Fundraiser for ISDC at Viaduct Theater a Success

Collage of photos from the International Student Documentary Competition (ISDC)

Last Sunday, May 2nd, Viva Doc and a Documentary Post-Production Team class at Columbia College Chicago held a fundraiser at the Viaduct Theater for the International Student Documentary Competition (ISDC), which will be held in October of this year.

The fundraiser called “World Shorts” provided an opportunity for the competition to raise prize money for the competition. It began at 8 pm and went past midnight offering those in attendance an opportunity to hear four bands play music.

The bands that participated — Gentlemen’s Guild, The Midwestern, Pet Peeve, and Jon Drake & the Shakes — graciously volunteered to participate and support the fundraiser. Each played at least twenty to thirty minutes of music.

A drummer from The Midwestern said, to paraphrase, playing the fundraiser was the most fun I had playing a show in years.

Without the bands, the fundraiser would not have succeeded. The bands are why people came into the venue and paid a $10 cover to get into the event.

Documentary filmmaker Mitch Wenkus, a senior at Columbia who helped plan the event, explained that the bands brought many faces to the event and people who are outside the Viva Documentary circle.

Wenkus thought that following of the bands came to the event and became interested in documentary.

In addition to organizing bands, Viva Doc and the documentary class collected raffle items, which were donated by businesses like Music Box, Odd Obsession, Reckless Records, Strange Cargo, Uncle Fun, Women & Children First Bookstore, and more. And, a silent auction with items like a a Kartemquin DVD gift bag, prints signed by Cartoonist Ivan Brunetti, Facets Multi-Media DVDs, Jim Derogatis’ book “Milk It,” a Short Film Brigade goodie bag, which were all donated to the auction.

Some of the students involved in the fundraiser even chose to offer their talents in the auction. Attendees were able to bid on videography, editing, drawing, and lawn services.

Two M.C.’s, Uncle Art and Uncle Roger, volunteered to host the event. The comedic and musical duo, which perform at bar mitzvahs, weddings, graduations, divorces, and excommunications (as they said numerous times at the event) added an extra element of entertainment to the event that attendees had not expected.

For example, Uncle Art joked, “We’re at the Viaduct. Wanna vi-a-duct?”

Overall, the fundraiser was very successful and raised much of the money needed to fund prizes for the competition.

The Viva Doc ISDC is “a celebration of student filmmakers from around the world” and “students from recognized institutions of higher education with instruction in filmmaking at the undergraduate or graduate level are invited to submit documentaries, which have been completed as course work.”

The ISDC will be taking submissions until June 10th. The website for information on submitting films is VivaDocInternational.org. Organizers encourage you to submit your films to this international competition if you haven’t already.

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Article by Kevin Gosztola

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