Between grading student papers and projects, it is a wonder how College of the Canyons animation department chair Sheila Sofian manages to make time to feed her creative urges. But all the work has paid off, as her fifth independent film “A Conversation with Haris” has been invited to participate in Fundacia “La Caixa,” a contemporary art and animation exhibit in Spain and France during June 2006 until April 2007. “I am really excited and honored to have my film included in this exhibition among artists such as William Kentridge and Philip Hunt,” said Sofian. “Typically independent films are screened in festivals and have a limited distribution, but this exhibition will allow my film to be seen by a wider audience as both projected film and as a video installation.”
A painting-on-glass animation, “A Conversation with Haris” is a “touching documentary narrated by an 11-year-old Bosnian immigrant as he recounts his experiences in the war in his homeland. The film is beautifully made using painted animation, and set against Haris’ thoughts on the war and the deaths of so many of his close family, the film illustrates how startlingly adult a child’s thoughts can be,” said Mark Rabinowitz from indieWIRE.com.
The selection of the films focuses on its narrative as well as metaphorical and critical aspects, as well as the addressing of social, cultural and political issues. The exhibit will be in Caixa Forum Barcelona from June to September 2006, Sala Rekalde of Bilbao from October 2006 to January 2007, and in Le Fresnoy Center from January to April 2007. Other artists participating are William Kentridge, Sven Pahlson, Feng Mengbo, Philip Hunt and Magnus Wallin. Neus Mira, Juan Antonio Alvarez Reyes and Laurence Dreyfus will be the curators of the exhibit. Another animated film by Sofian, “Faith and Patience,” will be included in the Museum of Modern Art’s tribute to CalArts, and will run in MOMA’s theater from late May through August. Screenings of the film will be from July 26 to July 30. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Sofian’s award–winning work has been televised on WHYY’s “Independent Images,” WYBE’s “Through the Lens” and WTTW’s “Image Union.” Her animation is also featured in the film “Closetland” and the titles for “10 Things I Hate About You.” For more information contact Sofian at (661) 362-5039 or for more information about the animation department visit the college’s website at www.canyons.edu.