bruce Lee Story,” a feature film, is a semibiographical depiction of the life of martial arts master Bruce Lee, who died 40 years ago. Tammy Perkins of JJC’s fine arts department will be the guest speaker after the film.
7:30 p.m. Saturday: “The Interrupters,” a documentary about gang violence in Chicago and those who work to stop it. This film has received a number of national awards, was shown nationally on PBS, and was a selection for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Ricardo “Cobe” Williams, one of the violence interrupters in the film, will make an appearance after the screening.
Where: Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Road, Black Box Theatre (Building K).
Admission: Free, but reservations are requested. Call (815) 280-2200 or stop by the box office at K-1002. There will be a limited number of seats available at the door.
Updated: November 18, 2013 7:23AM
Joliet Junior College’s first Fine Arts Department Film Festival is this weekend, and it’s free to the public.
Two timely Illinois-made documentaries will be shown, as well as one feature film. JJC art history professor Gisele Atterberry said the films chosen are interesting and well-made and should lead to some good discussion.
“Anybody with a love of film who enjoys seeing film in a group where there can be discussion afterward will enjoy attending this festival,” Atterberry said. “Communal enjoyment of film is a powerful thing, and it is beginning to evaporate in our culture today.”
Atterberry said beginning the film festival is a way to encourage lifelong learning and to reflect the various aspects of the fine arts department’s offerings, which include theatre, the visual arts, music, speech and interior design.
The documentaries that will be shown are “The Interrupters” and “Amasong Chorus: Singing Out,” and the feature film is “Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story.” All three will feature discussion after the screenings, with speakers.
“Amasong Chorus: Singing Out” is a documentary about a lesbian/feminist chorus formed in the Champaign-Urbana area in the 1990s. Atterberry said the film is going to be a great way to open the festival, and the discussion after will be led by the film’s producer/director/writer/editor Jay Rosenstein, a University of Illinois professor and three-time Emmy winner.
Rosenstein said he became familiar with Amasong at the campus in Champaign and was fascinated with the choir’s founder, Kristina Boerger. He said he learned that as a student and a lesbian, she faced problems of acceptance in many areas, including employment.
“They were pretty well-known,” Rosenstein said of the choir. “I used to go to their concerts. And I really didn’t like choral music, but when I would go to see Amasong, I could tell there was something different going on — something special.”
His documentary follows Boerger’s personal story of the difficulty in coming out in the 1980s and how she overcame that by working through non-mainstream channels.
“She basically invented her own channel,” Rosenstein said. “Then later, the mainstream channels came to embrace her.”
“The Interrupters” is a nationally recognized documentary about gang violence in Chicago and those “interrupters” who work to stop it. Atterberry said it is a very good film and, with the recent violence in Chicago, quite timely. She’s especially looking forward to the discussion after the film, when Ricardo “Cobe” Williams, one of the violence interrupters in the film, will tell his story.
“I think his personal story is going to be a lifetime memory for those who attend,” Atterberry said.
Guests are encouraged to come early and view the JJC Faculty Art Exhibition in the Laura A. Sprague Gallery, J-1004, before the film screenings.