Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Interdisciplinary Art – performance

Paul Festa

Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Interdisciplinary Art – performance
Region: San Francisco, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2006, 2016

Paul Festa, at MacDowell in 2006 and 2016, makes work at the intersection of film and live performance, both musical and theatrical, and writes fiction and criticism. His film Apparition of the Eternal Church, an experimental documentary about the music of Olivier Messiaen, won international acclaim and numerous prizes. Tie It Into My Hand interviews dozens of artists, including numerous MacDowell residents, in the form of a violin lesson they give the filmmaker on the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto—and none of them is a violinist. His silent-film comedy The Glitter Emergency, starring the filmmaker playing the same concerto, is the silent-film Cinderella tale of a peg-leg ballerina's triumph on the stage. And he produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco. During his 2016 residency, Paul performed the complete cycle of Bach violin solos in a three-concert MacDowell Downtown series. He teaches a wide array of subjects in the humanities and practicing arts at Bard College Berlin, and is currently at work on a novel and on a documentary about his family's emergence from extreme poverty in the ancient Italian cave city of Matera.



Paul Festa worked in the Wood studio.

Wood Studio, given to the residency program by Mrs. Frederick Trevor Hill, was completed in 1913 in memory of Mrs. Hill’s mother, Helen Ogden Wood. Like Schelling Studio, the building is sided with large, overlapping pieces of hemlock bark. When the studio was renovated in 1995, MacDowell staff researched the origins of this unusual building material and…

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