in this episode of detroitperforms, a film festival connects the audience tofilmmakers, an artist combines japanese monsters and detroitlandmarks for positive pop-culture paintings, and ananimator and storyboard artist for pixar it's all ahead on thisedition of detroit performs. >>>hello, i'm dj oliver andwelcome to detroit performs. today's episode is loaded withpop culture from films to animation. i'm here at the 4731gallery located, i'm going to shock you here, at 4731 grandriver avenue. this gallery is
also home to 31 artist studios.we'll be working ourselves around this place during theepisode. now let's check out our firstfeature. when people think film festivalsthe first that may come to mind are cannes or sundance butsoutheastern michigan has its own international film festival,of it's own, cinetopia. started by michigan theatreceo, russ collins, the event, which now spans detroit andann arbor, offers audiences a unique way to appreciatefilm and engage with the
filmmakers they admire.>> i'm the executive director, ceo of the michigan theater, themichigan theater and state theater, the cinetopia.i've been the executive director for 32 years, and begin my 33rdyear later in the year. we do classic films,documentary films, contemporary art housefilms and every so often a first run large release film.cinema is a very complex, very diverse,and a very, very expressive art form.when people say, there's not a
lot of good movies out there,there are a lot out there. cinetopia has 40 or 50 films init, depending on the year, those films are selected from thesegreat festivals, like toronto, like sundance, like berlin,cannes. you're almost guaranteed to see a great movie.we can't guarantee you'll like every movie,but we can guarantee they're very good films.film festivals provide you to experiment and expand yourhorizon and experience movies and new directors,and actors and writers, you
may not have encountered.most major cities in the united states, and all over the worldhave international film festivals, but a large scaleinternational film festival that shows the best films, haven'tgrown in a big way in detroit. we got started threeyears ago, and it's worked on the well so far, butwe have a long way to go. the national partner to me, isthe detroit institute of arts, and film theater, and the staffdown there that put together the detroit film theater program.elliot and i talked about doing
some kind of festival for yearsand years and years. and about five years ago, wecontacted each other and said, hey, let's think about doingthis more seriously, talked for a couple of years and startedlaunching cinetopia. going to a film festival isdefinitely different than just going to a movie.a film festival, unlike most screenings, you get to rubelbows and meet and talk to the filmmakers, which isan exciting thing. john sales, and spike lee aretwo great american independent
filmmakers, who typify the typeof movie that cinetopia does. besides spike lee and john andthe other folks you may recognize, there were folks newto the movies or documentary filmmakers, who arewell respected but their names aren't widely known.john sales may be the quintessential americanindependent filmmaker. he came here, any screening ofthe john sales film, you got to hear him introduce the film andthe q and a session after the film, and then maybe a privateconversation, and that's the
case for the majority of thefilms that happen here, or any good film festival.there are a lot of youth that are passionate about cinema.ann arbor, is the home of the university of michigan,they have a screen arts and cultures program.we have opportunities for the students to participate inthe symposium, this year it was on john sales.filmmakers, john sales, maggie, the producer and his lifepartner, come for these kind of symposiums, and there's a greatopportunity to learn of the film
maker, and learn more of what anitty-gritty of making the movie and the illusion that cinema isso brilliant at doing. there's a lot ofexciting dialogue that happen and do happen.>> to see the films that are unfamiliar, and film festivalsare part of that conversation. >> whether you go to cinetopiaor sundance or whatever, it's great to experience that rangeof cinema that's out there and being made today.we hope cinetopia is a way to bring a lot of differentpictures to life.
with thousands and thousands offilms being made, some of them deserving more attention thanthe commercial market allow, and film festivals allow thatopportunity, and it's necessary for a great city like detroit tohave this kind of festival. ultimately we hope to grow thefestival so it's right there with the cleveland festival, thechicago festival, all the regional film festival, andwe'll be right there as an exciting and desirous place forfilmmakers and local audiences to come and experience a dynamicfilm from all over the world.
