Best Drama | I Want You To Know
DIRECTED BY DEREK KIMBALL
Until recently, 29-year-old Gorham native Derek Kimball was so busy teaching film to college students in Boston that he lost the time and desire to make his own movies. Last year, with another friend who was in the same position, Kimball finally said, "Let's just write something simple and make it." The results might have been logistically uncomplicated, but emotional themes in I Want You To Know (which won a Jury Award at the 2008 Milwaukee Show film festival) are far from straightforward. The moody black-and-white film captures a thorny father-son relationship that reaches something of a nadir during a strained camping trip. In a quarter of an hour, Kimball (who lives in Portland these days) explores themes like the loss of innocence and childhood sadness for which we have no language. Hardly simple matters. But Kimball's presentation is simply beautiful.
Runner-up: Pax Americana, directed by Matt PowerBest Production | Distance Don't Matter
DIRECTED BY DAVID CAMLIN
It's difficult to describe the "Distance Don't Matter" exhibition that's currently up at SPACE Gallery. It's an installation comprised of found materials and wheat-pasted paintings and prints; it's a breathing, interactive sculpture; it's the result of a profound collaboration between artists from across the nation. Somehow, David Camlin's documentary (it, too, is a close collaboration with fellow filmmaker and Portlander David Meiklejohn) manages to capture so much of the texture and feeling of the Swoon installation — rather than traditional doc-style interviews, we hear disembodied artists' voices describe the process as we watch it take shape; we are privy to the randomness and bursts of inspiration that influence this project; our gazes linger on disparate elements large and small. Despite the fact that they followed the crew from the start, Camlin and Meiklejohn are never intrusive — "we tried to hang back and not get in the way of what they were doing," Camlin says. And they do a particularly good job of depicting the joy — among the family of artists, and those viewing the exhibit once it's complete — of interactive art.
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