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Henry Jenkins Will Give Keynote at Convergence Section of New York Film Festival

Henry Jenkins Will Give Keynote at Convergence Section of New York Film Festival

The Film Society of Lincoln Center have announced that Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication Journalism and Cinematic Arts at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will be the keynote speaker for the Convergence section of the New York Film Festival (NYFF). They also revealed the first three selections that will make up the program.

READ MORE: New York Film Fest To Close with Michael Keaton-Starring ‘Birdman’

The Convergence section focuses on the intersection between narrative and technology and Jenkins, who has spent his career focusing on the bridge between these forms, will structure his speech around the idea of world building across all mediums, including film, games, online content and books. 

Providing a preview to his address, Jenkins said, “Today’s films, television series, games, comics, novels, and even documentaries and journalism rely heavily on the concepts of world-building and world-mapping. In this talk, I will provide a conceptual map for understanding what we mean by ‘worlds,’ what roles they are playing in the production and consumption of popular media, how thinking in terms of worlds involves a shift from more traditional focuses on character and narrative, and why this concept has gained such traction in an era of networked communication and transmedia entertainment.” 

The following films and projects are the first three announced selections that will show at NYFF, taking place between September 27-28 (descriptions courtesy of NYFF)

Los Sures
Diego Echeverria, USA, 1984, 16mm, 66m 
Diego Echeverria’s “Los Sures” skillfully represents the challenges of its time: drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources in Brooklyn’s Los Sures neighborhood. Yet Echeverria’s portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Nearly lost, this 16mm film has been restored, reframed, and remixed by Southside based UnionDocs just in time for the 30th anniversary of its premiere at the New York Film Festival.
Saturday, July 27

Living Los Sures (Interactive Presentation)
Produced by UnionDocs, 2014
Using Escheverria’s 1984 documentary “Los Sures” as a starting point, Southside-based UnionDocs has created “Living Los Sures,” a massive mixed-media project that defies easy categorization. Composed over the course of four years and pulling on the talents of over 30 different artists, “Living Los Sures” paints a picture of a neighborhood from street level, an ever-evolving mosaic of people and places captured through film, audio and now an online participatory experience.  With the premiere of two new elements—Eighty-Nine Steps, a continuation of the story of one of the original characters from “Los Sures,” and Shot by Shot—that invite people to share their personal stories inspired by the shots and locations of the original film, the UnionDocs team will take audiences through the process of building this unique documentary storyworld.
Saturday, July 27

The Last Hijack 
Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting, Netherlands, 2014, DCP, 83m
Mohamed is your average middle-aged man trying to make ends meet in his homeland: the failed state of Somalia. One of the country’s most experienced pirates, he is faced with constant pressure—from his fiancée, family, and friends—to get out of his dangerous profession. Far from the romantic figures of movies and literature, piracy is coming under increasing scrutiny from global forces and communities within Somalia. Sensing the end of an era, Mohamed must decide if he should risk everything and do one last hijack. As he wrestles with these very real problems, a dramatic tail of survival unfolds. How did Mohamed come to live this brutal and dangerous existence and is it possible to walk away? “The Last Hijack” is both a feature-length film, combining documentary footage and animation, and an online transmedia experience, allowing viewers a unique and original way to explore the story of Somali piracy from different perspectives.
Sunday, September 28

North American Premiere
The Last Hijack (Interactive Presentation)
Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting
Join directors Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting as they explore the immersive online components of “The Last Hijack.” The creators will offer a bird’s-eye view of the online elements of their documentary that investigates modern-day piracy.  Using data visualizations, animation, live footage and audio, the online experiences paint a picture not of perpetrators of crimes and their victims but of real people whose actions have an effect on the world around them.
Sunday, September 28

Futurestates (Interactive Presentation)
Produced by ITVS, USA, 2014, 90m
What will America look like in 10, 15, even 20 years? “Futurestates,” the revolutionary series produced by ITVS, has been proposing answers to those questions since 2010. For its fifth and final season, “Futurestates” is presented as an immersive online video experience featuring short films that imagine robots with feelings, what education looks like in a wired world, and the future of prisons and our penal system. The central question at the heart of Futurestates is how technologies we may take for granted have a profound effect on our capacity to feel, create, live… and be human.
Sunday, September 28

For more information about NYFF you can visit the Film Society site here.

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