In The News
ALLAN HOLZMAN - KEYNOTE SPEAKER
COLUMBIA GSAPP STORYTELLING SYMPOSIUM, Friday October 5, 2 PM
The 2018 UD Storytelling Symposium convenes experts from the worlds of architecture, journalism, and multimedia documentary. Exposing students and faculty to the vanguard of storytelling techniques and philosophies is of growing importance as the worlds of media production and design increasingly converge. From new job opportunities for architecture graduates to new expectations for business development, community engagement, and strategic communication, today’s designers must be critical storytellers — especially as our selective reliance on data risks undermining designers’ crucial roles as interpreters of the places where we live and work. The Symposium underscores a pedagogical theme central to the Urban Design program and relevant across the GSAPP’s programs: that identifying, uncovering, and producing well-researched narratives about place is an integral part of the design process. This symposium foregrounds the process of creating narrative work, rather than exclusively showcasing the products. What can designers learn from how journalists build trust with interview subjects, from how filmmakers storyboard the structure of a documentary, or from how memoirists and novelists choose fragments of memory to evoke the collective resonance of a stranger’s life story? How do these processes reflect the methodology of the designer, from performing preliminary site analysis to imagining actions to co-creating measures of success?
THE PAW PROJECT MOVIE - reviews
The Village Voice, Daphne Howland September 2013
Any documentary as unabashedly one-sided and geeked-out on science and city council hearings as The Paw Project is at risk of being tedious or unpersuasive. But the story of veterinarian Jennifer Conrad's crusade to outlaw declawing of cats is eye-opening and sometimes charming. A cold open on the controversy segues to a slow intro of its hero, who wrote and directed; some initial awkwardness is, thankfully, fleeting. Conrad and another vet devise a surgical repair for declawed lions and other big cats that are disfigured, crippled, arthritic, and in pain. The project proves overwhelming, though, and doesn't even include the millions of domestic cats suffering the same way. Conrad and a retinue of vets, cat owners, and other experts go for prevention by lobbying at city halls throughout California in hopes of banning the practice. But what would seem like a slam-dunk case is not, thanks to the entrenched interests of veterinary associations, depressingly akin to humans' fights with our own healthcare powers that be. Editor Allan Holzman skillfully weaves arguments and images, which include droll moments as well as heartbreaking truths, and gives the political drama a cinematic flow. A declawed cat, says charismatic behavior expert Jackson Galaxy, is "not as apt to play; they're not as much a cat." Even a dog person can understand how wrong that is.
Los Angeles Times, Inkoo Kang October 2013
Here's the life cycle of a declawed cat, according to The Paw Project: As a kitten, its toes — the top third of the fingers on a human — are amputated. Shorn of its defenses, that cat has a 1-in-3 chance of developing a behavioral issue, like biting or urinating outside its litter box (because stepping on gravel becomes painful). Because of such problems, that cat is more likely to be given up to a shelter and, finally, euthanized.
As an exotic-animal veterinarian, director Jennifer Conrad witnessed mountain lions walking on their wrists or forearms after declawing made normal movement agonizing. Conrad then launched a largely successful multi-city campaign across California to ban declawing among house cats, a practice already illegal in 30 nations.
A documentary about pet surgery may seem narrow in appeal, limited further by its one-sided viewpoint and no-budget look. But The Paw Project is robustly persuasive, with Conrad compellingly framing her crusade as a battle between a right-thinking vet and a deep-pocketed industry group that purportedly represents her.
To its credit, The Paw Project doesn't feel remotely self-aggrandizing, but conscientious and scientific. When Conrad compares the declawing of kittens to "removing the teeth on a puppy because he's chewing slippers," it's a reminder that, even in a visual medium like film, the strongest images are the ones we can't see.
Sheldon Leonard's Wonderful Life was premiered on Thursday, October 10th, 7:15 PM at the Alamo Drafthouse, Theater 5. Click on the poster to redirect to the VideoFest page!
RICK CARTER INTRODUCES "IMAGINING WORLDS" AS PART OF THE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF POLAND
Imagining Worlds, Designing Worlds, Building Worlds was the lead-in to Rick Carter's workshop, "Designing Worlds." The Academy Award-winning Production Designer referenced Allan Holzman's short documentary when pointing out that it was a great presentation "in a nutshell" of his career.. Carter was also on hand during the festival to receive a Cameraimage award for Production Design With Unique Visual Sensitivity.
ALLAN HOLZMAN VISITS HASKELL MEDIA STUDENTS TO DISCUSS HIS DOCUMENTARIES
Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Allan Holzman, spoke to Haskell media students at Navarre Hall about his boarding school documentary, Beautiful Resistance after students viewed the film. It is the second part of the series, “The Indian Boarding Schools: Keeping the Culture Alive.” Part one, Beyond the Mesa was also discussed.
For the full feature article in The Indian Leader, CLICK HERE.