Founded in 2007, SMIBE is a volunteer-run educational and professional organization that supports the advancement of moving image arts about the built environment. This year it launches its first annual contest for short films about the built environment. The contest is open to anyone over 18.SMIBE poses the question: What are issues that we should be addressing in our built world? They want an answer in the form of a short film, not to exceed 6 minutes. According to their Web site:
We look for stories that reveal new sides or issues about a place told by memorable characters. Above all, we look for groundbreaking work that blends rigorous craft with intelligent storytelling. Submissions should not exceed 6 minutes in duration and can be produced in any motion image medium.
This contest got me thinking about feature-length films that really capture a sense of place. I’m thinking of movies like Hannah and Her Sisters, with its beautiful shots of SoHo in the 1970s (really all old Woody Allen films capture NYC fantastically), or Richard Linklater’s Slacker and its iconic Austin, or even something like Fargo, with its depictions of its namesake city. Anyone out there have a favorite film that really gets to a sense of place?
Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.