41 North Film Festival Brings Jimmy Chin and his Award-winning Documentary to Tech

MeruThe 41 North Film Festival returns to Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 23-25, bringing critically-acclaimed independent films that are currently in festivals or theaters around the country and the world, along with guest filmmakers. All events are free and open to the public.

This year, the festival will feature filmmaker/photographer/climber/athlete Jimmy Chin, whose new documentary Meru tells a compelling story about risk, determination and friendship as it follows the efforts of three internationally famous climbers (Chin among them) to reach the Shark’s Fin summit of Mount Meru in the Himalayas.

The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23. Chin will speak after the film, answering questions and meeting with students. He is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured regularly in National Geographic. Meru won the 2015 Sundance Audience Award.

At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, director and journalist Nick Berardini will be here with his new documentary about the Taser Corporation, Killing Us Safely. It is a timely story about the ethics of engineering and marketing, as well as the relationship of the police to the public as mediated through these tools.

Among the other films screening during the weekend are Drone, The Wanted 18, King Georges and Here Come the Videofreex.

The festival will also feature an exhibition of virtual reality documentary that employs Oculus Rift virtual reality technology. Projects featured include Ferguson Firsthand, which uses a virtual reality environment to invite the audience into the scene in Feguson, Missouri, where they can encounter people and objects that tell the story and Herders, which provides an immersive cinematic look into the lives of Mongolian yak herders.

By bringing compelling stories about the world and today’s important issues to campus—along with filmmakers whose research and artistry tell those stories—the 41 North Film Festival offers the community an opportunity to think more deeply about complex questions around science, engineering, industry, politics, history and the human condition.

Festival sponsors include the Michigan Tech Departments of Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts, the Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series at the Rozsa Center, Student Affairs and Advancement, the College of Sciences and Arts, University Marketing and Communication, Institutional Diversity, the Departments of Social Sciences and Computer Science and the Indigenous Issues Discussion Group.

The festival website with the full schedule and program will be online soon at http://41northfilmfest.org. For more information about the festival and its events, contact Erin Smith at ersmith@mtu.edu.

From Tech Today, by Jennifer Donovan.