Eugene Weekly : Movies : 5.26.11

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The Archaeology Channels International Film and Video Festival
Brit McGinnis

Unless you’re Indiana Jones, a festival featuring films all about indigenous history and archaeological sites might sound like a drag. But yawn not ã The Archaeology Channels International Film and Video Festival, running through Saturday at The Shedd, delivers the kickass side of digging up stuff.

A total of 18 films, spanning a variety of subjects, will be judged on quality by audiences. “We are bringing to the competition the best films in the world,” explains festival founder Richard Pettigrew. The locations covered by the line-up of movies range from Latvia to Australia.

Although the unofficial theme is archaeology and indigenous peoples, Pettigrew stresses that the festival isnt limited to these subjects alone. “Its all about being human,” he says. “Archeology is a way of looking into the past.”

The festival is more about learning, Pettigrew insists. “We (The Archeology Channel) started out as a resource for education, for teachers looking for films with which to teach about the past,” he says. “But were not limiting our scope to teachers and education ã we want everyone to get a sense of the human culture.”

The human culture will be represented all right ã every crazy aspect of it. For example, one of the films from the first day of the festival, Ghosts of Machu Picchu, describes not only beautiful ancient Peruvian cities but also features lots of what amounts to Incan zombies. On day two folks checked out Guédelon: A Castle in the Making, which focuses on a village in France where a complete recreation of a medieval castle is being constructed ã from scratch, with no modern tools. All the films are like that, a mixture of upfront brainy goodness jazzed up with a little Indiana Jones-style awesome.

The big question is: Who among the nerds will be king?

The Archaeology Channels International Film and Video Festival runs through May 28 at The Shedd; info & tickets at





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