LET’S CONNECT AT CINEQUEST
SAN JOSÉ, CA – It all started on the balmy evening of March 4th. As pink clouds stretched lazily on the blue sky making it look stripped, and a beam of golden light swayed from side to side in front of the California Theatre, CINEQUEST 2014 opened its doors to its Film audience dressed in formal gowns, suits, pants, dresses, or jeans and jackets standing in a long line on the sidewalk . It was Opening Night, and what a night it was!
It included: a concert of organ music, the bestowing of two Awards, a short and a long movie, a long list of visiting celebrities, a party after the show, and food and drinks. But tonight, and all those future days of gatherings, ahead of us, have a single purpose. They were planned to allow us to CONNECT. To get to know each other, to try to meet "the stranger," any of those people who came from all over the world and who, physically, may look different from us, and even may speak a different language, but in spite of it, will be able to understand us because both our hearts throb at exactly the same beat. A rate increased by our passion for the magic of film.
And tonight was the night when we had a chance to see, for the first time, many of those people who arrived in San José carrying their dreams as luggage, anxious to share them with us, projected on the screen. They came to Silicon Valley to discover new ideas, to compare their experiences with other film makers, to discuss with each other the art of film. An art that allows us to see it and to hear it at the same time because it has a voice. The art where its subjects move externally, as we are moved internally, and the only art, that is understood by everybody in the whole world because it speaks a universal language.
Organist JERRY NAGANO gave us a masterful organ concert
The lugubrious sounds of the theme song of Phantom, masterfully interpreted by organist JERRY NAGANO, started the program. The short concert of Broadway’s tunes, also included an imitation in his Wurlitzer or the clattering sound of a train” in his interpretation of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and ended, appropriately, with a vibrant rendetion of “California, here I come”
The concert was followed by "RPG OKC" an animated movie with characters from the age of Pac Man, Followed by a filmed welcome by HALFDAM HUSSEY, the Director and Cofounder of CINEQUEST
Then from the stage, on a brief talk, Mr. HUSSEY reminded the cinematographers of the importance of their art, “Movies make us laugh,” he said, “Inspire us, made us better persons”
He also said that true artists are not people who live isolated from the world, but people who use the world to shape their art. That artists find ideas in the situations they confront, inspiration in the people they meet, ideas for books, movies of plays in the situations they face, for music, in the different sounds they hear and ideas for pictures in the places they visit,
“The real magic of CINEQUEST,” he said, is that when you meet other folks you may help each other with an idea, so please help me in connecting with each other. Nobody knows when you will find the idea that inspires you.”
Mr. HUSSEY then talked about those people who help the public learn about the movies and the importance of the Media, which inspire the CINEQUEST creation of THE MEDIA LEGACY AWARD, which this year was bestowed to ERIC KOHN, a Chief Film Critic and Senior Editor and manager of their Critic wire Network. The award was given to Mr. KOHN for his INDIWIRE web which had the most impact on independent cinema since it began in l996.
Prior to to Indiwire KOHN worked with film festivals and reviewed domestic and international films for numerous entertainment publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the first recipient of the CINEQUEST’s award.
“This Award is given to journalists and Media who do an important work (for filmmakers) because it is these journalists who let others know about those films. So it is a great honor for me to present this award to you ERIC KOHN.” Said Mr. HUSSEY.
In their on stage conversation that followed, Mr KOHN mentioned that his travels had often given him the opportunity to talk with other people and learn from other people.
Mr KOHN also mentioned that movies are technology and that it is amazing the things that one can do now with technology. He mentioned that he travels because it is interesting to learn how other people live. That he believes that science education is important but that an education to be rounded needs creativity. He mentioned that he was at the OSCARS® this year and that it is interesting what one see behind the scenes, and that as a critic, he still feel the excitement about his community when he writes.
Following the Award, Mr. HUSSEY discussed PICTURE THE POSSIBILIES, a transformative leadership movement which he described as “how we go around the world inspiring younger people to create everything, from art to science." He explained that these young people practice this power by making films (with the help of mentors) on content which is vital to the world’s young people. It is “Picture it, and Create,” he said. The pictures they created will be shown during the festival on different dates.
Bsut the annual live experience for these youngsters, will be to come to Silicon Valley to CONNECT with leaders, company employers, and global luminaries to share their creations.
“And now,”said Mr. HUSSEY, “it is my great pleasure to bring to you our President and co-founder KATHLEEN J. POWELL. In a short talk, President POWELL said that it is so rare in a person's life to be able to change the world, but that this person (she was going to introduce) had done it, all his life. "He is somebody who has such passion, such creativity," she said “That he innovates with great power. So it is our great honor tonight to bring to you the inventor of the cell phone, winner of the MAVERICK INNOVATOR AWARD, MARTIN COOPER."
KATHLEEN J. POWELL (center) and HALFDAN HUSSEY
With everybody standing, Mr. COOPER, known as "The Father of the Cellphone," entered the stage and was greeted by a thunderous applause.
“I can’t tell you how honor and thrilled I am,” he said receiving his award. In his speech afterwards, Mr. COOPEB said: “I am here to talk about creativity, and what is creativity? It is doing things different than anybody else.”
Jokingly, he said that during his life he had met many creative people who had done many creative things, but that now they don’t remember them.” Talking about the future he said that the future is so far in the future that none of us will get there. In a serious vein he added that the reason that he was given "The Maverick Innovator Award” on this night is because his colleagues, 40 years ago, and I invented a phone (the first cellular phone) but that his company (where he was working) wanted it to have a monopoly on the phone (A cellular phone) and wanted it to be used in luxury cars. “And we did not agree with that,” he adds, so we came out with this (see picture below)
“It weights two and a half pounds” he says, referring to the phone he is holding, "and it has a battery life of twenty minutes, but it is so heavy that you couldn’t hold it up for twenty minutes.”
“They keep improving them and I can tell you that I am not impressed, I will tell the kinds of evolution I want:
Our movie that night was THE GREAT SEDUCTION, direced by DON McKELLAR, and starring BRENDAN GLEESON, TAYLOR KITCH, and LIANE BALABAN, a comedy abpit a whole fishing town who lies to secure the doctor that they need in order to get an oil company to open a petrochemical plant for waste products. It was a great movie, the acting was superb and it kept the audience laughing all night.
Mr. HUSSEY said, “Help me CONNECT, so at the end of the evening, we all headed for the party.
The real magic of the event is that. Every year, the festival allow us to meet new people, maybe make new friends. For thirteen more days, we have many more movies to see, many more parties to attend, conferences to go to lean new things, and peole to talk with and share our ideas. So let's all CONNECT at CINEQUEST.
For more information about CINEQUEST go to www.cinequest.org or call (1-408) 295-3378