2020 in Film
Season 10: Year in Review
A message from our Co-Founder and Director: “‘Since our founding in 2010, Basilica Hudson has been committed to bringing independent and innovative film to Hudson, NY’s waterfront. The power and magic of a shared viewing experience on the big screen is at the heart of our mission.’ That was always part of my introduction to our film screenings in our North Hall.
The word ‘screen’ means something very different during a pandemic when many of our lives have shifted to isolation, where human connection has primarily happened through screens.
It certainly brings a whole new meaning to my old in-person film intro, but I am THRILLED to report that it was that VERY power at the heart of what we do, that was the LEAST compromised during the pandemic, thanks to the Greenville Drive-In, and the incredible filmmakers and curatorial partners from this past season’s film screening series.
Take a look back at what amazing shared experiences and stories we managed to present, and REST ASSURED! THE BASILICA DRIVE-IN WILL RETURN IN 2021!”
– Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica Hudson Co-Founder and Director
BASILICA NON-FICTION SCREENING SERIES
For the third year in a row, we were able to present our film program for FREE to the public, thanks to the continued support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Red Bull.
This past season, the historic Greenville Drive-In hosted our Non-Fiction Screening Series, merging the cross-cultural power of documentary filmmaking with the timeless tradition of outdoor filmgoing. Due to NYS regulations surrounding COVID-19, we were unable to safely gather in our North Hall, where we have screened films since Basilica’s inception. With so many Basilica programs on hold in 2020, being able to maintain our beloved film screening series and connect with our community gave us invaluable momentum and fulfillment.
Our series debuted in partnership with the Berkshire International Film Festival to show Deirdre Fishel’s eye-opening documentary Women in Blue, which offers an unprecedented view into the inner workings of the Minneapolis Police Department’s history of police misconduct. This screening marked its first appearance on the big screen, and Director Deirdre Fishel and Producer Beth Levison were there to share their raw reactions, speak on the film’s context in 2020 (and their plans to shoot more footage and update the film), and give an impromptu Q&A with the audience.
Our second screening, also presented with BIFF, explored art as political action with Cheryl Haines’s stunning documentary Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly. The film follows Ai Weiwei, China’s most famous artist, as he transforms Alcatraz Island prison into an exhibit focused on the plight of the unjustly incarcerated, after being a political prisoner himself. Our series concluded with Take This Hammer, a 1964 documentary on James Baldwin discussing racism and housing discrimination with San Francisco’s Black community. Presented with ALL ARTS, this film explored conversations still happening in 2020, and served as inspiration for anti-racism action on a local level. New to the 2020 program, Basilica screened engaging and thematically akin short films provided by ALL ARTS before each feature documentary.
We were also thrilled to have the young women of Perfect Ten, an after school program for girls in Hudson that focuses on personal and professional development, staff our box office for the screenings.
YOUTH SCREENINGS FROM HOME
Basilica continued its partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival in 2020 to present Kid Flicks, this time bringing the might of the big screen to the small screen with at-home viewings. These series of short films from around the world reflect a diversity of cultures, animation styles and themes, and also included an Spanish-language series. Sharing such inspirational and innovative filmmaking with families offered precious moments of connection and opened windows into the world and even from home.
CLIMATE ACTION FILM FESTIVAL
In our first take at digitally reworking a postponed program, Basilica expanded on its collaboration with Certified BCorp SunCommon to present a streamed selection of short films focused on solutions to the climate crisis, as part of SunCommon’s Climate Action Film Festival.
This online festival allowed audiences to participate in BASILICA GREEN, our mission to increase climate action through innovative cultural programming, while safely in isolation at home.
From longtime Basilica collaborator Jon Bowermaster’s Keeping Carbon on regenerative farming in the Hudson Valley, to Rise, a documentary that follows the innovative activism of two indigenous poets from the Marshall Islands and Greenland, the Climate Action Film Festival explored how art, science and activism can intersect to address the climate crisis.
PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS: New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, SunCommon, Red Bull, ALL ARTS, Berkshire International Film Festival, New York International Children’s Film Festival, Greenville Drive-In, Perfect Ten