Windsor’s own Media City Film Festival is going to Hollywood.
Media City, which for 25 years has shown film and digital art projects from around the world, will screen one of its own films May 2 in Los Angeles at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Media City artistic director Oona Mosna curated a project as a special commission for the organization, working with Japanese-Canadian filmmaker, Daïchi Saïto.
Saïto took seven years to create earthearthearth, capturing the Atacama Desert in Chile and Argentina.
Mosna calls the film a painterly portrait of the Atacama Desert, using analog film.
“I don’t know if we’d say the film is about something in particular,” Mosna said. “You can think of it in the tradition of a moving painting.”
The film captures the beauty of the Andean Mountains through color and light. While filming, the crew compared the South American desert to an outer-worldly experience.
At certain points they climbed 16,000 feet above sea level, creating issues with oxygen.
“I found that the Atacama Desert is actually more similar to the environment on Mars,” said Mosna, who was on location for the shoot. “It’s sweeping, it’s super dry.”
The film has been purchased by the Academy Film Archive — part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out Oscars — to preserve earthearth’s unique 16-35mm format for future generations.
“We’re very honored, for Daïchi particularly, because this is his life’s work,” Mosna said. “But the film is really incredible. There probably isn’t another filmmaker alive who could produce the type of effects that Daïchi has with the work he’s made, so we’re very excited for him.”
Media City is recognized globally for the work it produces. This is the second time Media City has traveled to South America for one of its films.
The group previously produced a film by Chilean-Canadian filmmaker Malena Szlam in South America. Mosna considers Szlam one of the big reasons why the trip for earthearthearth happened in the first place.
“In the past decade or so, we’ve been making great strides to not only exhibit work, but to produce work,” Mosna said.
“Those works have been screened at every major festival internationally. They’ve won awards and they’ve been collected by other museums.”
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Plus, there’s more to eat. Mosna said Media City has some new projects online that will be free to the public soon.
Media City recently enjoyed its 25th anniversary and to celebrate, screened work from almost 100 filmmakers from around the world. More than 100,000 people attended the online events.
“We’re still thinking we might do a 25th anniversary in person, perhaps before the end of the year here,” Mosna said.
In person or not, Media City wants to keep reaching the world: “We’re still looking to maintain this online presence because the audience members are so amazing.”