"Encounter" with Oscar?

by Matthew Curtis
November 14, 2006 4:59 AM
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This past weekend saw the first of two Oscar-qualifying engagements for Documentary Features that will take place at Enzian in the next three weeks. To fulfill the Motion Picture Academy's list of requirements necessary to be in consideration for an Academy Award nomination, docs longer than 40 minutes must open in a handful of cities in four different states for at least a consecutive 2-day run. This is in addition to a week-long engagement in either New York or LA, and they must be advertised, have an admission charge, and be projected in 35mm, along with a bunch of other stipulations (they don't make it easy for the little guy...)

Nearly 200 people came out to see Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha's ENCOUNTER POINT, a powerful, inspiring, and important work that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of civilians on both sides that are working for peace. All of these courageous individuals have lost family members, been physically wounded by gunfire and bombs, or been imprisoned by their enemy, so it would be easy to justify perpetuating the cycle of hate. Yet they somehow find a way to look beyond their loss and suffering to do everything in their power to promote understanding and reconciliation, and ultimately peace.

Co-directorJulia Bacha was in attendance and gave generously of her time during the post-film Q & A's that could have lasted twice as long as they moved from the theater out into the courtyard. Particularly moving were her anecdotes about festival screenings of the film around the Middle East, and her own career path getting involved with the Just Vision organization after her role as co-writer and editor of the highly acclaimed CONTROL ROOM. Thanks Julia for making our first documentary Oscar-qualifying engagement a special one that the Central Florida community will remember for a long time.

Next up: water polo and revolution in FREEDOM'S FURY, November 25 & 26.

--Matthew

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