Studio B, the local arts organization known for popular, local arts events like Story Slam and Hybrids, will premier the Catalyst Film Series on Saturday, Oct. 13. The series will present six documentaries about the role of artists as agents of social change. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion comprised of local artists.
The first film in the series is PressPausePlay, which looks at whether the digital revolution has democratized art, making it more accessible to more people -- or whether it has instead drowned out true talent. The film is at The Woman's Club at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 and are available at the door.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Peabody Award-winning Julie Burstein, former producer of Public Radio’s Studio 360 and author of SPARK: How Creativity Works. Panelists include Jack Freudenheim (creator of Prepared Piano app), musician Jim Coleman, and other local artists.
Catalyst has been a year in the making, said Marcy Thompson, who co-founded Studio B with Jennifer Turner Hall. The women were frustrated by the lack of independent films in the SOMA area. "Film has the capacity for social change," said Thompson, "to expose people to things they've never seen. We wanted to take this idea and localize it."
Hall and Thompson collaborated with Gail Gendler, Vice President of Acquisitions for the Sundance Channel, to put the series together. “The real success of this series will be driven by our post-screening panels. We’re thrilled to have some amazing local moderators on board to guide those discussions,” says Gendler in a press release.
The next screening, on Nov. 17, is Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, about the creator of Elmo; the film is narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. Upcoming moderators include David Brancaccio from American Public Media’s Marketplace and Alice Cahn, VP Social Responsibility at Cartoon Network.
The series is sponsored by Baker St. Yoga, Fringe Salon, Sweet Concessions and Blue Telescope. For more information on the full Catalyst season, go to www.studiobmaplewood.org