Posted at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2008
by Euan Kerr
Nicole Brending is in Palm Springs this week at the ShortFest showing her challenging short film "Rebel." The film tells of what happens when a developmentally disabled man is left in the care of his methamphetamine-addicted stepbrother. It's a brutal story in many ways, but Brending layers a surprising humanity into the film's 10 minutes. She won a Jerome Foundation Media Artist Grant for the film last year and when I talked to her she was just about to head off for the 'Best of the Fest" screenings where the film was in competition.
Next she's heading home to a new event, the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival. She says she's excited the new festival is getting started.
"For a film maker like me who does things that are, well gosh, they are hard to take sometimes, this is a really great venue to see films like that, and see the artistry that goes with the dark side," she says.
Brending predicts the MUFF has a future, if only because she says there is an appetite in Minneapolis for challenging films outside the mainstream.
She will get back shortly after Julia Ostertag arrives in Minneapolis from Berlin in Germany. She is the director of "Saila" which MUFF director Greg Yolen chose to open the festival. It's an eery portrait of life in a violent punk community set amongst ruined buildings in East Berlin.
Ostertag says she set out with two objectives. First she wanted to make a film where a female heroine is violent just because of who she is. Ostertag says she's frustrated with all the films which only show women as capable of violence after being victims of some other kind of assault. She also wanted to create an entire world within her movie.
"Saila" will get it's world premier screening at MUFF which Ostertag loves because of the punk history in Minneapolis. She is paying her own way to come from Germany for the show.