it’s (docu)time again!

Jan 23 • ARTSY SMARTSY, Reviews, Interviews and FeaturesNo Comments on it’s (docu)time again!

DocuTime Film Festival
1/26, 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., $5-$25
Students free w/ID
King Hall Auditorium, UNCW campus

TRAVELING CRITIC: Paula Haller founded DocuTime Film Festival and currently travels the world to find its screeners for the annual wintertime event. Photo by Chelsea Pyne

TRAVELING CRITIC: Paula Haller founded DocuTime Film Festival and currently travels the world to find its screeners for the annual wintertime event. Photo by Chelsea Pyne

Wilmington is not so much competing against Hollywood for their spotlight, but as “the little man” we do enjoy the balance of attention and easy-goingness that the city brings to life. Although we don’t see Brad and Angelina being escorted around, sometimes we casually run into Zac Efron or Robert Downey Jr. when their latest blockbuster is being filmed.

But Wilmington’s film scene is not solely influenced by Hollywood. After bringing her expertise from the West to the East Coast, Paula Haller, who is going on her 11th year of running DocuTime—presented by UNCW and WHQR—advocates Wilmington’s film industry. For DocuTime, Haller goes to great lengths traveling the world, watching and selecting films to bring back to the humble people of Wilmington. She picked this year’s lineup of nominated or award-winning documentaries from China, across the Congo, and far beyond the Arctic, hoping the films will enlighten real issues and tell stories of uplifting communities going on all over the planet.

Elon University student Sean Dolan (a Wilmingtonian, only of Delaware) makes a mark on the DocuTime film list in 2013. His short film about American sign language and the deaf community won him first place at the North Carolina Campus Compact, a student-film competition, held in Wilmington in 2012 (in 2013, it will be held in Charlotte). Haller judged the festival and rated Dolan’s film high among the contenders. It contained all the elements she looks for during her DocuTime search: “I watch for three things: production value, a good story and the credits.”

Haller wants to open the doors to those competing in next year’s NC Campus Compact to have a shot (the winner of course) of participating in the 12th DocuTime film fest. The competition is gaining popularity, especially with the chance for student work to be recognized by documentary lovers that travel fairly far to take part in the DocuTime Film Festival.

Wilmington continues to be a spring-board not only for rising actors but for students trying to start their future in all realms of the film industry. In Dolan’s case, “The idea is to produce a longer, broader follow-up documentary on deaf culture in society today,” he says, “hopefully spreading awareness about some of the hardships the deaf community faces, as well as a greater understanding of their lifestyle and culture. I’m hoping the story keeps receiving the support it’s been getting, and that the support carries over into the longer follow-up documentary I’m working on next.”

His film “Hear For Me” will be showing at 3:15 p.m. at the King Hall Auditorium. Other students who wish to get involved with NC Campus Compact to be considered for next year’s DocuTime can visit

Dolan’s film, along with other highly praised features, will be playing all day. Advanced tickets are available at Sharky’s Box Office by calling 910-962-4045 or online at General admission is $7; seniors, $5; All Day Pass, $25 (seniors, $20).

Film Schedule: Program A: 10 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
“Chasing Ice”
James Balog, an acclaimed environmental photographer, captured images in the Arctic that revealed the Earth’s climate changes. He started planting time-lapse cameras throughout the harsh Arctic, which captured multi-year records of the movement of the glaciers. Breathtaking mountains of ice quickly vanish as his work compresses years into seconds.

Program B: Scottish Shorts 11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.
“Cutting Loose”
Gain insight into a Scottish prison and be a part of the hype that surrounds the annual Scottish Prison Service Hairdressing Competition.
“The Perfect Fit”
This film, which has been shortlisted, follows the career of a perfectionist shoemaker who specializes in ballet shoes.

“Night Shift”
Anne Wallace found her mission through God in her dreams. By offering tea, soup and the gospel from a purple double-decker bus, Anne is trying to save the souls of the working women of Glasgow.

“I Can Smell the Cordite”
One bunker, two men, Christmas Eve of 1944; or was it 2011?

Campaigning every day for disabled rights, Jimmy McIntosh won’t let his own Cerebral Palsy get in the way of his mission.

“The Red Army”
Two unlikely fans of red squirrels go all the way to decimate the grays.
Program C: 1:30 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

“Kinshasa Symphony”
This film takes place in the Congo and views the people of Kinshasa and their love of music. In one of the most chaotic cities in the world, these dedicated citizens have formed Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra.

Program D: 3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

“Hear for Me”
This short, directed by Sean Dolan (Elon student), explores the deaf community and how learning American Sign Language has brought him to connect with and advocate for a group of people that are rarely heard.

“Trash Dance”
Allison Orr convinces two dozen trash collectors to take part in a choreographed dance using their trucks. Thousands of people show up to watch trucks “dance” down an airport runway.

Program E: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
“Al WeiWei: Never Sorry”
Ai Weiwei, China’s most famous international artist expresses himself through art and media. To shut down his efforts, the Chinese government has detained him, beat him up and even bulldozed his studio.

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