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  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Olivier Chatard Fine Art ’07

Dec 16, 2013
Awareness at Cannes Festival
Spotlight Category: Alumni
Olivier Chatard '07 describes his creative process, which led him to make the documentary Awarness about water, which was shown at Cannes Film Festival. 
Do we intuitively connect our actions to something bigger? How spontaneous and determined must we be to achieve and create what we feel?  As a creative artist, these two questions have always resonated with me. The definition of “to create” is “to bring into being.” And that is exactly what drives me — consistently pushing my boundaries to pursue and effect innovation. Possessing a keen interest in environmental issues, I selected water awareness as the topic for my senior thesis. I researched the pressing issues concerning water on our planet, and created an interactive visual tool to convey that information. My efforts were successful, and I was honored by 1st prize in an artistic design competition sponsored by the gaming company Electronic Arts. It was then that I decided to create a film one day that would represent our everyday life in relation to water.
 
After graduating from Otis and working at Yahoo! for two years, I decided to produce and film this short film. Although I had no prior movie production experience, I had a specific vision in mind; guided by my intuition, I set forth to transform “Awareness” into reality. (The best advice I can offer any artist is to trust in and connect with yourself and your artistic visions, no matter what hurdles may seem to exist). I began work on a storyboard, cast two amazing actors, Zoi Kottas and Olivier Riquelme, and asked my very good friend Laurent Vizzacchero to work on editing. With less than $1,000, I filmed “Awareness” in just four days. After several months of editing and many hours creating the 3d effect at the end, I was finally pleased with the result. My friends who saw it encouraged me to submit it to various film festivals and it was pre-selected for the International Green Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea, and the Awareness Festival and the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles. And, much to my surprise, it was selected for screening at the Short Film Corner of the internationally prestigious Cannes Film Festival. 
 
The journey was an extraordinary one. In addition to walking the red carpet and screening “Awareness” to many industry professionals, we attended workshops and conferences, and met some of the world’s most intriguing and talented producers, directors such as Woody Allen, and actors such as Benificio Del Toro. The world-class festival-related nightlife in stunning Cannes topped off the experience. My experience in Cannes taught me a great deal. The most important lesson for me, however, was just how critical it was to me to convey the message embodied within “Awareness.” My insistence on following my goals and belief in what I created sustained me. We all possess hopes, dreams and ideas that need to be expressed in some artistic form. “Awareness” was, for me, an inimitable opportunity to give a voice to my vision of the crucial role water plays in our lives. We are water. It is our common bond, uniting us as human beings and as citizens of this planet. “Awareness” celebrates life and describes what water means to us. It acts as a bridge between people and their emotions. I wanted to make people vibrate with their inner choir, as if they are seeing and experiencing the beauty of life.
 
 
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