Tuesday, October 31, 2017

41 North Film Festival to offer films, discussion, music, more Nov. 2-5 at Rozsa Center

Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc, an evening of film and music in collaboration with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the ConScience Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, will open this year's 41 North Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- From a silent film accompanied by a symphony and choral performance to topical and historical films with expert panelists, the 41 North Film Festival brings together acclaimed films from around the world -- with participants from the local community -- for engaging, informative and inspiring events Nov. 2 -5 at Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center. In celebration of this year's theme of community, the festival will also present a special "City Light" award to retired Michigan Tech film professor and photographer Joe Kirkish in recognition of his many contributions to film appreciation in the Keweenaw.

Kicking the festival off at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, is Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc, an evening of film and music in collaboration with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the ConScience Michigan Tech Chamber Singers. The 1928 silent film classic by Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer will be presented with Richard Einhorn's hauntingly beautiful composition for solo voices, chorus and orchestra performed live. Famed film historian and theorist David Bordwell will participate in the event, giving a public lecture earlier in the day on Dreyer’s work at 2 p.m. in the Rozsa.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the festival offers a chance to contemplate and debate artificial intelligence innovations with its presentation of AlphaGo (Kohs, 2016), the story of Google Deepmind’s A.I. challenge match with the world champion of the complex Chinese board game Go. Several Michigan Tech faculty who work in this field will be joined for a panel discussion by recent Michigan Tech grad Josh Manela of Argo A.I., a Ford subsidiary developing self-driving cars.

The celebration of community ramps up on Saturday. Joe Kirkish will be honored before the screening of Faces Places (Agnès Varda/JR, 2017) at 4 p.m. A reception for Kirkish follows the film at 6 p.m. Cake and beverages will be served. Kevin Blackstone and Clare Zuraw will provide music.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday,
the festival explores local heritage with its presentation of the Swedish film Sami Blood (Kernell, 2016), the story of a young Sami woman in the 1930s who struggles with racism when forced to attend a government school. The film will be shown with Ogichidaa (Ryan, 2017), featuring Michigan Tech’s Jerry Jondreau of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Finlandia University’s Jim Kurtti, Hilary Virtanen, and Joanna Chopp will join Jondreau for a discussion following the film.

Sami Blood will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Rozsa, followed by Ogichidaa), featuring Michigan Tech’s Jerry Jondreau of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, as part of the community heritage exploration during the 41 North Film Festival. A discussion will follow these two films. (Photo courtesy 41 North Film Festival)

Ending the four-day line-up is Far Western (James D. Payne, 2016), which tells the story of a dedicated group of Japanese country/bluegrass musicians and the unique bonds forged across cultures through music. Keweenaw Brewgrass takes the stage to start off the event at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5.

Among other feature films included this year are Dealt (Luke Korem, 2017),  Buzz One Four (Matt McCormick, 2017), Brimstone and Glory (Viktor Jakovleski, 2017), Donkeyote (Chico Pereira, 2017), ACORN and the Firestorm (Reuben Atlas, Samuel D. Pollard, 2017), The Migrumpies (Arman T. Riahi, 2017), The Good Postman (Tonislav Hristov, 2017), This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy (Christian Nicolson, 2016) (shown in Fisher 135), and The Road Movie (Dmitry Kalashnikov, 2017).

All events are free with the exception of Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc. Tickets for that event are $19 for adults, $6 for youth, and free for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech fee. A free film festival ticket is required for admission to free events. All tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the door at the Rozsa Box Office (opens one hour prior to event start).

Sponsors include the Humanities Department, the Visual and Performing Arts department, Minnesota Public Radio, and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. To learn more about the films and events, visit http://41northfilmfest.org. Click here for the schedule. For more information email 41north@mtu.edu.

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