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By Film Threat Staff | March 18, 2003

The Video Group of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (IMC) is collaborating with editor Jason Pankoke of local independent film magazine MICRO-FILM to present an evening of contemporary underground films. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 from 7 to 11 pm in the back room of the IMC, 218 W. Main St, downtown Urbana, Illinois.
This “Night of Counter (Culture) Programming” will present two feature-length films and two short subjects that depict artists, writers, publishers, and media activists using their talents to hold their ground against seemingly insurmountable odds. Feature selections include the critically acclaimed documentary Horns and Halos, about the embattled author and publisher of the George W. Bush tell-all Fortunate Son, and the gonzo musical comedy “Existo,” about a shock-haired revolutionary who leads his followers against political naysayers using song, dance, art, and spoken word.
Preceding Horns and Halos at 7 p.m. will be the hard-hitting spoof Killing Michael Bay, depicting the travails of two hardy independent filmmakers that kidnap Bay, the director of Hollywood big-budget epics including “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon.” Matched with “Existo” at 9 p.m. will be “Gimme the Mermaid,” an animated collage that comments on fickle entertainment industry mind-sets using familiar cartoon imagery.
“Now is the time to introduce Champaign-Urbana to a platform where people can experience creative movies that truly have an edge and provide food for thought,” says Pankoke, whose MICRO-FILM celebrated its fourth anniversary of publication last week. “With the heightened awareness of the arts in C-U at the end of April, it is a prime opportunity to present an alternative movie showcase such as this.
“Without any theater or performance venue providing significant exposure to independent cinema in Champaign-Urbana, our choices for movie-going are rather limited,” continues Pankoke. “There is an entire stratosphere of American and world cinema that is even more overlooked than those films at Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival or the so-called ‘Art Houses’ at the multiplexes. We are happy to give these smaller, eclectic, aggressive films a chance, and we invite our communities to give them a chance as well.”
A related film event will take place starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, also in the back room of the IMC, consisting of short videos documenting radical culture and politics, with a subsequent discussion of production techniques facilitated by the IMC Video Group.
Films to be shown include “Crashing the VIP Room,” a documentary by Video Group member Dave Powers on the Amsterdam media activist group Vrije Keyser Televisie, and “Guerilla Video Primer,” a compilation produced by California’s Cascadia Media Collective.
For more information, visit the Media Geek website.

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