Bradley to create feature film

Department of Writing professor and local independent filmmaker Maureen Bradley has been announced as one of four winning teams for the National Screen Institute’s Features First initiative. This comes hot on the heels of news that Fine Arts staffer Dan Hogg was awarded one of the top slots in the NSI’s Script to Screen competition.

Bradley (bottom right) with the other winning NSI teams (photo: Merging Media Inc)

Bradley (bottom right) with the other winning NSI teams (photo: Merging Media Inc)

Bradley will be the writer/director on the film project Two 4 One, alongside Toronto-based producer and Ryerson professor Kalli Paakspuu. Among their other achievements, Bradley and Hogg both collaborated on Writing’s Leo Award-winning student web series Freshman’s Wharf.

Presented in association with Telefilm Canada, NSI’s Features First is a 10-month training course developed as a launch pad for producer/writer/director teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. Teams are paired with executive producer mentors and story editors to help with the final development and packaging of their feature film project; since the course was launched in 1997, 15 features have been produced. Films developed through NSI Features.

Bradley pitching her NSI project (photo: Merging Media Inc)

Bradley pitching her NSI project (photo: Merging Media Inc)

“NSI works with the teams to match them with experienced story editors to polish their script,” said new NSI Features First program manager Brandice Vivier in their news release. “We show them firsthand how a feature film comes together from development, to pitch, to production, to release. I’m excited to work with the students to find a place for their projects in today’s marketplace and get their projects made.”

A media artist, curator and educator, Bradley has directed more than 40 short films and videos, four film installations and two web art projects. Her award-winning productions have screened at galleries and festivals around the globe, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Many of her productions have been broadcast in North America and abroad. Retrospectives of Maureen’s work have screened at festivals in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa. She has garnered Best Film awards from festivals in Chicago, Akron, Philadelphia and Santa Barbara. In 1992, Maureen reached her largest audience of more than 15 million viewers appearing as a writer/director on the CBC TV series Road Movies.

$16,000 from Ian McDougall benefit album

Proving that music really is the gift that keeps on giving, School of Music Professor Emeritus Ian McDougall presented Fine Arts with a cheque for $16,000 in early December—the first significant payment in the “one potato” fund created by the sales of his Fine Arts benefit CD, The Very Thought of You.

Ibrahim Inayatali (left) with Ian McDougall and Susan Lewis Hammond

Ibrahim Inayatali (left) with Ian McDougall and Susan Lewis Hammond

McDougall, together with Associate Vice-President of Alumni and Development Ibrahim Inayatali and acting Music Director Susan Lewis Hammond, gave the cheque to Fine Arts in early December. He is clearly pleased with the album’s success, but realizes the necessity of keeping it in the public eye. “The record is popular now and selling well, but it’s important to keep it going,” said McDougall.

“It’s great you had the vision to do this and make it benefit all of Fine Arts,” Lewis Hammond told McDougall at the presentation. Inayatali agreed, noting he will be taking copies of the CD along on an upcoming alumni trip to Hong Kong. “This is your life’s work, to be supporting students perpetually.”

McD CD_coverConceived of as a benefit album for Fine Arts students in financial need, The Very Thought of You features 14 beautiful ballads from the ’30s and ’40s with McDougall on his signature trombone, backed by a string orchestra—but the best part is that $10 from each $20 CD goes directly to a new emergency fund created by him to benefit Fine Arts students in financial need. Currently available downtown at Munro’s Books, Lyle’s Place and Larsen Music, The Very Thought of You can also be found on-campus at the Bookstore, Arts Place, the School of Music, Phoenix Theatre and the main Fine Arts office. Online, you can find it at CD Baby or through McDougall’s own website.

Nicknamed the “one potato” fund, the idea of creating a means to help out needy students came to McDougall a number of years ago, after he saw a student buying his meal for the night at a local grocery store: a single potato.

If you have yet to pick up a copy, don’t forget The Very Thought of You makes a great gift for the holiday season!

Ready for a Christmas Quiz?

There’s nothing like the winter holidays for doing quizzes, and this year History in Art has created their own Christmas Quiz for your enjoyment. Nope, it’s not a compilation of famous Santas or name-the-actor-playing Scrooge, but something far more ambitious and department-appropriate.

Name the artists, figure out the clue:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Featuring eight challenging image collages, each made up of slices of famous pieces of art, the goal of the quiz isn’t simply to name the art but to construct a word (Hangman-style) made up of letters from each image. Could be the name of the artist, could be the title of the painting, could be the subject of the work—it’s up to you to break the code and figure out the words.

For example, the word accompanying this image on the right has seven letters, which you can decipher by identifying 1) the given name of the artist of the top left image, 2) the family name of the top right artist, 3) the family name of the bottom left artist, and 4) the second name of the photographer who took the bottom right image. Get it?

Once you’ve made your guesses, just put the eight complete words—or as many as you’ve been able to complete—on a postcard along with your name and contact email, then drop it at the History in Art office in the Fine Arts building by January 7, 2013.

This quiz is open to all UVic students and yes, you may compete as teams! Winners will be announced on January 14, and the top prize is a hand-painted leather drum. (But there will be other prizes for runners-up.) The Christmas Quiz is available as a downloadable PDF on either the Fine Arts homepage or the History in Art homepage.

Good luck!

