Movie Maniac

Going to see this documentary short would be prudent

Short victory —Roger Ross Williams, fresh from his Academy Award win in March for the documentary short film " Music by Prudence," will be in Wichita to present and discuss the film at 2 p.m. April 18 at the Wichita Public Library's central branch, 223 S. Main. Admission is free.

The film documents the story of Prudence Mabhena, a young Zimbabwe woman who uses music to transcend physical disabilities.

"Prudence's" win was dubbed the "Kanye West moment" of the Oscars ceremony after producer Elinor Burkett burst onto the stage and took over the microphone as Williams delivered his acceptance speech. Reports later said that there had been differences in creative opinion while making the film and that there was a lawsuit involved, which was resolved "amicably" — but apparently, not that amicably.

The incident, while rude, only brought more exposure to the film, which is good. Who knew the documentary short category could be so controversial?

Williams' appearance in Wichita kicks off a yearlong celebration of events to commemorate the library's 25th year of screening Academy Award-nominated short films.

More information on "Music by Prudence" can be found at

Green zone — Tallgrass Third Thursdays and the Ulrich Museum of Art will present a screening of the Sundance Channel's " Green Porno" series, a collection of eight short films that take a comical and insightful look at the sexual behavior of home and garden creatures. The series is hosted by actress Isabella Rossellini, who also co-produced, co-wrote and co-directed some of the episodes.

Production designer Andy Byers, who designed and helped create all of the show's sets and costumes as well as performed its original score, will be present to discuss his work on the show.

Byers also created costumes for the Ulrich's opening party for the exhibit, "Art of Our Time: Selections From the Ulrich Museum of Art." It will be held April 24.

The "Green Porno" event starts at 7 p.m. April 15 at Fisch Haus, 524 S. Commerce. Admission is $10, with discounts for students and seniors. For more information, go to

Nationwide DVD release — Lawrence-based filmmaker Jeremy Osbern's jubilant " Air: The Musical" will be available Tuesday at select Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster and Target stores (and their Web sites).

The film screened at festivals across the country (it played in Wichita in May 2008). Made over the course of four years, it was filmed in several cities across Kansas using regional talent, and follows several couples as they clumsily navigate their way through various stages of love.

Writer/director Osbern said he "wanted to make a musical for people who hated musicals."

Special features on the DVD include a "How to Make a Low-Budget Indie" featurette.

For more information, go to

Festival fervor — Several Kansas-made films are still traveling around the country at various festivals. Here are some:

* Lawrence filmmaker Patrick Rea's newest short thriller, " Do Not Disturb," will screen at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland on Friday as well as at the Purgatory Film Exhibition, to be held May 20-22 in Detroit.

* Marc Havener, also of Lawrence, continues his festival run of more than a year with his short " And What Remains" at the Phoenix Film Festival, to be held April 9-11.

* University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott's " The Battle for Bunker Hill" will screen at the Atlanta Film Festival (April 15-23), and his " The Only Good Indian" will be shown at the White Sands International Film Festival in Las Cruces, N.M., April 15-18.

* Wamego-based Steve Balderson's women-in-prison film " Stuck!" follows successful showings in Hollywood and Boston with a screening at the TLVFest in Tel-Aviv on June 24.