Film Society of Lincoln Center Announces Recipients of Kazuko Trust Scholarship Award


The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Kazuko Trust announced today that filmmakers Laida Lertxundi and Michael Robinson will be the first two recipients of the Kazuko Trust Scholarship Award Grants to be presented during the 16th edition of NYFF's Views from the Avant-Garde, the popular yearly touchstone for experimental film around the world.

The filmmakers will each receive a $5000 grant in recognition of excellence in their field. Both filmmakers will also debut new works at this year's Views From the Avant-Garde. Lertxundi's THE ROOM CALLED HEAVEN will make its World Premiere on Saturday, October 6 at 12:00PM in the Howard Gilman Theater and Robinson's CIRCLE IN THE SAND will have its World Premiere on Friday, October 5 at 5:30PM in the Francesca Beale Theater.

The Kazuko Trust was established upon the death of Kazuko Oshima, a Patron of the Film Society who loved film, experimental film most of all. It was her wish to contribute to this worthy area of the film world after her passing, by awarding the Film Society with a five-year $50K grant ($10,000 a year or $5000 for two filmmakers per annum) for the purpose of creating a scholarship fund for worthy experimental filmmakers featured in NYFF's Views from the Avant-Garde. In addition, a seat in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center was named in her honor.

The Kazuko Trust Scholarship filmmakers were chosen by Views curators Mark McElhatten and Gavin Smith as well as Nellie Killian, film programmer at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and founding director of the Migrating Forms festival and Chris Stults, associate curator in the Film/Video department at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Kazuko Oshima (1942-2007) was born in Hiroshima on January 4, 1942 and was 3 years of age when the atomic attacks took place. Moving to the U.S. from Tokyo when she was in her early 20's Kazuko began experimenting with photography and later with video art. She made many notable contributions to the world of film and theater, artisanal jewelry and design and was known for her idiosyncratic style and convictions. Onscreen, Kazuko acted in Robert Frank's and Rudy Wurlitzer's film CANDY MOUNTAIN and was a narrator for two documentaries on Hiroshima-Nagasaki. Known throughout the city of New York as a notable arT Loving, art practicing woman, Kazuko made exclusive jewelry creations for Bianca Jagger and others as well as designing the wedding veil used by Madonna in the 1984 video for "Like A Virgin." These are but a few footnotes to her career.

Laida Lertxundi's films have been selected for the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and other venues and festivals where her work has been shown include MoMA, LACMA, the Viennale, Views from the Avant Garde at the New York Film Festival, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. She received the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival and was named in Cinema Scope?s "Best of the Decade" reviews and as one of the "25 Filmmakers for the 21st Century" in Film Comment?s 2010 Avant-Garde Film Poll. She is a film and video programmer in the U.S. and Spain, and has published various articles on film, most recently in the anthology La risa oblicua and Bostezo magazine. Lertxundi teaches film at the University of California San Diego and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Robinson's work has screened in both solo and group shows at a variety of festivals, museums, and cinematheques including The 2012 Whitney Biennial, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Tate Modern, MoMA P.S.1, Impakt, Courtisane, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Walker Center, Cinematexas, PDX, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, and the San Francisco, Melbourne, Leeds, Vienna, Singapore and Hong Kong International Film Festivals. He was the recipient of a 2009 residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, a 2011-2012 Film/Video Residency Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts, a 2012 Creative Capital grant, and his films have received prizes from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Images Festival, Media City, Onion City, and the Chicago and Milwaukee Underground Film Festivals. Originally from upstate NY, Robinson holds a BFA from Ithaca College, a MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema at Binghamton University.

The 16th edition of Views from the Avant-Garde (October 5-8) once again will offer a robust slate of programming at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center including free-to-the-public screenings in its Amphitheater, as it presents four days of singular work from the frontiers of innovative moving-image making curated by Mark McElhatten and Gavin Smith and sponsored by Film Armada.

The opening day of Views will kick off with a Special Presentation of Phil Solomon's "EMPIRE" in a free public presentation with reception in the Elinor Bunin Film Center Amphitheater. The four-day event will conclude with a special day devoted to Avant-Garde master Peter Kubleka, including the U.S. Premiere of Martina Kudlácek;s four hour documentary FRAGMENTS OF KUBELKA and the special multiple projector piece MONUMENT FILM, a World Premiere presented by Peter Kubelka himself.

Additional highlights include a retrospective presentation of Ferdinand Khittl's rarely seen THE PARALLEL ROAD, as well as tributes to the late Chris Marker (the first NYFF showing of SANS SOLEIL) and Raul Ruiz (the presentation of the fabled but rarely screened THE BLIND OWL).

In addition Views is proud to once again include stellar new work by Deborah Stratman, Janie Geiser, Erin Espele, April Simmons, Mike Gibisser, Ben Russell, Shambhavi Kaul. Dani Leventhal, Fern Silva Ernie Gehr, James Benning, and many others.

Also for the first time this year, web-based film distributor Film Armada has come onboard as a sponsor for Views From the Avant-Garde. Film Armada takes an editorial approach to web-based independent film distribution, focused on building a profitable channel for vanguard cinema.

Other Views presentations of special note:

Luther Price a notorious and perennial favorite at Views from the Avant-Garde will be featured with his first one-person show, A LUTHER PRICE BESTIARY. Each film screened is a unique art object carefully sculpted, treated, and collaged. Price was included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial where Roberta Smith of the New Times praised his work as one of the outstanding highlights of the exhibition.

The first NYFF showings of Turner prize nominee Luke Fowler, internationally known artist Camille Henrot, and the installation artist and filmmaker, cinematographer, Peter Bo Rappmund.

The presentation of Peggy Ahwesh's new restoration super 8 to 16mm blow-ups of her infamous and widely celebratEd MartinA'S PLAYHOUSE along with rare screenings of then new restorations of the work of Joe Gibbons. Both artists will be present at the screenings.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Peña also includes: Melissa Anderson, Contributor, Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Todd McCarthy, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

The New York Film Festival is generously sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, illy, HBO, Trump International Hotel and Tower, WABC, WNET, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts.

General Public tickets will be available September 9th. There will be an advance ticketing opportunity for Film Society of Lincoln Center Patrons and Members prior to that date. For more information visit or call 212-875-5601.<