>>you can learn more aboutcinetopia and all of the other artists found here today ondetroitperforms.org. >>>when artist pete coe looksat detroit landmarks he sees something monstrous, but not inany way you'd imagine. pete's pop culture inspireddetroit kaiju series explores what would happen if benevolentcreatures of the imagination visited some of the city's mostwell-known locations. >> detroit kaiju, i'm a big fanof pop culture of things, like godzilla, and ultraman, and the flying robot.
and over the past few years,i've gotten reacquainted with that love, and inspired from theultra man series, to create my own monsters, i felt like it wasa way to have fun with the original designs and color, andthen i decided i wanted to make the detroit kaiju,not a destructive force. i wanted to bright colorfulmonsters visiting the city and not necessarily destroying it.being from detroit, i never felt bad of the city of detroit.even with the hardships, if anyone focuses on positive, forme, when i decided to do
monsters, and visit places,i knew i could touch into memory banks of people.it's not about taking advantage, it's more about, especiallyplaces that people visit, people can see something, like i did apainting of my rabbit sam. and he's hanging out atthe old miami and people are like, i know the old miami,and look at that monster that's hanging out there.it's nice to connect people to see the art havefollowed it and then you remember going to a place.the one eyed one horned
people mover surfer,he's surfing the city. the death day flower, the flowermonster, he's a bright green and yellow flower with purple sky.i guess i felt it was not necessary to continue totrash the city of detroit and kind of bring more positiveuse to places in the city you can visit and enjoy.and they exist. a lot of place.this particular series, i've kind of combining black andwhite photographic imagery, with my drawing paintingsof these monsters.
it's what's happening, i'mcombining colorful fantasy with black and white reality.so all the buildings and structures are harsh, black andwhite static imagery, and i kind of take them and cut and spliceand sometimes i'll arrange things in a creative manner.and then i kind of arrange them with the monsters.as if they look like they're there together, even thoughin reality, they're not. it's a lot of fun.i originally thought about painting the buildings,but you're allowed to
have fun with this.i'm playing with a lot of color contrasts, things that areplayful for the eye. it's one thing to make seriousscary monsters which are sometimes shown in dark tones,mine are alllike cheerful. again, it's like having thebright colors, i see that as something thatcan evolve everyone. young, old, and i wantedthese to be really kind of family friendly.fun thing of art is that anytime you see any kind of art, it'swhat you bring to the table.
people say, what is your idea?i might have an idea, when it comes down to it, it's what youview as bringing to the table. you might look at something andsee a monster waiting, or why am i here or i'm just visiting.no harm. no harm done.well, the imperial is a mexican restaurant bar, in michigan,i believe they've been open since 2012.but every year for the last three years, they havea benefit art show. they provide sugar skull, whichis a paper mache skull, and
provide that to artists, and theartists paint or whatever, and those get auctioned off andi always have to go over the top when itcomes to creating things. i took the skull and instead ofjust painting like a canvas, i decided to reach out and turnit into a whole new life form all of its own.i've often decided to turn in part of my kaiju, it doesn'tmatter what i'm getting, i'm hoping to make this awesomepiece of art that will awesomely raise a lot ofmoney for charity.
it's worth my time to give it myall to make it a good piece. i firmly believe that everyonehas a creative event, and since i was a kid, creating,drawing, writing, building. it's somethingthat was important. good to have a nice way toexpress one's self and this is how oy express myself.>>the 4731 gallery was awarded the "cool cities" award frommichigan's governor in partnership with the woodbridgeneighborhood development corporation for the workdone in stabilizing the
west end of detroit'swoodbridge neighborhood. >>>now let's check out someevents happening in and around detroit.>>>sanjay patel, a pop artist and an animator at pixar films,has worked on movies such as "the incredibles,""ratatouille," and "toy story 3." patel also has a uniquepersonal portfolio, drawing on his indian heritage toillustrate adaptations of ancient hinduepics. here's his story. >>we're working on a series ofshorts based on mater's
character called "carstoons", inthis particular short they're actually big monster trucksand they end up sort of in this big wrestling match.>>pixar studios in emeryville is known for bringing innovationand emotion to the world of computer animated films.popular films like "toy story", "finding nemo", "theincredible", and "ratatouille" have garnered the studio22 academy awards. now a lead animator at pixar,sanjay patel was still a student when he was recruitedby the fledging company
