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...These Blazeing Starrs! by Deborah Stratman

Space City Gamelan

Orbit (Film)
Co-Presented with Green Bank
Curators/Filmmakers Mike Plante and Mark Elijah Rosenberg in attendance

Friday, March 18, 7PM (with screening at 8PM)
Location: Mandell Park, 1683 Bonnie Brae Street

Bring your blankets and chairs for a free night of films under the stars thanks to Green Bank

Rooftop Films and Cinemad present a collaborative, featurelength omnibus movie about our solar system where every planet is represented by a short film. Each film is made by a different acclaimed filmmaker artist, who deals with the science of outer space through creative and emotional storytelling and visual poetry. Some or all of the original source material will come from NASA footage, reinterpreted by each filmmaker to make a portrait of the respective planet.  Filmmakers include: Brent Hoff, Ben Coonley, Jessica Oreck, Mike Plante, Brian Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Kelly Sears, Bill Brown, Travis Wilkerson, Deborah Stratman and more.

The evening will start at 7PM when Sugar Hill Recording Studios hosts a unique performance by Space City Gamelan, an Indonesian orchestra, while gardeners from Friends of Mandell Park will host tours through the beautiful Meredith Gardens.  Black Hole Cafe will also be on-hand with some treats, but feel free to bring a picnic too (no glass please).

In addition to this screening, the Orbit Film series at Aurora includes another film screening of short films on Saturday at Khon's Rooftop from these same artists and a free video salon on Sunday called Intersections Between Science, Art and Film.

Mike Plante created the series in a similar fashion as his Lunchfilm project, where he bought a filmmaker lunch and they would make a short film in trade, with the cost of the lunch as the budget and a napkin contract. Plante was the Director of Programming for the CineVegas film festival and has worked at Sundance since 2001, including four festivals as a Short Film Programmer and two fests as a consultant for their New Frontier section. He also writes the film blog Cinemad (
Mark Elijah Rosenberg is the Founder and Artistic Director of Rooftop Films, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and inspire diverse communities by showing movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, teaching filmmaking to young people, and renting low-cost equipment to artists and non-profits. As a curator and filmmaker, Mark's taste and work favor low-budget, personal cinema.


Space City Gamelan is Houston's Indonesian orchestra featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, gongs, and bamboo flutes.  Our music features a fusion of traditional, contemporary and new compositions developed by a master musician from Indonesia.  A gamelan set of instruments is a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together; instruments from different gamelan are not interchangeable. We play western Javanese (Sundanese) music on a customized hybrid set of Central and Sundanese instruments.  Traditional gamelan music is described as repetitive and trace inducing. Because Space City Gamelan focuses on the music as the point of interest, the composition forms are much more dynamic and engaging for the listener, making our sound accessible, lively and highly original.

The Friends of Mandell Park is working to develop Mandell Park into a tranquil green oasis in the Museum District of Houston that will offer a welcome respite where people can relax and enjoy the quiet solitude of nature and art.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Green Bank, along with hosts Friends of Mandell Park and music curators Sugar Hill Recording Studios for their support of this free community event.  Also thanks to Black Hole Cafe.

©2019, Aurora Picture Show