The Master of Film Graduation Show 2011, Process, Presence & Medium, takes place from Thursday 8 through to Sunday 11 September in Het Ketelhuis and MC Theater in Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam. www.westergasfabriek.nl

The projects
During the Show the students will show, individually and collectively, some of the results of two years of study, experimentation and reflection. The diversity of the research projects presented mirrors the diversity of backgrounds and interests of the students – some with a film, others with a visual arts background – but all share a desire to lay open, question and play with the language of the moving image. Even when it’s presented in the form of a giant photo collage.

Live programme
To compliment the projects that are shown in the cinema of Het Ketelhuis and the exposition space in the MC Theater, the students organize a live programme with guests, discussions and a guided tour around three themes that bind them: process, presence and medium. Every day two students take the visitors on a guided tour from one project to another, discussing the differences and similarities of the works. The theme of the day is introduced in a lecture by a film maker or visual artist who will speak about his or her own work. At the end of the guided tour, there’s a discussion between the students, the guest lecturer and a moderator in which also the audience can participate.

Process

How does a work develop in a process that goes to and fro between the expecations of the maker, the results and the reflection on those results?
Is there a feedback system? Can and does the maker remain open to the changes that occur during the process of making his or her film or installation? And does this lead to a process that’s a mixture of improvisation, registration and progress?

What’s the difference between an open process and the more common research and pre-production phase in filmmaking where the outcome is more fixed from the outset? Can film be only a process – a process that represents the questions of the filmmaker without any cinematographic pretense?
How does the solitary position of the artist compare to that of the script writer or film director who generally works in a team?

The debate on process will also focus on the way in which the research focus of the master programme of the Film Academy can lead to a permanent process of inquiry on the part of the students and how this is visible in the ‘sketches’ and ‘exercises’ presented.

Guest speaker: Coco Schrijber, director of, among others, ‘Bloody Mondays & Strawberry Pies’, a documentary about the beauty of absolute boredom. In it Schrijber finds an associative manner to talk about a subject equally elusive.
Moderator: Sander Blom (filmmaker)
Students in charge: Lisette Olsthoorn, Kasper Verkaik

Presence

What’s the relationship between a maker and his / her work? Does the work stand on its own? Or does it always exist in the shadow of its creator?
Is the artist the work? Can the work manifest itself completely anonymously, completely seperate from the maker and the society in which it originates? Is there always a relationship between the filmmaker and his / her work?
Will not the authenticity that the maker strives for be noticable in aspects of the work, and thus always lead the spectator to connect the work to its maker?

The debate will also focus on the differences between solitary work and team work and the way that influences how concepts / ideas / meanings are communicated. We will also discuss the literal presence of the maker in his / her work and the way in which inferes, in the context of documentary, in the reality he / she wants to document. The issue of ‘presence’ is also a relevant issue of debat because of the need, in our contemporary visual culture, to be present and visible as an individual (and mostly as a consumer). How does this development influence contemporary filmmakers and artists?

Guest speaker: Paulien Oltheten, visual artist making photographs and videos. The power of her work resides in the way her images, based on peoples’ simple gestures, come into being. It’s not always clear to the spectator whether or not she manipulates that simple reality.
Moderator: Dana Linssen (critic and editor of De Filmkrant)
Students in charge: Bart Juttmann, Taatkse Pieterson

Medium

Under the heading of ‘medium’, we’ll discuss the advent of new genres through the use of digital media, leading to the representation of the world in narratives that are differently structured and perhaps more open than the film narratives we’re used to. Media technologies change the relation between the spectator and the subject / content. New models of organisation and production arise, constantly transforming relations of control and regulation of media and culture. The debate will also focus on the diversity of ways to use media and on the ‘social shaping’ power that technology posesses.

The theme also implies questioning the medium of film: how do narratives work, what’s fiction, what’s documentary, what’s realism..? How are we trained to look, understanding the constructedness of what we see, yet willing to to go along with it. How do young filmmakers deal with these mechanisms?

Guest speaker: Florian Göttke, visual artist. In his work he shows what a many-headed monster mass media images are: cut one off and somewhere else a new one appears. Exemplary is his work on the fall of the regime in Iraq: it was a battleground for fiction and reality, constantly manipulated by the (online) media.
Moderator: Bart Rutten (curator Stedelijk Museum)
Students in charge: Bogomir Doringer, Reinier Noordzij, Kay Schuttel

See programme for a detailed schedule of opening times and details of the live programme.