by Tara Thorne
Local animator Heather Harkins (The Eight Husbands of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Duncan’s Cove) has got her summer vacation all lined up—she’ll be wiping the stardust out of her eyes for the entire month of August as artist-in-residence at the Echo Park Film Centre in beautiful Hollywood, California! Or, more accurately, east Los Angeles.
Harkins accompanied a program of east coast animation to Echo Park earlier this year, and staff there encouraged her to apply for the program, which she did, and now she’s got “an all-expenses paid month in Los Angeles,” she says from her Halifax home. While at the Centre, Harkins will work with children and make a super-8 film of her own, “about newcomers to the community.”
“The neighbourhood where I’ll be staying in Echo Park is not one of the industry-driven sections of LA,” she says of the area depicted so bleakly by Allison Anders in her 1993 film Mi Vida Loca, “so it’s still a neighbourhood. Kids are riding their bikes in the streets. It’s like north end Halifax, if people in north end Halifax spoke Spanish. I’m practicing my Espanol.”
Beyond bringing culture to children, Harkins also plans to hit the beach and maybe check out Burt Bacharach, Sha Na Na or “Joey McIntyre and the Fonz in Garry Marshall’s new Happy Days musical. …I may have my birthday party at Disneyland.”
The early bird film submission for the Atlantic Film Festival is Friday, June 9. After that the entry fee goes up and the programmers get paler. … Nominations for the Masterwork Award, given annually by lieutenant governor Myra Freeman, are due June 15. “The purpose of the Award is to recognize, reward and encourage excellence in all creative media and to highlight the achievement of artists who have a strong connection to Nova Scotia in the context of national and international attainment,” or so says the website, so hit lt.gov.ns.ca/lgawards and nominate someone in the field of design, visual, recording or performing arts and (ahem) writing/publishing.
The Halifax theatre community lost a giant a few weeks back when David Renton—who played on stages national (Stratford, Shaw) and regional (Theatre New Brunswick, the Charlottetown Festival and Ship’s Company)—passed away at 72. On Monday, June 12, he will be remembered at a celebration of his life. The multimedia event will be hosted by Neptune Theatre at 8pm. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Halifax chapter of Performing Arts Lodges of Canada, of which Renton was the founder. For more info call the Neptune box office at 429-7070.
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