Paul Festa Violin
Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (cast: Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; press: "Remarkable"–The New Yorker; "Stunning"–Chicago Sun-Times; "Sublime"–Globe & Mail; awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy ("Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat; awards). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the documentary Stage Left, A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; "Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record"—Variety; "Best California Film"—California Film Awards). Works in progress include Tie It Into My Hand (2013, ca. 100 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."—San Francisco Bay Guardian); and Heaven Descending, a novel.
Performances as violinist and actor: Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, TheatreFIRST, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, North Bay Shakespeare. US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, on the "Betts" Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and Heaven Descending, a novel in progress.
Other publications: New York Times Book Review, Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, numerous anthologies.
Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des Récollets