The Northampton Arts Council is a city board and a non-profit organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Crowdsourced Cinema II Public Art Project Launches to Remake “The Princess Bride”

The Crowdsourced Cinema II Public Art Project Launches to Remake “The Princess Bride.”

Community-created remake set to premiere at the Northampton Film Festival and to be screened at the Innovation Hangar in San Francisco.

Imagine designing a no-budget film set with a 100-foot cliff, called the “cliffs of insanity,” casting a rhyming Giant who carries a paralyzed pirate, and a fire swamp that endangers visitors with rodents of “unusual sizes.” Inconceivable! But Crowdsourced Cinema will do just that this summer in Western Mass. Last summer, the public art project engaged the greater Northampton community to remake the classic film “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Now in its second year, Northampton Community Television (NCTV) announces the 2016 installment - a remake of “The Princess Bride.”

Teams can sign up at

Crowdsourced Cinema is a public art project of NCTV in which the community collaboratively remakes a famous film. Each team is assigned a scene from the film to interpret in their own manner - last year teams used live action, animation, remix, puppetry, silent film, and other expressive styles. The final film is then stitched together by NCTV and set to premier at the Northampton Film Festival in the fall.

“The project is multi-layered in its approach. It has broad appeal and recognizes that we are all artists, though many people find themselves hesitant to identify as such,” said NCTV Director Al Williams. “It values the link between storytelling and community. It brings people together, to celebrate as they create, on a piece that is accessible and engaging. People need more successes around exercising their voices together. That is how community is built, by being encouraged to create own our narratives. Through play. Alongside the story of the film as a piece of art are the stories of the hundreds of participants.”

The project has gained attention from as far away as San Francisco, where both Crowdsourced Cinema’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the yet-to-be-produced “The Princess Bride “will be given special screenings at the Innovation Hangar, housed in the Palace of Fine Art, one of the last remaining buildings from the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair. The Innovation Hangar is a social innovation space... designed to be an epicenter of learning and exploration. Innovation Hangar features exhibits, workshops, community events, educational programming for students, and open workspaces for entrepreneurs and inventors.

NCTV supplies reference links to the scenes for teams, which were roughly three minutes in length last year. A copy of the original script is provided and resources like cameras, microphones, props, workshops on equipment use and inspiration are available through the community media arts organization. Teams have the summer to complete their scenes.

Last season 40 teams of filmmakers reinterpreted and remixed scenes. They included groups of neighbors who had never attempted filmmaking, after school art programs, camps, amateur and professional producers, students and many more. The sign up deadline for Crowdsourced Cinema II: The Princess Bride is June 20th, 2016. One team member (and a team could be one person) will act as the lead and contact for teams. Scenes are due August 15th, 2016.

Teams can sign up at, and can be from the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

The last crowdsourced project:

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