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Dallas VideoFest: Looking Back Looking Forward, Nelly Paulina Ramirez

by Anne Bothwell 27 Sep 2012 5:16 PM

Nelly Paulina Ramirez went to work for Dallas VideoFest on Sept. 11, 2001. She shares her memories – and a few videos that will make you smile.


To mark the 25th anniversary of Dallas VideoFest, festival veterans are sharing their memories. The series continues today, with Nelly Paulina Ramirez.

When Bart asked me to write a guest post, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. How do you talk about a place and time in your life that helped you begin again? I was starting over (this time in Dallas) and trying to make sense of a world that I hadn’t found my way in yet. As corny as it may sound… it was all that video that helped me. All those hours and hours and hours of screening videos and watching other people’s stories helped me decide what I wanted mine to be. So with that, I’ll just get to the video and hope that I land in the right place.

You’ve heard us all talk about video’s accessibility and how equalizing a medium it can be, but don’t be fooled. In the right hands, it can be transformed into something far from ordinary.

Case in point:

An immersive and intricate re-imagination of a car and the processes involved in assembling one. Can’t wait till I can be in the same room with it.

Another piece that caught my attention treads that fine line between art and science. Gotta love folks that can turn code into something useful, musical and cinematic all at once:

When I was working with Bart on the Video Fest it was the experimental and abstract that I was most drawn to. I gravitated towards stories that revealed secrets and reveled in the tiny quiet moments that never get spoken out loud.

Nearly ten years have passed since then and although my love of the medium has not wavered, perhaps my perspective has shifted a bit. I love the stories that ooze enthusiasm and leave the kind of lasting impressions that make you smile midday.

Cheeky, timely and doused with just the right amount of commentary in a tight little short. What’s not to love?

You may have already come across my last “find.” It’s a great story about a boy and his cardboard box arcade. It was quite the sensation earlier in the year on the world wide web as evidenced by the number of times it found its way into my twitter stream and email inbox. Its enthusiasm is infectious and I love the glimmer it creates in the eyes of every kid (both small and adult-sized) that I have shared it with.

And I guess that that brings me full circle to my most significant festival memory. It’s not tied to a specific film or filmmaker or venue and more about the feeling that I got every time I got to stand in front of an audience and share what we had found. After months and months of tracking down films and watching things alone in the dark, I was ready to share it all and see my excitement replicated in the people around me. ‘Cause isn’t that what’s awesome about the medium? It was intended to be shared.