Defining the OPEN CINEMA experiment
- Within the context of the great art-forms of our time, such as painting or music, cinema is a mere infant at little more than a hundred years old. Clearly there is still a great journey ahead, with so much uncharted territory to be explored and developed before cinema’s full potential can be reached.
- Traditionally we experience cinema as theatre, with a proscenium arch and rows of seats in a darkened space. Once the screening is over there is no expectation of discussion or follow-up, and even though the experience is shared with a hundred or more others, there is no context for interaction with the strangers in the room. While experimentation with film techniques and forms abounds, we have come to take the context in which we screen the film, or the function of the event for granted.
- As we move into an era characterized by media saturation and alienation, the desire for face-to-face contact and community building initiatives grows. This trend is accompanied by an unprecedented popularity in the documentary film form, and its ability to chronicle the voices and stories of our challenging times. Recent award-winning documentaries such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Corporation confirmed what we all knew: documentary films have the power to stir widespread public debate.
- Exploring and experimenting with the function of documentary and fiction film as a tool for social change is timely and necessary. Accessible filmmaking equipment and people’s hunger for in-depth analysis of social and environmental issues facilitates this inquiry. OPEN CINEMA intends to be a leader in this experiment.