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Winter Virtual Film Fest

Program Overview

Light a fire and snuggle up to some crafty films from around the world. Each week this January we will offer a selection of films from the web to inspire and entertain.

Week 1 (January 1-7)

Sign Painters
Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, 2015, 65 min
At a time when most American cityscapes are dominated by computer created mass-produced signage, Sign Painters takes a close look at the past, present, and hopeful future of the hand painted sign industry in the USA. There is some mild language.

The Last Ice Merchant
Sandy Patch, 2014, 14 min
For over 50 years, Baltazar Ushca has harvested the glacial ice of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo. His brothers, both raised as ice merchants, have long since retired from the mountain. This is a story of cultural change and how three brothers have adapted to it.

High Steel
Julian Biggs, 1965, 14 min
This short documentary offers a dizzying view of the Mohawk Indians of Kahnawake who work in Manhattan erecting the steel frames of skyscrapers. Famed for their skill in working with steel, the Mohawks demonstrate their nimble abilities in the sky. As a counterbalance, the viewer is also allowed a peek at their quieter community life on the Kahnawake Reserve, in Quebec.

Week 2 (January 8-14)

Another Work is Possible (available this week only)
Skywatch Productions, 2020, 77 min
A team of 35 professional timber framers from Europe and the U.S. who specialize in historic hand-tool methods constructed a 16’ x 25’ timber-framed blacksmith shop for Mortise & Tenon Magazine on the rural coast of Sedgwick, Maine.

The Last Honey Hunter
Ben Knight, 2016, 36 min
The isolated Kulung culture have risked their lives for generations scaling dangerous cliffs to collect wild and toxic honey.

Gwendolyn Clancy, 1985, 29 min
Henry Elijah "Lige" Langston was born in the Great Basin outback on a homestead. He worked his entire life as a wrangler and rawhide braider.

Week 3 (January 15-21)

Good Work: Masters Of The Building Arts (available this week only)
Marjorie Hunt & Paul Wagner, 65 min
A documentary film portrait of artisans from across America working in the building trades. They include Scots-American decorative painters restoring the ceiling of Trinity Church in Boston and Mexican-American terra cotta workers restoring a Chicago skyscraper, a stone mason and stained glass craftsman maintaining Washington National Cathedral, a Creole plasterer in New Orleans and a Hispanic adobe builder in New Mexico, an ornamental iron blacksmith from Virginia, and the New England stone carver who created the lettering on the World War II Memorial in Washington. In these eight segments, the film celebrates American craftsmanship, occupational traditions, the beauty of our built environment, and the importance of Good Work.

Costa Boutsikaris & Anna Palmer
Woodlanders is an online film series that seeks to document the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world. Check them out and learn about Indigenous Sami Tree Traditions, Spruce Shingles, Quinault Cedar Bark Basketry, Willow Coffins, and much more! Each film is funded through Patreon. Become a patron if you like what you see.

Week 4 (January 22-28)

The Spoon, the Bowl and the Knife with Wille Sundqvist (available this week only)
Jögge Sundqvist, 2014, 71 min
A story of traditional Scandinavian woodcraft told through the life and work of craftsman Wille Sundqvist, master of the knife and axe.

Whang-Od: The Last True Tattoo Artist
Scott Sporleder, 2018, 14 min
At somewhere around 100 years old, Whang-od is the last true tattoo artist in the Philippines. She still practices the ancient form of tattooing she first began at 15 —tattooing warriors and indigenous women.

Ben's Mill
Michel Chalufour & John Karol, 1981, 58 min
Ben Thresher's mill is one of the few water-powered, wood-working mills left in this country. Operating in rural Vermont since 1848, the mill is a unique link between the age of craft and the age of modern industry.