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Darklight heads for the Digital Hub
Wednesday, August 21 2002
by Matthew Clark

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The fourth incarnation of the Darklight Digital Festival has been announced, and despite the high-tech meltdown its organisers expect a high turnout.

Darklight Digital Festival 4, as in past years, will screen short films, documentaries, music videos, feature films and animations from producers who use innovative digital technology in the production of their work. This year's event, which was organised in association with Sink Digital Media, will take place from Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September 2002.

Although the Irish Film Centre (IFC) has been the home for the event in past years, the 2002 Darklight festival will be held at a converted, purpose-built facility on Thomas Street and Crane Street, near the Guinness Storehouse and Media Lab Europe in Dublin's soon-to-be completed Digital Hub.

As in past years, the Straylight art exhibition, which is a programme of experimental digital video work from both the art and film world, will be part of the event. Thanks to the new, larger venue, this part of the Darklight festival will be contained in a single location, which was not possible in past years.

"The Digital Hub makes sense because it fits what we are doing," explained Susan Patterson, one of the directors of Darklight. Patterson went on to say the event was always constrained by the lack of space at the IFC, which is a "traditional film environment", and therefore could not accommodate many other aspects of the festival.

Patterson went on to admit that finding sponsorship was more difficult this year than in years gone by. In the past, the festival was held in the spring, but sponsorship difficulties delayed this year's event until September. "But the work is as good as ever; it's still amazing," Patterson added. "With the history of creativity in Ireland, we expect turnout to be higher than ever," she said.

Some notable films to be shown at this year's festival include Scheme 6 by Rob Nilsson of San Francisco, who won the Camera d'Or at Cannes for Northern Lights and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for Heat And Sunlight. Scheme 6 was tagged as "insanely prolific" by Variety last year.

Additionally, Michael Lew's Office Voodoo will run, an interactive sitcom where viewers can manipulate the emotions of the protagonists using a physical, graspable interface: voodoo dolls. Another interesting production will be Crossing Over Time, A New Media Scotland touring programme selected by Chris Byrne, which includes a pick-and-mix of experimental artists' work, commissioned between 1996 and 2001 for the annual Crossing Over Micro- Festival of Digital Film Culture.

More details about the Darklight Digital Festival and Straylight will emerge in the coming weeks, its organisers said. Additional information can be found on the Darklight Web Site.

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