Dan Hogg scores again

First he shared a Leo Award for the Department of Writing web series Freshman’s Wharf, then Daniel Hogg earned a second Leo nomination for his own short film, Woodrow Without Evelyn. There’s also his current Floodplain film project, for which he and fellow Writing alum Jeremy Lutter were accepted as one of four teams in the 2012 National Screen Institute Drama Prize, plus his Praxis Screenplay finalist berth and the two production grants he received.

Now, Hogg—a film production and digital media staffer for the Faculty of Fine Arts—has been selected by the National Screen Institute Canada and Corus Entertainment as one of five inaugural projects selected for Script to Screen, a development fund partnership with Corus’ Western Canada pay TV service, Movie Central and the Winnipeg-based NSI. Hogg’s new project is titled Rip My Heart Out, and Script to Screen will provide “robust funding, creative support and industry guidance to fully develop feature film concepts.”

The selected applicants were recently announced at the Whistler Film Festival, following the application process which started in June. But Hogg isn’t the only winner with connections to UVic’s acclaimed Department of Writing: also among the five is alum Ben Rollo, who seems to have plans to develop the buzzbuilding movie he wrote, Joanna Makes a Friend, into more than just a short film. (For those keeping track, Joanna was directed by longtime friend and collaborator Lutter—and Hogg and Lutter’s Floodplain is based on a short story by fellow Writing grad D.W. Wilson. And Joanna took Lutter to the Cannes Film Festival recently, as well as winning awards at the Whistler and Victoria fillm fests.)

“We were overwhelmed with the quality of Canadian talent that submitted projects and, as we hoped, Script to Screen is connecting with fresh voices in the film community,” said Corus Entertainment’s Jocelyn Hamilton in a press release. “With the NSI, we look forward to providing support and guidance to the selected projects and creating fully formed scripts ready for packaging.”

Script to Screen has been an exciting venture and NSI has enjoyed collaborating with Movie Central to introduce this new program,” said Melissa Kajpust, Director of Programming, National Screen Institute. “The calibre of submissions was extraordinary . . .  I am delighted with the final five projects and look forward to working with these talented individuals over the next year.”

A Victoria native, Hogg has been writing, directing and producing short films for over a decade, and mentoring film students for the past eight years, and in that time, he’s discovered the best form of screenwriting procrastination is to crew other filmmakers shorts and features.  As a director of photography on over 35 short films and award-winning music videos, his work has broadcast nationally on Much Music and its affiliate channels, screened in festivals across North America, and been represented in several regional award-winners and nominees. Daniel completed UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting.

Locally, the Victoria Film Festival commissioned Daniel as one of eight filmmakers to make a short documentary exploring the relationship between the arts and the City of Victoria to screen in the 2012 festival. Other creative contributions include cinematography for the 2008 & 2009 winners of Best BC Music Video at the Okanagan International Film Festival, 2008 & 2010 Best Music Video Leo Nominees, and a Cinevic FilmSlam win for Best Cinematography 2009. He spent seven years as a tenor in the internationally renown UVic Chamber Singers, and with them performed concerts in sixteen countries on five continents. Daniel currently performs with Vox Humana, Victoria’s premiere chamber choir, and fronts local rock act Empire Monday.

2012 Audain professor Nicholas Galanin wins $50,000 in US fellowship

Nicholas Galanin, UVic’s 2012 Audain Professor in Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest, has won a $50,000 Rasmuson Fellowship from the United States Artists organization.

The Sitka-born Galanin is a multi-disciplinary Tlingit/Aleut artist who has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and exploration in new perceptual territory. His teaching term with UVic’s Department of Visual Arts ran throughout fall 2012—shorter than previous Audain Professors Rebecca Belmore and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, but all the time his busy schedule would allow. Like Belmore and Yahgulanaas, however, Galanin will present an exhibit of new work in the Audain Gallery in September 2013.

Galanin’s famous “Inert”

United States Artists—a non-profit organization aimed at investing in “America’s finest artists”—has granted nearly $18 million to artists over the past seven years. Galanin is one of 54 artists who have each received an unrestricted grant of $50,000 this year. According to the USA news release, the artists were chosen for “reflecting the diversity of artistic practice in America” and include “cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts.”

Galanin’s “Things are Looking Native, Natives Looking Whiter”

As reported on the Canadian Art website, Galanin’s fellowship was in the Crafts and Traditional Arts category—although, as the USA news release states, “his work might also be described simply as contemporary art with Native themes.” Galanin is an artist who defies categorization, a visual artist and musician (who performs as Silver Jackson) whose multimedia pieces often involve computers, video, photo manipulation or sculpture in a variety of forms.

Speaking to the Anchorage Daily News, Galanin admits that some might see the “traditional arts” designation as a bit of a stretch. “But based on my contacts and the people on the panel, it was the right choice,” he told ADN. “A lot of my art comes from the traditional context. But I don’t care what they call it.”

Canadian Art‘s Leah Sandals notes that his work was recently featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Beat Nation, a survey of artists “who connect Aboriginal identity and urban youth culture . . . A touring version of the show will open at Toronto’s Power Plant on December 15. Galanin’s work was also featured in group shows at Vancouver’s Grunt Gallery and Bill Reid Gallery over the past year, while Trench Contemporary Art (his Vancouver dealer) recently wrapped a solo show titled I LOOOOOVE YOUR CULTURE. His work was also in Montreal gallery Art Mûr’s A Stake in the Ground, curated by Nadia Myre, in January.”
When asked about his plans for the prize money, Galanin told ADN‘s Mike Dunham, “I’m saving it. Maybe it will go to buy a home or get my studio built.”