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Film Block E: Short "Father Burke..." and Documentary "Officially Limited"

  • Whealthy Street Theatre 1130 Wealthy Street Southeast Grand Rapids, MI, 49506 United States (map)
Film Block E
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Father Burke's Boss Battle: A young Catholic Priest addicted to video games must control his increasingly frenzied gaming urges, while also avoiding a suspicious and all-too-well-knowing Mother Superior. 
Father Dale Burke’s grip on reality is slipping! Deep in the throes of video game addiction, Father Burke can’t control his urge to play as daily parish responsibilities fall to the wayside. A game of cat and mouse ensues as Sister Morgan pursues answers from the increasingly erratic priest. A final confrontation erupts in the church sanctuary during a funeral mass when Father Burke bursts in hell-bent on defeating a powerful Demon Boss, as bemused and bewildered mourners witness his maniacal assault against an unseen foe.

Director's Biography: J. Paul Preseault was born in Burlington, Vermont and has been a professional director, writer, producer, and actor, for over 25 years in Seattle, New York, Chicago, and abroad. J. Paul received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Theatre from New York University.

J. Paul’s MFA thesis film Birth of a White Boy won the Maverick Movie Award: BEST STUDENT PICTURE and the Audience Choice Award for BEST SHORT FILM at both Bolderlife International Film Festival and Seattle Shorts Film Fest. Additionally, J. Paul has shot a number of short films, promotional documentaries, as well as a half-hour Silk Road Sojourns TV episode, and directed the film both/and for Silk Road Rising.

J. Paul is the founding Artistic Director of The Tribes Project, a multicultural performing arts company. During his tenure at Tribes Project the company performed for over 55,000 people worldwide, as well as won a number of awards including the Seattle Diversity Award, Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity: Faces of Courage Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts: Arts Learning Award. J. Paul received the Golden Apple Award for excellence in education in 1999.

J. Paul has directed a number of international theatre productions including a tour of Kosovo featuring Albanian and Serbian cast members, a Spanish adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women in Baja Mexico, as well as a collaboration with the Soweto Youth Drama Society that performed at the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. J. Paul is presently directing another international collaboration with African Tree Productions, a South African adaptation of The Oresteia called Oresteia Ubuntu. 

Officially Limited: 

Director John Otterbacher has immersed himself in the burgeoning, nerd art, movie poster world for the past four years. Immediately attracted to the stunning artistic re-imaginings of classic films, Otterbacher became hooked on the hand-made and limited edition nature of these posters. In a world of easily copied digital movies, music, and books, these posters can only truly be enjoyed in person and there are only so many of each made. 

It all started when Otterbacher missed purchasing an “Apocalypse Now” limited edition print made by poster artist, Tim Doyle. Otterbacher contacted Doyle in an attempt to get a copy and the initial discussion led to a friendship filled with conversations about the poster world. The two kept coming back to the same topic “Do you need to get the rights to create a new take on an “Apocalypse Now” poster? 

Answer: Doyle told him that he didn’t believe he needed to, but that Mondo, the biggest player in the industry, did license all of the movie posters they sell. 

Otterbacher goes to Austin to meet the Mondo team and Doyle in person. He learns the once rogue Mondo, now officially licenses the rights to all of the film posters they redesign. Next, Otterbacher travels the country to talk to other artists, galleries, and nerd art collectors. Otterbacher learns that many artists and galleries have received cease and desist letters, telling them to stop selling certain posters. Everyone has an opinion about licensing rights, but nobody really knows the actual legality and the idea of fair use is thrown around. With millions of dollars at stake, tensions have continued to rise between artists who acquire official license and artists who don’t. 

To Otterbacher, this was reminiscent of what happened to hip-hop music in the nineties, when lawsuits around music sampling established the rules and set precedent in that industry. Some of his favorite albums from groups like the Beastie Boys and De La Soul couldn’t be made today because of sampling costs. Are there parallel lawsuits in the poster world? The case closest was the Associated Press versus Shepard Fairey for his use of one of their photos in the design of Fairey’s “Obama Hope” poster. Fairey has worked with Mondo and much of his work references pop-culture so it was a case that many people in the alternative movie poster world and legal community were watching. Due to unfortunate legal circumstances, Fairey settled out of court and no judgment was made.

Between the fear of lawsuits and the propaganda of the powers that be, there is a chilling effect on the community. Many artists don’t do work based on pop-culture and those that do, aren’t comfortable talking about it, while Mondo continues to gain official license and sales sky rocket. 

After graduating with a Master of Science in Communications from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, John Otterbacher moved to Chicago where he splits his time between teaching and filmmaking. Otterbacher has mainly worked as a producer and cinematographer specializing in independent film/tv/new media and work for non-profit organizations. As a college instructor, Otterbacher has taught at a number of institutions and is currently coordinator for the Cinematography program at Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago. He is a board member and serves as Vice President for IFP Chicago and is a member of the Education Advisory Committee for Cinema/Chicago. More recently, John received his MFA in film from VCFA as part of the inaugural class. Officially Limited and Father Burke’s Boss Battle are John’s current film projects.