Strange Beauty Film Festival | Shadowbox Studio | Screen: Special Showings | Indy Week
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Strange Beauty Film Festival 

When: Oct. 22-24 2015




One still wouldn't quite call Durham an experimental-film hotbed, but it's quickly heating up. Recent years have brought a new master's degree in experimental and documentary arts at Duke, the Unexposed experimental film series, an increasing adventurousness at Full Frame and, at the front of the wave, the Strange Beauty Film Festival. In its sixth year, the eclectic short-film fest, run by local filmmakers Jim Haverkamp and Joyce Ventimiglia, has a bevy of changes in store. It moves from Manbites Dog Theater to Haverkamp's Shadowbox Studio. For the first time, it screens a feature-length film, Speculation Nation, where locals Bill Brown and Sabine Gruffat travel through Spain documenting the housing crisis, earning the Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film at the Ann Arbor Film Festival this year. And it includes a sound-only feature on "Haunted Obsessions, Fixations, and Otherworldly Encounters," curated by Jenny Morgan, one of the people behind Audio Under the Stars, the popular summer series of audio-doc listening parties at the Center for Documentary Studies. Otherwise, a bumper crop of "short, weird" films fill out four different programming blocks. California's Kathleen Quillian makes a pastiche of mid-20th-century advertising. Duke MFA/EDA student Aaron Kutnick constructs a Dada filmstrip about celluloid scratches. Indiana's Jeanette Castillo offers an animated coming-of-age autobiography, and Belgium's Anne-Sophie Cayon and Laura Nicolas screen a stop-motion vegetable love story, resembling a sweeter Jan Švankmajer. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat.; 3 p.m. Sat., $10 per block, 900 E. Club Blvd., Durham, —Brian Howe

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