CUFF, The 13th Chicago Underground Film Festival concluded on Thursday August 23rd with an informal awards party held at the Uncommon Ground coffee house a few blocks from the Music Box Theater.
The three person festival jury consisted of former CUFF programmer Brian Mckenndry, Clara Alcott, curator of film, video and installation work at Chicago’s Heaven Gallery and Brian Chanken owner of Odd Obsession Video, Chicago’s leading video store for alternative cinema. In addition to the Jury Awards and Audience Award was selected based on ballots of festival attendees.
We notice with pleasure that two good friends of Directors Lounge are among the winners.
SAVE, by Roger Warren Beebe won as best Experimental and NICE BOMBS, directed by Usama Alshaibi, as best Documentary.
still from SAVE by Roger Warren Beebe, 2005 USA 5:00 DVD
SAVE, was shown in february as part of our ongoing screening project Urban Research, curated by Klaus W. Eisenlohr, at Directors Lounge 2006, Berlin and recently in Poznan and London.
"A disused gas station offers a curious imperative to passersby: 'SAVE.' A riddle posed in the form of architecture: what is there to save? One more installment in the history of Americans pointing their cameras at gas stations; an attempt to figure out something about where we've been, where we're headed, and what's been left behind.
The first part of "S A V E" was edited entirely in camera."
2005, USA, 16mm/ DVD, 5 mins, colour, sound
NICE BOMBS 92 minutes, Directed by Usama Alshaibi
In Nice Bombs filmmaker Usama Alshaibi returns to Baghdad to reunite with his family after nearly 24 years. This documentary navigates through his unique relationship to an Iraq that is much different than the country of his childhood.
Usama captures the conflicting reactions to the conditions of life in Baghdad. Through a wide range of opinions and experiences he provides a broad panorama of voices long neglected under Saddam’s regime.
His cousin Tareef enters the room upon hearing an explosion. “It’s a bomb. A Nice Bomb,” he explains. The phrase is indicative of his family’s nonchalance about their situation. As one young boy put it, “We’re Iraqis. It’s normal.”
With humor and resilience Nice Bombs explores Usama’s dual role as both Iraqi and American.
We hope to featutre the work of Usama Alshaibi in our forthcoming screenings.
2006 CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS
Narrative Feature: BULLDOG IN THE WHITEHOUSE Director Todd Verow
Narrative Short: PAUL AND THE BADGER EPISODE #1 Director Paul Tarrago
Documentary Feature: NICE BOMBS Director Usama Alshaibi
Documentary Short: IN LOVING MEMORY Director Robert Todd
Experimental: S A V E Director Roger Bebee
Animation: HOW SHE SLEPT AT NIGHT Director Lili Carre
“Made In Chicago” Award: A LOVER’S DISCOURSE Director Tim Kinsella
Audience Award: DANIELSON: A FAMILY MOVIE Director JL Aronson
Special Jury Prizes:
THE WILD CONDITION directed by Rolf Belgum
ANIMAL MOTHER Director Jasmine Way
JEAN GENET IN CHICAGO Director Frederic Moffet
congrats to all from Team Directors Lounge
related: Usama & Kristie Alshaibi • NICE BOMBS • London calling