Back from Nerd Central

And crazy busy. Chicago and Urbana and Ebertfest were great, amazing, beyond my ability to emotionally comprehend, I’ve never had a week like that before. Then to top it off, Sita won Best Narrative Feature at the Indian Film festival of Los Angeles, and moved to #1 on Critical Consensus. That’s just nuts.

Anyway, it was great being back in Urbana, my hometown, where nerds are made as well as born. I was raised nerd, by nerds, and it’s only a fluke that I appear to be an artist; my heart belongs to nerd-dom. Want proof? Here I am visiting family friend, genius, and art-supporter Theo Gray at Wolfram Research:ninatheo.jpg
My Free Culture activism is nerdy too, inspired as it is by the Free Software movement. Theo doesn’t like it, and made fiercely pro-copyright arguments as only a proprietary software nerd can.

theoninatable.jpg

For contrast, here’s a picture of me with Richard Stallman in New York:
ninastallman.jpg
Whose side am I on, anyway? The side of NERDS!

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Back to Illinois

I left my hometown of Urbana, IL, almost 21 years ago, with dreams of becoming a new age crystal-wielding hippie. I was 20 years old. Now I’m 40 (almost 41!) and will be returning with a feature film, for a film festival that didn’t exist when I was growing up. But first: the University of Chicago!

Who’da thunk back in 1988, that I’d be blogging about this in 2009? We couldn’t even imagine blogs back then.

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Roger Ebert is my Homeboy

We’re both from Urbana, IL, where I grew up watching At The Movies on WILL TV. And now, he gives a thumbs-up to Sita:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/12/having_wonderful_time_wish_you.html 

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The Midwest: kind of interesting, actually

Hoarfrost by Jean Paley

It turns out my Moms is a good photographer. All those years growing up it was my Dad who carried cameras everywhere, built a darkroom in the basement, walked around in a khaki vest stuffed with oversized lenses… but last year my Moms decides to get a digital camera, and the next thing you know she’s sweeping all the awards at my Dad’s camera club competitions. Here’s why.

My parental units still live in Urbana, IL. As my sister once said, “I’m glad I grew up in Central Illinois, otherwise I never would have seen it.”

Speaking of my hometown, I recently read Finding Iris Chang by Paula Kamen. Iris Chang was also from Urbana; we were the same age and attended the same High School, which I discovered we both hated. But I barely knew her. Iris went on to write the famous book The Rape of Nanking. She committed suicide in 2004. That’s a conversation stopper, huh? Um, anyway…I liked the book. And not just because I’m quoted in it. It’s a good read.

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