Digital Arts Studios Belfast, Northern Ireland


Presentation by International Resident Melissa Hacker

Boat animationtest

There has been a Jewish community in Belfast since the mid 19th century, one of Northern Ireland's oldest ethnic and religious minority communities. During her residency at the Digital Arts Studios, Melissa has been researching this history, spending hours at the Linen Hall Library, the synagogue, and in the homes of community members, learning family and community histories, memories and tales. She has been working on a short film work made of audio interviews and photographs, and hopes to return to Belfast to continue the project.

Melissa is also currently directing Ex Libris, an animated documentary on her Austrian grandfather Marco Birnholz's life and bookplate collection. Ex Libris explores past and present, juxtaposing fact and emotion, art and reality. Using animation, new and archival images as elements in a layered visual composition, Melissa investigates and picks up pieces of the past to reassemble them into something new. Into a film that considers and comments on how the past exists within us still.

Melissa made her directing debut with the documentary film My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering The Kindertransports, which was short-listed for Academy Award nomination, and screened in more than 50 film festivals. She is also a wandering professor, most recently at Yangon Film School, Myanmar and NYU film Havana, and a freelance editor who has edited two Academy Award nominated documentaries; Sister Rose's Passion and The Collector of Bedford Street.

Join us at the Golden Thread Gallery to hear Melissa discuss her projects, present and past.

Visit Melissa’s artist page at http://digital-arts-studios.loc/artists/melissa-hacker

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