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Heritage Film Project works with the Documentary Film Fund and Eduardo Montes-Bradley to produce THE ART OF JOY BROWN. The 60-minute documentary explores the creative universe of the Connecticut-based ceramist and sculptor as she conceives and executes a mural of monumental proportions for a permanent exhibit in Japan

In The Art of Joy Brown, filmmaker Montes-Bradley follows the artist as she designs and executes a mural commissioned by the Horokan Museum in Amami Ōshima, Japan. In the process of making a documentary film, a world of clay and terracotta figures emerges from the hands of a dedicated group working towards a common goal. At the center of it is a kiln built by the artist in the ancient anagama tradition. The kiln is the protagonist and keeper of a delicate equilibrium where fire and hearth work in perfect harmony to produce timeless works of art. At the helm of the kiln is Joy Brown, a prolific American artist with deep roots in China and Japan, where two generations of missionary parents and grandparents laid the groundwork for a genuinely cosmopolitan vision. 

 

That vision, supported by a network of collaborators, takes ten days to allow the ceramic pieces inside the kiln under intense fire need to become unique works of art. It is a collective effort. For some, this is not their first rodeo; for others, this is an experience they've been waiting for years. It's a seamless ritual; every eight hours, a new team of "guardians" moves in to replace those already there, thus ensuring continuity in the process. They are delighted to be there; they have been waiting a year to take on that responsibility. Few are neighbors; several come from distant places. It's almost a religious experience, in which the idea that it takes a village gains an entirely new meaning. 

 

The Art of Joy Brown by Montes-Bradley is a film that pays tribute to a millenary tradition that seems to have found a permanent place in the multicultural crossroads of the American experience. The documentary, to be completed by October 2023, welcomes an eloquent and sincere exchange between artists and artisans in America and Japan, a dialogue that -ultimately- invites the audience to partake in the creative process. 

 

The Art of Joy Brown is expected to premiere in the Fall of 2023. HD | 60 minutes | Budget $175,000

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