Cofounder and CEO of CINEQUEST


By Iride Aparicio

Photos courtesy: CINEQUEST

SAN JOSÉ, CA -  What can we expect this year from CINEQUEST a Film & Creativity Festival, which promises, in its program,  to give its audience The Unexpected?

To get the answer to our question, CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL interviewed CINEQUEST Co-founder and CEO HALFDAN HUSSEY. His answers are written bellow.

“In CINEQUEST each year, “ he says, “we take a theme that excite us, that always resonates of creativity and innovation, and the power of creative forces in technology, which is our core company position. This year the theme is The unexpected.  We love the concept because when we think about technologies and arts, the best of them bring us something unexpected in a positive way to our lives. What does that mean?”

“Before, when we did not have computers, the computer was something unexpected. It was an opportunity, a new tool. The cell phone was also unexpected. It took forty years for its creators to convince people that the cell phone could actually be used. These are two examples of  the “unexpected” in technology.”

“Do you remember how difficult it was to search the internet until GOOGLE popped up? Now one can access knowledge (in the internet) and we don’t have to pay for it, We don’t have to  go to an Ivy League school to learn.”

“There is also a reason to have the unexpected in art. There is nothing more boring that when you experience a movie and you “see” (could predict) the ending coming. And there is also the unexpected  in Writing. A great artist and writer, CHUCK  PALAHNIUK, when he received the Maverick Spirit Award told the audience: “The most important thing in great writing is giving the audience an unexpected experience.”And he was right. Those unexpected experiences bring us excitement and opportunity.”

C.W.B. How do you expect the audience to react to the unexpected?

H.H: “ We (at CINEQUEST) love when the audience comes to CINEQUEST festival and have a memorable experience. Did they access a movie they like? Did they meet (interesting) people? Did they get inspired by a speaker? Did they see or experienced a new technology? Did they see a live performance? Did something impact their spirit for a day, ot did they have a lasting impact on their lives? Was the experience memorable?  And in order for the experience to be “memorable” it had to be about "something" unique, something that they are not use to do”

DLew_CQ2017 (11 of 70).jpg
A technological Immersive Experience Panel

“The reason why people  come to CINEQUEST year after year, is because they know that at CINEQUEST they could watch 132 United States premieres from 66 different countries. You can travel  around the world and visit those sixty six countries and meet the people, but who has the money or the time to do that?  Our programs include cultural thinking, political thinking, different age groups, and different people. So coming to CINEQUEST you are accessing these experiences that we feel are memorable, because they are not your norm. They are getting you out of your world, Expanding who you are.”

C.W.B. Could you give our readers an idea of some of the unexpected  things they can expect in CINEQUEST?

H.H. “ A couple of years ago there was a movement called “Virtual Reality” where we could immerse ourselves in a story that is all around us. This year they will experience Virtual Augmented Reality

IMG_2053 (1).jpg

CWB: What is Virtual Augmented Reality?

H.H. “It is a technical reality where the augmentation is such that allows you to see, what you are reading. For example, a teacher is talking about dinosaurs in the classroom, and as she does, the children will be able to see these dinosaurs in three dimensions, in the classroom. And if she is talking about a painting, they will be able to see the painting, almost as vibrant as one can see it in the museum. The Virtual Augmented Reality brings experiences to people that they have never seen before."

"Other aspects of The unexpected in this year’s festival is that if you go to see an Indian film you may also see a live dance company performing Indian dances, or a group of live singers. You may also hear music,during the film, or watch a fashions show. In the celebration of the multi-faceted artist CINEQUEST is doing POETS N FILM. In that event we will have live poets reading, and performing arts performances intermingled with music. We will also have a conversation with the nationally acclaimed and award-winning poet Laureate from California DANA GIOIA. And we will also have FILM-POEMS which are films that are actually poetic in the way that they utilize words. They are a connection of language with visual images and sounds. As you see people will be seeing and experiencing interacting different art forms."

C.W.B. How do you describe the evolution of CINEQUEST in 29 years?

H.H. " It all started with a vision. CINEQUEST was founded by a unique group of people: technologists, innovators, engineers, artists and producers. We all have had experiences that were empowering to us and we wanted to bring them back to the people and wanted to do it in SILICON VALLEY, because we determined that the technology emerging here ould impact people's ability to create, to connect and to share. At that point of time (29 years ago) all these visuals were ideas, but we got to an encouraging start. We started with three thousand people and now we have a hundred thousand people showing up. The technology will continue changing, but what will never change will be our initial vision: Connecting people with technology, but more important. connecting people with people."

So, the unexpected, for hose coming to the festival will be that they will be able to see many arts forms integrated into the experience. That is the reason why CINEQUEST is not called a FILM FESTIVAL this year, but A FILM AND CREATIVITY FESTIVAL

For information, and tickets go to www.cinequest.org.