This year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, which kicks off today (June 16) includes three works by CalArtians: David Nordstrom’s debut feature Sawdust City, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park’s feature-length documentary Cheonggyecheon Medley: A Dream of Iron, and the short Everybody’s Nuts by Fabian Euresti. All three are competition entries, in the narrative, doc and shorts categories, respectively.
Writer-director David Nordstrom (Film/Video MFA 05) sets the family drama Sawdust City (USA, 2010, 97 min.) in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, playing out a story of sibling rivalry and a wayward father over the course of a contentious Thanksgiving holiday. Nordstrom stars in the film, along with Lee Lynch (Film/Video BFA 05) and pending grad Carl McLaughlin. The film, which is receiving its world premiere on Saturday, June 18, was co-produced by Mike Ott (Film/Video MFA 05, BFA 03), who directed last year’s indie film festival favorite LiTTLEROCK.
Seoul-based experimental documentarian Kelvin Kyung Kun Park (Film/Video MFA 05) is presenting the U.S. premiere of Cheonggyecheon Medley: A Dream of Iron (Korea Republic, 2010, 79 min., Korean with English subtitles). In this “fever dream” that incorporates archival footage and stream-of-consciousness narration, the filmmaker draws on his own family history to look at the nearly archaic scrap iron business in the Cheonggyecheon district of the South Korean capital. The doc, which had its world debut at the Berlinale earlier this year and has screened at a number of other festivals, opens on Sunday, June 19.
Rounding out the CalArts trio is Fabian Euresti (Film/Video MFA 10) with the film essay Everybody’s Nuts (USA, 2010, 13 min., Spanish with English subtitles). Euresti, too, looks back at family history: how his father, an immigrant farm worker in California’s San Joaquin Valley, had to make difficult choices to support his family. This work, which premiered at the 2010 Vienna International Film Festival, screens this Sunday, June 19.