Finding Felix Project

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Berlin, Germany
The Finding Felix Project is a work for screen and publication from Katy Kavanaugh, a curator and filmmaker ( Funding from Stanford University, The Freie Universität- Berlin and DAAD allowed her to return to the Berlin Film Festival's 35 year-old Generation (formerly Kinderfilmfest) to collect evidence of the directive impact that international films seen in childhood can have toward shaping the breadth of a person's view of the world and the decisions they make. This investigation focuses on one eleven year-old film festival-goer whom Kavanaugh met while serving on the Kinderfilmfest's international jury in 2001. Ten years later, Kavanaugh wants to know how a childhood full of international films influenced Felix's life so far. Meanwhile, with help from Media Consultant Tina Toepfel and Gintare Malinauskaite, PhD History at Humboldt Universität, Felix has been found and is now in post-production. To help meet its completion goal, please consider contributing via our fiscal sponsor,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finding Bruni

Bruni had been one of the earlier fascinating stories in this research because of her immediate physical transformation. When she'd learned about the project, her memory seemed to have catapulted through the years, up through her feet and out of her eyes like projector beams. I begged her to hold on to the story until I could capture it on camera. She agreed to be in touch, but hadn't been. I'd given her my card, she'd given me only her first name, so I had thought for three months until I came across her full name. Miraculously, Bruni was the first of the forty listings I dialed. I was delighted and honored to have her story revealed as evidence of the lasting impact of cinema on childhood memory.

She begins her story by informing us that she was "flüchtlings kind" or refugee child at the time of her memory. It was around 1948 in post-war Germany and the feeling of joy, she explained, "just didn't happen often in this place" but it did on Sundays when she and her sister could go to the cinema. She said that in those days, despite the work and hardship, she had always imagined herself as a princess, like the girl in the Russian Märchenfilm (fairytale) of her memory.

Fellow filmmaker, Elise Fried originally met Bruni at a performance from the beloved Berlin choreographer Sasha Walz and company and thanks to Bruni's tickets, we could see the concert. In her interview, Bruni stated that she had studied with modern dance pioneer Mary Wigman in London before she married her prince and returned to Berlin to teach nursery school.

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