Founded in 2010, VIA is a Pittsburgh-based festival, series of year-round events, and creative collective. This month, VIA launches its annual week-long celebration of people who are defining what’s next in music, art, and culture. Among the chosen works are a variety of screenings representing innovative and experimental filmmaking. See below for a schedule of VIA film events:
Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast/The Divine River: Ceremonial Pageantry in the Sahel
This dual screening event showcases filmmaker Hisham Mayet‘s documentaries, Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast and The Divine River: Ceremonial Pageantry in the Sahel. Vodoun Gods explores the West African possession ceremonies that continue in Benin, the cradle and birthplace of Voodoo, while The Divine River records the music, ritual, life and landscape along the Niger River as it winds through Mali and the Republic of Niger. Includes an introduction and Q&A with Mayet and a DJ set from Sublime Frequencies. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Individual tickets are $8 and are available for purchase at Showclix.
Created by Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus, twohundredfiftysixcolors is an experimental feature length film made entirely of animated .gif’s that traces the file format’s arc of increased complexity and pointed use since it was introduced in 1987. Crafted from over 3,000 animated GIFs, the film is an expansive and revealing portrait of what has become a zeitgeist medium. Once used primarily as an Internet page signpost, the file type has evolved into a nimble and ubiquitous tool for pop-cultural memes, self-expression, and artistic gestures. The film is a curated archive that functions as a historical document charting the GIF’s evolution, its connections to early cinema, and its contemporary cultural and aesthetic possibilities. twohundredfiftysixcolors screens at the Melwood Screening Room at 7 p.m. Individual tickets are $5 and are available for purchase at Showclix.
This live cinematic mash-up from artist Peter Burr (Cartune Xprez) is staged as a live television show inspired by the Zone, the site of an unnamed cataclysm in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi film Stalker. The Zone is off-limits, forbidding and mysterious; but also pregnant with hope, for deep within the Zone, it is rumored, there exists a room where wishes may be granted. Features new work by James Duesing, Amy Lockhart, Yoshi Sodeoka, Billy Grant, Michael Bell-Smith, Ola Vasiljeva, Jacob Ciocci, Andrew Benson, Jeff Kriksciun, Chad VanGaalen, Philippe Blanchard, E*Rock, Luke Painter, Brandon Blommaert, Stu Hughes, Devin Flynn, Michael Robinson, Sabrina Ratté, and Brenna Murphy. Original music by Seabat and Lucky Dragons. Special Effect takes place at Melwood Theater at 6 p.m. Individual tickets are $5 and are available for purchase at Showclix.
The VIA Festival runs from Oct. 1st to Oct. 6th. Those interested can find additional information on VIA ticket packages and events on the festival’s website.