FotoFocus Announces Film Curator at Large, Rolls Out New Monthly Series 'Second Screens'

FotoFocus' new monthly film series will kick off in 2020, just in time for its 10th anniversary

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click to enlarge C. Jacqueline Wood, Fotofocus' recently-named film curator at large. - Courtesy of FotoFocus
Courtesy of FotoFocus
C. Jacqueline Wood, Fotofocus' recently-named film curator at large.

A new monthly film series spearheaded by Cincinnati-based film specialist and artist C. Jacqueline Wood and presented by FotoFocus will kick off in January, with Wood being named as film curator at large.

Titled Second Screens, the series will host screenings at various venues across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky every second Tuesday of each month in 2020. According to a press release, its purpose is to "enrich the cinematic landscape through public screenings of works that span many years, subjects and genres, including narrative, documentary, avant-garde and animation." 

The move expands FotoFocus' overall mission of championing lens-based art, delving more fully into the mediums of film, video and the moving image. The screenings range from 2018's HBO documentary United Skates, which explores African-American roller-rink communities, to Terrence Malik's second feature film Days of Heaven. Released in 1978, Days of Heaven is set in Texas' panhandle in 1916 and mines the relationship of a farmer and two of his workers.

In February of next year, FotoFocus, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2020, will launch an open call for animators of all skill levels from Greater Cincinnati. Short submissions will be considered for the NSFW (Animations For Adults) event on June 9, 2020. 

"Now that we are moving into our second decade, we are delighted to expand our reach into film with a new curator and new program," says Mary Ellen Goeke, FotoFocus executive director, in a press release. "Jacqueline has been an integral part of Cincinnati's independent film scene and we are grateful to have her insight and expertise on the team." 

Also the director and founder of nonprofit The Mini Microcinema — which promotes the work of filmmakers and artists working outside the mainstream and recently announced the closure of its Main Street space (though it will remain active as an organization) — Wood told me in a recent interview that she's excited to take on the job. FotoFocus, she said, has been specifically supportive of her and The Mini. 

As part of 2018's FotoFocus Biennial event, in October Wood curated a month-long film series at The Mini called Open Archive, which ran concurrently with the event's overarching theme. Notably, the film series brought in one of the biggest names that year, filmmaker, artist and writer Miranda July. 

Starting in January, Wood will be traveling to different film festivals to research works to bring to the Queen City. 

So far, they've got the lineup through June. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and screenings start at 7 p.m. for all events. Here's the schedule so far: 

  • Varda by Agnès (Jan. 14 at the Woodward Theater) — FotoFocus starts with the Cincinnati premiere of Agnès Varda’s final film, 2019's Varda by Agnès, "a personal and whimsical look back at the director’s prolific career." Of the film, Varda said its mission was to “give keys to my body of work. I give my own keys, my thoughts, nothing pretentious, just keys.” In exploring her career as a filmmaker and photographer, the work touches not only on filmmaking, but also weaves in themes of feminism and aging. Having first developed her work and style during the French New Wave with films such as 1962's Clèo from 5 to 7 and, most recently, her 2017 collab with the artist JR, Faces Places. 
    click to enlarge "Days of Heaven" - Courtesy of FotoFocus
    Courtesy of FotoFocus
    "Days of Heaven"
  • Days of Heaven (Feb. 11 at Cincinnati Museum Center's Newsreel Theater) — Revisit (or discover for the first time) Terrence Malik's second feature film, Days of Heaven. Set in 1916, this period film explores a farmer's stormy relationship with his workers. The film boasts an all-star cast, with performances from Sam Shepard, Brooke Adams, Richard Gere and Linda Manz. 
    click to enlarge Chicago Skater iV at Rich City Rink in "United Skates" - Courtesy of HBO
    Courtesy of HBO
    Chicago Skater iV at Rich City Rink in "United Skates"
  • United Skates (March 10 at Rhinegesit) — Directed by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, this 2018 HBO documentary explores the world and cultural importance of African-American rollerskate communities. 
  • Monterey Pop (April 14 at Lightborne) — Celebrate the life of documentarian D.A. Pennebaker with a screening of his iconic Monterey Pop, which features performances by popular musical acts of the 1960s, including Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, the Mamas and the Papas and Simon & Garfunkel. Experience it in 4k restoration and in surround sound. 
  • Two Journeys — A Shorts Program (May 12 at 21c Museum Hotel) — Curated by The Golden Pixel Cooperative, this screening features shorts that range from narrative to experimental and examine the "notion of place," with films made in Los Angeles and Vienna. It will also see filmmaker and curator Nora Sweeney return to her hometown of Cincinnati. 
  • NSFW (Animation for Adults) (June 9 at The Lodge) This short animation screening looks at the ways "sex and the human form are represented in both historical and contemporary styles of animation." Curated by Wood, as stated above, an open call for submissions from local artists will go live in February of next year. 

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