Friday, June 24, 2016

Thank you to 1708 and Candela

Sasha Waters Freyer is seen here
(me) documenting the production
of “Uncle Vanya” in 1979.
At 1708 Gallery on June 10th and June 11th the Bijou Film Center presented the Richmond premiere of "Chekhov for Children," along with two short films. "Chekhov for Children" (2010) was directed by Sasha Waters Freyer, who is the current chair of Virginia Commonwealth University's Photography and Film Department.

"Chekhov for Children" tells the story of the 1979 staging of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" by fifth- and sixth-graders in New York City. It cleverly uses a trove of unearthed student documentary videos and Super 8 films shot in that era. The two short films were: "Les Mistons" (1957) by Fran├žois Truffaut and "Mouseholes" (1999) by Helen Hill. All three films presented stories seen through the eyes of children.

The Bijou's seventh pop-up event was a departure from its previous presentations, in that the same film program was presented two nights in a row. We also had beer, wine and soft drinks available for thirsty film buffs. So, in those respects it was a step toward when The Bijou will be open and operating as a cinema. It also was our first opportunity to show films to an audience in the Arts District, the neighborhood we hope to eventually establish as The Bijou's home.

The films went over quite well. After the two screenings of "Chekhov for Children" Sasha Waters Freyer (a Bijou Film Center member) was kind enough to answer questions from the audience.

Once again we benefited from help from our friends. Our thanks go out to the members and guests who attended. The folks at 1708 were generous with their space. As it happened we had originally planned to use a different room, but when that became impossible 1708 came to the rescue. And, once again, the folks at Candela Books+ Gallery chipped in to help us cover film rental expenses. Our thanks go out to both galleries.

And, speaking of spaces in the Arts District, we hope to have some good news about that topic soon, as well as news about our next event. In the meantime, here's the link to a post about the screening on June 10th written by our friend Karen Newton (a Bijou Film Center member)