almost 14 years ago.he was studying in the animation program at calarts in los angeles. >>that program was startedby walt disney himself to train his animators.so i started making 2-d animations."toy story" had been released and they had brought it tocalarts and i was blown away with sophistication of itand the sophistication of the story telling.and so, i put down pencil. i no longer draw at pixar, ihave to use my mouse and i use
3-d animation software.essentially we have this car that's been built by themodelers and these models are very elaborate puppets and wehave controls to move the puppet around and createdifferent positions and make different expressions.i could just sort of, move this control and he could movehis tire and hit mcqueen. move the upper lip, up,down, even their eyelids. if there is anything thatpixar i ended up changing the reflection, and that'sthe end of what i do in
terms of animation.here's how the scene looks with shadows and colors.espouses -- it's just absolutely like the church of storytelling.it really does force you to think in a very different way.because of that, i have been able to pursue my own storiesthat i want to tell. >>since 2006, patel has beenpublishing his own work; lavishly illustratedinterpretations of ancient hindu mythology.his latest book is called "ramayana; divine loophole".the ramayana is one of
the foundational myths ofhinduism, and tells the epic story of rama, his brotherlakshmi, and his wife, sita. >>the ramayana is such a greatstory because it's all adventure, plot, and action.there's magic, there's fighting and animals, gods, demons andi just thought, i really want to tell this storyin the most modern and graphic way as possible.>>as patel undertook the task of bringing to life dozens ofscenes from this ancient story, he found himself using theskills he gained from his
animation work at pixar.>>animating at pixar makes me think about well, what's theacting and what's sort of the narrative arc that i could usefor this little panel and that i'm trying to draw.and it really reminds that character moments are soimportant in this great mythology that i want to telland so i do feel like the two feed off of each other.this type of artwork would definitely be hanging around inmy parents' household, and this was definitely my indoctrinationand introduction to hinduism.
i'd see stuff like thisand just have no f'ing clue what this meant.i was raised in southern california. myparents owned a motel in san bernardino, california.my parents are from india, from a state called gujarat.i could speak english really well, so i had stay homeand help run the motel. i became a tv brat and i reallyin many ways just grew up in american culture.american culture was definitely fed to me through thetelevision, mainly
through cartoons.i could just really escape my reality and i became obsessedwith watching cartoons, drawing cartoons, collecting comicbooks, then i would sit there and draw for hours andhours from these comics. >>although patel revered thecomic book heroes of american popular culture, hisrelationship with the icons of his parents' hindufaith was more complicated. >>indian culture in my life,i don't know, growing up, i hated it.i hated it.
i hated it.my parents were raising me in a sort of bubble oftheir own culture inside southern california.i wasn't exposed to the stories of the hindu mythologyor hindu faith at all. what i was exposed to was theiconography and imagery. >>but it's his perspective as anoutsider that allows patel to reclaim the iconography of hisparents' culture, and re-imagine it for a contemporary audience.patel is in the midst of creating a new bookbased on the story of the
hindu deity ganesha.in patel's version of the tale, he plays off of the elephant godganesha's famous love of sweets. >>this is a kind of a funlittle moment actually. this is after ganesha,he tries biting down on the jumbo jawbreaker.and sure enough he breaks his tusk.so i'm trying to figure out what would be the most fun way tolike figure out how ganesha might react, like "oh no!!".so i was thinking maybe he would be crying over here.growing up i always felt
disconnected from my americanfriends simply because i was indian, my skin wasbrown. from my indian friends i felt disconnectedbecause i was an artist. i felt outside inall these ways. and finally i found the thingthat actually brought everything that i liked together.what i'd like to think that i found my voice and this voiceis something that feels really relevant to me and reallyimportant and really good. i just know so clearlythat i am going to be doing
this till the day i die.>>>to find out more about sanjay patel visit thedetroit performs website. >>>and that wraps it up for thisedition of detroit performs. as always for morearts and culture, visit detroitperforms.org whereyou'll find feature videos, blogs and information onupcoming arts events. also check us out onfacebook and twitter. we'd like to thank the 4731gallery for letting us explore the gallery andstudio spaces today.
until next tuesday, get outthere and show the world how detroit performs, y'all.i'm dj oliver. thanks for watching.captioning provided by captioning provided bycaption solutions, llc â www.captionsolutions.com