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Amidst Major Internal Changes, RESFEST Sets 10th Anniversary Tour

By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire October 4, 2006 at 9:20AM

Despite a number of recent internal changes, organizers have announced plans for the 10th anniversary RESFEST, the popular touring film and digital arts festival. The event will launch in Chicago on October 19th and the following day in Paris, before continuing to a number of other venues around the world. The news comes as umbrella company RES Media Group undergoes major changes. Jonathan Wells, founder and festival director of RESFEST, left the organization in early August and just last month came word that the new issue of RES Magazine would be the last of the year as the organization is retooled, following a decision to cut key magazine staff. Plans are emerging to relaunch a publication next year after changes in the company's relationship with its owner, Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures, but details have yet to be unveiled.
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Despite a number of recent internal changes, organizers have announced plans for the 10th anniversary RESFEST, the popular touring film and digital arts festival. The event will launch in Chicago on October 19th and the following day in Paris, before continuing to a number of other venues around the world. The news comes as umbrella company RES Media Group undergoes major changes. Jonathan Wells, founder and festival director of RESFEST, left the organization in early August and just last month came word that the new issue of RES Magazine would be the last of the year as the organization is retooled, following a decision to cut key magazine staff. Plans are emerging to relaunch a publication next year after changes in the company's relationship with its owner, Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures, but details have yet to be unveiled.

"The economics and reach of a bi-monthly publication were not in step with the long term goals of RES and the global reach of RESFEST," explained RES Co-Founder Karol Martesko-Fenster, in a statement to indieWIRE. "We are working with our team and signature sponsors to re-launch a hybrid print/dvd/internet publication in the Spring of 2007." He added that additional news should be announced later this month.

Some 45 cities around the world are on tap for this year's event and Casey Suchan & Denis Henry Hennelly's feature documentary, "Rock the Bells," will screen at a number of the RESFEST tour stops. "Rock the Bells" is a look at the attempt to reunited the Wu Tang Clan at the 2004 Rock the Bells festival in California, just months before the death of ODB. The film also includes performances from Redman, Dilated Peoples, MC Supernatural, Sage Francis and others. Other RESFEST features for select locations are still to be announced.

Organizers said they received a record 2,200 film submissions this year and announced that RESFEST 10 will, for the first time, culminate with its U.S. stops in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in March and April of next year. Final dates have yet to be annonuced. The week-long events in those cities will be presented in HD for the first time.

Thematically arranged short film programs featuring new work include: "State of the Art," offering live action, animation, motion graphics and documentary work, while "Out of the Box" highlights adventurous, absurd and eccentric projects, and "Fear and Trembling" presents horror work. Among the RESFEST vets with films on tap are Richard Fenwick, Eric Henry, Johan Kramer and Stefan Nadelman, and recent work by Sam Arthur, Bert and Bertie, Jonas Odell, PES, Chris Shepherd, and Run Wrake, among others.

A special artists retrospective featuring the work of Radiohead is on tap in the program, "Visionaries: A Decade of Breaking New Talent." Meanwhile, the music video showcases "Cinema Electronica" and "Videos That Rock" are both set once again, this year including work from Fluorescent Hill, Olivier Gondry, happy, Chris Hopewell, Minivegas, Monkmus, Ace Norton, Pleix, Cat Solen, Joel Trussell, Dougal Wilson and others, for a diverse array of artists, including Basement Jaxx, Bright Eyes, Coldcut, Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley, Hot Chip, The Knife, Massive Attack, The Presets, Jamie Lidell, Tiga and Zero 7. Also planned is "By Design," the annual motion graphics and broadcast design showcase.

Additionally, "Everything Under the Sun: Filmmaking with a Purpose," will focus on issue-based short form work, including directors Neill Blomkamp, Fenwick, Simon Robson and Three Legged Legs, with topics ranging from environmental degradation to stem cell research.

Other program highlights include a pair of anniversary programs looking back at ten years of the festival, including Unsung Heroes: Music Video Gems from the Archive, with clips from Air, Cornelius, UNKLE, Phoenix and others, as well as A Decade of RESFEST: 10 Seminal Short Films, featuring Michael Overbeck's "Tongues and Taxis," Bob Sabiston's "Snack and Drink" and Stefan Nadelman's "Terminal Bar," among others.

RESFEST 10 tour dates for 2006 include:

Chicago, USA: October 19-22
Paris, France: October 20-22
Bristol, UK: October 25-29
Rome, Italy: November 3-5
Jakarta, Indonesia: November 5-11
Singapore: November 10-12
London, UK: November 14-19
Treviso, Italy: November 17-19
Vancouver, Canada: November 17-19
Tokyo, Japan: November 23-26
Montreal, Canada: November 24-26
Cape Town, South Africa: November 29 - December 1
Vienna, Austria: November 29 - December 3
Toronto, Canada: November 30 - December 3
Rotterdam, Holland: December 1-3
Kyoto, Japan: December 3-5
Seoul, Korea: December 6-10
Madrid, Spain: December 7-10
Amsterdam, Holland: December 8-10
Torino, Italy: December 12-17
Barcelona, Spain: December 14-17
Vigo, Spain: December 14-17
Cadiz, Spain: December 14-17

[For more information, please visit the RESFEST website.]

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: indieWIRE Managing Member Karol Martesko is a Co-Founder of RES