Barnesville Filmmaker Ian Cheney will screen his award-winning full-length feature documentary about light pollution, "The City Dark," at Olney Friends School on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Collection Room of the Main Building. He will introduce the film, which will be followed by a question-and-answer period. The event is free and open to the public.
Cheney grew up in rural Maine, later moving to New York City. He writes of the film's origin this way: "Spending a lot of my childhood in rural Maine, I fell in love with the night sky and wanted to try and capture it as best I could. I used a Pentax camera borrowed from my Dad, a high school photography teacher, and experimented with different long exposures using an unforgivable amount of Dad's Kodak Gold film. And spending so many nights out under the stars, I became something of an amateur astronomer as a teenager, even building my own telescope out of an old cardboard construction tube.
"But as I grew up and spent more and more time in cities, my connection to the stars faded. With so few of us growing up with a connection to the stars, might we be losing something rather fundamental? The more I thought about it, the more I felt I had lost something-something I couldn't put my finger on."
The film won the Jury Prize for Best Score/Music at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Its opening was noted in the New Yorker; and it was recently reviewed favorably in the New York Times.
Cheney's other films include "King Corn" and "Big River" (modern farming), "The Greening of Southie" (green building in Boston), and "Truck Farm" (just what it sounds like: a minute farm in the truck bed of Cheney's '86 Dodge pickup). He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Yale University.
Olney Friends School, a boarding and day high school located in Barnesville, Ohio, brings students from around the state, around the country, and around the world to study in a college preparatory program in grades 9-12. The academic program focuses on humanities, the arts, and the sciences.