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Moving Pictures 2008 Film Contest Winners

Moving Pictures is proud to help give voice to up-and-coming filmmakers through our Moving Pictures Film Contest, a unique competition that provides independent filmmakers the possibility to attend various film markets for networking and to have their work distributed around the world. The winners of the 2008 Moving Pictures Film Contest were honored at a special event in Park City during the 2009 Sundance and Slamdance film festivals (pictures are posted in the contest photo gallery). 

The winners are: 
Barbara-Anne Steegmuller, for the feature documentary Superpower
Naoko Tajima, for the feature narrative The Fifth Mind
Pedram Goshtasbpour, for the short animation E1even Roses
John Schwab, for the short narrative The Applicant
Jamie Taucher, for the short documentary Sea of Change

The runners-up are:  
Kelly Nyks, 1st runner-up for the feature documentary Split: A Divided America
Kirk Gostkowski, 1st runner-up for the feature narrative Leave Me Behind
Joaquin Baldwin, 1st runner-up for short animation Sebastian's Voodoo
Dom Bridges, 1st runner-up for short narrative Bitch
Billy Burke, 1st runner-up for short documentary Mario Barth: Under the Skin
Phil Valentine, 2nd runner-up for feature documentary Who Will Stand
Dusan Sekulovic, 2nd runner-up for feature Pussyfoot
Ron Noble, 2nd runner-up for short animation Hope Springs Eternal
Olivier Serrano, 2nd runner-up for short narrative We Are Still Waiting
Mira Tweti, 2nd runner-up for short documentary Little Miss Dewie: A Duckumentary

Feature Documentary: Superpower

Director: Barbara-Anne Steegmuller

Synopsis: Superpower goes behind the scenes of America's national security apparatus and military actions to illustrate the U.S. quest for global dominance through economic and military strategy, exposing this quest through review of historical events, personal interviews and analysis of U.S. foreign policy.

Superpower presents a view of U.S. foreign policy that lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits and U.S. heads of state. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has emerged as the preeminent superpower of the world. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of Superpower.

Image From Film Superpower - Concentration Camps
Superpower Production Still: WWII Russian Civilians in Concentration Camp

Moving Pictures Contest

Barbara-Anne Steegmuller

Meet the Filmmaker

Who inspired you?
My father, Lt. Col. Richard Charles Steegmuller, was a strong Republican. He was party-line all the way. We constantly debated issues, and rarely agreed. But, I feel, to be informed one must truly consider opposing views and be willing to examine one's own position. He was my inspiration to seek truth and never settle for what is comfortable or mainstream.

What was the inspiration for your film?
While a student at Guilford College, I had been elected as President of the College Young Democrats and Vice-President of the State College Young Democrats, and was very politically active, especially in opposing the Vietnam War. In 1970, I studied in Vienna, Austria, for my junior year abroad, which I selected because of the recent invasion of Prague, Czechoslovakia, by the USSR. During my time abroad, I met David Mark Berger, who was one of the athletes later murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics (and to whom I dedicated this film). However, my main inspiration came after the 9/11 attacks, when the $10 million donated for relief efforts was returned to HRH Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud because he called for U.S. citizens to re-examine U.S. foreign policy, which he felt gave us a bad image due to our actions historically, especially in the Middle East. I set out to prove him wrong. The result was Superpower.

What is it about filmmaking that excites you?
I am a screenwriter and had not intended to produce a documentary. I was working on my masters at the time of my research, and incorporated my findings into what became my documentary on U.S. foreign policy. I enjoy researching historical information as the basis of my screenplays, even if they are about contemporary issues or character studies. I find it exciting to see the world a new way and arm myself with the local histories that help my stories evolve.

Share something of your film education.
I took my first screenwriting course in 1977, but had been writing and had been involved with live theatre before that. In later years, as my daughter began acting in films, I was inadvertently cast as an extra in several and began to learn a lot from behind the scenes. I was looking at it more from the business end. I volunteered to work in production offices to learn more first-hand, and purchased many books to gain an insider's perspective. I think a lot of what you need to know you must simply learn by doing.

What's next? 
With my distribution deal in hand for Superpower, I want to produce a sequel to cover aspects of U.S. foreign policy not included in this film. Superpower illustrates a history of U.S. military interventionism and calls for individuals to be aware and take personal action. I would like to explore the more political side of issues in the next documentary. I also have several scripts I would like to have produced that are contemporary action-thrillers.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ - Weblog

A War On Peace Weblog Report - Editor - Nigel Rolland

‘Superpower’ the film, reviewed


The documentary film ‘Superpower’, is the most comprehensive and hard hitting film I have watched recently, the film starts with a quote from former US President Harry S. Truman, “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”, this sets the stage for the film to outline this hitherto unknown history.

‘Superpower’, presents a view of US foreign policy, which lies in stark contrast to what is depicted by Government spindoctors and corporate media pundits, here in Britain, a US client state, we desperately need independent media like this film to be looking at the role of our Government, the willing partner partner in multiple war crimes and our media who are silently complicit.

‘Superpower’ examines key moments in America’s history elicits a consistent and realistic set of economic motives for US foreign policy actions which have led to their current global expansion and military dominance, as opposed to the official rhetoric about bringing democracy and progress through regime change.

The United States emerged from World War II with its industrial base still intact and the only nation with the atomic bomb. It was without question the most powerful country on earth. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it’s had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of ‘Superpower’.

The film quotes from many leading establishment figures including former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who in his farewell speech in 1961 coined the term military industrial complex and warned US citizens against the power of these interests saying “we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations”.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society”.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”.

The film illustrates how when the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States emerged as the single global superpower, successive US Governments have pursued a grand strategy to ensure their continued unilateral world domination through their absolute economic and military superiority. It shows a consistent pattern of government deception.

Superpower produces an analysis by re-examining history through discourses with historians, and academics like Michael Chossudovsky and Noam Chomsky, social commentary from Peace activists Cindy Sheehan and Kathy Kelly a three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end the US led sanctions against Iraq, Kathy Kelly says of the Iraqi children who died under the US Sanctions regime, “and they died in the hundreds and thousands and the hundreds of thousands and they died the most ghastly and brutal of deaths”.

The film also includes former US Government insiders such as Morgan Reynolds a former Chief Economist for the US Department of Labor; and Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski a former Pentagon desk officer who also worked for the National Security Agency, who remains a critic of the U.S. government’s foreign policy.

Although the film ‘Superpower’ has only had limited distribution it has already won several awards, which include:

‘Superpower’ received an Honorable Mention in the program of the 2008 Route 66 International Film Festival held in Springfield, Illinois, as one of the outstanding films that did not fit into the festival schedule, but deserved special recognition; Barbara-Anne Steegmuller, Director of Superpower, received the Director Award at the August Sun Film & Television’s “World Peace Film Festival”, promoting works that promote World Peace through Film and Television; ‘Superpower’ was nominated for Best North American Documentary in The El Sawy International Film Festival Egypt. The festival took place in Cairo, Egypt at the El Sawy Culture Wheel; ‘Superpower’ will be screened in the International South Africa Film Festival between November 2nd and November 8th 2009.

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